clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

What went right, wrong on defense for FSU vs. Louisiana

Florida State stomps the Rajin’ Cajuns at home

Peyton Baker/Tomahawk Nation

The Florida State Seminoles hosted the Louisiana Rajin’ Cajuns on Saturday afternoon, fresh off a three-game win streak. The Noles were rolling on both sides of the ball, creating national attention for their explosive offense and air raid defense. It was vital for FSU to secure another dominant home en route to their first bowl game since 2019. They did just that with a - victory over the Rajin’ Cajuns.

It was never a competitive contest between the two as FSU jumped out of the gate with around-the-clock touchdowns. They headed into halftime with a 35-3 lead and never looked back. Florida State’s backups played a generous amount of snaps as the Seminoles put the game away and sat down key starters in the second half. The focus quickly shifted toward ending the season with nine wins, since it looked like the eighth was locked in.

First half

Florida State’s defense took the field following a touchdown drive from the offense. They applied the pressure on the Rajin’ Cajuns early, forcing them to find the end zone and tie the game. That wasn’t the case on Louisiana’s first drive after a tackle for loss from DJ Lundy and a quarterback pressure from safety Akeem Dent.

The Seminoles' offense shot out a cannon to put seven more points on the board on the next drive. FSU’s defense entered the white lines up 14-0. Linebacker Tatum Bethune had a beautiful pass breakup after ULL picked a first down. It seemed like the Noles were playing the blitz extremely well, but the Rajin’ Cajuns forced a pass interference call on FSU that had them flirting with Florida State territory.

Louisiana was placed at fourth and two close to the 50-yard line and elected to go for it. They seemed to be in a good position to grab the first down but safety Jammie Robinson had other ideas. FSU forced ULL off the field, giving their offense phenomenal field position.

After the Noles found the end zone to push a 21-0 lead, the Rajin’s Cajuns were flowing on the offensive end. They had a couple of lengthy passes and runs to move the sticks early in the drive. Despite their attempt to continue testing FSU’s cornerbacks, it didn’t work out too well for Louisiana. They were constantly in punt formation without finding any consistent momentum on offense. Their offensive line played well enough to give ULL time to throw, but FSU’s secondary and linebackers seem to have a good read on the QB’s decision.

FSU’s offense was getting too fancy, forcing deep looks and clogging the box with runners. It was the defense’s responsibility to keep Louisiana out of the red zone just so the offense can come back and find their structure. The perfect scenario was a three-and-out from the Noles’ defense, which is exactly what they were able to do thanks to their edge defenders.

With 6:59 minutes left in the second quarter, the Seminoles were leading 28-0. Even with a desperate Louisiana team on the field, Florida State put them back on the bench with another three-and-out. FSU’s defense did a great job at playing conservative, while being ready for the turnover if the ball were placed in the right position.

The defense got their chance to snag that turnover after another score from the offense. With 3:14 left in the half, Florida State led 35-0. The Noles continued to play with their starters in the secondary, but chose to play with mainly backups on the defensive line up to this point. Louisiana was pushing the polls through the air, with short runs to pair with their success. A 14-yard run by Louisiana’s quarterback had the Rajin’ Cajuns in their best scoring position of the game.

Louisiana put themselves in a prime scoring position with just a second left in the half, hauling in a 23-yard completion. They were just a couple of yards away from giving Florida State their first opposing touchdown since Georgia Tech. The Noles stayed composed and deflected multiple passes in the end zone after reading a run play to push Louisiana back and force them to go for a field goal. Heading into the half the Seminoles were up 35-3.

Second half

The Rajin’ Cajuns started the half with possession, securing an early first down. They got creative with their playbook at halftime, calling short options to try and find an early rhythm. Defensive end Jared Verse got a sack for the Noles to welcome ULL’s punter back to the field.

FSU’s backups were rolling in when they found a 45-3 lead. On the very first of the Seminoles defensive run, Fabien Lovett stripped the ball for a forced fumble and Shyheim Brown was there to scoop it up. The Noles quickly put seven points on the scoreboard to extend their lead to 49-3 with 8:22 remaining in the third quarter.

Florida State kept it safe on the defensive end, working toward keeping Louisiana in front of them even with short gains on the table. They were letting ULL move the sticks in short gains as they focused on stopping the open gaps or men down the field. The Rajin’ Cajuns elected to go for it on fourth and five and the Noles got a turnover on downs. A sack by Joshua Farmer brought the offense back to the gridiron.

It was an empty drive for the Noles offense, which also turned it over on down at the 35-yard line. Louisiana took advantage of the Noles playing back, walking the ball down the field right into the 5-yard line to give them an opportunity for a touchdown. They kept feeding the run game with different types of sweeps that the offensive line led and it seemed to work for the Rajin’ Cajuns.

Louisiana plugged in their first touchdown of the game with under 12 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Florida State was playing way too safe to keep a team out of scoring range. They let their foot off the gas and let Louisiana constantly run all over them. With 7:24 left in the game, Florida State had a 49-10 lead.

The final score ended at 49-17 after FSU threw in basically their entire scholarship roster. The defense took an obvious hit and their offense couldn’t find anything in the air. The ground game could have only taken the Noles so far as they let Louisiana score the most points against Florida State since they played Clemson.

Standout players from FSU vs. Louisiana

Defensive back Jammie Robinson

Jammie Robinson had arguably his best game of the season with one tackle for loss, one QB hit, and six tackles on the day. He was all over the field impacting FSU’s defense on the ground and in the air. Robinson doesn’t always have fancy plays that open the eyes of a fan, but today anyone that was watching No. 10 needed a tracker to catch up with him.

Linebacker DJ Lundy

Lundy started the game with a key sack on the Rajin’ Cajuns to implement a forcible attack on ULL. He recorded one and a half sacks, one and a half tackles for loss, and six total tackles.

Linebacker Brendan Gant

He’s been extremely underrated this season, most of which had to do with his work on special teams. Gant was successful yet again on special teams against Louisiana, but he was also making plays inside the box on the defensive end. He finished the game with six tackles.