LSU’s Defense Dominates Louisville, Guice Shines In Citrus Bowl
Lamar Jackson won the Heisman trophy, but LSU's defense made him and the Louisville offense look like a junior varsity squad in the Citrus Bowl.
It was Defensive Coordinator Dave Aranda's masterpiece in an impeccable season stifling offenses. His defense held Louisville's offense, who averaged over 40 points per game, to 220 yards and zero touchdowns. It was the lowest yardage total LSU allowed all year long, and the numbers can only describe part of the domination.
Jackson couldn't escape LSU's pass rushers. The Tigers sacked Jackson seven times and took him down for a safety too, leaving the Heisman winner no room to operate. The Cardinals got into the redzone a couple times, but every time they got close to the endzone, LSU denied them.
Much was said about Leonard Fournette's absence for LSU's offense, but Derrius Guice put on a show as the lead back for the Tigers.
Guice collected 138 yards on the ground and two total touchdowns on offense, but his most spectacular moment came on special teams. His 70-yard touchdown scamper was impressive, but this hit he delivered on Louisville kicker Blanton Creque was devastating.
— ESPN 1420 (@espn1420) December 31, 2016
It was the cherry on top of a beautiful game for Guice, who is already building Heisman buzz for the 2017 season.
Guice wasn't the only Tiger to outperform Jackson. Danny Etling had two touchdown passes in the first half, and he ended up with 217 yards, more than the Heisman winner. Aside from a bad interception in the first half, Etling exceeded expectations and delivered strikes to his receivers throughout the course of the game.
LSU's receivers didn't miss out on the party either. Tight end DJ Chark wowed the crowd by fighting off a defender and catching a pass with a defender all over him, but the best catch of the day came from Malachi Dupre...and he only needed one hand to do it.
Dupre led all receivers with 139 yards on seven grabs. At 6'4" and 195 lbs, Dupre is an intriguing NFL prospect, but he said he's undecided about what's next for him.
Louisville led the country in scoring going into the Citrus Bowl, but LSU kept them out of the endzone. It was Ed Orgeron's first bowl win as head coach of the Tigers, and it was LSU's finest performance all year.
The future looks bright for Orgeron and the Tigers. Guice is coming back next year, along with Aranda's suffocating defense. The Citrus Bowl was a perfect ending to 2016 for LSU fans, and 2017 could be even sweeter.