How have LSU and FSU changed since last meeting?

LSU and Florida State entered the game in 2022 in a similar spot.

Both were trying to climb back to the top of the sport and re-enter the national spotlight. Both coaches were counting on transfers to be real difference makers and young players to make a jump.

The Tigers and the Noles went on to surprise. Both won 10 games. For Florida State, it was its first 10-win season since 2016. For LSU, it was the first double-digit campaign since the title run in 2019.

Now, this game features two AP top 10 teams and again, they enter the match in a similar position. Here’s what’s changed with both squads since last year and how they mirror each other again.

Both quarterbacks have improved

Syndication: The Daily Advertiser
Syndication: The Daily Advertiser

Last year, Florida State felt good about the prospects of QB Jordan Travis. After steady improvement in 2021, he was ready for a breakout year.

He did just that. Every aspect of Travis’ game improved from 2021 to 2022. He averaged over a yard more per attempt while improving his completion rate. He lowered his interception rate to 1.42% and did a better job at avoiding sacks.

LSU didn’t know what it had with Jayden Daniels. He was a three-year starter at Arizona State, but his tenure was marred by inconsistencies and a coaching staff always in flux.

Daniels struggled some against Florida State but found his footing as the year progressed.

Now both players enter the year with Heisman odds among the best in the country. If both take the expected steps, this will be one of the best QB matchups we see all year.

Both teams improved up front

Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports
Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Both squads had concerns about the trenches entering the game last year.

There wasn’t a lack of talent, but both teams were counting on newcomers.

Now there’s star power on the lines across the board. Florida State DE Jared Verse is one of the best pass rushers in the country. LSU LT Will Campbell is projected to be All-SEC after excelling as a true freshman.

There’s depth too. Both defensive lines have added further reinforcements from the transfer portal and both offensive lines bring back a plethora of experienced starters.

LSU now has the benefit of continuity

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Norvell was in his third year at Florida State last year.

Brian Kelly was in Year 1 at LSU. Florida State knew what it wanted to be while LSU searched for its identity.

This year, LSU will be on equal footing in that department. Both coordinators return and the staff has a better understanding of what works for these personnel.

LSU started slow against Florida State in 2022. By the second half, it looked like the staff knew what worked for the players. This year, LSU hopes to avoid those growing pains early in the game.

Heightened expectations

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Florida State and LSU didn’t expect to make the playoff last year. Both coaches were aware they were rebuilding.

That’s not the case this year. Both programs are out of the rebuild and loaded with playoff caliber talent.

Now they’ll be met with higher expectations and the spotlight will be even brighter. How both squads deal with that could go a long way to determining how this one plays out.

It’s not a must win, but whoever wins this one gives itself a much larger margin of error down the stretch. That’s important for LSU considering how tough its road schedule is.

[lawrence-auto-related count=3 category=1389]

Story originally appeared on LSU Tigers Wire