BATON ROUGE, La (LSU) After earning a 29-9 victory over the Louisville Cardinals in the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl on New Year’s Eve, the LSU football team has earned the BASF Team Chemistry MVP Award for the month of December.
The Tigers, selected for a bowl for the 48th time in program history and 17th consecutive season, was picked to go against newly-crowned Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson and Louisville in the 71st edition of the Citrus Bowl, as LSU returned to Orlando for the first time since competing in the postseason event back in 2010 and fourth time overall.
After a Cardinal field goal in the first quarter, LSU would go on to score the next 16 unanswered to go on top 16-3 before ending the half up 16-6. The lead only grew for the Tigers from that point as the defense would hold Louisville to 220 yards of total offense and just three points in the second half, while the LSU offense got 177 yards on the ground and 217 through the air for a total of 394 to pull away and seal LSU’s 25th bowl victory.
The win improved LSU’s season record to 8-4 on the year, extending the program’s streak of earning at least eight wins in a season to 17, the most among Power 5 institutions, while improving the team’s record to 67-8 against non-conference competition. It was also the first bowl win under head coach Ed Orgeron.
Sophomore running back Derrius Guice was named the game’s most valuable player after rushing for 139 yards with a 70-yard rushing and 1-yard receiving touchdown on the day. The Baton Rouge native finished with 230 yards of total offense when including his 11 receiving yards and 81 yards on kickoff returns. Guice finished the year with 1,387 yards rushing, becoming just the fourth player in LSU history to rush for more than 1,300 yards in a single year.
Junior quarterback Danny Etling completed 16 of 29 passes with two touchdowns, throwing for at least 200 yards through the air for the sixth time on the season. Etling’s top target was junior receiver Malachi Dupre who caught a career-high seven passes for 139 yards, the fourth-most yards receiving for an LSU player in a bowl game in team history.
Defensively, the Tiger bottled-up Jackson and Louisville and was the first team since Pitt in 2010 to hold the Cardinals without a touchdown in a game. Jackson only threw for 153 yards and rushed for 33 on 26 attempts, being held without a touchdown for the first time in 17 games.
LSU sacked Jackson eight times in the contest, one shy of tying the school record of nine, for minus-67 yards. Two of those came from sophomore Arden Key who set the school record for sacks in a single season with 12, overtaking Gabe Northern’s 11 in the 1994 season. Key’s clinching sack came on a safety, the first for LSU in a bowl game since 1974.
Senior Duke Riley led the team in tackles with eight and a fumble recovery, while Key and Adams had six each. Tashawn Bower had three sacks to lead the group, with defensive back John Battle having five tackles and leading the team with a pair of pass breakups.
As the world's largest chemical company, BASF’s manufacturing presence in Louisiana includes operations in Geismar, Zachary and Vidalia, with nearly 2,000 employees and contractors in the state. For more information about careers at BASF, visit www.basf.us/la.