The game was billed as a chess match of wits between the masterminds, one the offensive Genius the Louisville Head Coach Bobby Petrino and the other a Defensive Guru Dave Aranda the LSU Defensive Coordinator. And could anything be done to contain Heisman Trophy Winner Lamar Jackson, perhaps the best player in the country? The questions were answered at the half he had been sacked 6 times, one for a safety before he could catch his breath and had 12 carries for -24 yards. The physical size, brute strength and superior speed of the LSU Big Tigers were just too much for the cards up front. The defensive line simply dominated the trenches allowing only three field goals in their 29-9 victory.
Jackson tried some of his razzle dazzle but was corralled at every angle but isn’t he a shifty talent. On one play he did a 360 to avoid one lineman darted left and shifted into overdrive right space was there initially but the other big cats were prowling. They prevented Louisville from converting on third down until the fourth quarter. Coach O has a team motto “one team one heartbeat” It was on display at the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl. LSU dominated in every phase of the game and it was a done deal early in the third quarter when tore up the middle for a 70-yard touchdown. Louisville fought hard and put together a determined drive and got another field goal. But they had already turned off the lights. The Referee announced there was no flag on the play “it was an unnecessary shove but not a foul.
The combination of Etling to Dupree ignited the offense early completing 6 passes for 136 yards in the first quarter. One of them was a spectacular one hand catch that would have made former LSU great Odell Bechum Jr. proud. In Baton Rouge, they must have something in the hands all the receivers seem to catch as good with one hand as most with two. Then someone let the GUICE out of the Citrus (Derrius Guice) to the tune of 26 carries for 138 yards and two touchdowns. 3 kick returns for 81 yards. He also had the best hit in the game. During a 50-yard kick return, he threatened to take it back on an exciting run down the far sideline. The number 5 train was derailed when he lowered the boom on the brave kicker Blanton Creque who made the highlights on the Jumbo-Tron as his feet went one way and his behind the other to the gasp of the crowd of 46,063 attendance. His newly hired head coach Ed Orgeron, who won his first game since the interim tag was removed was impressed. “He is one of the best players in America and I totally expect him to be the best player in America next year and we’re fortunate to have him.”
Jackson performance yielded 10 pass completions out of 27 attempts for 153 yards and zero touchdowns. On the ground, he finished with 33 yards on 26 carries and he fumbled once. The entire Cardinal offense was held to a total of 220 yards from scrimmage. The LSU defense sacked him eight times. Heisman or not I don’t know of any quarterback who could have survived that Tiger Attack. Arden Key and Tashawn Bower were the hungriest tigers they licked their chops five times. Get your head around this if you can Lamar ran the ball 26 times gained 100 yards but lost 67 yards yielding a net of 33 yards for an average of 1.3 yards per carry. James Quick led the way for Louisville with 3 catches for 81 yards. The two combined on the 53-yard pass completing which was really the most impressive play Louisville had all day.
LSU Quarterback Danny Etling finished the game with 16 completions out of 29 attempts for 217 yard and 2 touchdown passes… His main target Malachi Dupree caught 7 passes for 139 yards. Louisville played the game without its offensive coordinator who is suspended and on defense, they played without, safety Josh Clemons, Cornerback Trumaine Washington and linebacker James Hearns who lead the in sacks. Surely they were missed but I don’ think it would have made much of a difference in the overall result. Coach O who has the best voice in football put together an impressive game plan and the LSU Tigers seem to have hired the right man for the job. If this was a prelude to next season under his leadership they are set to make a run in the SEC.
Your 2016 Buffalo Wild Wings Champions are the LSU Tigers 29-9 over the Louisville Cardinals.