LSU Tigers Will Roar In Brian Kelly’s Debut vs. Florida State Seminoles – NCAAF Week 1

garret mussmeier lsu tigers ncaa football
Garrett Nussmeier #5 of the LSU Tigers throws the ball during the first half of a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks. Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images/AFP

Editor’s note: At press time, the best available lines at all sportsbooks shifted to -3.

Former Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly makes his LSU coaching debut on Sunday night as the Tigers face Florida State from New Orleans.

Which way to lean at OddsTrader’s top-rated sportsbooks?


Florida State Seminoles vs. LSU Tigers

Sunday, September 04, 2022 – 07:30 PM EDT at Caesars Superdome


Because the NFL regular season doesn’t start this week, this game indeed is played on Sunday night, the only major college football game scheduled for a Sunday during the regular season.

The title for this matchup is the Allstate Louisiana Kickoff. It’s technically a neutral site but obviously, LSU will have a major fan advantage with the school’s Baton Rouge campus only about 80 miles from the Big Easy.

This is the first meeting between LSU and Florida State since 1991 when the then-No.1 Seminoles posted a 27-16 win in Tiger Stadium. Since that game, the schools have combined to win six national titles. FSU leads the all-time series 7-2 and has won the past four.


Noles Cruised In Week Zero

There’s no question that Seminoles coach Mike Norvell enters one of the hotter seats in the ACC as Florida State was a massively disappointing 5-7 in his first season. Previous FSU coach Willie Taggart was fired in the middle of his second season after going 9-12.

The Seminoles do have a game under their belts after spanking FCS program Duquesne (didn’t even know Duquesne had a football program) 47-7 on Saturday.

Florida State outgained the Dukes a whopping 638-164, including a 406-93 disparity on the ground in winning their opener for the first time since 2016. The 40-point victory was FSU’s largest margin in a season opener since defeating Texas State 59-16 in 2015. Sorry, but I take nothing from that.

Redshirt junior Jordan Travis started the opener at quarterback and was 11-for-15 for 207 yards with no TDs or picks. He did rush for a score. Three FSU players rushed for at least 100 yards:

  • Treshaun Ward (127 yards, two TDs)
  • Trey Benson (105 yards, TD)
  • Lawrence Toafili (101 yards, TD)

Setting Records

It was the first time in school history that three running backs gained 100 rushing in the same game. FSU was the first ACC school to have three 100-yard rushers in the same game since Clemson on Nov. 3, 2018, vs. Louisville.

FSU extended its streak to 39 consecutive successful red zone trips, the longest active streak in the nation, with a perfect 7-for-7 in the red zone vs. Duquesne. The seven points allowed by Florida State’s defense was the second-fewest allowed in the Norvell era. The Seminoles limited UMass to three points in a 59-3 win over the Minutemen on Oct. 23, 2021.

With the win, FSU improved to 12-1 (.923) all-time in the month of August and 19-5 (.792) since 1975 when opening the season at Doak Campbell Stadium.

For this game, the Seminoles are 15-4 all-time in the state of Louisiana, including a 46-29 win in the Sugar Bowl against Virginia Tech to claim the 1999 national championship.

The Seminoles are 3-10 ATS on the NCAAF odds in their last 13 non-conference games.

Kelly Yet To Name Starting QB

LSU stunned the college football world last December in luring Coach Brian Kelly away from Notre Dame. The Tigers were a disappointing 6-7 last year under former coaches Ed Orgeron and Brad Davis. In 2021, Kelly’s Notre Dame team opened the season with a 41-38 OT win over Florida State in Tallahassee.

I’d like to tell you who will start at quarterback for the Tigers, but Kelly hasn’t said (he won’t until gameday), and he has a history of using multiple quarterbacks. It will be either Arizona State transfer Jayden Daniels (my guess) or redshirt freshman Garrett Nussmeier.

How Do the Two Prospects Compare?

Daniels was a three-year starter for the Sun Devils, while Nussmeier has never started a college game but did see some action for LSU last year as a backup, completing 29 of 57 for 329 yards, two touchdowns, and two picks. A third QB candidate, Myles Brennan, opted to retire from football for health reasons.

“There’s some great similarities between the two of them in terms of what they’re able to do,” Kelly said of Daniels and Nussmeier. “They both run extremely well. They both can make plays outside the pocket. And certainly, we don’t have to change the playcalling.

“There’s not a dramatic difference between the two when it comes to playcalling. So you can imagine that when we’re talking about both quarterbacks, this is a 1A and 1B. This is not a one and a two. And both of them are obviously going to contribute this year.”

LSU’s Roster

LSU has one of the nation’s most electric receivers in preseason first-team All-American Kayshon Boutte. He was limited to six games last year because of an ankle injury but still led the Tigers in receiving yards (509) and touchdowns (9). Seems like LSU always churns out excellent wideouts (Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase, Jarvis Landry, Odell Beckham Jr. to name a few).

LSU’s roster includes 28 players who have started at least one game in their career with the Tigers. Their players with the most starts are:

  • Linebacker Micah Baskerville (21)
  • Defensive end Ali Gaye (14)
  • Defensive end BJ Ojulari (13)

First-year Tigers coaches are 6-5-1 in their opening game, dating to the beginning of the SEC era. LSU’s last three head coaches all won their first game with the Tigers:

  • Nick Saban beat Western Carolina, 58-0, in 2000
  • Les Miles beat Arizona State, 35-31, in 2005
  • Orgeron beat Missouri, 42-7, in 2016

It’s LSU’s first game at the Superdome since beating Clemson, 42-25, in the national championship game in January 2020. The Tigers are 14-5 all-time in games played in the Superdome. They are 5-1 ATS in their past six neutral-site games.

Final Analysis

It’s a pretty big advantage that Florida State has played a game, but the fan advantage LSU will have essentially cancels that out.

We’re much bigger fans of LSU’s QB (presuming it’s Daniels) than Florida State’s.

I am using MaximBet because it’s the only site on OddsTrader listing LSU at less than -3.

NCAAF Pick: LSU -2.5 (+105) at MaximBet


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