Look, this one’s frustrating for a lot of people. I could easily talk about many things here. I could bring up Harold Perkins being misused, but I’ve already done it. I could bring up the mismatch with Florida State’s WRs, but I’ve already done it, I could talk about how this was much more even than the score, and that this one just got away from LSU (which is true), but I’d rather talk about the biggest takeaway from the night:
Florida State is like that.
We went into this year finally styling ourselves contenders again, ready to make a statement to the world that LSU is back at the top of college football, and it sucks when that momentum and buzz gets a wet blanket draped over it.
It is, however, a reminder that your team isn’t alone in the College Football universe. Florida State has been down too. Florida State had finally built themselves back to a place where, like LSU, they could enter a season with their chests out and the National Title in their sights. Florida State, as we see clearly, is just better.
This takes little from LSU, because Florida State is amazing. In my view, this was simply what it looks like when a regular New Year’s 6 team faces a National Championship-level team. They have a Heisman-level quarterback, two alpha receivers, a superstar edge rusher, multiple terrific interior DL, a well-coached OL, a bell-cow RB, and solid pieces at TE and CB. This team has used the portal to star-hunt, and they’ve unsurprisingly been rewarded with a championship group of playmakers.
LSU’s DBs were just overmatched by the two pad-wearing Avengers that Florida State calls receivers. I’m definitely concerned about the DB room, but LSU will not be alone this season in this regard. Keon Coleman, in particular, is Tee Higgins with more speed, and it’s hard to get mad at anyone for struggling to deal with that.
Now to the man of the hour, the new Heisman frontrunner (my preseason pick), Jordan Travis. This is not LSU’s first cruel crash-course in his ability to play the position, but it’s hard to watch him tonight and not realize how good you have to be to beat a quarterback like that at the top of his game.
Honestly, I thought LSU did an incredible job defending FSU’s counter-based run game and its auxiliary elements. They were able to take away FSU’s fastball and make them static. The thing about the best offenses and the best QBs, is that they are able to be static, drop straight back, and take you apart anyway. Just think about what it’s like to play against Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, or Josh Allen in the NFL. You can take away their fastball and make it hard, but they’ll just drop back and beat your ass straight up in and out of structure. That’s what Travis and his targets were able to do tonight.
You just have to tip your cap to what appears to be an extraordinary football team. I picked FSU to win this game for a reason, I put FSU in my top 5 for a reason, I picked Travis to win the Heisman for a reason, and I picked them to challenge for the National Title for a reason.
Boy did we find those reasons out tonight or what?