No. 20 LSU will face No. 13 Louisville in the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl. The two teams will meet for the first time ever on Saturday, December 31 at 10 am CT on ABC in the 71st edition of the Citrus Bowl.
Florida Citrus Sports’ Chairman Harold Mills and CEO Steve Hogan said the bowl committee was happy to land LSU over the likes of Tennessee with the Tigers being the highest-ranked available team leftover in the final College Football Playoff Rankings.
"Excited about putting together highly-ranked matchups. LSU was highest ranked available in final poll," Hogan said on Sunday. "It just all made sense. These two teams hadn't played each other before. To get these two teams at end of year, we're lucky."
LSU named Ed Orgeron the full-time head coach on Saturday, November 26 after a 5-2 mark since Orgeron took over following Les Miles' firing after a loss to Auburn that left LSU 2-2 on the season. LSU's five victories under Orgeron were all by double-digits, which included a 38-10 win over Arkansas, a 38-21 victory over Ole Miss and a 54-39 win over Texas A&M in the regular season finale.
"We're excited to bring our Tigers and passionate fans to Orlando. This is going to be a big challenge for us," Orgeron said. "Our fanbase, football team, coaching staff have done a tremendous job. Looking forward to playing our first game as full-time coach."
Whether LSU will have running back Leonard Fournette is something that Orgeron said the Tigers will just have to see about depending on practice, but maintained at his press conference on Sunday that Fournette wants to play.
"We're going to see. He's been rehabbing his ankle. We're going to see when we start practice," Orgeron said. "We’ll come back and see if Leonard will be able to go. We hope he can."
The matchup features Dave Aranda's defense that touts the fourth-fewest points allowed and fifth-fewest yards allowed in the nation versus quarterback Lamar Jackson, the Heisman Trophy favorite and ACC Player of the Year. Jackson had 51 total touchdowns on the season, over 1,500 yards rushing. Jackson is just shy of 5,000 total yards on the season with 4,928 yards on the season.
"Dynamic. He's hard to stop. Lamar Jackson is one of the best football players in the country," Orgeron said. "He's a tremendous challenge. We have a good defense. It ought to be an exciting matchup."
The Tigers have played in Orlando three times previously, most recently in 2010 when Penn State edged LSU 19-17 with a field goal in the last minute of the game. LSU is 1-2 all-time in Orlando.
Stay tuned on Tiger Blitz for information on tickets and travel packages. Scout members get purchase discounted tickets to the Citrus Bowl.