Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde and Ross Dellenger discuss LSU’s disastrous loss to Florida State after the Seminoles blocked an extra point as time expired, and debate what this means for the future of Brian Kelly’s tenure with the Tigers.
DAN WETZEL: How long's Brian Kelly got before firedbriankelly.com really starts? Ross, you were there.
ROSS DELLENGER: Yes. Just a mess. I mean, you know, the ending kind of took away from just how much of a mess LSU looked in that football game. And yes, you know Florida State did a lot of great things. But I don't know that anybody thinks that Florida State is at the end of the year, going to be at 10-2 or 11-1 team or something. Maybe they will, guess we'll see in about three months.
But I think LSU is just a mess from its offensive line play which was a disaster. They couldn't run block They couldn't pass block. Jane Daniels had to take off running, you know, multiple times. I mean, it seemed like every time he dropped back.
And sometimes he had the happy feet. But most of the time, he was running from somebody who was about to maul him. So the offense looked terrible. Their-- maybe the best receiver in the nation Kayshon Boutte. I don't exactly know what's going on with him. You know, he just looked a little uninspired. He dropped two or three passes, a couple in the end zone.
And then, you know, LSU special teams was a disaster, obviously, two muffed punts, field goal block, an extra point block. And everything the coaches did and-- credit Brian Kelly, he stood at the podium after the game. And I was right there in front of him. And he realizes-- I think he's a smart man-- and I think he realizes he makes a lot of money to win football games and not lose them like that. And he blamed himself.
And he blamed the coaching staff on poor decisions specifically with special teams, you know. Number one, pick the bad-- picked the wrong punt returner. Number two, made a change the left side of the line on the field goal team after the field goal block, and the extra point was blocked from the left side of the line. So obviously, didn't do enough there.
So it really was a disastrous performance. And they probably shouldn't have been even close to that game. And I think they were close for two reasons. One LSU is still really talented and has really good players. And number two, Florida State, probably, you wouldn't think is going to be some world beater.
PAT FORDE: Well, and Florida State just absolutely at the end of the game said, we do not want to put this away. We want to give you another chance, LSU. Please by all means, we will not take a knee three times and kick the field goal to go up two scores with less than two minutes to play, no. We're going to throw a pitch down here at the goal line. And we're going to drop it. And we're going to give you that chance.
And then we're going to go into a ruinous prevent defense and just let you go, beep, beep, beep, beep, right down the field and score the touchdown. And then we finally get it together and block the extra point. But like Mike Norvell has struggled there, and there are signs it's getting better. But if you go back to the way they lost to Jacksonville State last year with just incomprehensibly bad defense, they gave up a bomb on the last play and lost to an FCS school, and then the way they tried to lose this game, holy moly. His in-game decision making, it's like, you got to win the game, that's the only thing, win the game.
Don't worry about-- we got to score a touchdown, we got to make a statement here. No, win the game, take a knee three times, kick the field goal, take a 10-point lead, it's over. So I mean, for all of the LSU's dysfunction, and there was a lot of that, what LSU did to try to lose the game overshadowed an otherwise pretty exciting opener for them.
DAN WETZEL: It was a lot of fun to watch if you were just watching. If you're one of these two teams, it was like a win and a loss and a loss and a win. And yeah, I agree. Lot made of Brian-- they're going to be fine, right? I maintain my faith that Brian Kelly knows how to coach football based on his entire career. But he is in a different spot and games happen. So I'm not going to write him off on year one.
PAT FORDE: No, I will-- yeah, game one of year one. I will say and Ross knows this, like, LSU fans will wheel on you as fast as any in the country. And so they may-- they may not say fire him, but boy, they're going to come out and come blazing--
DAN WETZEL: Well, they'll say it soon.
PAT FORDE: --with heat.
DAN WETZEL: Yeah, they did their guy, Coach O, dirty. I mean, you can't be more Louisiana than Coach O.