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LSU vs. Purdue – College Football Game Recap – January 2, 2023

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Odell Beckham Jr

ORLANDO, Fla. — — LSU has had a lot of talent in the receiving room in recent years: Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry. Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson. For most of this season it was Kayshon Boutte.

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Malik Nabers made an attempt to join those names Monday when he threw for a touchdown, hauled one in and had 163 receiving yards in the No. 16 Tigers’ 63-7 win over Purdue in the Citrus Bowl.

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“That’s the mantle of LSU wide receivers,” Tigers coach Brian Kelly said of Nabers, who was the game’s Most Valuable Player. “It’s his chance now, and you can see he wanted to make sure he made a statement today.”

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LSU never trailed behind, recording 594 yards of offense and concluding the scoring with Quad Wilson’s 99-yard interception return for a touchdown.

The Tigers (10-4) finished with at least 10 wins for the first time since the 2019 season, when Joe Burrow, Chase and Jefferson led undefeated LSU to a national title.

The Boilermakers (8-6) were led by interim coach Brian Brohm after his brother, Jeff, left at the end of the regular season to take over as Louisville’s head coach. Ryan Walters, a former defensive coordinator at Illinois, will now take over as Purdue’s coach.

Purdue had an up-and-down year, starting 1-2 before rallying to win the Big Ten West and reach the conference title game, where it lost 43-22 to Michigan. The Boilermakers were playing in their first Citrus Bowl.

“I feel like the show is in a good place,” Brian Brohm said. “Coach Walters will inherit a program of guys who are tough, want to play hard and want to win. I hope he’s able to keep it going and take it to the next level.”

LSU, after a year in which they beat Alabama and reached the Southeastern Conference title game, controlled the game from the start. And nothing changed when starting quarterback Jayden Daniels was relieved by backup Garrett Nussmeier. After punting on their first drive, the Tigers scored touchdowns on seven of their next eight possessions to take a 49-0 lead.

Daniels led four scoring drives, going 12 of 17 for 139 yards and a touchdown. He also had 67 rushing yards and caught Nabers’ TD pass.

Nussmeier finished 11 of 15 for 173 yards and two touchdowns. He threw an interception in the second half, but LSU was already leading 42-0 at that point and the Tigers defense kept forcing a three-and-out.

Nabers, LSU’s leading receiver this season, had season-highs for yards and receptions (nine), and his TD throw wasn’t even his most impressive pass of the day. After running wide on a squirt sweep, he threw a deep target pass to Kyren Lacy for a 45-yard completion that set up a first-half touchdown.

After the game, he first regretted three passes that he felt he should have caught. Still, he has high hopes for the upcoming season.

“This performance shows that I am capable of going out here and performing at a high level with anyone,” Nabers said.

John Emery Jr. had a 1-yard TD run, Derrick Davis Jr. had a 12-yard rushing TD run, and Noah Cain had two rushing TDs, giving the Tigers a school-record 39 rushing TDs for year.

Austin Burton made his third career start at quarterback for the Boilermakers in place of Aidan O’Connell, who opted not to prepare for the NFL draft. Burton completed 12 of 24 passes for 74 yards with one interception.

Michael Alaimo relieved Burton in the second half and threw a 16-yard TD pass to TJ Sheffield. Alaimo finished 4 of 11 for 31 yards with an interception.

Purdue crossed the center of the field four times. The first was on a drive set up by a fake punt, but it ended when Burton threw an interception. The other three ended in touchdowns, interceptions, and turnovers on attempts. Purdue’s first nine possessions resulted in six punts and three turnovers.

WOUNDS OF FEAR

Purdue catcher Deion Burks took a terrifying blow and had his head stabilized as he was loaded onto a stretcher, carried off the field and taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center. Burks gave a thumbs up as he walked off the field, and Purdue officials told ABC reporters that he had movement in his extremities.

THE TO TAKE

LSU: The Tigers were without a number of players, including Boutte, who recently declared for the NFL draft, but their success demonstrated the depth of the program. LSU had 27 first downs and was 6-for-7 in the red zone.

Purdue: The Boilermakers were left with a roster depleted by opt-outs. Purdue only had 17 first downs.

UNTIL NEXT TIME

LSU: Play Florida State in Orlando on September 3 to kick off the 2023 season.

Purdue: Hosts Fresno State on September 2.

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Credit: https://www.espn.com/college-football/recap/_/gameId/401442012

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