LSU (9-4) will step back on the field for the first time since the SEC Championship game as they will face off against Purdue (8-5) on January 2nd to close out a successful first year under Brian Kelly. This will be the Tigers sixth appearance in the Citrus Bowl and their 54th bowl game appearance. The purple and gold will be facing off against the Big Ten West division champions in Orlando as both teams will be ringing in the new year in the sunshine state.
LSU vs. Purdue Game Information:
Current Records: LSU (9-4) vs. Purdue (8-5)
Date/Time: January 2nd @ 12:00 p.m. CT
Where: Camping World Stadium; Orlando, FL
Where to Watch: ABC (Commentators: Play-By-Play Bob Wischusen, Analyst Dan Orlovsky, Reporter Kris Budden)
Spread: LSU (-14.5)
LSU vs. Purdue Series History:
This will be the first all-time meeting between the two teams. Brian Kelly has faced off against Purdue during his tenure with Notre Dame. Kelly holds a 6-0 series advantage over the Boilermakers.
Previewing LSU Heading into the Citrus Bowl:
LSU has had a lot of time to rest over the month of December and the SEC Western Division champions will look to snap a two-game losing streak heading into the bowl season. The Tigers got upended in the regular season finale against Texas A&M, 38-23 and lost to Georgia in the SEC Championship game, 50-30. LSU will be without some key starters on both sides of the ball as with the nature of college football, players have decided to turn their attention to the 2023 NFL Draft.
The Tigers did get some good news to start off the offseason that Kayshon Boutte was going to be returning next year for his senior season. It was reported yesterday that Boutte was going to be unavailable for the Citrus Bowl and that started to churn up some questions in Baton Rouge. A few hours later, Boutte had a change of heart and decided to enter his name in next year’s draft. Boutte joins Jaray Jenkins in opting out for the bowl game and declaring for the NFL Draft.
Malik Nabers, Brian Thomas Jr. and Kyren Lacy will have to step up in the light of the absences in the wide receiver room. There will be more opportunities for younger players to step up on both sides of the ball. Jayden Daniels has been able to get use this time off to get healthy and is expected to be the starting quarterback against Purdue. The Tigers did receive good news that Daniels will be coming back for another year in this Tigers offense in 2023.
LSU will also be without B.J. Ojulari, Ali Gaye, Jaquelin Roy and Mekhi Garner. Jay Ward did declare for the 2023 NFL Draft, but he will look to close out his LSU career as he will be on the field for the Tiger defense. On the defensive line, the Tigers will have to rely on Mekhi Wingo in the middle. This will give players a chance to be able to prove themselves heading into next season.
Scouting LSU’s Opponent: Purdue:
The last time the Boilermakers stepped on the field was against Michigan in the Big Ten Championship game. Like LSU, Purdue is also dealing with key players opting out for the upcoming Citrus Bowl. Purdue will also be without their head coach as Jeff Brohm accepted the Louisville head coaching job opening the door for Brian Brohm to step in as the interim head coach.
A familiar face for Purdue fans will be joining the Boilermaker coaching staff as Drew Brees will serves as the interim assistant coach. Though this will be a temporary hire, Brees will have the ability to work with student athletes and have a role in the recruiting trail. Purdue was able to land its next head coach, Ryan Walters, who was the former Illinois defensive coordinator.
The Boilermakers will have a lot to look forward to with Walters in the near future, but Purdue will have to weather the storm with key players opting out of the Citrus Bowl. Purdue’s offense will be without Aidan O’Connell, Charlie Jones and Payne Durham. With the absence of O’Connell, Austin Burton will look to fill his shoes at the starting quarterback position against LSU.
Purdue will also be without some key starters on the defensive side of the ball. Defensive leaders, Cory Trice and Jalen Graham have put their name into the NFL Draft. Both teams will have to weather the storm of key players opting out ahead of the Citrus Bowl matchup between the two teams. Purdue will also be without Lawrence Johnson and Branson Deen, who have both entered the transfer portal
Prediction for LSU vs. Purdue:
The depth on the LSU defensive line will be tested with Gaye and Ojulari being absent in the Citrus Bowl. LSU will have to rely on true freshman Quency Wiggins stepping up for a defensive line depth chart that is razor thin. The only starting defensive lineman available for this game will be Wingo. Saivion Jones will also take more snaps on the defensive front as they will look to create pressure against the sixth-year quarterback, Burton.
The Tigers will have to contain a Purdue rushing attack that remains strong. LSU’s depth on the defensive side will be tested against a scrappy Purdue offense.
The Tigers still can’t afford to overlook Purdue with key starters being out for them. The Boilermakers have proven that they are not afraid to matchup against anyone. LSU will have the advantage on the offensive side with Daniels being set to start for the purple and gold. Even with Boutte and Jenkins being absent, the Tigers have the weapons to move the ball effectively down the field in the passing game.
Purdue will give everything that the Tigers will face off against the Tigers, but LSU will prevail to get to 10 wins on the season and ring in the new year with a victory over the Boilermakers.
Prediction: Purdue 17, LSU 31