LSU’s History In Orlando Includes A Few Heartbreakers
LSU will make its fourth appearance in the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl on December 31 when they meet the Louisville Cardinals and their Heisman quarterback, Lamar Jackson.
LSU has a 1-2 record in the Citrus Bowl, notching their previous Orlando win in their very first appearance in1979 . In that 34-10 vistory over Wake Forest, the Tigers were led by quarterback David Woodley, who earned MVP honors by way of 75 rushing yards with two rushing TDs along with 199 passing yards and a touchdown through the air. Woodley would go on to play in the NFL for the Miami Dolphins and Pittsburgh Steelers. In 1982, Woodley led the Dolphins to Super Bowl XVII where they met the Washington Redskins. At the time, Woodley was the youngest starting Super Bowl starting quarterback in NFL history at just over 24 years.
Also of note: the 1979 game was the last for Tigers coach Charles McClendon, who had been at LSU since 1962. The man known affectionately as “Cholly Mac” retired after the victory to take a new position as the first Executive Director of Florida Citrus Sports, the organization that manages the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl.
LSU lost their next two bowl games in Orlando in heartbreaking fashion.. In the 2005 game – arguably the most dramatic ending in bowl history – Iowa’s Drew Tate completed a Hail Mary pass to Warren Holloway for the winning score with just 16 seconds left on the clock.
Five years later, LSU returned to Orlando to meet Penn State. Poor weather led to poorer field conditions and a sloppy game overall. In the end, Penn State kicked a field goal with less than a minute remaining to win 19-17.
That 2010 game was the final one to be played on grass at what is now Camping World Stadium. The field was swapped out for a more durable turf surface the next season. Going further, the venue underwent a near-total reconstruction within the past two years, modernizing everything from team facilities to fan seating. The stadium the Tigers will enter on New Year’s Eve will look and feel brand new compared with past appearances.
The Tigers are making their 17th consecutive bowl appearance, the fifth-longest active streak in the nation, and their 48th bowl appearance overall, eighth-most in Division I FBS history. They own a 24-22-1 record in bowls all-time.