Seminoles Impressively Become Title Contender in Rout of LSU

Ken Cross

September 05, 2023 at 2:42 pm.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida State trailed LSU, 17-14, at halftime on Sunday evening, but the second half announced the Seminoles as a national title contender, once again.

The ‘Noles scored on every second-half possession and scored 31 points after intermission in dominating the LSU Tigers, 45-24, at Camping World Classic in Orlando.

“I don’t think we played our best game,” said fourth-year Seminoles coach Mike Norvell, “But, I thought that second half, you know, we were able to really finish the way that we wanted to.”

FSU quarterback Jordan Travis threw for 342 years and four touchdowns, while Michigan State transfer Keon Coleman caught nine passes for 122 yards and three touchdowns in his Seminoles debut.

The two provided the fight in the first half as Florida State had to fight to stay in position as Tre Bradford and Noah Cain used a pair of drives with short touchdowns and a 14-7 LSU lead with 6:02 remaining before halftime.

Florida State’s athletic and consistently physical defense held the Tigers twice on fourth down in the first three drives.

The 6-4 Coleman was able to exploit mismatches within the LSU secondary with his size and length. His 7-yard touchdown reception with 10:18 to play was the third of the night and it generally shut down a Tigers team that many thought will consume Alabama for the SEC West crown.

“I’m grateful for my teammates, getting to show them the hard work that we have been putting in the whole summer is paying off and getting to show a glimpse of what I can do,” Coleman said. “Not only me, just what our whole receiver room and the rest of the team can do.”

Last season, Coleman had a breakout year with the Spartans as he caught 58 passes for 798 yards and seven scores. His ability to be seen on the national level proved that he and Travis are one of the most lethal combinations in the game this season.

“They make it easy,” noted Travis of his receivers. “It’s fun out there, and it’s fun winning football games.”

Travis also noted Johnny Wilson, who had 104 yards on seven catches.

“That second half – that was a glimpse, a glimpse of where what I think this team can do and where I think it can go,” noted Norvell.


Planting the Spear: After FSU kicker Ryan Fitzgerald hit a 33-yard field goal to tie the game at 17-17 early in the second half, the Seminoles took command on their next drive.

Travis hit Coleman with a 41-yard pass four plays before hitting running back Lawrence Toafili with a 41-yarder on a screen pass that set up Travis’ lone rushing touchdown from one-yard out.

FSU took the lead for good at 24-17 with 2:02 remaining in the third quarter.

“That second half, you know, we were able to really finish the way that we wanted to,” commented Norvell. “I’m proud of them for the way that they continued to battle, the way they showed the resilience and who they are.”


Closing the Door: Florida State safety Renardo Green gave Florida State its control on the first play of the fourth quarter.

LSU quarterback Jaylen Davis had driven the Tigers to midfield, but wide receiver Malik Nabors fell on his route which allowed Green to pick off the pass.

Green’s knee touched on the FSU 43 before he took an interception 33 yards down the left sideline and into the red zone at the Tigers 17.

“Let’s just go out there and just play the way we know we’re capable of playing,” said Norvell. “I thought they did an exceptional job with that.”


Tiger Talk: This could end up being LSU’s only loss of the season as you have to remember the Tigers were without starting running back John Emery.

In addition, LSU led at halftime in a game where ACC member Florida State had a plethora of SEC-style talented players.

“Execution in the first half, the inability to convert in the red zone,” LSU head coach Brian Kelly said about the Tigers’ fallacies. “Second half, didn’t play with a sense of urgency. You know, all those fall on coaching and getting our players to recognize that and make those kind of choices in practice.”




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