Three Purdue offensive stars will skip Citrus Bowl vs. LSU

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue’s offense will have a different look when it takes the field on Jan. 2 for the Citrus Bowl.

The Boilermakers will play LSU without three of its offensive stars.

Quarterback Aidan O’Connell, receiver Charlie Jones and tight end Payne Durham all have opted out of the Citrus Bowl. Jones was a first-team All-Big Ten selection, while Durham and O’Connell were second-team all-conference honorees.

Austin Burton will be Purdue’s starting quarterback for the Citrus Bowl. It will be Burton’s second start of the season.

Burton was 21 of 29 and threw for 166 yards and three touchdowns in a 28-26 win over Florida Atlantic on Sept. 24. It was his first start since 2019 when he played for UCLA.

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Jones, who transferred from Iowa and played one season with Purdue, etched his name in the record books this season after catching a nation-best 110 passes for 1,361 yards and 12 touchdowns, fourth most in the nation. He was named Associated Press second-team All-American on Monday.

O’Connell has thrown for 9,219 yards and 65 touchdowns in his career, including 3,490 and 22 TDs this season. Durham caught 56 passes for 560 yards and eight touchdowns this season, bringing his career totals to 126 catches for 1,275 yards and 21 TDs.

Jones is scheduled to compete in the Senior Bowl on Feb. 4. O’Connell and Durham have accepted invitations to the East-West Shrine Bowl on Feb. 2.

Sam King covers sports for the Journal & Courier. Email him at sking@jconline.com and follow him on Twitter and Instagram @samueltking.

This post appeared first on USA TODAY