Late TD Propels Irish to 21-17 Citrus Bowl Victory

With 1:28 remaining and No. 14 Notre Dame down 17-14, quarterback Ian Book hit Myles Boykin on the right sideline as Boykin made a highlight real one handed catch. Boykin snagged the pass and eluded two defenders as he then scampered 55 yards for the clinching touchdown in the Citrus Bowl and a 21-17 lead over LSU and propelling the Irish to its first New Year’s Day bowl victory since 1994.

The game winning play came just a few plays after the Tigers took a 17-14 lead on a 17 yard field goal from Jack Gonsoulin after the Irish defense stopped LSU at the goal line.

Book took over in the second quarter for the ineffective Brandon Wimbush and completed 14 of his 19 passes for 164 yards including two TD’s and an interception. Wimbush started the game for the Irish and struggled most of the way as he was 3 for 8 for 52 yards.

The Irish running game which was one of the best in the first half of the season was stymied most of the game as the team gained 154 yards on 33 carries. Josh Adams led the team with 44 yards on 15 carries for a meager 2.9 yards per carry.

Irish kicker Justin Yoon kept his squad in the game as he connected on a 46 and a 49 yard field goal to keep the game within reach.

The Fighting Irish (10-3) trailed the Tigers (9-4) 14-6 early in the fourth quarter but Book found Michael Young for a 6 yard TD reception and Adams added a two point conversion that was looked at by replay officials to make sure Adams punched the ball in the end zone.

LSU’s quarterback Danny Etling completed 19 of his 33 passes for 229 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Derrius Guice tallied 98 yards on 21 carries and had two TD receptions on the day.

The Tigers had a rough day on special teams as they missed two chip shot field goals that cost them the game and momentum. Notre Dame had a costly turnover early in the second half as a punt hit an Irish defender as the Tigers jumped on the ball for possession.

NOTES
– The Irish victory breaks a 6 game losing streak in bowl games they have played in Florida.
– Irish linebacker Nyles Morgan was stripped of his captain moniker due to an “internal matter” and didn’t start the game but played.
– 4 Irish players were suspended before this game, RB Deon McIntosh, WR, Kevin Stephenson, TE Alize Mack and RB C.J. Holmes.