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LSU falls to Notre Dame 21-17 in Citrus Bowl.

by Tameka McSpadden

ORLANDO, Fla. – Special teams proved to be LSU’s shortfall again as they missed two field goals and muffled two punts leading to bad field position. “We looked sloppy,” said LSU Head Coach Ed Oregron. The first quarter ended with the score board showing zero points. In the second quarter, LSU missed two field goals, one at the 22-yard line and the other at the 37-yard line. LSU star running back Derrius Guice carried the ball seven times for 47 yards in the first half.

Prior to the game, Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly decided to play both quarterback because starting quarterback Brandon Wimbush missed a couple of days of practice due to illness. “We went in with the idea of both of them playing,” Kelly said. “So this wasn’t a surprise to Ian. Ian was prepared. We have great confidence in Ian.” This Notre Dame quarterback change ignited the team as replacement quarterback Ian Book continuously eluded LSU tacklers and made key pass completions to move the chains. Book’s 21-yard rush to convert a 3-and-19 in the second quarter was the longest third-down conversion by Notre Dame this season.
In the third quarter, the game picked up considerably. LSU’s Blake Ferguson recovered a fumble. Then Guice ran for a touchdown to give LSU a 7-6 lead. In the fourth quarter, Guice ran for another touchdown.
With a fourth and one at the Irish goal line, LSU opted to kick a field goal to make the score 17-14. Then Book connected with wide receiver Miles Boykin on a 55-yard pass with 1:28 minutes left in the game who hauled in a one-handed catch then juked to LSU defenders to score the game’s winning touchdown to make the score 21-17.

LSU’s Derrius Guice finished the game with 98 yards on 21 carries. Notre Dame’s Myles Boykin hauled in three passes for 102 yards and was named MVP. Book was 14 of 19 for 164 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

Photos: Ben Ennis