FSU football will face the LSU Tigers for the second time in as many years. It’ll be the second time they will not have to play against one of LSU’s better defensive players, defensive tackle Maason Smith.
Smith played against the Noles in the 2022 game but torn his ACL after playing in a handful of plays.
Wednesday night, news broke that Smith would serve a one-game suspension against FSU for receiving an improper benefit.
The suspension reportedly involves Smith and a former teammate signing autographs in the summer of 2021 before NIL compensation went into effect.
I think it’s safe to say these FSU football fans wanted Maason Smith to play in the game. They heard enough excuses last year when FSU dominated most of that game regarding it being LSU’s first game under new staff and FSU having the benefit of playing a game in week zero.
Smith getting hurt in the first few minutes of that game added to the list, but nobody mentioned FSU playing without starting tackle Bless Harris and Duke Cooper playing hurt last year.
FSU will be without their own defensive tackle, Darrell Jackson Jr., who had his transfer waiver denied by the NCAA. I asked Wednesday why LSU was the betting favorite going into the game when FSU has far fewer questions and returns more experience and production from the team that beat LSU last year.
They also added more talent from the transfer portal. LSU is still a -2.5 betting favorite at most spots, but I can find a -3 out there every now and then. However, over 85 percent of the bets have been on LSU since lines opened earlier this year.
That’s almost always a red flag in the wrong direction and another reason I’d take the Noles. FSU defensive tackle Dennis Briggs Jr. still didn’t look like he was at 100 percent last year after returning from a similar injury in 2021. I’m not sure how much of a factor Smith would have been after the injury regardless.