Chop Chat: I think both teams likely have question marks about their offensive line. Talk to us about who LSU named as their starters and their perceived strengths and weaknesses? Do you think they will hold up against FSU’s defensive front?
Death Valley Voice: Brian Kelly has gone out of his way to note the progress made by the offensive line throughout Fall Camp. That being said, it’s still a huge question mark. LSU recently named its five starters—Fr. Will Campbell (LT), So. Miles Frazier (LG), RS Fr. Garrett Dellinger (C), RS Jr. Anthony Bradford (RG) and RS Sr. Cam Wire (RT)—and the immediate talking point is the inexperience. That’ll be the biggest weakness of the Tigers’ offensive line in the early season. There are likely to be growing pains, but Kelly does have experience in senior transfer Tre’Mond Shorts to fall back on if needs be. Whereas the biggest weakness of the unit is inexperience, I think the biggest strength of LSU’s offensive line is versatility and size. The Tigers have a ton of options, so if things don’t work early on or an injury occurs, the coaching staff can plug and play. I think they can hold up against the Seminoles’ front seven, but I don’t know if they necessarily will. There are bound to be some mistakes here and there, Sunday should be all about getting up to game speed and minimizing those errors. The offensive line’s success could very well depend on the offensive gameplan. Kelly and Denbrock need to keep in mind that this is the first full-speed game this unit has together, so LSU can’t take too many chances.
Chop Chat: Advanced FEI metrics had FSU and LSU as almost identical teams rankings-wise at the end of last season. Where do you see FSU giving LSU the most problems and vice versa.
Death Valley Voice: I think Florida State will give LSU the most problems on the ground. The nation saw last week what the Seminoles are capable of in the running game. While there are many notable names on the Tigers’ defensive line, the linebacking core has struggled over the last couple of years. Florida State could really give LSU fits with its rushing attack, which would in turn open up the passing game and the Seminoles could have a field day with the secondary—despite Kelly’s praise of the defensive backs in camp. On the other hand, LSU can cause serious problems with its receiving core. If the Tigers get consistent quarterback play, merely getting the ball into the hands of the likes of Kayshon Boutte, Malik Nabers and Jack Bech will be enough. The talented receiving trio is as good as almost any in the country, so it’s safe to say they’re going to be a handful for any defense to stop.