Where: Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida
Date & Time: Monday, January 1, 2018 at 1:00 PM ET
Over/Under Total: 51.5
Quick Pick: TBD
This years Citrus Bowl will take place on Monday, January 1, 2018 at 1:00 PM ET at the Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida. This game will feature the Notre Dame Fighting Irish taking on the LSU Tigers in what is certain to be one of the best games of the bowl season. The game is set to kickoff at 1:00 PM ET and can be watched on ABC.
Citrus Bowl presented by Overtons
The Citrus Bowl is a annual football game that is played each year in the beautiful sunny State of Florida during the NCAA College Football Bowl season.
The Citrus Bowl was originally played in Gainesville, Florida but is now played in Orlando at the Camping World Stadium. The Citrus Bowl has been around since 1947 and has been called numerous other names including Tangerine Bowl, Florida Citrus Bowl, CompUSA Florida Citrus Bowl, Ourhouse.com Florida Citrus Bowl, Capital One Florida Citrus Bowl, Capital One Bowl and the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl.
This year, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish will take on the LSU Tigers in the New Years Day bowl. LSU has appeared here 4 times in the past, this game being their 5th, ranking them 3rd all time for the most appearances in the Citrus Bowl. LSU played here last year and defeated the 13th ranked Louisville Cardinals and Heisman winner Lamar Jackson by the score 29-9. This will be the first time that the Notre Dame Fighting Irish have appeared in this game.
Previous Matchup History
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the LSU Tigers have met up 11 times in the history of the two programs. Notre Dame holds a very slight edge in the matchup winning 6 games, while LSU has won 5 games. In the most recent matchup, the Fighting Irish won the game 31-28 in the 2014 Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl. Three out of the last four times these two have met up, it has been in a bowl game.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish 9-3 (Independents)
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish finished the regular season with a 9-3 record. The Irish played one of the toughest schedules in the FBS this year with games against Georgia, Michigan State, USC, NC State, Miami Fl and Stanford. There is no doubt that the experience against those top teams will pay off in the postseason for the Irish.
The Fighting Irish have one of the best offensive lines in the nation and recently were awarded the Joe Moore Award for the best O-Line in the nation. They are anchored by Quenton Nelson and Mike Glinchey, who were both unanimous first team All-Americans. This unit has been stable all season and are keeping QB Brandon Wimbush safe, while giving him time to make decisions.
Wimbush has not had the best year at QB with passing, only completing 49.8% of his passes for 16 TDs and 6 INTs but when Wimbush will kill you is with his legs. Wimbush has ran for 765 yards and 14 touchdowns on the year. Wimbush is accompanied in the backfield by RB Josh Adams, who leads the team with 1386 yards and 9 touchdowns. Wimbush will be without one of his top WRs as they announced that Chase Claypool will miss the Citrus Bowl with a shoulder injury.
The Irish have played in 35 bowl games and will be looking to get to .500 in bowls as they are 17-18 in bowl games. The Irish are coming in fresh off a loss in last years Fiesta Bowl against the #7 Ohio State Buckeyes 44-28. The Irish have gone 2-1 in their last 3 bowl games.
LSU Tigers 9-4 (SEC)
The LSU Tigers finished up the regular season with a 9-3 record overall and 6-2 in the SEC. They finished 3rd in the SEC and their three losses were against three bowl eligible teams, Mississippi State, Troy and Alabama. The Tigers finished up the regular season by winning their final 3 games against Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas A&M.
The Tigers are led on offense by QB Danny Etling. Etling completed 60.3% of his passes for 2234 yards, 14 TDs and 2 INTs. The Tigers have one of the top running backs in the backfield with Derrius Guice. Guice has carried the ball 216 times this season for 1153 yards and 11 touchdowns. Guice is averaging 5.3 yards per carry and as you can tell from his numbers, he is the workhorse of the offense.
The Tigers are 25-22-1 in their 48 bowl game appearances. They have made 17 straight bowl appearances and have won two straight in the Citrus Bowl and the Texas Bowl in back to back years. The Tigers are 3-1 in their last 4 bowl games overall.
Citrus Bowl Handicapping
This is another one of those games that are really hard to handicap. If Notre Dames offensive line is giving the protection that they have all year, they can keep this game very close and with LSUs defense playing tough hard nose football, their unit can control movement by a limited Irish offense. This game truly can go either way. The key here is going to be who is able to get their running game going early in the game. If LSU can get out to a early lead and able to use Guice and RB Darrel Williams to control the clock, they may make it too tough for Notre Dame to stop them. There are many factors that will affect this game and it truly is too early to make a decision.
We are leaning to LSU but it is just too early to make the call on this game. Please check back closer to gametime so that you can get our official play. There are a lot of things that can happen with this game and we will sit back and see how things play out. Spooky Express Pick: TBD
Note: This bowl game is being handicapped and broken down weeks in advance of the game being played. Please be sure to check back periodically to determine if any changes have been made and be sure to check the day of the game, to receive and over/under plays that we may provide.
First and foremost, we are adding a nice total play in this game at 5 STAR’s with the LSU vs. Notre Dame game playing OVER the posted total. We really like this game to be a high scoring affair and will bang it at OVER 50 for 5 STAR’s.
As far as the side is concerned, the line moved on us here and now we are put in another one of those unique situations where once again our system tells us that one team will win the game but the other team will cover the spread, meaning it will be a close game. In situations like this, we have to avoid the game and not play it. This will technically be a no play for us here at the Spooky Express. That being said, if you MUST play the sides, we suggest that you buy it up and roll with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
Spooky Express Pick: LSU vs. Notre Dame OVER 50 (5 out of 5 Stars)