No. 16 LSU looks for 1st bowl win under Kelly in Citrus Bowl

LSU head coach Brian Kelly walks off the field after a loss at the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game against Georgia, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Citrus Bowl: No. 16 LSU (9-4, No. 17 CFP) vs. Purdue (8-5), Jan. 2, 1 p.m. Eastern (ABC)

FanDuel Sportsbook College Line: LSU by 14 1/2

Series record: First meeting.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

The Tigers are trying to cap their season with their first bowl win of the Brian Kelly era. LSU was initially picked to finish fifth in the SEC West but instead won the division, reached No. 6 in the AP Top 25 and made it to the Southeastern Conference Championship game, where the Tigers lost to Georgia but put up more points on the Bulldogs than any other team had all season. Purdue is making its first Citrus Bowl appearance but will be without coach Jeff Brohm, who took the head coaching job at Louisville. The Boilermakers won the Big Ten West and made it to the conference championship game, where they lost to No. 2 Michigan.

KEY MATCHUP

Purdue offensive line vs LSU defensive line. The Boilermakers are solid in pass protection, ranking 11th in sack rate percentage on passing downs at 3.5%, according to Football Outsiders. It should be a good matchup between them and the Tigers’ defensive line, which ranks 72nd in overall sack rate and 21st in sack rate on passing downs.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

LSU: QB Jayden Daniels had 2,774 yards passing, 16 TDs and just three interceptions this season, and 922 of those yards and six TDs came against nonconference opponents. Daniels also added 818 yards rushing.

Purdue: Austin Burton will make his second start of the season at quarterback after regular starter Aidan O’Connell opted out of the bowl game. Burton completed 21 of 29 passes with three touchdowns and one interception in a win over FAU on Sept. 24.

FACTS & FIGURES

The Tigers are 29-24-1 all-time in bowls and 2-3 in the Citrus Bowl. … The Tigers’ last bowl win game in the 2019 Peach Bowl, where they defeated Oklahoma 63-28 en route to a national championship win to complete an undefeated season. … LSU lost to Kansas State in the Texas Bowl last year, Ed Orgeron's last season coaching the program. … LSU was 6-2 in conference play for its best season since Joe Burrow led the team to a 15-0 finish in 2019. … Purdue is 11-9 all-time in bowls and never played in the Citrus Bowl. … The Boilermakers’ last two bowl appearances have been the Music City Bowl in 2021 and 2018. … Purdue will be led by offensive coordinator Brian Brohm.

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