LSU Game Notes: Tigers to face Purdue in Cheez-It Citrus Bowl

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LSU-Ole Miss postgame on field
(Photo: Jonathan Mailhes)

LSU (9-4) closes out its first season under head coach Brian Kelly on Monday, Jan. 2 when the Tigers face Purdue (8-5) in the Cheez-It Citrus Bowl in Orlando. Kickoff for the contest is scheduled for noon CT and will be televised on ABC with Bob Wischusen (pxp), Dan Orlovsky (analyst) and Kris Budden (sideline reporter) on the call. LSU, champions of the SEC Western Division, enters 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 are 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, is coming off a 43-22 loss to Michigan in the Big Ten Championship Game. It will mark the first meeting between LSU and Purdue in football. Coach Kelly is 6-0 all-time against Purdue with all six victories coming as head coach at Notre Dame. LSU will be making its 54th bowl game appearance and its sixth in the Citrus Bowl. The Tigers are 28-24-1 all-time in bowl game/playoff appearances. Dating back to 2000, LSU has appeared in a bowl game 22 times in 23 years, only exception came in 2020. LSU is 2-3 all-time in the Citrus Bowl with its most recent appearance coming on Jan. 1, 2018 when the Tigers dropped to a 21-17 decision to Notre Dame (coached by Brian Kelly). LSU will be after the 17th 10-win season in school history and the first since going 15-0 during the national championship in 2019. LSU goes into the game riding the arm and legs of QB Jayden Daniels. Daniels has accounted for 3,592 yards of total offense (818 rushing, 2,774 passing) and 27 TDs (11 rushing, 156passing). His 3,592 yards of total offense rank No. 2 in LSU history behind only Joe Burrow (6,093 in 2019). Defensively, true freshman LB Harold Perkins leads the Tigers in sacks (6.5) and tackles for loss (11.5), while senior LB Micah Baskerville (84 tackles) and sophomore LB Greg Penn (72) lead the team in tackles.

Brian Kelly: Most Accomplished Hire in LSU History
First-year LSU coach Brian Kelly joined the program as the most accomplished hire in school history, coming to Baton Rouge after winning 284 games and claiming three National Coach of the Year honors in his previous 31 years as a head coach. Kelly’s career-mark stands at 293-101 and includes 10, 10-win seasons at the FBS level (7 at Notre Dame, 3 at Cincinnati). In 12 years at Notre Dame, Kelly guided the Irish to 10 bowl appearances, including two College Football Playoff games and the BCS National Championship Game in 2012. Kelly ranks first among all active FBS head coaches in career wins (no matter the division) with 293. He went 113-40 at Notre Dame (12 years), 34-6 at Cincinnati (4 years), 19-16 at Central Michigan (3 years) and 118-35-2 at Grand Valley State (13 years). He’s the only 3-time winner of the Home Depot National Coach of the Year Award as he claimed the honor in 2009 (Cincinnati) and 2012 and 2018 at Notre Dame. Kelly is 7-6 all-time in bowl games (5-5 at Notre Dame, 2-1 at Cincinnati).

Quick Notes on the Tigers
• LSU’s Jayden Daniels is one of only 2 FBS QBs to have 800+ rushing yards and 2,000+ passing yards this year. Daniels has rushed for 818 yards and passed for another 2,774 yards. He’s joined by John Rhys Plumlee of UCF (841 rush, 2,404 pass).
• Daniels ranks No. 2 nationally in rushing yards (818) by a QB and he’s tied for No. 4 in rushing TDs by a QB with 11.
• Daniels has rushed for a TD and passed for a score in 6 games this year, the most for any player in LSU history in a single season breaking previous mark of 5 by Joe Burrow (2019) and Herb Tyler (1999).
• LSU has used 6 different starting combinations on its offensive line this year. Miles Frazier is the only player to start every game on the offensive line this year and he’s done so at 3 positions (10 at LG, 2 at RG, 1 at RT).
• LSU starts true freshmen Will Campbell (12 starts LT) and Emery Jones Jr. (11 starts at RT) on the offensive line. The Tigers are 8-2 with Campbell and Jones in the starting lineup.
• LSU’s Citrus Bowl roster features 2 receivers with 1,000 career receiving yards – Kayshon Boutte (1,782) and Malik Nabers (1,271).
• TE Mason Taylor, one of 3 true freshmen to start on offense, has 33 receptions, which ranks 5th among all tight ends in LSU history for a single-season. Taylor has caught at least 1 pass in 12 of his 13 career games.
• WR Malik Nabers goes into the Citrus Bowl with 19 catches for 326 yards and a TD in LSU’s last 3 games. He’s coming off a 5-catch, 128-yard, 1 TD game vs. Georgia.
• As a team, LSU has rushed for 35 TDs, the sixth-highest total in school history and 2 from tying the LSU record of 37 set in 2013. Daniels leads the team with 11 rushing TDs, followed by
• In the SEC Championship Game vs. Georgia, LSU had 2 QBs throw for 200+ yards – the first time in school history it’s happened. Daniels passed for 208 yards and a TD in the first half and Garrett Nussmeier set a school-record for passing yards in a half with 294 and 2 scores in the second half.
• Josh Williams is LSU’s top rusher from the running back position with 532 yards and 6 TDs. He has 2, 100-yard rushing games this year (106 vs. Florida, 118 s. Arkansas).
• Malik Nabers leads all receivers with 63 receptions for 854 yards and 2 TDs, followed by Kayshon Boutte (48-538-2 TDs).
• Offensively, LSU is averaging 32.3 points and 442.7 total yards per game (181.1 rushing, 261.6 passing).
• Defensively, the Tigers are allowing 23.7 points and 361.5 total yards per game (152.5 rushing, 209.1 passing).
• In its last 11 games, Tennessee and Georgia are the only teams to score third quarter TDs on the Tigers. Tennessee scored 2 TDs in the 3Q in week 6, while Georgia had a TD in the SEC Championship Game. Outside of those 3 TDs, the only points LSU’s defense has allowed in the 3Q since week 3 are field goals to Mississippi State and Alabama.

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