Notre Dame-LSU series

Monday, December 11, 2006

Heading into the Sugar Bowl matchup on January 3, the Fighting Irish hold a 5-4 series edge over the Tigers.

The nine games between LSU and Notre Dame have all taken place since 1970, and LSU holds a slight edge in points scored per game at 18.8 to ND's 18.4. Against the Tigers, Notre Dame is 3-1 in South Bend, 2-2 in Baton Rouge, and 0-1 at a "neutral" the Independence Bowl.

Here are some details about Notre Dame's five wins over the Tigers:

November 21, 1970 -- Notre Dame 3, LSU 0 -- South Bend, Indiana

In a defensive struggle between Ara Parseghian's Irish and LSU, a Scott Hempel 4th-quarter field goal, with 2:54 left, gave Notre Dame the only points of the game and the victory. The Irish defense, led by DE Walt Patulski's four tackles for a loss, shut down the Tiger offense. Hempel's FG chance resulted from a Jim Yoder punt that pinned the Tigers back at their own 1 yard line. When the Irish defense held, LSU was forced to punt into the wind, and Notre Dame started the drive at the LSU 36. A pass interference penalty and a 26-yard Joe Theismann run set the Irish up for Hempel's game-winner. Ara's comment: "A tremendous defensive performance by two of the best teams in the country." The Irish would lose the following week in Los Angeles, but upset #1 Texas in the Cotton Bowl to finish 10-1 for Parseghian.

September 12, 1981 -- Notre Dame 27, LSU 9 -- South Bend, Indiana

In Gerry Faust's debut as Notre Dame's head football coach, four of Faust's former players -- Tony Hunter, Harry Oliver, Tim Koegel and Dave Condeni -- from Moeller High in Ohio scored or threw for 15 of the 27 Irish points. Bob Crable, another Moeller alum, had 13 tackles, including three successive stops during a second-quarter goalline stand that prevented LSU from scoring. Notre Dame opened the scoring by converting an LSU fumble into a Blair Kiel-to-Larry Moriarity touchdown reception. Phil Carter scored from the 1 on the next Irish possession, and Tony Hunter added another 1-yard dive in the second quarter. A Koegel-to-Condeni pass after halftime gave Notre Dame a 27-3 lead. LSU got its only touchdown in "garbage" time, scoring on the Irish 3rd-stringers with 23 seconds left in the game.

October 27, 1984 -- Notre Dame 30, LSU 22 -- Baton Rouge, Louisiana

The underdog Irish (3-4) traveled to Louisiana to play the Tigers (5-0-1), and Notre Dame came away with the upset win in a nationally-televised game. Taunted with cheers of "Tiger Bait, Tiger Bait" before the game, the Irish were led by Allen Pinkett's 162 yards rushing and two touchdowns. LSU jumped out to a 7-0 lead when Pinkett fumbled and the Tigers cashed in with a 3-yard pass from Jeff Wickersham to Dalton Hilliard. On the next possession, Irish quarterback Steve Beuerlein was interecepted at the Irish 28, but Notre Dame's defense held the Tigers and LSU missed a 38-yard FG. Notre Dame responded by going 79 yards, capped by a Pinkett run from the 1. A John Carney FG and another Pinkett touchdown gave Notre Dame a 17-7 halftime advantage. Two more Carney FGs and a 3-yard run by Mark Brooks completed the Irish scoring. Said Beuerlein: "[T]oday showed us we can play with anyone in the nation."

November 15, 1997 -- Notre Dame 24, LSU 6 -- Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Against #11 LSU on this day, Notre Dame (a brutal 4-5 at this point) had no penalties and no turnovers, and the Irish outgained LSU's vaunted rushing attack 260 yards to 121. The Irish built a 17-0 first quarter lead and did not allow any LSU points until Kevin Faulk's 2-yard run with 6:35 left to play in the game. Allen Rossum returned the opening kickoff 43 yards, Ron Powlus found TE Jabari Holloway for 17 yards on 4-and-1 from the LSU 26, and Autry Denson scored from 9 yards out. Scott Cengia added a 29-yard FG, and Clement Stokes scored from the 6 after an A'Jani Sanders interception of an LSU pass. A 3rd quarter TD run by Stokes built the Irish a 24-0 lead before the 80,566 Tiger fans. Stokes finished with 92 yards on 15 carries; Denson with 92 yards on 17 carries. The Irish would lose a "re-match" to LSU a month+ later in the Independence Bowl.

November 21, 1998 -- Notre Dame 39, LSU 36 -- South Bend, Indiana

In a defining moment for Bob Davie's tenure at Notre Dame, Irish QB Jarious Jackson was injured as he was tackled in the end zone after Davie somehow decided it was better to have his starting quarterback run backwards and take a safety rather than punt the ball on fourth down from the Irish 10. The needless injury overshadowed a tremendous Notre Dame comeback as the Irish roared to 19 unanswered points after trailing 36-20. Jackson passed for 276 yards, going an amazing 8-of-10 for 184 yards on third down, and ran for 80 more. The see-saw battle on the cold, November afternoon included some poor special teams play by the Irish, with Jim Sanson having 2 extra points blocked (the Irish returned the favor by also blocking 2 LSU attempts) and Kevin Faulk returning a kickoff for a touchdown. The Irish defense, however, manufactured 2 touchdowns with Lamont Bryant returning a Faulk fumble for a 13-yard touchdown, and Bobbie Howard pulling the Irish to within 1 point with a 4th-quarter 89 yard interception return. With backup QBs, Notre Dame would be shut out 10-0 the next week in Los Angeles, and would have to settle for a Gator Bowl loss to Georgia Tech.


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