'Is this who we want to be?': Brian Kelly talks Tigers' plan to rebound after season-opening loss
ORLANDO - Sunday night's blowout loss to the Florida State Seminoles was a tough one to swallow for the Tigers, and Head Coach Brian Kelly knows it.
"We are certainly not the football team I thought we were," Kelly said during his postgame news conference. "We clearly were short in a lot of areas tonight, and that falls on me to get our football team to be better in most of the competitive areas we saw tonight."
The Tigers lost their fourth season opener in a row, a highly anticipated rematch of last year's kickoff game between No. 5 LSU and No. 8 FSU. It's also the Tigers' second straight loss to Florida State.
The Tigers held a tight 17-14 lead at halftime Sunday night but looked lifeless in the second half as the Seminoles put up 21 points. LSU scored a touchdown in the final minutes to make it a 45-24 loss.
Kelly said it's a type of loss that calls for his team to do some soul-searching in the coming days.
"It means everything as to what our mindset is. How do we handle this. Is this who we wanna be? Or do we look at this and say, 'this isn't the kind of football team we want to be.'"
How the team bounces back coming off a short week will tell the coaching staff everything they need to know about this team, which had lofty expectations entering the season.
"They have a chance to respond to this very disappointing performance in the second half. So the choices they'll have to make will be ones that start tomorrow," Kelly said Sunday.
The Tigers' next game is their home opener against Grambling State on Sept. 9. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. in Tiger Stadium.
See Brian Kelly's full postgame press conference on the WBRZ YouTube channel.