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What Brian Kelly Said After LSU’s Season-Opening Loss To Florida State

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High hopes were placed on the LSU Tigers’ 2023 campaign at the outset, but after one game, we have more questions than answers.

In a top-10 clash on Sunday night, LSU had a three-point lead against Florida State at the half. However, the Tigers let the Seminoles score 31 consecutive points to take control of the game and win it 45-24.

It was a disappointing performance for a Tigers team that came in as a 2.5-point favorite, and LSU now has a lot to work on before facing Grambling on the road in Week 2 to start SEC play.

Here is how Brian Kelly, the team’s coach, responded to his players’ game-day performances.

Opening Statement

Congratulations to Florida State, they played a great second half. They were the better football team tonight. We certainly are not the football team that I thought we were, and we’ve got to do a much better job obviously in developing our football team. We clearly were short in a lot of areas tonight, and that falls on me to get our football team to be better in most of the competitive areas that you saw tonight.

Execution in the first half, the inability to convert in the red zone. You know, second half, didn’t play with a sense of urgency. You know, all those fall on coaching and getting our players to recognize that and make those kind of choices in practice. And then defensively, obviously our inability to slow down the running game in the second half. You know, the counter play was problematic for us. We knew they were going to run it. They added a 2-back counter play, and we just couldn’t fix the play and that’s unacceptable from a coaching standpoint.

You’ve got to be able to make those adjustments and we failed to get that done. So again, I take full responsibility for not having our team playing the kind of football that I thought they would, and our players have got to make a decision that, you know, they have to get back to the practice field and double down on their efforts and their attention to detail and their focus and the things that they need to do as well.

But this is a total failure on a coaching standpoint and a player standpoint that we have to obviously address and we have to own. I know adversity is always going to strike at some time in this game and this is our first real piece of adversity, if you will, that we have to address. I’m confident our guys and our coaches will rally in the manner that they need to.

What Coach Brian Kelly Said On Florida State’s Second-Half Run

Yeah, I’m quite aware of the score and I didn’t like the way we came out. I sensed it. I felt it. I’ve got to take accountability and responsibility for the way that we came out in the second half. It’s disappointing. But the buck stops with me, and I’ve got to get our football team to understand and recognize that you’ve got to play this game for four quarters with a mentality. And we just did not, for some reason.

We thought we were somebody else. We thought we were the two-time national champion Georgia Bulldogs or something. I don’t know what we thought, but we were mistaken.

On DBs’ Struggles Versus FSU Receivers

Yeah, I mean, you know, obviously Coleman is a tough matchup. Wilson is a tough matchup. You know, I thought we competed there. You know, no, I don’t know that there was much more else that they could have done.

On 4th Down Decisions

Well, I think they were pretty easy calls, fourth and goal from the one. That was a pretty easy one. We’re trying to run the ball with an option for Jayden to pull it. We’ll just have to go back and look at the film and see what the looks are for him and do a better job of addressing that in practice and giving him those kinds of pressure looks that force you to make those quick decisions. But, no, those are pretty standard fourth down calls and decisions. I think both of those were read option kind of decisions that Jayden was confronted with.

What The Coach Said On What The Loss Means For Rest Of Season

It means everything as to what our mindset is. Like, how do we handle this? Is this who we want to be, or do we look at this and say this isn’t the kind of football team we want to be. When you have these kinds of losses, they are disappointing, and in some instances, they are devastating losses, but it’s how you respond to them. And they have a chance to respond to this very disappointing performance in the second half.So the choices they will have to make will be ones that start tomorrow. How they handle themselves 24/7 is really what I’ll be interested in seeing.

On Logan Diggs’ Absence, Running Game As A Whole

Well, I mean, everybody is searching for balance in the running game. So we didn’t have the kind of balance that we needed. Logan Diggs was a coach’s decision. I don’t know quite whether he’s a hundred percent and able to practice at the level that we need him to quite yet.Yeah, I mean, look, everybody is looking for that balance in the running game. You saw what we tried to do. We tried to run the football in those very important downs, and we weren’t as effective. And we are going to go back and we are going to work on it, and we are going to continue to be diligent in those areas because we’ve got to be better at it. So we’ve got a minimum of 11 more games, and I’m going to tell you now that we are going to be better and we are going to commit ourselves to that.

On Harold Perkins’ Quiet Game

What was missing? Well, I mean, you know, he’s playing a position for the first time. So there’s a learning curve there. He’s learning. He’s learning how to play linebacker for the first time. You know, we put him in a position last year where he was see ball, get ball.Now he’s in a position where, you know, he’s got to get over the top. He’s got a back coming out of the backfield. He’s got to be disciplined and can’t lose his eyes on the quarterback mesh. Fourth down, there’s a lot going on there, and he’s trying to sort it out. You’re catching a young player early on in his career, and he’s going through some growing pains.

On Keon Coleman’s Big Night For FSU

There wasn’t any limited film on him. We knew who he was, and we knew he was a very difficult matchup for us. Excellent ball skills. A matchup problem for us and he presented that kind of problem tonight.

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