ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Myles Boykin scored on a 55-yard touchdown pass with 1:28 remaining and No. 14 Notre Dame got its first win in a New Year’s Day bowl since 1994 with a 21-17 win over No. 16 LSU in the Citrus Bowl on Monday.
Three plays after Jack Gonsoulin’s 17-yard field goal gave the Tigers a 17-14 lead with 2:03 remaining, Boykin caught a pass from Ian Book with his right hand at the LSU 33, managed to elude corner Donte Jackson and then broke a tackle attempt by John Battle up the right sideline for the game-winning score.
The junior, who saw increased playing time because of suspensions to two Notre Damereceivers, had three receptions for 102 yards and was named the game’s MVP. Book, who entered the game in the second quarter, was 14 of 19 for 164 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
Brandon Wimbush was Notre Dame’s quarterback for the first five series and struggled, including three-and-outs on his last three series. He connected with Equanimeous St. Brown for a 35 yard completion on the first play of the game, but the opening drive stalled at the LSU 31 when Josh Adams was stopped for a three-yard loss on fourth-and-1.
The Fighting Irish (10-3) trailed 14-6 early in the fourth quarter but tied it on a 6-yard Michael Young reception and two-point conversion to Josh Adams. The win breaks a nine-game losing streak by Notre Dame in bowls either designated as a New Year’s Six or played on Jan. 1.
In a game thought to be dominated by the running backs, both quarterbacks played well. LSU’s Danny Etling was 19 of 33 for 229 yards and a pair of touchdowns to Derrius Guice. Guice had 98 yards on 21 carries.
Notre Dame got on the board first when Justin Yoon made a 46-yard field goal with four seconds remaining in the second quarter. LSU (9-4) took a 7-3 lead with 11:37 remaining in the third when Guice caught a 20-yard touchdown from Etling after the Tigers recovered a punt that bounced off an Irish’s player leg.
After a Yoon 49-yard field goal brought Notre Dame within one, Guice extended the lead to 14-6 less than four minutes into the fourth on a 2-yard pass from Etling.
Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish win also breaks a six-game losing streak in bowl games they have played in Florida.
LSU: The Tigers had a lousy day on special teams. They missed two field goals and muffed two punts (yet managed to recover them).
MORGAN DOESN’T START
Notre Dame linebacker Nyles Morgan did not start and had his captaincy stripped because of what the school called an “internal matter”.
Morgan, who came into the game second on the team in tackles with 82, did team up with Jerry Tillery for a sack during the second quarter.
Notre Dame: The Irish open next season with a home game against Michigan on Sept. 1. During spring practices, coach Brian Kelly will have to replace three starters on an offensive line that was considered the nation’s best.