Notre Dame beats LSU 21-17 in Citrus Bowl
ORLANDO - The Citrus Bowl shook off it's New Years Day hangover and turned into an interesting game in the second half of play, unfortunately for LSU it was Notre Dame making the memorable plays.
Notre Dame scored the go ahead touchdown with a minute and a half to play as back up Irish quarterback Ian Book found Miles Boykin down the sideline for a one handed grab pushing off one defender and shaking the other en route to a 55 yard touchdown score that made it 21-17.
The Tigers final push fell short as LSU failed to move the ball in their possession and turned the ball back to the Irish on downs.
LSU and Notre Dame were tied at 14 apiece after the Tigers scored two second half touchdowns and the Irish added to the drama with a fourth quarter flurry that saw them tie the game on a two point conversion.
After a rough and ugly first half for both LSU and Notre Dame, Tiger tailback Derrius Guice scored the first touchdown of the day on a simple check-down racing in for the 20 yard touchdown reception from quarterback Danny Etling.
After making several of their own, the Tigers were able to capitalize on a special teams error of Notre Dame when Blake Ferguson recovered a punt that bounced off of an Irish defender.
LSU then went 43 yards in five plays capping the drive with the 20 yard touchdown toss to Guice who was all alone in the middle of the field.
The Tigers would pull ahead later in the fourth quarter when Guice again broke into the flat and pulled in a Danny Etling touchdown toss to move LSU ahead 14-6.
Notre Dame turned to their back-up quarterback to get their offense going and it paid off in the only points of the game as kicker Justin Yoon drilled a 46 yard field goal with less than ten seconds to play in the first half.
Notre Dame lead it 3-0 at the halftime break.
The gloomy weather in the Orlando area has been matched by sloppy play from both sides and special teams has been near disastrous for LSU who's had to overcome a muffed punt by DJ Chark as well as a punt he fielded at his own one yard line.
LSU's defense has however been able to limit Notre Dame's heralded rushing attack, limiting star tailback Josh Adams to 22 yards on eight attempts.
The Tigers had their best scoring chance of the afternoon after driving the field down to a 1st and Goal situation from the Notre Dame 10 yard line.
However rushing the ball three straight times the Tigers were still facing a 4th and 1 from the 1 yard line.
LSU fullback Tory Carter jumped as the Tigers were going for the score and the five yard penalty pushed them back to the six yard line where kicker Connor Culp missed a 22 yard field goal wide right.
LSU would once more get into the red zone and attempt another field goal, however this time Jack Gonsoulin missed a 37 yarder to keep the score at 0-0.
The Tiger offense has struggled to find a rhythm in the game and have largely moved the ball on big plays on third down. The Tigers lead Notre Dame 187-154 in total yards, but neither team has gotten much from their ground game.
LSU has ran the ball 19 times for 76 yards and the Irish are right there with them with 19 carries for 69 yards.