Nabers helps No. 16 LSU rout Purdue 63-7 in Citrus Bowl

Jan 2, 2023, 12:11 AM | Updated: 3:26 pm
Teammates shower LSU wide receiver Malik Nabers with crackers after he was named MVP of the Citrus ...

Teammates shower LSU wide receiver Malik Nabers with crackers after he was named MVP of the Citrus Bowl NCAA college football game against Purdue, Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

(AP Photo/John Raoux)

              Teammates shower LSU wide receiver Malik Nabers with crackers after he was named MVP of the Citrus Bowl NCAA college football game against Purdue, Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
            
              LSU wide receiver Malik Nabers (8) runs past Purdue cornerback Bryce Hampton, left, and safety Sanoussi Kane (21) on his way to a 75-yard touchdown on a pass play during the second half of the Citrus Bowl NCAA college football game Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
            
              Purdue running back Devin Mockobee (45) runs past LSU defensive lineman Mekhi Wingo (92) during the first half of the Citrus Bowl NCAA college football game Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
            
              LSU running back Noah Cain, center, scores a touchdown as he runs past the Purdue defense including defensive end Jack Sullivan (99) during the first half of the Citrus Bowl NCAA football game, Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
            
              LSU running back John Emery Jr., right, is stopped short of the goal line by the Purdue defense during the first half of the Citrus Bowl NCAA college football game Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, in Orlando, Fla. Emery scored a touchdown on the next play. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
            
              LSU head coach Brian Kelly paces the sidelines during the first half of the Citrus Bowl NCAA college football game against Purdue, Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
            
              Purdue interim head coach Brian Brohm walks to the sideline after a timeout during the first half of the Citrus Bowl NCAA college football game against LSU, Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
            
              Purdue wide receiver Deion Burks (4) tries to get past LSU defensive end Zavier Carter (17) after a reception during the first half of the Citrus Bowl NCAA college football game Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
            
              LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) looks for a receiver as Purdue defensive end Kydran Jenkins puts on pressure during the first half of the Citrus Bowl NCAA college football game, Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
            
              LSU wide receiver Kyren Lacy, top, leaps over Purdue safety Jah'Von Grigsby for extra yardage after a reception during the first half of the Citrus Bowl NCAA college football game, Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
            
              LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) scrambles for a 35-yard run past the Purdue defense including safety Antonio Stevens (35) during the first half of the Citrus Bowl NCAA college football game Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — LSU has had plenty of talent come through its receiver room in recent years: Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry. Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson. For most of this season it was Kayshon Boutte.

Malik Nabers made a bid to join those names on Monday, when he threw for a touchdown, caught one and had 163 yards receiving in the No. 16 Tigers’ 63-7 rout of Purdue in the Citrus Bowl.

“That’s kind of the mantle of LSU wide receivers,” Tigers coach Brian Kelly said of Nabers, who was the game’s MVP. “It’s his opportunity now, and you can see that he wanted to make sure that he made a statement out there today.”

LSU never trailed, recording 594 yards of offense and concluding the scoring with Quad Wilson’s 99-yard interception return for a touchdown.

The Tigers (10-4) finished with at least 10 wins for the first time since the 2019 season, when Joe Burrow, Chase and Jefferson led undefeated LSU to a national title.

The Boilermakers (8-6) were led by interim coach Brian Brohm after his brother, Jeff, left at the end of the regular season to take Louisville’s head coaching job. Ryan Walters, formerly the defensive coordinator at Illinois, will now take over as Purdue’s coach.

Purdue had an up-and-down year, starting 1-2 before rallying to win the Big Ten West and reach the conference title game, where it lost 43-22 to Michigan. The Boilermakers were playing in their first Citrus Bowl.

“I feel like the program is in a good spot,” Brian Brohm said. “Coach Walters is gonna inherit a program of guys that are tough, want to play hard and want to win. I hope that he’s able to keep it going and take it to the next level.”

LSU, after a year in which it beat Alabama and reached the Southeastern Conference title game, controlled the game from the start. And nothing changed when starting quarterback Jayden Daniels was relieved by backup Garrett Nussmeier. After punting on their first drive, the Tigers scored touchdowns on seven of their next eight possessions to take a 49-0 lead.

Daniels led four scoring drives, going 12 of 17 for 139 yards and a touchdown. He also had 67 yards rushing and caught the TD pass from Nabers.

Nussmeier finished 11 of 15 for 173 yards and two TDs. He threw a second-half interception, but LSU was already leading 42-0 at the time and the Tigers’ defense followed by forcing a three-and-out.

Nabers, LSU’s leading receiver this season, had season highs in yards and catches (nine), and his TD toss wasn’t even his most impressive pass of the day. After running wide on a jet sweep, he threw an on-target deep ball to Kyren Lacy for a 45-yard completion that set up a touchdown in the first half.

After the game, he first lamented three passes he felt he should have caught. Still, he has high hopes for next season.

“This performance shows that I’m able to come out here and perform at a high level with anybody,” Nabers said.

John Emery Jr. had a 1-yard TD rush, Derrick Davis Jr. had a 12-yard rushing score and Noah Cain had two rushing TDs, which gave the Tigers a school-record 39 rushing TDs for the year.

Austin Burton made his third career start at quarterback for the Boilermakers in place of Aidan O’Connell, who opted out to prepare for the NFL draft. Burton completed 12 of 24 passes for 74 yards with an interception.

Michael Alaimo relieved Burton in the second half and threw a 16-yard TD pass to T.J. Sheffield. Alaimo finished 4 of 11 for 31 yards with an interception.

Purdue crossed midfield four times. The first was on a drive set up by a fake punt, but that ended when Burton threw a pick. The other three ended in a touchdown, interception and turnover on downs. Purdue’s first nine possessions resulted in six punts and three turnovers.

SCARY INJURY

Purdue receiver Deion Burks took a scary hit and had his head stabilized as he was loaded onto a stretcher, carted off the field and taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center. Burks flashed a thumbs-up on his way off the field, and Purdue officials told ABC reporters that he had movement in his extremities.

THE TAKEAWAY

LSU: The Tigers were without several players, including Boutte, who recently declared for the NFL draft, but their success demonstrated the program’s depth. LSU had 27 first downs and was 6 of 7 in the red zone.

Purdue: The Boilermakers were outmatched with a roster depleted by opt-outs. Purdue had just 17 first downs.

UP NEXT

LSU: Plays Florida State in Orlando on Sept. 3 to start the 2023 season.

Purdue: Hosts Fresno State on Sept. 2.

___

AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/ap_top25. Sign up for the AP’s college football newsletter: https://tinyurl.com/mrxhe6f2

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Washington Capitals forward Sonny Milano, right, dives for the puck in front of Columbus Blue Jacke...
Associated Press

Kuznetsov’s OT goal lifts Capitals over Blue Jackets 4-3

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Evgeny Kuznetsov scored 26 seconds in overtime, and the Washington Capitals defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 Tuesday night. The win extended Washington’s lead over Pittsburgh for fourth place in the Metropolitan Division to three points. Trevor van Riemsdyk scored twice, Garnet Hathaway added a goal and Kuznetsov also contributed an […]
19 hours ago
Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) plays against Cleveland Cavaliers guard Ricky Rubio during the...
Associated Press

Jimmy Butler scores 23 as Heat hold off Cavaliers 100-97

CLEVELAND (AP) — Jimmy Butler scored 23 points, Bam Adebayo added 18 points and 11 rebounds and the Miami Heat showed their experience down the stretch in a 100-97 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night. Caleb Martin scored 18 points and matched his career high with 10 rebounds, and Tyler Herro also scored […]
19 hours ago
FILE -U.S. Olympic team head coach Teri McKeever speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Olympi...
Associated Press

Cal fires swim coach McKeever, winner of 4 NCAA team titles

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Longtime University of California women’s swimming coach Teri McKeever was fired Tuesday following an investigation into alleged harassment, bullying and verbally abusive conduct, the school said in a statement. McKeever led the Golden Bears to four NCAA team titles over 29 years. She coached the U.S. women’s swim team at the […]
19 hours ago
Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James tosses powder before an NBA basketball game against the New York K...
Associated Press

James climbs to fourth place on NBA’s career assists list

NEW YORK (AP) — LeBron James has climbed into fourth place on the NBA’s assists list as he closes in on becoming the league’s career scoring leader. James passed both Mark Jackson (10,334) and Steve Nash (10,335) in the fourth quarter of the Lakers’ game against the New York Knicks on Tuesday. His 10,336th assist […]
19 hours ago
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid celebrates with defensive end Frank Clark, right, after the...
Associated Press

Andy Reid turned a 6-inch binder into a Hall of Fame resume

Andy Reid was an unknown assistant in Green Bay when Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie took a chance on hiring Brett Favre’s position coach to revive a struggling franchise in Philadelphia. A newspaper headline greeted Reid’s arrival with a headline that said: “Andy Who?” Everybody knows his name now. Reid won more games (130) than any […]
19 hours ago
FILE - Michigan State's Khary Crump waits for a play to begin during the team's NCAA college footba...
Associated Press

Michigan State player who swung helmet gets probation

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan State football player who swung his helmet at a Michigan player in a stadium tunnel expressed regret Tuesday and said he’s “just looking forward to wuppin’ some maize and blue” on the field. Khary Crump, a defensive back, was sentenced to probation. He was one of seven Michigan […]
19 hours ago
Nabers helps No. 16 LSU rout Purdue 63-7 in Citrus Bowl