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LSU routs Purdue in Citrus Bowl

by Russell Hedges

The LSU Tigers cruised to a 63-7 victory over Purdue in the Cheez-It Citrus Bowl Monday in Orlando, Fla., reaching the 10-win mark in Brian Kelly’s first season as head coach

LSU finished 10-4. Purdue finished 8-6.

“You get these opportunities and you want to be able to celebrate your season and enjoy the bowls and the atmosphere, and then you want to go play well and we did that today.

“We played really well. Our guys executed at a high level. They competed at a high level. We were not a full strength but that didn’t stop our guys from putting in the time and the effort.”

Both teams were missing players key to their regular-season success because of opt-outs ahead of the NFL Draft.

LSU was without receiver Kayshon Boutte and defensive standouts Ali Gaye, B.J. Olujari and Mekhi Garner.

Purdue was missing its starting quarterback, top receive and tight end along with a starting linebacker and cornerback.

LSU punted on its first possession then scored touchdowns on its next five for a 35-0 halftime lead.

Starter Jayden Daniels, backup Garrett Nussmeier and freshman Walker Howard all saw action for LSU.

Daniels completed 12 of 17 passes for 139 yards and a touchdown. Nussmeier was 11-of-15 for 173 yards and two TDs. 

Howard led the Tigers to a fourth-quarter touchdown.

Malik Nabers, named the game’s MVP, caught nine passes for 163 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown from Nussmeier. He also completed a 5-yard touchdown pass to Daniels for the first touchdown of the second half.

LSU had 594 yards to Purdue’s 263. The Tigers passed for 369 yards and ran for 225.

Daniels rushed for 67 yards on six carries. Noah Cain scored two TDs and gained 58 yards on eight carries.

John Emery Jr. had 52 yards on seven carries and scored a TD.

Derrick Davis Jr. scored on a 12-yard run in the fourth quarter. 

Quad Wilson returned an interception 99 yards for LSU’s final touchdown.

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