FSU football is one day away from kicking off their 2023 season opener against the LSU Tigers on Sunday, September 3rd at 7:30 PM EST on ABC in the confines of Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.
We have almost made it!
I know that several Seminole fans are anxiously awaiting the matchup between two top-ten programs. It will be the biggest game of the weekend, by far, in a stand-alone opportunity for the college football world to see what fourth-year head football coach Mike Norvell and company are made of.
I thought it would be appropriate to list three matchups for the Seminoles to watch for in the contest versus the Tigers.
DE JARED VERSE VERSUS OT WILL CAMPBELL
•The former Albany transfer made his mark in last season’s matchup against the true freshman offensive tackle Will Campbell, where he recorded three total tackles (2.5 tackles for loss) and two sacks. However, the former Class of 2022 five-star prospect started in 13 games at the left tackle position last year and has gotten himself acclimated to the collegiate level.
With that said, the outcome could come to the play of LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels, which could be affected if Verse finds a method to get in the backfield effectively.
WR’S JOHNNY WILSON/KEON COLEMAN VERSUS CB’S DUCE CHESTNUT/ZY ALEXANDER
•Florida State’s offensive unit understands that it possesses a competitive advantage over a majority of teams with the likes of wide receivers Johnny Wilson and Keon Coleman, who are 6’7” and 6’4” respectively. It will be a challenge for whoever will have to cover them in one-on-one situations (even with additional safety help).
The Tigers brought in productive cornerback transfer Duce Chestnut from the Syracuse Orange this offseason, who started all 12 games last season. However, he is only listed at 5’11” and is learning a new defensive scheme for LSU. On the other side, LSU acquired another transfer via the transfer portal in Zy Alexander, who played at Southeastern Louisiana. While Alexander is a bit lankier at 6’2”, the question still presents itself: Will he be able to adjust to the elevated level of play in Baton Rouge?
With the unpredictability at the cornerback position, the Seminoles’ wide receiving core could have a productive day against the Tigers.
LB HAROLD PERKINS JR. VERSUS FSU’S OL
•Thankfully, the LSU Tigers didn’t utilize linebacker Harold Perkins Jr. much in last season’s matchup where he only played eleven snaps. However, I am here to inform you that the talented linebacker will play way more than that amount of snaps this go-around. The former Class of 2022 five-star prospect is the heartbeat of this Tigers’ defensive unit. It is uncommon to see a true freshman make a noticeable impact in his first season, but Perkins Jr. was a different animal during the back half of last season.
He recorded an impressive 72 total tackles (13 tackles for loss) and 7.5 sacks in his freshman campaign. The Seminoles have aspirations of being a top-ten (maybe even top-five) offensive unit in the country. If they want an opportunity to showcase their talented pieces on that side of the football, it starts and ends with neutralizing linebacker Harold Perkins Jr.