ORLANDO – Heisman trophy winner Lamar Jackson’s No. 13 ranked Louisville Cardinals ( 9-3, 7-1) are set to square up against the No. 20 LSU Tigers (7-4, 5-3) in the 2016 Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl, the crown jewel of postseason play in Orlando.
LSU enters the game on the heels of promoting once interim head coach Ed Orgeron to full time, touting a 5-2 record leading into the decision.
“I’ve known Ed for a long time,” said Louisville Head Coach Booby Petrino about the hire. “I used to go down to Miami when he was coaching the D-line down there. Used to spend a week or two during the spring with Dennis Erickson and his staff and always admired how Ed got his guys to play and how talented they were and how well coached they are. I think he’s done a tremendous job coming in both at USC and LSU as the interim coach, and he certainly has earned it and deserves it, and I wish him the best of luck.”
The Cardinals will be paced by the talents of Jackson, who’s award winning campaign ended in 1,538 rushing yards and 21 scores on the ground in tandem with his 3390 passing yards and 30 passing touchdowns.
He alone poses a challenge that the LSU defense must perfectly execute against to neutralize.
“Here’s the deal with Lamar Jackson,” explained Orgeron. “Once he gets in the space, he can go 60 in a heartbeat. We’re going to have to make tackles. We’re going to have to game tackle him. We’re going to have to do a good job of tackling that space.”
LSU’s Leonard Fournette will still sit out Saturday’s game due to a left ankle injury. The decision was mutual between the running back and Tigers coach Ed Orgeron to have Fournette take it easy and regain his health.
Fournette hoped to play in the bowl game before moving on past his senior year and into the 2017 NFL Draft.
The powerhouse ACC-SEC matchup will kickoff at 11:00 a.m. from Camping World Stadium on Saturday.