[All Photos Courtesy of LSU Football]

Brian Kelly and LSU Fighting for Another 10-Win Season

07:00 December 22, 2023
By: Andrew Alexander

ReliaQuest Bowl

Date/Time: January 1, 2024, 11 a.m.

Location: Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL

Where to Watch: ESPN 2

[Courtesy LSU Football]

Finish Strong

After winning the SEC West and earning a spot in the conference championship game in coach Brian Kelly's first season in Baton Rouge, LSU's 2023 regular season results are a tad bittersweet.

On the one hand, No. 13 LSU lost three regular season games again, albeit to three teams, on the road, who are ranked in the top 11, have a combined three losses between them, and include the SEC champion (Alabama) and ACC champion (Florida State).

On the other hand, LSU has a chance for back-to-back 10-win seasons, an impressive feat considering the Tigers won an abysmal 11 games total in the final two years of the previous regime. Plus, LSU fans were treated to an offensive fireworks display for the ages led by electric performances from quarterback Jayden Daniels and wide receivers Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr.

The question the Tigers now face is: Will all their star players decide to suit up one last time or opt-out to begin preparing for the NFL Draft? On the defensive side of the ball, will LSU defensive coordinator Matt House still be employed for the bowl game? All that and more is yet to be determined.

Badger Season

The Tigers now set their sights on Wisconsin, their upcoming opponent in the ReliaQuest Bowl. The Badgers (7-5) are riding a two-game winning streak in coach Luke Fickell's first year. The last time these programs met was 2016 when the Badgers knocked off LSU 16-14 in Green Bay, WI, ushering in the beginning of the end of the Les Miles era.

This matchup features LSU's top scoring offense (over 46 points per game) against Wisconsin's stout defense, which allows less than 19 ppg. But, on the flip side, Wisconsin's offense is subpar and LSU's defense is abysmal.

Fortunately for LSU, Wisconsin's top two running backs are unavailable for the bowl game. The Badgers will turn to Jackson Acker to shoulder the rushing load. The redshirt sophomore has 240 yards rushing so far this season. Senior quarterback Tanner Mordecai isn't going to strike fear into the hearts of many opponents. The sixth-year signal caller threw for 1,687 yards, six touchdowns, and four interceptions this season.


If Daniels, Nabers, and Thomas play, the Tigers will roll. Even if Daniels doesn't play, it'll be a fun preview of next season to watch backup quarterback Garrett Nussmeier sling it around for three hours. Wisconsin's defense will likely put up a valiant fight early on, but LSU's offense will eventually overpower the Badgers.

LSU 42, Wisconsin 17

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