The 2023 Citrus Bowl involves a lot of changes for one team, and not that many changes for the other. It is always fascinating to see how bowl games unfold when only one of the two teams involved undergoes significant personnel changes. There’s a lot of uncertainty heading into kickoff of this January bowl game from Orlando.
LSU Tigers vs. Purdue Boilermakers – 2023 Citrus Bowl
Date: Monday, January 2, 2023 – 1:00 PM ET
Location: Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL
NCAA Football Odds: Tigers -15
The Tigers are 3-1 away from home this season, 1-3 against the spread.
The Boilermakers are 4-3 straight up away from home this season, 4-3 against the spread.
LSU is 7-3 straight up in its last 10 games, 5-5 ATS. Purdue is 7-3 in its last 10, 4-6 ATS.
This is the first meeting between the two schools. They have never previously played.
The Tigers surprised everyone in college football this season by overtaking the Alabama Crimson Tide to win the SEC West. No one was expecting that, but LSU beat Bama on a winning 2-point conversion in overtime. LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels transferred from Arizona State and put the pieces together under first-year head coach Brian Kelly, who came from Notre Dame and found a way to get this team to evolve.
LSU looked bad in its season-opening loss to Florida State. The Tigers still hadn’t turned the corner when they got crushed by Tennessee several weeks later, but then came a big winning streak. LSU won at Florida, won against Ole Miss, and began to truly take off.
The Alabama game was the centerpiece, and because Alabama lost twice in the SEC this season – not only to LSU but also to Tennessee – LSU was able to pass the Tide in the SEC West and win the division. The Tigers lost to Georgia, but they still had a better season than anyone else thought they would have. Brian Kelly turned around the program after Ed Orgeron left behind a mess in 2021.
The Boilermakers won the Big Ten West Division championship and made the Big Ten Championship Game for the first time in school history. They did need help – specifically from Nebraska, which upset Iowa in the regular-season finale – but they made the most of their help and did something special. Only Minnesota and Illinois have not yet won a Big Ten West championship and made the Big Ten Championship Game, now that Purdue has finally checked those boxes as a program.
One of the reasons the line has moved so much at the best betting sites is because the Boilermakers are going to be very shorthanded for this bowl game.
Purdue won’t have quarterback Aidan O’Connell, receiver Charlie Jones, or tight end Payne Durham for this game. Most of all, Purdue won’t have Jeff Brohm as its head coach, because Brohm – who played football at Louisville – took the head coaching job with the Cardinals after previous UL coach Scott
Satterfield surprisingly left to become the head coach at Cincinnati after UC head coach Luke Fickell went to Wisconsin. Purdue hired Illinois defensive coordinator Ryan Walters as its new head coach, but Walters won’t be centrally involved in coaching the Boilermakers for this bowl game.
Tigers vs. Boilermakers Prediction:
Tigers 45, Boilermakers 20