Defense Leads LSU to Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl Victory Over Louisville
A stingy LSU defense frustrated and harassed Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Lamar Jackson all afternoon, rolling to a 29-9 win over Louisville in the 71st edition of the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl on Saturday afternoon.
Jackson, who came into the game averaging 410 yards of total offense a game, was limited to just 188 yards. He completed 10 of 27 passes for 153 yards and had just 33 yards rushing. Jackson was sacked eight times, as the Cardinals were limited to just three Blanton Creque field goals in the game.
Overall, the Tigers held Louisville (9-4) to just 220 total yards and nine points, well under its season averages of 558 yards and 45.3 points per game. LSU had 10 tackles-for-loss in the game.
“I could not be prouder of this team and how we finished it,” LSU head coach Ed Orgeron said. “Our guys bought into our one team-one heartbeat philosophy. Our defense was a key to the win. Defensively, we did not blitz much this year and we blitzed a lot more today and I think that got them off-balance.”
Surprisingly, it was the LSU and not the Cardinals offense that looked impressive.
Between the stellar running of Derrius Grice and the passing of Danny Etling, the Tigers (8-4) outgained the Cards, 394-220.
Guice, who replaced the injured Leonard Fournette for most of the season, continued his outstanding sophomore season, rushing for 138 yards, including a 70-yard scoring jaunt in the third quarter that gave the Tigers a 23-6.
Guice, who also had a receiving touchdown, upped his season rushing total to 1,387 yards and was named the game’s MVP for his efforts.
“Everything we wanted to accomplish today we were able to,” Guice said. Danny’s (Etling) passing really opened up the running game for me.”
Etling completed 16 of 29 passes for 217 yards and two touchdowns. He targeted Malachi Dupree seven times for 139 yards.
Trailing 3-0 early, Etling led the Tigers on two scoring drives that were capped by a pair of 1-yard touchdown passes to Colin Jeter and Guice as LSU grabbed a 14-3 lead midway through the second period.
Other than a long 53-yard catch and run to James Quick that set up Brandon Creque’s 24-yard field goal, Louisville’s offense was frustrated for the entire first half.