Teams & Conferences

2016 Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl, LSU vs. Louisville Prediction, Game Preview, History, Scores

Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl Prediction, LSU vs. Louisville Game Preview, History, Scores


Three reasons why you should watch the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl between LSU (7-4) and Louisville (9-3), why each team might win, honest thoughts, line and prediction.


200-citrusBroadcast

Date: December 31st, 2016
Game Time: 11 am
Venue: Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL
Network: ABC

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Scroll down for the video preview and bowl history

The Bowl Matchup Ranking Of Awesomeness (1 best-40 worst): 5 out of 40

Three Reasons Why You Should Watch The Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl

It’s a playoff-caliber matchup, even if the teams aren’t playoff-caliber. Yeah, I was the guy all offseason who said LSU was the No. 1 team in the country based on talent and returning starters, and I was also the guy who said Louisville would win the ACC and Lamar Jackson would be a sleeper Heisman contender. At least the two teams turned out to be pretty good, and Jackson turned out to be pretty great. Now, these two should play one of the most intriguing games of the bowl season because …

It’s the first game of the rest of Lamar Jackson’s life. Okay, Heisman winner. Now you’re at a whole other level, and now it’s time to set the tone for 2017’s campaign. Will it be extra motivation for LSU to stop him? Will it be extra motivation for Louisville to prove that the season wasn’t a fluke for its star and its team? There might be several interesting teams to watch over the final days of the bowl season, but there’s no single player who’ll do more to pack in the viewers.

It’s the first game of the rest of Ed Orgeron’s life. Yeah, it was all fun and games when he was everyone’s favorite interim guy, but now this is Orgeron’s program. The last thing he or LSU wants is for there to be any sort of buyer’s remorse after naming him the head man. If the Tigers rock, then look out for the hype to build for 2017. Lose, and the pressure gets ramped up to a whole other level for the next eight months.

Here’s Why Louisville Will Win The Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl

The Cardinals have time to prepare for No. 5, since No. 7 is gone. Yeah, Derrius Guice is a heck of a running back, and he can make a 2017 Heisman statement of his own with a huge game for LSU, but he’s not Leonard Fournette. It would’ve been a different story had Fournette played after getting more than a month to rest up, but he’s saving himself now for the league of mercenaries. Yeah, the Louisville run D was flaky late in the year – watch for a different energy level.

The pass rush might be just okay, but … the Louisville defensive front lives behind the line. DeAngelo Brown, Devonte Fields, and James Hearns are devastating when they get on a roll, heling the defense come up with a whopping 82 tackles for loss on the year. The LSU offensive line might be outstanding, but the Cardinals can turn the lights out with a few big defensive plays to set up …

Lamar Jackson. Yeah, LSU has two premier defensive minds in Orgeron and defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, but Jackson and this offense has a way of getting past everyone’s best intentions – ask Florida State. Houston bottled him up with a devastating day from the defensive line, but that was about it in terms of keeping him in check. Get ready for a fresher, faster Louisville offense that takes things up to warp speed at times to get Jackson into places where he can make magic happen, but there’s one big problem …

Here’s Why LSU Will Win The Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl

Yeah, the time off to prepare will matter … along with the play of the LSU defensive front. Mississippi State’s Nick Fitzgerald was one of the SEC’s top running quarterbacks, but he was held to just 13 yards in the close loss. Alabama’s Jalen Hurts ran for 114 yards and a score to take over late, but that was about it in terms of success by a quarterback – or anyone else – against this next-level talented defensive front. If it gets into a lather early like Houston’s D line did, this will get out of hand in a hurry.

LSU is better at throwing the ball than you think. Of course the offense revolves around the ground game, and of course Danny Etling isn’t Tom Brady, but the passing game hasn’t been all that bad. It died against Alabama, but whatever – no shame there – and it sputtered at times, but it cranked out 200 yards or more in five of the last seven games, finishing off with a 324-yard day against Texas A&M. There O comes up with more downfield/yards-after-catch pop than it gets credit for.

Louisville will happily give the ball away. Turnovers have been a mega-issue all season long, Granted, it was able to get away with several mistakes by rolling up the offense to warp levels, but UofL turned it over a massive 31 times on the season with three giveaways or more in eight games including each of the last four. Against Houston and Kentucky, the Cardinals were a -5 in turnover margin.

You’ve Read This Far, So You Get Three Honest Thoughts On The Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl

Really, so how good has Derrius Guice been? The LSU sophomore only got two carries against Alabama, and he’ll forever be known for not getting in late against Florida, but he also ripped off 252 yards against Arkansas and 285 against Texas A&M. He doesn’t have to match Jackson in terms of rushing yards, but he should come relatively close.

LSU was okay in bowls under Les Miles, but … Louisville has been solid in bowls. Bobby Petrino – both at Louisville and Arkansas – went 5-4 in bowl games, but he got his team past Texas A&M last year. The Cardinals are 5-2 in their last seven bowl games. By the way, this is Ed Orgeron’s first bowl game as a head coach.

There’s massive dud potential here since … the last six Citrus Bowls have been horrendous. Fine, so the 2014 South Carolina win over Wisconsin was a decent game, but the last six, and seven of the last eight, have been decided by double-digits. Last season, Michigan sat on Florida and didn’t let it breathe, but usually the SEC wins in walk, so …

Super. So Who’s Going To Win The Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl?

Don’t mess with the overall trend – Michigan’s win was a blip.

Louisville might have been special this year, and the meltdown over the last two games against Houston and Kentucky might have been an aberration of sorts, but LSU is about to come out roaring.

The defensive front seven should keep Jackson from going off, while the LSU O line could be the story as it pounds away for third down conversion after third down conversion – and a nice day from Guice.

Jackson will have his moments, but he won’t have enough of them as LSU comes up with a convincing win for the SEC.

Final Score

LSU 34, Louisville 23

Line

LSU -3, o/u: 59.5

ATS Confidence: 4
5: Your New Year’s Eve chances to score in your favorite bar
0: Your New Year’s Eve chances to score after covering a College Football Playoff semifinal

Must See Rating: 4.5
5: New Year’s Eve: Defected In The House, Ministry of Sound, London
0: New Year’s Eve Live with Anderson Cooper and Special Co-Host Kathy Griffin

Get Tickets For The Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl

Citrus Bowl History, Results

Jan. 1, 2016 Michigan 41 Florida 7
Jan. 1, 2015 Missouri 33 Minnesota 17
Jan. 1, 2014 South Carolina 34 Wisconsin 24
Jan. 1, 2013 Georgia 45 Nebraska 31
Jan. 2, 2012 South Carolina 30 Nebraska 13
Jan. 1, 2011 Alabama 49 Michigan State 7
Jan. 1, 2010 Penn State 19 LSU 17
Jan. 1, 2009 Georgia 24 Michigan State 12
Jan. 1, 2008 Michigan 41 Florida 35
Jan. 1, 2007 Wisconsin 17 Arkansas 14
Jan. 2, 2006 Wisconsin 24 Auburn 10
Jan. 1, 2005 Iowa 30 LSU 25
Jan. 1, 2004 Georgia 34 Purdue 27 (OT)
Jan. 1, 2003 Auburn 13 Penn State 9
Jan. 1, 2002 Tennessee 45 Michigan 17
Jan. 1, 2001 Michigan 31 Auburn 28
Jan. 1, 2000 Michigan State 37 Florida 34
Jan. 1, 1999 Michigan 45 Arkansas 31
Jan. 1, 1998 Florida 21 Penn State 6
Jan. 1, 1997 Tennessee 48 Northwestern 28
Jan. 1, 1996 Tennessee 20 Ohio State 14
Jan. 2, 1995 Alabama 24 Ohio State 17
Jan. 1, 1994 Penn State 31 Tennessee 13
Jan. 1, 1993 Georgia 21 Ohio State 14
Jan. 1, 1992 California 37 Clemson 13
Jan. 1, 1991 Georgia Tech 45 Nebraska 21
Jan. 1, 1990 Illinois 31 Virginia 21
Jan. 2, 1989 Clemson 13 Oklahoma 6
Jan. 1, 1988 Clemson 35 Penn State 10
Jan. 1, 1987 Auburn 16 USC 7
Dec. 28, 1985 Ohio State 10 BYU 7
Dec. 22, 1984 Florida State 17 Georgia 17
Dec. 17, 1983 Tennessee 30 Maryland 23
Dec. 18, 1982 Auburn 33 Boston College 26
Dec. 19, 1981 Missouri 19 Southern Miss 17
Dec. 20, 1980 Florida 35 Maryland 20
Dec. 22, 1979 LSU 34 Wake Forest 10
Dec. 23, 1978 N.C. State 30 Pittsburgh 17
Dec. 23, 1977 Florida State 40 Texas Tech 17
Dec. 18, 1976 Oklahoma State 49 BYU 21
Dec. 20, 1975 Miami Univ. 20 South Carolina 7
Dec. 21, 1974 Miami Univ. 21 Georgia 10
Dec. 22, 1973 Miami Univ. 16 Florida 7
Dec. 29, 1972 Tampa 21 Kent State 18
Dec. 28, 1971 Toledo 28 Richmond 3
Dec. 28, 1970 Toledo 40 William & Mary 12
Dec. 26, 1969 Toledo 56 Davidson 33
Dec. 27, 1968 Richmond 49 Ohio 42
Dec. 16, 1967 Tennessee-Martin 25 West Chester 8
Dec. 10, 1966 Morgan State 14 West Chester 6
Dec. 11, 1965 East Carolina 31 Maine 0
Dec. 12, 1964 East Carolina 14 Massachusetts 13
Dec. 28, 1963 Western Kentucky 27 Coast Guard 0
Dec. 22, 1962 Houston 49 Miami Univ. 21
Dec. 29, 1961 Lamar 21 Middle Tennessee 14
Dec. 30, 1960 The Citadel 27 Tennessee Tech 0
Jan. 1, 1960 Middle Tennessee 21 Presbyerian 9
Dec. 27, 1958 Texas A&M Commerce 26 Missouri Valley 7
Jan. 1, 1958 Texas A&M Commerce 10 Southern Miss 9
Jan. 1, 1957 West Texas 20 Southern Miss 13
Jan. 2, 1956 Juniata 6 Missouri Valley 7
Jan. 1, 1955 Omaha 7 Eastern Kentucky 6
Jan. 1, 1954 Arkansas State 7 Texas A&M Commerce 7
Jan. 1, 1953 Texas A&M Commerce 33 Tennessee Tech 10
Jan. 1, 1952 Stetson 35 Arkansas State 20
Jan. 1, 1951 Charleston 35 Emory & Henry 14
Jan. 2, 1950 St. Vincent’s 7 Emory & Henry 6
Jan. 1, 1949 Murray State 21 Sul Ross State 21
Jan. 1, 1948 Catawba 7 Marshall 0
Jan. 1, 1947 Catawba 31 Maryville 0