No. 17 LSU roars to dominant win over Purdue in Citrus Bowl
ORLANDO, Fla. (WAFB) - No. 17 LSU (10-4) captured win No. 10 in Brian Kelly’s first season at the helm, as the Tigers dominated Purdue (8-6) in the Cheez-It Citrus Bowl on Monday, Jan. 2.
LSU roared to a 63-7 win. The Tigers set new Citrus Bowl records for most points scored, largest margin of victory, and total yards.
Malik Nabers had a monster day and was named MVP of the game. He had nine catches for 163 yards and a 75-yard touchdown. He also threw two passes for 50 yards and a touchdown. One of his passes was to Kyren Lacy for 45 yards and the other was a 5-yard touchdown toss to Jayden Daniels.
LSU finished with 594 yards of offense. Daniels started at quarterback but Garrett Nussmeier got a lot of snaps and made the most of them, with one exception. Daniels was 12-of-17 passing for 139 yards and one touchdown. He ran the ball six times for 67 yards, including a 37-yard scamper. He also caught that 5-yard touchdown pass from Nabers. Nussmeier was 11-of-15 passing for 173 yards and two touchdowns but he threw an interception in the end zone. Freshman Walker Howard even got a few snaps.
With Josh Williams out, Noah Cain and John Emery Jr. were able to carry some of the load in the rushing attack. Cain had eight carries for 58 yards and two touchdowns. Emery had seven carries for 52 yards and one touchdown. Derrick Davis Jr. had six carries for 29 yards and a touchdown.
Although Nabers got most of the balls, other pass catchers contributed. Tight end Mason Taylor had five catches for 88 yards and a touchdown. Lacy had two catches for 57 yards, including that 45-yard toss from Nabers. Walker’s Brian Thomas Jr. had four catches for 31 yards and a touchdown.
The LSU defense held Purdue to 263 yards and most of that was toward the end of the game. The Boilermakers finished the first half with just 86 yards of offense. Jarrick Bernard-Converse picked off quarterback Austin Burton at the 2-yard line when Purdue had a nice drive going in the second quarter. Greg Brooks Jr. intercepted Michael Alaimo right after Nabers tossed the touchdown pass to Daniels. On the very next play after the interception is when Nabers went 75 yards for a score on a short pitch and catch from Nussmeier. On fourth-and-nine from the LSU 21-yard line with :40 remaining, Jack Albers threw a pass that was picked off by Quad Wilson and returned 99 yards for LSU’s final touchdown of the game.
- 7:01 - John Emery Jr. run for 1 yd for TD (LSU - 7, Purdue - 0)
- 1:06 - Noah Cain run for 9 yds for TD (LSU - 14, Purdue - 0)
- 13:03 - Jayden Daniels pass complete to Mason Taylor for 32 yds for TD (LSU - 21, Purdue - 0)
- 8:23 - Noah Cain run for 9 yds for TD (LSU - 28, Purdue - 0)
- 1:07 - Garrett Nussmeier pass complete to Brian Thomas for 10 yds for TD (LSU - 35, Purdue - 0)
- 9:21 - Malik Nabers pass complete to Jayden Daniels for 5 yds for TD (LSU - 42, Purdue - 0)
- 3:15 - Garrett Nussmeier pass complete to Malik Nabers for 75 yds for TD (LSU - 49, Purdue - 0)
- 13:53 - Michael Alaimo pass complete to TJ Sheffield for 16 yds for TD (LSU - 49, Purdue - 7)
- 8:47 - Derrick Davis Jr. run for 12 yds for a TD (LSU - 56, Purdue - 7)
- 1:02 - Jack Albers pass intercepted by Quad Wilson and returned 99 yds for TD (LSU - 63, Purdue - 7)
Kelly shared his thoughts ahead of Monday’s matchup.
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LSU, champions of the SEC Western Division, entered the game ranked No. 15 in the AFCA Coaches Poll, No. 16 in the AP Poll, and No. 17 in the CFP Rankings. The Tigers were coming off a 50-30 loss to No. 1 Georgia in the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 3 in Atlanta.
Purdue, winners of the Big Ten Western Division, was coming off a 43-22 loss to Michigan in the Big Ten Championship Game.
The Citrus Bowl marked the first meeting between LSU and Purdue in football.
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