LSU Football’s 2022 Season Opener Versus the Noles Will Be Pivotal

Syndication The Daily Advertiser
Syndication The Daily Advertiser /

For diehard LSU football fans, the anticipation for next season is already sizzling like breaded gator tail in hot grease.

Labor Day Weekend is still months away, but when LSU kicks off its 2022 football season against Florida State on Sunday, September 4, a lot will be at stake for the Bayou Bengals.

It will be the opening chapter of the Brian Kelly era in Baton Rouge against a high-profile opponent, and a world of implications and momentum will be at stake.

Win the game, and LSU is out of the shoot running hard and sending notices to SEC West rivalries.

Lose, and suddenly dark clouds will gather and the bayou will start feeling unseasonably hot.

After all that LSU football has been through since winning the 2019 National Championship, a winning start to the 2022 season cannot be underestimated, especially when the game is being played in the Superdome against a name-brand team like Florida State.

Yes, Florida State has been through some lean years of late, but the Seminoles are still a Power 5 team with national championship trophies to polish.

Moreover, there are reasons Florida State and its fans can be hopeful for a chance to pull the plug and drain away all the electricity of the Kelly era before it even gets rolling.

Florida State’s Advantage

While Florida State is coming off a disappointing five-win season, the Seminoles will have a big advantage come game day: they will already have a game under their belt.

Florida State opens its 2022 season against FCS Duquesne on August 27, providing an excellent opportunity for the Seminoles to iron-out kinks and build much-needed confidence.

While Florida State’s extra game isn’t going to excuse a lackluster performance by LSU, it does raise the heat a little for the Tigers as season-openers are often filled with miscues, especially for a new coaching staff. In theory, Florida State will have those opening-day miscues swept aside.

Raising the heat a little more is the expectation that FSU will be improved this year. With spring practice underway, Curt Weiler of the Tallahassee Democrat writes:

"[Quarteback Jordan] Travis looks ready to take the next step with better weapons around him. FSU’s running back room again looks capable even with the departure of Jashaun Corbin. FSU’s offensive line should take another step forward. FSU’s defensive line may not be as impactful as last year, but should still be quite good.Pair this with a schedule that is about as manageable as possible considering the teams on it and I feel better about projecting seven wins, with eight being more likely than six."

I would be willing to guess that Wieler and many others would consider LSU a swing game for Florida State: one the Seminoles might win or lose.

However, while Florida State may well be improved and will already have a game under its belt when it heads to the Caesar’s Superdome to face the Tigers and their new head coach, Kelly, it’s not as if LSU shouldn’t be favored to win the game.

LSU’s Advantage

Despite the game officially being played at a neutral site, playing in NewOrleans is certainly a big advantage. Not as big as if it were played in Death Valley, but we all know the home of the Saints will be jammed full of screaming LSU fans.

LSU’s advantage in the game only begins with home-ish field, however.

Sure, having a new head coach makes the game a bit more dicey in some ways for LSU, and yep, opening day can be a minefield of potential mishaps, but LSU’s players are going to have a fire inside them to show out for their new head coach and solidify their positions on the two-deep that would make dragons envious.

Meanwhile, Florida State is going to be filled with the shadows of the last two losing seasons, and with a record of 8-13 entering 2022, the question of whether Mike Norvell is the right man to lead the Seminoles will still be very much a part of FSU’s narrative entering the game.

But wait, there’s more!

LSU’s biggest advantage is likely to be where games are truly fought and won: in the trenches.

Take from it a soon-to-be NFL draft pick, LSU’s defensive line is going to be a force next season, and the offensive line is set to reload as well.

Not to take anything away from Florida State’s offensive and defensive lines, but I do not think they can go toe-to-toe with LSU’s for 60 minutes.

Moreover, the LSU O-line will have a backfield with stability at quarterback, likely led by Arizona State transfer QB Jayden Daniels, who brings athleticism and experience that should keep SEC defensive coordinators working late into the night this fall.

It’s Gonna Be Big

All told, LSU’s opening day against Florida State is a titanic game for the program: We haven’t even hit spring practice yet, and that much is clear.

No one knows what next season will be. LSU could shock the world and win another national title because with the talent on the roster, it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

However, for me, and probably for most LSU fans, the hope is that the Tigers will once again contend for the SEC West. It’s the deepest, nastiest division in college football, so that will be no easy task, but if Kelly can put the Tigers in contention for West this season, the sky is the limit in seasons to come.

Related Story. What QB Jayden Daniels Means for LSU Football in 2022. light