Brian Kelly entered Sunday’s season opener against No. 8 Florida State as confident as a coach could be.
He left Orlando, Florida, questioning what kind of football team he has in LSU after a 45-24 loss to the Seminoles.
“Congratulations to Florida State. They played a great second half,” Kelly said in his postgame press conference. “They were the better football team tonight. We certainly are not the football team that I thought we were.”
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“I take full responsibility for not having our team playing the type of football I thought they would,” he continued. “And our players have to make a decision that, ya know, they have to get back to the practice field and double down on their efforts and their attention to details and their focus, and the things they need to do as well. But this is a total failure from 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 that we have to address. I’m confident our guys and our coaches will rally in the manner that they need to.”
The Tigers entered Sunday’s game as the No. 5 team in the country after winning a surprising 10 games in Kelly’s first season as head coach in Baton Rouge.
On Thursday, Kelly made a bold claim on “The Brian Kelly Show” as his team prepared to kick off its 2023 season.
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“I think we’re in a really good position in year two,” Kelly said. “Look, I will say that there are still some areas that need to be improved. We’re going to take 15 freshmen on this trip and 14 transfers. Nearly 40% of this travel roster are going to go overnight for the first time with LSU.
“And that’s not a disclaimer of any kind. We’re going to go beat the heck out of Florida State.”
LSU wound up being on the wrong end of a big loss, allowing Florida State to score 31 unanswered points after taking a 17-14 lead into halftime.
“I’m quite aware of the score and I didn’t like the way we came out. I sensed it. I felt it. And I have to take accountability and responsibility for the way we came out in the second half. It’s disappointing, but the buck stops with me,” Kelly said. “And I have to get our football team to understand and recognize you have to play this game for four quarters with a mentality.
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“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.”
In the most anticipated matchup of Week 1, Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis threw for 342 yards and four touchdowns, including three to wide receiver Keon Coleman.
Florida State is now on a seven-game winning streak dating back to last season after winning its final six games of the 2022 season.
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