Les Miles against Charlie Weis. HMMMM. That matchup seems to favor one guy over another.
This one wasn’t even close, but perhaps the deck was stacked against the Fighting Irish from the get-go. For one, the aforementioned Weis was their coach, an obvious decided schematic disadvantage. Two, the Sugar Bowl is right in the LSU Tigers’ backyard. And three, this was the first Sugar Bowl back in New Orleans after a one year absence thanks to damage done by Hurricane Katrina in the summer of 2005.
Oh yeah, and, LSU was way better than Notre Dame, having grinded through the SEC while Notre Dame beat up on Navy and North Carolina.
To Notre Dame’s credit, they kept it competitive in the first half. Brady Quinn threw two touchdowns to account for Notre Dame’s 14 first half points. The Tigers got their points from runs from Keiland Williams (3 Yards) and JaMarcus Russell (10 yards) along with an 11-yard pass to Dwayne Bowe. It was 21-14 at the half, but the Tigers were just getting started.
A couple of field goals and a few long TDs for the Tigers secured the win, but the LSU defense is what stood out again. The second half was dominated by the LSU ground game and defense. The Tigers ate up clock and kept Notre Dame off the field. When the Irish eventually got chances, the LSU defense showed up.
Notre Dame only had five possessions in the second half. They punted on four of those occasions and a Brady Quinn interception ended the other drive. LSU just dominated and they got to walk away winners by a score of 41-14.
It was Les Miles’ first BCS bowl win, but the best was yet to come.