Brown with the block: Nothing comes easy in the Big Easy as FSU defeats LSU, 24-23
NEW ORLEANS, La. (Noles247) - Nothing comes easy, even in the Big Easy. Florida State earned a hard-fought, 24-23, victory over LSU in the Allstate Louisiana Kickoff at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, La. Shyheim Brown blocked an extra-point attempt by LSU after the Tigers scored on the final play of regulation to preserve a victory for the Seminoles, who improve to 2-0 on the early season. LSU is 0-1 after their first game under head coach Brian Kelly.
FSU was playing LSU in their own backyard, in front of a split crowd of 68,388 Seminoles and Tigers fans, and before a national television audience.
The first half saw squandered opportunities for both teams. FSU led 7-3 after 30 minutes.
LSU struck first on a 36-yard field goal by Damian Ramos after their opening drive, which was aided by Ryan Fitzgerald’s kickoff sailing out of bounds and a penalty on Renardo Green.
FSU answered and took the lead, 7-3, on a trick play where FSU showed double reverse but a flea flicker got the ball back to quarterback Jordan Travis who then threw a 39-yard pass to Ontaria Wilson for the score. That touchdown came with 13 minutes remaining in the first half.
Neither team posted any other points in the opening half as Ryan Fitzgerald missed a 47-yard field goal attempt for the Seminoles and a 30-yard field goal attempt by Ramos for the Tigers was blocked by FSU defensive end Jared Verse. FSU also had a short field late in the half when LSU punt returner Malik Nabers muffed a punt by Alex Mastromanno at the LSU 16-yard line and Wyatt Rector recovered. FSU went for it on fourth down a few plays later and the pass fell incomplete leading to a turnover on downs.
FSU opened the second half with a 14-play drive that went 68 yards and culminated in a 25-yard field goal by Fitzgerald. FSU led 10-3 with 8:29 remaining in the third quarter.
The Seminoles then padded their lead, pushing it to 17-3, when Travis again connected with O. Wilson for a touchdown. This was a 27-yard strike that capped an 8-play, 57-yard drive that took 2:46 off the clock. FSU led 17-3 with 4:17 remaining in the third quarter.
LSU closed the gap to 17-10 in the final seconds of the third quarter when running back Noah Cain plunged in from less than a yard out to cap an 11-play, 82-yard drive.
FSU would answer with a 12-play drive that went 79 yards and took 5:56 off the clock. It was capped with 9:04 remaining in the game when DJ Lundy, playing fullback, took a handoff from Travis and plunged in from a yard out. FSU led 24-10 after the extra-point sailed through the uprights.
The Tigers wouldn’t go away though. They closed the gap to to 24-17 with 4:07 remaining when Jayden Daniels connected with Jaray Jenkins for a 22-yard touchdown pass to cap off a 15-play, 75-yard drive.
FSU would go 3-and-out after the LSU score and it immediately looked like the Tigers would have a chance to make things interesting in the final two minutes, but for the second time on the evening LSU punt returner Malik Nabers muffed a punt. This time FSU linebacker Brendan Gant recovered it at the 8 yard line.
FSU would move the ball down to the 1-yard line, but fumble it away to LSU on an attempted pitch by Travis to running back Treshaun Ward that hit the turf.
With a last chance, LSU had 80 seconds and 99 yards to go to try and tie with a touchdown or go for the lead, and a potential victory, if they opted for a two-point conversion after a touchdown.
In a game with a lot of twists and turns, the final minute-plus provided plenty.
The Tigers got to midfield with just under 30 seconds remaining and one timeout, but a timely sack by FSU defensive end Jared Verse forced the Tigers to use their final timeout of the second half. With the clock seemingly against them, the Tigers charged on and would score as the clock hit triple-zero as Daniels again connected with Jenkins from two yards out. The touchdown pass came after an extensive replay session that reviewed a 17-yard connection by Daniels to tight end Mason Taylor, where he was ruled down at the 2-yard line with one second remaining, but somehow the clock did not expire and the Tigers were able to run a final play, which resulted in the score to close the gap to 24-23 with the extra-point set to be kicked.
On the extra-point attempt, Brown would deflect it and give FSU the victory as the ball hit the post.
The Seminoles flooded to the field. The warchant rang out from the stands. FSU is 2-0 on 2022.
FSU has a bye next weekend and returns to action on Friday, Sept. 16th at 7:30 p.m. when they travel to face Louisville (0-1).
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