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Whatever the record is for most total opt-outs in a bowl game, the Cheez-It Citrus Bowl might be on the verge of breaking it.
More than 30 players from both sides won’t be playing due to transferring, opting out, or injury.
We won’t go through all of them, but we’ll examine the notable players below.
WR Jaray Jenkins (NFL Draft Prep)
WR Kayshon Boutte (NFL Draft Prep)
EDGE B.J. Ojulari (NFL Draft Prep)
EDGE Ali Gaye (NFL Draft Prep)
DL Jaquelin Roy (NFL Draft Prep)
CB Mehi Garner (NFL Draft Prep)
CB Jay Ward (NFL Draft Prep)
The main contributors here are Boutte, one of the team’s leading receivers (73 targets, 48 receptions, 538 yards, two touchdowns in 11 games), and Ojulari (49 pressures, nine sacks, 35 tackles).
QB Aidan O’Connell (NFL Draft Prep)
WR Charlie Jones (NFL Draft Prep)
TE Payne Durham (NFL Draft Prep)
CB Cory Trice (NFL Draft Prep)
OL Spencer Holstege (Transferring)
LSU is missing several key defensive players and some wide receiver production, but Purdue will be without the two main cogs in their offense, O’Connell and Jones.
O’Connell racked up 3,483 yards on 499 attempts this year, passing for 22 touchdowns. Within those stats lies the production of Jones, who saw 154 targets, 110 receptions, 1,361 yards, and 12 touchdowns.
To put that in perspective, you’d have to add the next three-highest targeted players to eclipse Jones’ amount. The second-most targeted player on the team is Durham, who also won’t be in this game.
Also, Purdue will be without head coach Jeff Brohm who’s leaving for Louisville. In his place, his brother and offensive coordinator Brian Brohm will be the interim head coach, while former Illinois defensive coordinator Ryan Walters is transitioning to become their next head coach. Purdue defense coordinator Ron English also followed Brohm to Louisville.
Can Purdue overcome all of this? Let’s find out the best bets below.
Laying 15.5 points here, we’re riding with LSU solely because of Daniels.
The only reason you take Purdue here is simply because of how high the spread is. There’s no indication here that Purdue will be competitive. They’re without their head coach, defensive coordinator, and practically their entire passing offense.
Daniels has been excellent this season, completing over 68% of his passes, but where he’s deadly is on the ground, accumulating over 1,000 rushing yards and 11 scores.
Purdue had a great defense this year, but between the defensive coordinator being gone and their offense likely to be so inept that they have to remain on the field, it’s hard to know how productive they’ll be.
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Daniels should be able to lead the Tigers well here, even without Boutte, but it’s hard to gauge what offensive production Purdue will have here.
As mentioned, O’Connell and Jones were the entire offense. Now, we have a Purdue lineup with Austin Burton at quarterback (86 snaps) and the next best receiver being wide receiver TJ Sheffield who saw 63 targets this season, caught 39 of them, and went for 424 yards and three touchdowns.
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After graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a BA in Journalism, Richard Janvrin has been covering iGaming and sports betting since December 2018. Richard has covered betting at Bleacher Report, Gambling.com, The Game Day, Forbes, and more.More info on Richard Janvrin
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