No. 8 Florida State vs No. 5 LSU in Orlando, Florida, Sunday, 7:30 p.m. ET (ABC)
Line: LSU by 2 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: Florida State leads 8-2, including five consecutive wins.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
The first top-10 matchup in series history should provide early season insight into which of these teams is a legit national championship contender. The Seminoles return the bulk of their roster from last season’s 10-3 campaign, including star quarterback Jordan Travis and stud defensive end Jared Verse. They’re seeking to extend a six-game winning streak. LSU has nearly as many starters back from its 10-4 debut under coach Brian Kelly, including dynamic quarterback Jayden Daniels, speedy receiver Malik Nabers and standout linebacker Harold Perkins.
LSU’s offensive line versus FSU’s defensive front. The Tigers return five starters, including bookend tackles Will Campbell and Emery Jones, but could have their hands full against Verse, Fabien Lovett and Patrick Payton. Verse had nine sacks in 2022, Payton was named the ACC’s rookie of the year, and the Seminoles ranked 10th nationally in tackles for loss.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Florida State: Johnny Wilson and Michigan State transfer Keon Coleman expect to be one of the best receiving duos in the country. The 6-foot-7 Wilson, a fourth-year junior who has the NFL’s attention, caught 43 passes for 897 yards and five touchdowns in 2022. Coleman had 58 receptions for 798 yards and seven scores last year.
LSU: Nabers led the Southeastern Conference with 72 catches for 1,017 yards and three touchdowns in 2022, becoming the 10th 1,000-yard receiver in school history. The sophomore was at his best down the stretch, finishing with five receptions for 128 yards and a touchdown against eventual national champion Georgia in the SEC title game and then catching nine passes for 163 yards and a score against Purdue in the Citrus Bowl.
FACTS & FIGURES
The teams opened last season against each other in the Superdome in New Orleans, a 24-23 victory for the Seminoles in which Shyheim Brown blocked an extra point on the final play. FSU’s Verse also blocked a field goal in the second quarter. … Both teams ended last year with wins at Camping World Stadium: FSU beat Oklahoma in the Cheez-It Bowl four days before LSU topped Purdue in the Citrus Bowl. … The Seminoles are 10-0-2 all-time in Orlando, including nine consecutive wins. … LSU has won 12 straight games when rushing for 200 yards. … FSU’s O-line has the most combined games played (307) and starts (214) in the country. … The Tigers will be without DT Maason Smith (NCAA suspension) and RB John Emery (undisclosed).
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll by Taboola