LSU was missing several key players.

It didn’t matter.

The Tigers still had more good players than Purdue, which suffered even more opt-outs than LSU did prior to the Citrus Bowl on Monday in Orlando, Fla.

The disparity in depth showed early and throughout as No. 17 LSU routed the Boilermakers (8-6) 63-7. The bowl point total matched the program record set by Joe Burrow and the 2019 national champions, who blasted Oklahoma 63-28 in the Peach Bowl Playoff semifinal.

The Tigers, who won the SEC West before losing to No. 1 Georgia 50-30 in the SEC Championship Game, finished 10-4 in head coach Brian Kelly’s first season.

Jayden Daniels looked the healthiest that he has been since suffering an ankle injury in the regular-season finale against Texas A&M and aggravating it against Georgia, and Garrett Nussmeier made good use of his time spelling Daniels. Nussmeier capped his day by throwing a 75-yard TD pass to Malik Nabers.

Both LSU lines dominated as Daniels, Noah Cain and John Emery Jr. took advantage of big holes to run through and the defense took advantage of a Purdue offense missing its starting quarterback, top wide receiver and top tight end.

After scoring touchdowns on touchdowns on 5 consecutive first-half possessions, the Tigers added another on their opening drive of the third quarter as Nabers threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Daniels for a 42-0 lead.

So, yes, 3 LSU “quarterbacks” threw TD passes Monday. Four Tigers completed a pass.

The absence of several key Tigers due to opt-outs and the transfer portal created opportunities for seldom-used players in some areas, but the offense leaned on familiar names to take control early.

After both teams punted on their first possession, Daniels went to work. He threw a 19-yard completion to Mason Taylor and added completions of 12 and 14 yards to Nabers and had a pair of 6-yard runs.

The Tigers mixed in the run game with others as well, Cain gaining 2 yards on 2 runs and Emery gaining 5, 3 and 1 yard with the last one producing a touchdown.

Nussmeier replaced Daniels on the next possession and overcame a pair of incompletions with completions of 2 yards to Cain, 14 to Nabers, 6 to Brian Thomas Jr. and 17 to Taylor.

Cain took over for Emery and had a 14-yard run before his 9-yard touchdown run extended the lead to 14-0, which stood at the end of the first quarter.

Daniels returned on the next possession and LSU rode the passing game almost exclusively to keep rolling. Emery gained 6 yards on the only run of the drive and Daniels had completions of 3 yards to Emery, 4 and 17 to Nabers and 32 to Taylor for a touchdown and a 21-0 lead 4 plays into the second quarter.

LSU’s win probability never dipped below 99% from that point on.

On the next possession Daniels threw 2 completions for a total of 19 yards and ran 37 yards to set up Cain’s 9-yard touchdown run and a 28-0 lead.

The Boilermakers had their best possession of the first half when they drove to a first down at the Tigers 30, but Jarrick Bernard-Converse intercepted Austin Burton at the 2.

That was followed by LSU’s last and longest touchdown drive of the first half – an 87-yarder on which all the yards came through the air.

Nussmeier threw a 5-yard completion to Taylor, and 12-yarder to Kyren Lacy and a 15-yarder to Nabers. Then Nabers threw a 45-yarder to Lacy before Nussmeier tossed a 10-yarder to Thomas for a touchdown and a 35-0 halftime lead.