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Brian Kelly denies saying LSU would 'go beat the heck out of Florida State'

Tigers coach says remark 'not something that I would ever say,' even though he said it during his radio show
LSU Tigers head coach Brian Kelly shouts from sideline during game against Florida State Seminoles, Sept. 3, 2023
Posted at 11:52 AM, Sep 06, 2023

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — LSU football coach Brian Kelly proclaimed days before the season opener that the Tigers would "go beat the heck out of Florida State" in Orlando. Instead, it was the Seminoles who handed the Tigers a 45-21 beatdown, outscoring LSU 31-7 in the second half after trailing 17-14 at halftime.

Now the second-year LSU coach is denying he made the bulletin board remarks, even though he said just that during his weekly radio show.

Kelly told the Louisiana media that his comments were "not something that I would ever say."

"I'm pretty careful with what I say and how I said it," Kelly said Tuesday. "Never have I been cavalier or disrespectful to an opponent in my 33 years. So, if somebody wants to prop up a comment like that and inflate it into something that it is not, that's what social media is about today. But I have nothing but the utmost respect for (Florida State) coach (Mike) Norvell. I know who the opponent was. It's just not in my background or nature to make those kinds of comments."

LSU Tigers head coach Brian Kelly and Florida State Seminoles head coach Mike Norvell talk before game, Sept. 3, 2023
LSU head coach Brian Kelly and Florida State head coach Mike Norvell talk at midfield before their game Sunday, Sept. 3, 2023, in Orlando, Fla.

There's just one problem. Kelly did say it.

His comments came during his weekly radio show last Thursday night ahead of the game between the then-No. 5 Tigers and then-No. 8 Seminoles.

"We're going to go beat the heck out of Florida State," Kelly said to much applause from the audience in attendance.

His remark can be heard at the 13:55 mark of the archived show, which also provides the context of how it was said.

Norvell was asked about Kelly's comments after the game, but he didn't seem bothered by it.

"It's good to be able to play the game," Norvell answered.

The Seminoles jumped four spots to No. 4 in the latest Associated Press top 25 poll, while LSU fell nine spots to No. 14. Florida State enters this weekend's home game against Southern Mississippi with its highest ranking since the start of the 2017 season.

Could it be that Kelly was just playing to his fan base? Absolutely.

But, make no mistake, Kelly said it.