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LSU’s Key to Winning the FSU Game

In the first game of the Brian Kelly era, LSU travels to New Orleans for a matchup with the Florida State Seminoles in prime time Sunday.

Here are some keys to the game for LSU:

The Seminoles have not only three veteran running backs but also a dual-threat quarterback. Last week, Florida State ran for 406 yards in a rout of FCS for Duquesne. Treshaun Ward is a versatile back who can run and catch, and his 127 yards rushing led three FSU backs who eclipsed 100 in the game. LSU’s defensive line is experienced and fully healthy, so it should provide a much stiffer test.

No matter who starts under center, LSU coach Brian Kelly has emphasized the importance of getting the ball out of the quarterback’s hands as fast as possible. There’s a plethora of talent to throw to — particularly preseason AP first-team All-American Kayshon Boutte, sophomore slot receiver Malik Nabers and last year’s reception leader Jack Bech.

This is Garrett Dellinger’s first season playing center in his career, and while some of his snaps were high during the open practice viewing periods during preseason camp, Kelly said that he has improved. This will be his first true test at the position against strong defensive tackles such as Florida State’s Fabien Lovett and Robert Cooper. There will be little room for error.

Florida State’s offense struggled last year — unless it got into the red zone, where it scored on more than 90% of its trips to the 20-yard line, scoring touchdowns 73.8% of the time. That was good enough for No. 6 in the nation. That was despite a struggling offensive line that often hampered offensive drives.