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Interview with the Enemy - LSU Tigers

And The Valley Shook stopped by to talk Tigers.

SEC Championship - LSU v Georgia
Just like Vin Diesel, Brian Kelly’s number 1 priority if family.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

When there’s a team that you’ve never played before it’s good to do a little recon mission to try and get some information. That’s why I reached out to the folks over at And The Valley Shook to get some information on our upcoming opponent. We shared questions back and forth, make sure to check out over there when they post my answers, and it didn’t fully seem like they were taking Purdue too seriously. They asked if Brian Brohm will be the 2023 coach if he wins this game. I get it though, Purdue is a small fish compared to the SEC pond they are used to swimming in. Regardless, let’s get to the questions!

LSU and Purdue have never met in football before. Makes sense given our historical difference in stature. How would you describe this LSU team right now going into the Bowl game taking into account the opt outs and loss of your #1 WR in strange circumstances?

I don’t think any non NY6 bowl game could be considered a “must win” but from LSU’s perspective let’s call it a “you’d better win” game. Six weeks ago LSU’s sitting at 9-2, #5 in the CFP poll and we’re all thinking *at worst* the Tigers are going to either the Sugar or the Orange Bowl in year one of the Brian Kelly era or even the dang playoff if they’re able to beat Georgia in the SEC Championship. Instead they lay an egg on the road against a bad Texas A&M team, lose to Georgia and see their bowl projections tumble from the New Year’s Six to just another bowl game. Losing a third consecutive game would be a tough pill to swallow. Even though LSU did beat their over/under win projection, failing to get 10 wins would make this one of the most “yeah but...” seasons in program history.

Any idea what is going on with (#1 WR) Boutte leaving so suddenly and strangely?

There’s this message board conspiracy that Kayshon Boutte is leaving because starting quarterback Jayden Daniels announced he was coming back and he’d rather catch passes from backup quarterback Garrett Nussmeier. I can’t believe people actually think that’s what happened. Boutte wouldn’t have been at all these bowl practices and taking all these reps with Daniels for an entire week for him to suddenly change his mind because of Daniels.

Here’s what we know: LSU put out a pretty vague statement saying Boutte would be “unavailable” for the Citrus Bowl, did not specify why he wasn’t available, but made sure to mention he was enrolled for the spring semester. To me that says he either broke a team rule or it’s an academic issue and he wouldn’t have been eligible for the game. Whatever happened was probably enough for Kayshon to say to himself forget school, I’m just going to go to the NFL.

How annoyed were you with Brian Kelly’s fake accent? Be honest.

It was weird, sure but whatever. At least it was a one-off, you know? Like if he kept talking like that it’d irritate me. But look if you keep beating Alabama and Ole Miss and Florida and Auburn and Arkansas then you can do all the method acting you like.

How much did you know about Purdue football before this game was announced?

I knew Drew Brees went there and that the Boilermakers won the B1G West this year because somebody had to. I also knew that if I were to meet Purdue Pete in a dark alley the best course of action is to turn the other way. He is the alpha in that scenario, I have no problem admitting that.

With the majority of the defensive line opting out, what kind of players are filling in these gaps?

Look for third-team All-American Mekhi Wingo to get some serious push in the interior. I also bought a lot of stock in freshman defensive end Quency Wiggins and am excited to see him get some reps. He took a redshirt but now that the NCAA is letting redshirt athletes play in bowl games I’d expect him to use Monday as a springboard for what is hopefully a breakout 2023 season. Also if you guys aren’t familiar with #40 Harold Perkins you might want to learn his name. The true freshman linebacker might already be the best defensive player in the country.

What’s your prediction for the outcome of this one?

Something about this game actually isn’t sitting right with me. Being a 14-point favorite terrifies me but I can’t put my finger on the reason why. It feels too easy, you know? LSU’s had their two starting defensive ends, BJ Ojulari and Ali Gaye, opt out of the game and are a little thin at receiver now that Boutte and Jaray Jenkins are both gone and sophomore Jack Bech transferred to TCU. But I think the desire to finish strong and hit 10 wins is a big enough motivating factor for LSU to take this game seriously and win by a touchdown.