GLENDALE, AZ (WAFB) - No. 11 LSU has ended the 25-game win streak by No. 7 UCF with a 40-32 win in the Fiesta Bowl.
- LSU: K Cole Tracy made a 24-yard FG (LSU - 3, UCF - 0: 1st Qtr.)
- UCF: RB Greg McCrae ran 25 yards for a TD and PAT was good (LSU - 3, UCF - 7: 1st Qtr.)
- UCF: DB Brandon Moore intercepted a Joe Burrow pass and returned it 92 yards for a TD and PAT was good (LSU - 3, UCF - 14: 1st Qtr.)
- LSU: QB Joe Burrow threw a 22-yard TD pass to WR Justin Jefferson and PAT was good (LSU - 10, UCF - 14: 1st Qtr.)
- LSU: QB Joe Burrow threw a 49-yard TD pass to WR Derrick Dillon and PAT was good (LSU - 17, UCF - 14: 2nd Qtr.)
- LSU: QB Joe Burrow hooked up with WR Justin Jefferson on a 33-yard TD pass and PAT was good (LSU - 24, UCF - 14: 2nd Qtr.)
- UCF: QB Darriel Mack Jr. threw a 32-yard pass to WR Gabriel Davis for a TD and PAT was good (LSU - 24, UCF - 21: 2nd Qtr.)
- LSU: QB Joe Burrow threw a 32-yard TD pass to WR Ja’Marr Chase and PAT was good (LSU - 31, UCF - 21: 3rd Qtr.)
- LSU: K Cole Tracy made a 28-yard FG (LSU - 34, UCF - 21: 3rd Qtr.)
- UCF: K Matthew Wright made a 37-yard FG (LSU - 34, UCF - 24: 3rd Qtr.)
- LSU: K Cole Tracy made a 28-yard FG (LSU - 37, UCF - 24: 4th Qtr.)
- LSU: K Cole Tracy made a 26-yard FG (LSU - 40, UCF - 24: 4th Qtr.)
- UCF: RB Taj McGowan ran 2 yards for a TD and the 2-point try was good (LSU - 40, UCF - 32: 4th Qtr.)
LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire returned the opening kickoff 77 yards but the Tigers couldn’t find the end zone and had to settle for a field goal.
Avery Atkins slipped on the kickoff after the touchdown, which resulted in squibber. UCF then marched down the field 69 yards on a depleted LSU defense and gave up a 25-yard rushing touchdown.
On the next LSU possession, Joe Burrow drove the Tigers to inside the 20-yard line, but then threw a pick-6 to completely change the momentum in UCF’s favor. It was the longest interception returned for a touchdown in Fiesta Bowl history. Burrow was able to return to the game on the next series, despite taking a vicious blind-sided hit when pursuing the UCF defender.
Cornerback Terrence Alexander was ejected late in the first quarter for throwing a punch at a UCF player. At the beginning of the second quarter, linebacker Devin White was able to force a fumble that was recovered by Michael Divinity Jr. LSU then scored on a pass from Burrow to Dillon to give the Tigers a 3-point lead.
LSU continued to play sound football and was able to stop UCF from scoring. Burrow then scrambled and shot-put a 33-yard touchdown pass to Jefferson. It was the duo’s second scoring hookup of the day. The touchdown meant LSU was on a 21-0 run, leading UCF 24-14 with 7:11 left until halftime.
However, just moments later, LSU safety Grant Delpit was ejected for targeting. There was 6:27 left in the half at that point. Losing Delpit left LSU down five defensive backs in the game. Defensive lineman Rashard Lawrence had a monster first half. He had five tackles, four tackles-for-loss, and two sacks.
Cornerback Mannie Netherly, who converted from wide receiver to the defensive side of the ball was forced to play due to the depleted secondary. He was able to maintain his poise and play well. However, he got beat by a step at the back of the end zone just before halftime and gave up a touchdown on a long pass to Davis. The score pulled the Knights back within three points.
Burrow threw for 221 yards and three touchdowns, along with that interception in the first half, while Jefferson had four catches for 87 yards and two touchdowns. The Tigers held the ball for 21:12 in the first half.
LSU linebacker Jacob Phillips, who was ejected for targeting against Texas A&M and forced to sit out the first half, entered the game in the second half to provide the Tigers with fresh legs and a great defenseman on the side of the ball that needed as much help as possible.
The LSU defense stepped up big again to start the second half. The Tigers forced UCF to go three-and-out on the opening possession of the third quarter. The LSU offense then went back to work and to the air, as Burrow found Chase down the sideline for another long touchdown.
LSU senior running back Nick Brossette reached 1,000 yards on the season on an 11-yard run in the third quarter. He is the 13th player in LSU history to reach the 1,000-yard mark.
After a stop by the LSU defense, Justin Jefferson muffed a punt and UCF recovered at the 20-yard line. LSU called a timeout to have the play reviewed and the call was upheld. LSU had used its third and final timeout with 3:56 left in the third quarter. However, the defense stepped up once again and held UCF to a field goal.
On a 28-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, kicker Cole Tracy tied an LSU record for the most field goals in a season. A few minutes later, Tracy broke the record on a 26-yard field goal. He made 29 field goals this season.
UCF was able to score and was successful on the 2-point try. The Knights then tried an onside kick, which was recovered by LSU. The Tigers could not score on the possession and were forced to punt the ball to UCF. On third down, safety JaCoby Stevens picked off a pass by Mack to secure the win for the Tigers.
This was the first time ever the two teams have competed against each other on the gridiron.