With that in mind, let’s consider which matchups benefit each team heading into Sunday night.
LSU OL vs. FSU front seven
There are a few question marks on both sides here, but I give the slight edge to Florida State right now.
Jermaine Johnson II and Kier Thomas provided a solid pass rush for the ‘Noles last year. They’re both gone, but they have added FCS star Jared Verse and returned Dennis Briggs from injury. Derrick McClendon is solid, as well.
FSU is strong on the interior with Fabian Lovett and Robert Cooper.
LSU’s interior offensive line is composed of three new starters. All have experience, with [autotag]Miles Frazier[/autotag] and [autotag]Tre’Mond Shorts[/autotag] both starting at their previous schools and [autotag]Garrett Dellinger[/autotag] rotating in last year. However, they’re still new to these spots.
It might take some time to build some chemistry.
[autotag]Will Campbell[/autotag] is a true freshman starting at left tackle. FSU will get some wins against him. That’s just how the game goes for young guys.
FSU OL vs. LSU front seven
This one is easy. There are high expectations for what LSU will bring on the defensive line this year.
[autotag]Ali Gaye[/autotag] and [autotag]BJ Ojulari[/autotag] should be one of the best pass-rushing duos in college football. [autotag]Maason Smith[/autotag] will be a force on the interior.
After years of struggling, Florida State has worked hard to patch up the offensive line. Development and transfers should help, but it won’t be enough against LSU.
Matt House’s defense also features a deep and athletic group of linebackers that will be able to create some havoc.
LSU passing game vs. FSU secondary
For now, FSU has to get a slight edge here. We don’t know what LSU’s passing game will look like. We don’t even know who will start at QB.
We do know the LSU wide receiver group has a chance to be the best in the SEC, and [autotag]Kayshon Boutte[/autotag] will be trouble for even the best DBs in the sport. Still, FSU’s secondary is good, and if LSU doesn’t get efficient quarterback play, the ‘Noles will be in a good spot.
Akeem Dent and Jammie Robinson are two of the best safeties in the ACC and will make their fair share of plays on Sunday night.
FSU passing game vs. LSU secondary
Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis (13) catches the ball before handing it off. The Florida State Seminoles hosted the Duquesne Dukes at Doak Campbell Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022.
I’m going to call this one a tie. LSU has done a lot of work to patch up the secondary and there are now several guys the LSU coaching staff feels good putting out there.
LSU’s safety group in particular, could make a real difference.
He will struggle if LSU’s pass rush is getting after Jordan Travis. FSU doesn’t have a clear star at wide receiver yet, and LSU won’t have to worry about double-teaming one guy.
House is a DC with NFL experience, and I expect him to have a good plan to handle FSU’s passing game.
Neither team is expected to have an elite special teams unit, but neither expects it to be a glaring weakness. Florida State returns its kicker and punter; meanwhile, LSU will be tasked with replacing [autotag]Cade York[/autotag], and good luck guessing how that will go.
LSU added [autotag]Jay Bramblett[/autotag] at punter, so the Tigers should remain strong.