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LSU vs. Louisville Prediction, Citrus Bowl Preview

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LSU vs. Louisville prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the Citrus Bowl between the Tigers and Cardinals.


LSU vs. Louisville Game Preview

When: Saturday, December 31 – 11:00 a.m. ET
Where: Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL
TV Broadcast: ABC

Both LSU and Louisville came into the season with hopes of playing in the College Football Playoff, but neither pulled it through. Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson has been special this season, accounting for 51 total touchdowns and becoming the odds-on favorite for the Heisman. Meanwhile, LSU fired Les Miles and is now led by Ed Orgeron.

This could quietly be one of the best matchups of the bowl season, as the Louisville high-powered offense goes against the stout LSU defense.

What To Know About LSU

The Tigers’ problem at quarterback continued all season long, as Brandon Harris was replaced with Danny Etling. That doesn’t affect an offense as bad when you have two stud running backs in Leonard Fournette and Derrius Guice running the ball. While Fournette has been banged up for parts of the season, Guice has proven that he will be someone the Tigers can count on next season when Fournette is playing on Sundays. When Etling drops back, he does have a couple of big wide receivers he can target, including Malachi Dupre.

As always, the Tigers are loaded up front with a defensive line that not many teams can match up with. Defensive lineman Davon Godchaux has been a force along with Ardon Key, with the two combining for 15.5 sacks on the season. Getting past the second level is tough with linebacker Duke Riley flying around. Will they be able to contain Jackson? That will be the challenge.

What to Know About Louisville

If you know Louisville, you know quarterback Lamar Jackson, who is the favorite to win this year’s Heisman Trophy. The do-it-all Jackson has been electric, but his offensive line has been a problem toward the end of the season. Helping Jackson with the rushing attack has been Brandon Radcliff, who has rushed for 877 yards and six touchdowns this season.

The defense has been solid this season as well, ranking No. 11 in the nation in total defense by allowing just 316.3 yards per game. Making Etling beat them with the pass would be an ideal situation for the Cardinals defense.

Advantages

Offense: Louisville. Jackson is special. How will he play against a top-level defense though?

Defense: Tie. Both units can make the opposition look silly at times.

Special Teams: LSU. The Cardinals field goal kickers have been inconsistent this season.

Coaching: Louisville. Love him or hate him, Bobby Petrino is a winner.

Intangibles: Louisville. After two straight losses, the Cardinals will want to end the season with a win.

Matchup To Watch

Lamar Jackson vs. LSU defense

There is no question that the Tigers will be hyped up to stop Jackson. Doing that is a different thing.

LSU vs. Louisville Betting Odds

Spread: None available at time of publication.
Over/Under: None available at time of publication.

LSU vs. Louisville Prediction

It is a game of two major strengths: the Cardinals offense versus the Tigers defense. While LSU will have some success keeping containment on Jackson, staying with him all game is extremely difficult to do. Louisville will put points on the board while LSU finds running the ball tough sledding against an underrated Louisville defense. The Cardinals win in a close one.

LSU vs. Louisville Score Prediction: Louisville 34, LSU 31

Campus Insiders Staff Picks

Brian Stultz: Louisville
Jeff Bartl: Louisville
Rich Cirminiello: LSU
Robert Judin: LSU
Jordan Cornette: LSU

MORE: Final Top 25 College Football Playoff Rankings For 2016

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