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How Devastating Was Sunday’s Loss For LSU?

  • Justin Melo
  • September 5, 2022
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The LSU Tigers suffered a crushing 24-23 defeat at home against Florida State on Sunday. LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels completed a two-yard touchdown pass to Jaray Jenkins to pull the Tigers within one with no time left on the clock following a muffed punt by the Seminoles. Seminoles defensive back Shyheim Brown then blocked LSU’s extra point attempt to clinch the thrilling one-point victory.

It was a fitting end to a contest that was riddled with momentum shifters. It represented an awfully disappointing defeat for a Tigers program that’s supposed to be moving in the right direction.

Tigers bead coach Brian Kelly was lured from Notre Dame with a 10-year, $100 million contract. Kelly was hired to course correct an LSU program that’s struggled to recapture the success of its historic 2019 campaign. Sunday’s events inside the Superdome were a stark reminder that Kelly remains in the infancy of his tenure and is going to require time and patience to get the Tigers playing his brand of football. An opening week home defeat to a Seminoles squad that’s coming off four consecutive losing seasons will drive that point home.

Tigers faithful will closely analyze the debut performance of Daniels under center. Daniels, a transfer from Arizona State, earned the start following a tight competition against Garrett Nussmeier in camp. Daniels completed 25-of-34 passing attempts for 209 yards and two touchdowns. The dual-threat quarterback added 114 rushing yards via 16 scrambles. 

Daniels often found himself under duress behind an offensive line that struggled to block a hard-nosed Seminoles defensive front. Daniels’ natural playmaking ability was on display at times, but so were the inconsistencies that ultimately marred his three-year tenure at Arizona State (2019-21). Daniels had issues processing and often exited the pocket prematurely. 

Kelly is expected to help develop Daniels into a more complete quarterback. Signs of that transition were only present in flashes throughout Sunday’s loss.

LSU may have bigger problems on its hands. Star wide receiver Kayshon Boutte was an afterthought, recording just two receptions for 20 yards. Seminoles defensive coordinator Adam Fuller limited Boutte by playing robber coverage (using a free safety to roam and double-team Boutte). Boutte didn’t secure his first reception until 55 minutes into the contest. 

The No. 8 overall player in our latest TDN100 update, Boutte expressed his frustration following the defeat by deleting everything LSU-related from his official Instagram page. Boutte also unfollowed LSU football. It’s a sign of immaturity from a standout receiver that is already questioning his lack of involvement one week into the season.

LSU must put this disappointing defeat behind them and prepare for next week’s prime bounce-back opportunity against the Southern Jaguars. Upcoming contests against Auburn, Tennessee, Florida, and Ole Miss loom large in October. 

Questions remain at quarterback and their star receiver has already expressed frustration—Kelly inherited a sizable challenge by relocating to Baton Rouge. The issues that led to consecutive disappointing seasons for the Tigers program didn’t disappear overnight. Sunday’s contest sent a merciless reminder to everyone involved.

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Justin Melo