Da Boot Sports
By: Terrill J. Weil
ORLANDO, FL - You could smell the Cheez-Its and the citrus in the air in Orlando on Monday morning as the 17th ranked LSU Fighting Tigers (9-4) face the Purdue Boilermakers (8-5) in the seventh oldest college bowl game in the country, the Cheez-It Citrus Bowl.
Both schools advance to their conference championship games with LSU falling to Georgia in the
SEC Championship Game, 50-30 while the Boilermakers were defeated by Michigan, 43-22 in the Big Ten Title Game.
LSU and Head Coach Brian Kelly come into the contest looking to snap a two game losing streak and cap off the 2022 season with a 10th victory on Saturday afternoon and that they did in blowout fashion as they blasted Purdue, 63-7.
The Bayou Bengals drew first blood, driving 63 yards on ten plays, taking a 7-0 lead with 7:01 left in the opening quarter on a one yard touchdown run by John Emery Jr.
LSU extended the lead to 14-0 on their next possession, as Garrett Nussmeier entered
the contest and led the Tigers on a 8 play, 67 yard drive, culminating with a nine yard touchdown run by Noah Cain.
The LSU defense continued to suffocate the Purdue offensive attack, forcing their third straight
punt, while the LSU offense stay shifted in high gear, scoring on their third straight possession.
Jayden Daniels returned to the lineup and guided the Tigers into the second quarter with a five play,
62 yard drive, that ended with a 32 yard touchdown pass from Daniels to tight end Mason Taylor. The score put LSU up 21-0 with 13:03 left in the quarter.
Smelling blood in the water, the LSU offense kept their foot down on the pedal, scoring on their fourth straight possession by marching 70 yards in only five plays with Noah Cain scoring his second rushing touchdown of the day on a nine yard run to extend the Tigers lead to 28-0 with 8:18 left in the first half.
You guest it, LSU would go on to score again on their fifth straight possession, taking a 35-0 lead. Garrett Nussmeier returned for his second possession of the contest and quickly drove the Tigers 87 yards in five plays, hitting Brian Thomas Jr. on a crossing route for a ten yard touchdown with only 47 seconds left on the clock. LSU would take the 35-0 lead into the locker room at halftime break.
LSU out-gained Purdue 364 (249 pass/115 rush) to 86 (73 pass/13 rush) in total yardage in the first half as the Tigers had their way with the Boilermakers defense.
The LSU defense played like a pissed off unit, registering three sacks and an interception in the first half.
LSU picked up in the second half where they left off in the first, driving for a score on their first offensive possession of the quarter. Jayden Daniels led the Tigers on a nine play, 45 yard drive, finishing with a five yard touchdown pass from Malik Nabers to Jayden Daniels as LSU extended their lead to 42-0 with 9:21 to go in the third quarter.
The Tigers would add another score late in the third, when Garrett Nussmeier completed a shovel pass to Malik Nabers who outran the Purdue defense for a 75 yard touchdown, putting LSU up 49-0 with 3:15 left in the quarter.
The Boilermakers were finally able to put a scoring drive together after LSU inserted several second team players into the contest.
Purdue would drive 75 yards in eight plays to begin the forth quarter as Michael Alaimo found TJ Sheffield in the end zone from 16 yards out to make the score, 49-7 with 13:53 left in the game.
With just under ten minutes remaining in the contest, Brian Kelly would give Walker Howard an opportunity to see the field.
After a quick three and out, Walker took advantage of his second possession, driving the Tigers 55 yards on seven plays as Derrick Davis Jr. would score on a 12 yard touchdown run, increasing the LSU lead to 56-7 with 8:47 left.
The Tigers added one more icing on the cake touchdown, as LSU defensive back Quad Wilson intercepted a Jack Albers' tipped pass at the Tigers' one yard line and returned the ball 99 yards for the score. It was a magnificent play to end an impressive day for the young men in the purple and gold.
A 63-7 victory for LSU!
LSU finished the day with 594 yards of total offense while holding Purdue to 263.
All three LSU quarterbacks played well. Jayden Daniels finished 12-17, 139 yards, 1 touchdown pass. Daniels also added 67 yards rushing on six carries, while also catching a five yard touchdown pass.
Garrett Nussmeier made some nice throws as he finished 11-15, 173 yards passing, 2 touchdown passes and 1 INT.
Walker Howard played most of the fourth quarter and did a good job has he went 2-4 for seven passing yards and had 17 yards rushing on three carries.
Josh Williams opted for knee surgery sooner rather than later, causing him to miss the Citrus Bowl, but all the running backs did a fantastic job in his absence.
Noah Cain had 58 yards on eight carries with a pair of touchdown runs.
John Emery Jr. added 52 yards on seven rushed and a rushing touchdown, while Derrick Davis Jr.
played most of the fourth quarter, rushing for 30 yards on six carries with a touchdown run.
Malik Nabers, who was named the game's MVP, lead the Tigers with 163 yards on nine catches with 1 touchdown grab. He also went 2-2 passing for 50 yards and a five yard touchdown pass to Daniels.
Mason Taylor had a good game catching five balls for 88 yards and a touchdown.
Brian Thomas Jr. finished with 31 yards on four grabs and a touchdown catch.
The defense played fast and furious all day long making life miserable for the Purdue offense. Major Burns finished with six tackles on the day, followed by Micah Baskerville (5 tackles) and Greg Brooks (5 tackles and 1 INT).
The Tigers rang up four sacks, with Harold Perkins Jr., Mekhi Wingo, Zavier Carter and Sai'vion Jones each finishing with one apiece.
The secondary had a big day as Greg Brooks, Jarrick Bernard-Converse each intercepted a pass,
while Quad Wilson returned his interception 99 yards for a touchdown.
Even the LSU special teams had a good game.
What a fun and fantastic way to finish off the 2022 football season!
Below id video of the LSU post game press conference... GEAUX TIGERS!!!
Photos Below By: LSUsports.net
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