FSU football played a dominant second half against the LSU Tigers Sunday night on the way to a 45-24 season-opening win. A lot of emphasis has been on the offense and defense, and rightfully so.
However, I think FSU special teams deserve to have the highlight placed on them for their performance. They were outstanding in every facet.
Let’s start with place-kicking and Ryan Fitzgerald making his lone attempt in the game from 33 yards.
The punt return aspect could have been better, but Keon Coleman is relatively new to the role and didn’t want to take chances. LSU punted three times, and he caught one, and the other two hit the ground.
One of those cost FSU a ton of yards and got them pinned on their 1-yard line. I think he’ll be better in that role with more experience. Alex Mastromanno only punted twice, with both getting fair caught.
One went 51 yards, with LSU starting at their 15-yard line, and the other went 44 yards while punting out of his end zone. The FSU kickoff team didn’t return a kickoff, but the kickoff return coverage team was outstanding. LSU insisted on bringing the ball out of the end zone on kickoffs and paid the price in poor field position.
They returned four kickoffs to average 12.75 yards per return. LSU had a starting field position at their 14, 17, 23, and 15-yard lines from the kickoffs they returned. Last year, place-kicking was an adventure, and kickoff return coverage cost them a couple of times.
There wasn’t much to complain about Sunday night and feels overlooked. However, last year taught us how important special teams can be. If they can keep up this consistency, it’s another reason they’ll be tough for any team on the schedule to overcome.