LSU (6-6) and Kansas State (7-5) are set to square off in the TaxAct Texas Bowl in Houston on Tuesday night at NRG Stadium.
Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. CT on ESPN and the LSU Sports Radio Network.
The Tigers enter familiar territory at the Texas Bowl, a contest they played in and claimed victory against Texas Tech in 2015. After over a month of preparation, LSU’s staff likes where the team is at heading into a primetime matchup, with hopes to finish the 2021 season on solid footing.
“We’ve had great preparation leading up to this event,” said interim head coach Brad Davis. “I’m very proud of our guys for the way they’ve gone out and competed every day for one another. They’ve been incredibly selfless, and as coaches, we’re working our butts off to put together a great plan that will allow us to go out and be victorious.”
Davis, a Baton Rouge native, called the opportunity to lead LSU into a bowl game a “milestone moment,” representing his home state of Louisiana on a national stage.
“I’ve been preparing for this my whole life,” said Davis. “I’m from North Baton Rouge. I’m so proud to represent the people that I grew up with. I’m awfully proud to coach at LSU.”
The Wildcats are led by senior quarterback Skylar Thompson, who has accounted for 1,854 yards through the air with nine touchdown passes. Deuce Vaughn leads the team in rushing with 1,258 yards and 15 touchdowns on 214 carries. Linebacker Daniel Green leads the team in tackles with 83 for the season.
“We have to compete like we’ve always done,” said junior receiver Jaray Jenkins. “Don’t let nobody stop us. That’s been the message throughout the whole team, we know what we have to do to win this game, we just have to execute it well.”
It’ll take veteran leadership like Jenkins to get that message across. The Texas Bowl will provide some young Tigers valuable reps. Freshman Pig Cage and Sage Ryan will see considerable minutes in the secondary, while veterans like Todd Harris and Jay Ward can provide a calming influence and some experience against the Wildcat offense.
At receiver, budding stars like Jack Bech and Malik Nabers will headline the LSU attack with Corey Kiner at running back. The offensive line will also be locked and loaded and at full strength, centered by senior Liam Shanahan.
“We’re all we got and all we need,” Shanahan said. “We’re all really excited to go out and play one more time as a team on Tuesday night.”
Tuesday’s game gives the Tigers a chance to take positive momentum into 2022. That’s not something they take lightly. A win in the Texas Bowl, in front of a large-scale alumni base and a stadium filled with Purple and Gold, is a goal that motives them to explode come primetime.
COURTESY LSU ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS