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Staff Predictions: Florida State Seminoles vs. LSU Tigers

The Seminoles are 7-2 against the Tigers all-time and FSU has won the last four games against LSU

NCAA Football: Duquesne at Florida State Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida State Seminoles and the LSU Tigers will be meeting for the first time since 1991, under the lights in the Superdome, in prime time, as the nation watches to see which program will make the move back towards relevancy first.

Your Tomahawk Nation staff, as they do every game week have broken down the film, charted every All-22 play-by-play snaps, performed A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) virtual simulations of the individual man-to-man matchups [by position], compiled, sorted, and analyzed all of the data, and have come to the conclusion that the Noles could win.

According to DraftKings, Florida State is a 3-point underdog with an over/under of 49.5.

  • Read what your TOMAHAWK NATION PROGNOSTICATORS think about this Saturday’s showdown.
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NoleThruandThru (season record: 1-0)

I think this will be a game that is determined by who makes the least amount of momentum-shifting errors. The FSU offensive line faces a massive test and keeping Jordan Travis upright is going to be crucial. If FSU can establish the run early, the ‘Noles can grind things out and dictate tempo.

Thing is, Brian Kelly knows FSU under Mike Norvell. If it was a different coach on the opposing sideline, I’d be a bit more hopeful. Florida State will fight hard but I think Kelly’s experience against the ‘Noles, along with LSU’s outstanding defensive line, gives LSU just enough to win this matchup. Prove me wrong, ‘Noles!

LSU 24, FSU 20

Tommy Mire (season record: 1-0)

This game is the ultimate toss-up. LSU has a brand-new coaching staff, year one transfers, a new quarterback, freshman, and new corners. Granted, Brian Kelly did win in overtime last year with a Notre Dame team he’s been building for years, but it might take a few games for LSU to get rolling.

There are day one draft picks on their D-line so the true test might just be if FSU’s O-line can hold strong enough for the running backs to do their thing and open up plays for FSU’s big receivers.

With a new quarterback in Jayden Daniels throwing to probably the best receiving group the Noles will see all season, the game could go either way. Vegas’ two to three-point favorite for LSU is fair given the unknowns but if FSU’s defensive front can get home more often than not, bring home the sod (I know.)

FSU 24, LSU 21


For the first time since 2016 FSU will start 2-0. They’ll do it behind the strength of their front seven and special teams, yes special teams. Short fields will allow FSU to hit a couple of shot plays and early in season when tackling often out of sync and good tackling is at a premium the aspect of a mobile QB will be FSU’s best weapon.

Look for FSU to hit a couple of big plays off speed option.

FSU 30 LSU 28

Brian Pellerin (season record: 1-0)

I think this game is absolutely in Florida State’s grasp, but I’m worried about the LSU defensive line. It’s one of the strongest groups in the country with future NFL players two-deep.

If Florida State’s offensive line isn’t meshing (or anybody gets dinged up), this could turn into a game that Jordan Travis is going to have to take over and make something special happen. He’s capable, but it’s a lot to ask for against a team loaded with talent.

LSU 24, FSU 20

Evan Johnson (season record: 1-0)

LSU took a predictable downturn under Coach O after their National Title winning year, but it wasn’t like FSU’s where they began to bleed talent. LSU probably has the best receivers and defensive line FSU will face all this year and they’re playing an away game to top it off.

Unfortunately, the areas in which LSU is better than FSU is larger than the areas FSU is better than LSU and I’m not sure the ‘Noles can overcome that if LSU has a competent coaching staff as I believe it does.

LSU 28, FSU 20

Michael Rogner (season record: 1-0)

Is LSU better than Duquesne? We could debate that all day. We got running backs and like four other guys who are really good, so I’m taking FSU.

FSU 31 - LSU 20.

Max Escarpio (season record: 1-0)

The LSU Tigers have two position groups that can cause the Seminoles some serious trouble. With a banged up offensive line, I see LSU’s defense taking advantage of the holes and making it a very difficult game for Jordan Travis. This is a very winnable game for the Noles, but the Tigers simply have more talent on their roster. If Travis can find success in the air it’ll be a whole different ball game, but they’ll need his blocking up front to prevail if FSU wants to come out of New Orleans with a victory.

LSU 27, FSU 23

TimScribble (season record: 1-0)

I think this game all comes down to FSU’s defensive line versus LSU’s offensive line. If Florida State can pressure the Tiger quarterbacks and keep containment on a scrambling quarterback, I think FSU can win this game by maybe 7-10. I fear Jayden Daniels picking up too many easy first downs on broken scrambles and LSU pulls out a close game.

LSU 28, FSU 24

FrankDNole (season record: 1-0)

Being the underdog this week against the LSU Tigers in their home state makes this a SOD game for the Noles. I have no doubt that the FSU players are going to play harder, want it more, and give 110% more effort on every play than the LSU players.

The Seminole players will use the disrespect from Vegas as their battle cry and will win this game with a deceiving score that seems closer than how the actual game plays out.

Never in doubt.

FSU Seminoles 31 - LSU purple faces 21

Matt Minnick (season record: 1-0)

I’m 1-1 in attending kickoff classic-type games and 1-1 in attending games in the Super Dome. So, no help there.

1-0 in attending LSU games, so maybe there’s the omen I’m looking for?

In terms of hard factors, Coach Norvell seems to have found something in the last 8 games or so, riding a punishing running game that bleeds clock and softens up the underbelly of a D enough to hit them with long shots over the top about once a quarter. And when you have talent like Benson, Ward, and JT in the backfield it’s a plan I am down with.

The question is, can the OL generate enough push against a legit DL to allow enough consistent space to stay ahead of the chains?

Defensively, I don’t think FSU shuts down a Brian Kelly offense. But I do think Jammie Robinson and Tatum Bethune make an impact play, and LSU—still learning a new system—makes a few self-inflicted wounds that kill a drive or two.

Which leaves us to special teams? Can FSU do what they haven’t done frequently in the last few years and win special teams? Or at least not have a catastrophic mistake? I’m betting yes. FSU gets the upset and the over cashes.

FSU 30, LSU 28.

Perry Kostidakis (season record: 1-0)

If you gave me $100 to bet on this game, I would put it on some random prop bet like the coin toss because that’s how unconfident I feel in predicting anything that will happen in this game. Brian Kelly teams always look iffy in openers, but also, he’s gone 5-1 in game ones since 2016. Florida State has showcased an elevated level of execution, depth and across-the-board talent through the offseason and in its season opener vs. Duquesne, but it hasn’t been fully challenged yet. LSU has gone 5-5 and 6-7 in the last two years, but still has plenty of talent stocked up and is no longer coached by a sentient Slim Jim.

I don’t have any doubts about FSU’s ability to show up in this game — under Mike Norvell, the Seminoles have come to play in big matchups — but I do still have questions that need answering in terms of holes patched on the team. If Florida State’s wide receiver revitalization is legitimate, and Jordan Travis is given the chance to keep the defense honest by executing through the air, then this game could look like the UNC vs. FSU matchups of the last two years. If not, with the talent the Tigers have available and a slight home-field advantage at a “neutral” site, it’ll likely shake out in a similar manner to the last two times Kelly and Norvell have faced off — a valiant effort on the part of Florida State that ends up coming just short. A few days ago, I was leaning more towards an LSU win, but seeing the week shake out for FSU on the practice field has me a little bit more optimistic.

FSU 28, LSU 24

Florida State Seminoles vs. LSU Tigers

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