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No. 14 LSU looks to shake off season opener, hosts Grambling State

Although LSU and Grambling State's campuses are fewer than 250 miles apart, the two Louisiana schools have never faced each other before.

That will change on Saturday night when the FCS Tigers visit the 14th-ranked Tigers in Baton Rouge, La.

Both teams enter Saturday trying to put disappointing performances in season-opening losses behind them while attempting to show improvement in Week 2.

LSU was ranked No. 5 in the AP preseason poll and was a slight favorite over preseason No. 8 Florida State last Sunday in Orlando, Fla. However, the Seminoles scored 31 unanswered points in the second half of a 45-24 victory in the marquee matchup of Labor Day weekend.

LSU coach Brian Kelly took primary responsibility for his team's poor performance, but he also expressed disappointment in his players' effort.

"Any time you have a setback, you're going to examine everything," Kelly said. "From play calls, to personnel, to what time did we leave the locker room. All of that is under scrutiny. Everyone could have been better."

It was the second consecutive year that LSU lost to FSU in its season opener. But last season, the Seminoles had to block an extra point after time had expired in the fourth quarter in order to hold on to a 24-23 victory in New Orleans.

On Sunday, LSU held a 17-14 halftime lead, but saw FSU dominate the second half.

"I had a reasonable expectation that we could be a little further along," Kelly said. "I thought we would be much more disciplined and have more attention to detail and that's on me. We have to do a better job there.

"The bottom line is I've got to get this team to play with a competitive edge."

Grambling State coach Hue Jackson, like Kelly, is in his second season at the helm. His team also opened the season in a primetime event, losing 35-31 to Hampton last Saturday in the inaugural Brick City HBCU Classic in Harrison, N.J. The game was televised nationally on NFL Network.

"It's just one game," Jackson said. "There are a lot of new players that were out there playing and now we know we have a different idea of who we are and what we can be. We have a lot of work to do, and I think to a man they understand that."

Grambling is stepping up significantly in class, playing not only an FBS program, but also a Top 25 team that figures to be focused and determined to erase the bad taste of its opening performance.

But Jackson's team also figures to be focused on fixing its own problems that plagued it in Week 1.

"As coaches, we've got to go back and we've got to create the environment for these guys to keep getting better, keep striving and be everything they can be," Jackson said. "I think we have a good football team and I think that will show itself as we go throughout the year."

Grambling State quarterback Myles Crawley completed 25 of 38 passes for 311 yards and two touchdowns against Hampton. Lyndon Rash caught eight passes for 90 yards and a score.

--Field Level Media

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