Do #17 LSU And Purdue Have Enough Juice For A Great Cheez-It Citrus Bowl?

The Cheez-It Citrus Bowl is an event that seems like it’s overshadowed by the College Football Playoff. But fans of college football should look at it as part of an undercard of games that reminds the nation of the road the finalists took to get where they did.

With that in mind, the Big Ten Conference’s West Division Champion Purdue Boilermakers and the Southeastern Conference’s West Division Champion Louisiana State Tigers are set to take the field at Camping World Stadium after having solid seasons in their own right.

The Boilermakers have quite the challenge cut out for themselves as their defense will face quarterback Jayden Daniels, who is indicating that he will be healthy enough to play on Monday. Daniels went 68.5% in completion percentage for 2,775 and 16 touchdowns as well as three interceptions.

LSU’s top man in touchdown grabs, Jaray Jenkins, is opting out of the contest but based on Daniels’ numbers in 2022, he has the ability and vision to buy time with his feet to give anyone an opportunity to get open under first-year head coach and former Notre Dame signal caller Brian Kelly.

Purdue’s defense will need to step up without their top corner in passes defended, Cory Trice, who is sitting out to prepare for the NFL Draft. That is because the offense and the coaching staff have had their own share of departures to deal with. Jeff Brohm heading to coach Louisville leaves his brother Brian Brohm as the interim head coach with NFL Hall of Famer and Purdue alumnus Drew Brees brought in as an assistant.

Also not playing is starting quarterback Aiden O’Connell, wide receiver Charlie Jones and tight end Payne Durham. O’Connell has put up nearly 3,500 yards passing in 2022 while Jones broke the 1,300-yard mark with 110 receptions over and above Durham’s 56 catches for 560 yards.

Austin Burton will be taking over the Boilermaker’s quarterbacking duties as a completely different style of player. Instead of a gunslinger like O’Connell, he’s more of a dual-threat type that will need to have an efficient game in the air to battle an SEC defense.

Not that LSU can just start up the bus. This Purdue squad did give the top-ranked Michigan Wolverine squad a run for the money for two and half quarters in the Big 10 Championship.

Kyle Nash

Kyle is from Orlando, Florida

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