Notre Dame
LSU
14 - 41 Final
  for this game

Russell helps LSU extend Notre Dame's bowl losing streak

Jan 4, 2007 - 8:37 AM NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (Ticker) -- Notre Dame had its sights set on its first bowl victory since 1994. JaMarcus Russell helped Louisiana State blind the Fighting Irish's vision.

Russell led the fourth-ranked Tigers to 27 unanswered points, sparking the outburst with a five-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter, as LSU rolled to a 41-14 victory over No. 11 Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl.

It was the third Sugar Bowl win in six years for LSU, which also won the postseason game in 2002 and 2004.

After being held at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta last year due to Hurricane Katrina, the Sugar Bowl returned to its rightful site at the Louisiana Superdome.

"It means a lot," LSU wide receiver Dwayne Bowe said. "I wanted to end on a happy note for all the bad things that happened here last year. I'm proud that we ended it on a happy note."

Seeking its first bowl win in nine tries since topping Texas A&M in the 1994 Cotton Bowl, Notre Dame (10-3) rallied from an early 14-0 deficit behind Heisman Trophy finalist Brady Quinn, who threw TD passes to David Grimes and Jeff Samardzija to forge a tie with 2:25 to go in the second quarter.

But Russell, who was named the game's Most Valuable Player, led LSU (11-2) to a rousing triumph, snapping the tie with 1:15 left in the period. After a pair of field goals by Colt David, Russell connected with Brandon LaFell for a 58-yard score with 18 seconds remaining in the third, giving the Tigers a commanding 34-14 cushion.

"It was sort of a rope double snake and see how the back gets in," Russell said of the play with LaFell. "My thing was to work backside, got a little pressure and pushed me to the right and up field. I knew I had the play, just an opportunity to throw and make the catch."

Two plays prior to his decisive TD run, Russell completed a 58-yard pass to Early Doucet, putting the ball on the Notre Dame 5.

"From the looks, the way they were playing coverage-wise, they had the linebackers playing on one of the slot receivers, who seemed to have a little bit of speed," Russell said. "Coach (Les Miles) called a great play and it was up to us to execute, which thankfully we did very well."

"It was a great play, great pass, great reception to Early Doucet coming across," Miles added. "It was a tremendous play."

Freshman Keiland Williams, who gained a season-high 107 yards on 14 carries, capped the scoring midway through the fourth with his second touchdown of the game.

Russell was 21-of-34 for a career-best 332 yards and two TDs with one interception. He also carried five times for 16 yards.

"It was a career-high passing day," Russell said. "I didn't know it until it was said, but I give it up to the offensive line."

"JaMarcus has all the natural skills," Miles said. "He has vision, a great arm and a nice fluid throwing motion. What people don't understand is how smart he is. He has a great leadership quality. The team loves to follow him. I don't know why he wasn't mentioned for the Heisman."

Quinn, who finished third in voting for the Heisman Trophy, went 15-of-35 for 148 yards, throwing two touchdown passes and a pair of interceptions.

"They took it from us in the third quarter," Quinn said. "I'm proud of my guys. We laid the groundwork for these guys to do great things in the future."

LSU finished with a 577-291 advantage in total yards and 31-17 edge in first downs.

"You're looking at an offense that had a diamond performance and a defense that was stingy all day," Miles said. "(Coach Charlie Weis) has a great team, but our team was better today. I have great respect for Brady Quinn and what he's accomplished, but I just think I have the best quarterback in the country."

"They were good," Samardzija said. "They've got a lot of talent. They made plays, that's what it came down to. It came down to us not making plays and converting on third down."

The 41 points by the Tigers matches the most allowed in a bowl game by the Fighting Irish, who also yielded 41 in a loss to Oregon State in the 2001 Fiesta Bowl.

"I'm really disappointed in how that game turned out," Weis said. "We give credit to LSU. That little two-minute touchdown they got right before halftime, for the rest of the game, they really laid the wood to us. ... Obviously, giving up that score before halftime was a little bit of a downer. ... It was a completely crummy second half."

Williams gave LSU the lead with a three-yard TD run just 3:44 into the game and Russell teamed with Bowe for an 11-yard score with 6:03 to go in the opening quarter, capping an eight-play, 80-yard drive.

"Things went pretty great," Russell said. "We started off fast. My job was to tell my teammates not to get too high. There was a lot of ball left to be played."

Bowe's touchdown was his 12th of the season, eclipsing the school record set by Wendall Davis in 1986 and matched by Michael Clayton in 2003. It also was his 26th career TD, extending his team mark.

"We exploited the holes in their defense and certain coverages," Bowe said. "We broke the runs well and did a good job reading what they gave us."

Grimes hauled in a 24-yard pass from Quinn with 1:26 left in the period to get Notre Dame on the board and Samardzija scored on a 10-yard strike with 2:25 remaining in the second to forge a 14-14 tie.

Darius Walker rushed 22 times for 128 yards for the Fighting Irish.








  • SUGAR BOWL
    AT NEW ORLEANS LA
    NCAAF FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NOTRE DAME (11) 7 7 0 0 14
    LSU (4) 14 7 13 7 41 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: LSU - TD, KEILAND WILLIAMS 3 YD RUN
    (COLT DAVID KICK), 3:44. LSU
    7-0
    LSU - TD, DWAYNE BOWE 11 YD PASS FROM
    JAMARCUS RUSSELL (COLT DAVID
    KICK), 8:57

    Jan 4 12:12 AM


  • SUGAR BOWL
    AT NEW ORLEANS LA
    NCAAF SUGAR BOWL
    TD LSU
    KEILAND WILLIAMS 20 YD RUN
    (RYAN GAUDET KICK)
    NOTRE DAME (11) 14
    LSU (4) 41 7:27 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Notre Dame vs. LSUJan 4 12:00 AM


  • SUGAR BOWL
    AT NEW ORLEANS LA
    NCAAF END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NOTRE DAME (11) 7 7 0 14
    LSU (4) 14 7 13 34 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: LSU - TD, KEILAND WILLIAMS 3 YD RUN
    (COLT DAVID KICK), 3:44. LSU
    7-0
    LSU - TD, DWAYNE BOWE 11 YD PASS FROM
    JAMARCUS RUSSELL (COLT DAVID
    KI

    Jan 3 11:30 PM


  • SUGAR BOWL
    AT NEW ORLEANS LA
    NCAAF SUGAR BOWL
    TD LSU
    BRANDON LAFELL 58 YD PASS FROM JAMARCUS RUSSELL
    (COLT DAVID KICK)
    NOTRE DAME (11) 14
    LSU (4) 34 0:18 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Notre Dame vs. LSUJan 3 11:28 PM


  • SUGAR BOWL
    AT NEW ORLEANS LA
    NCAAF SUGAR BOWL
    FG LSU
    COLT DAVID 37 YD
    NOTRE DAME (11) 14
    LSU (4) 27 3:48 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Notre Dame vs. LSUJan 3 11:16 PM


  • SUGAR BOWL
    AT NEW ORLEANS LA
    NCAAF SUGAR BOWL
    FG LSU
    COLT DAVID 25 YD
    NOTRE DAME (11) 14
    LSU (4) 24 9:34 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Notre Dame vs. LSUJan 3 11:00 PM


  • SUGAR BOWL
    AT NEW ORLEANS LA
    NCAAF HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NOTRE DAME (11) 7 7 14
    LSU (4) 14 7 21 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: LSU - TD, KEILAND WILLIAMS 3 YD RUN
    (COLT DAVID KICK), 3:44. LSU
    7-0
    LSU - TD, DWAYNE BOWE 11 YD PASS FROM
    JAMARCUS RUSSELL (COLT DAVID
    KICK),

    Jan 3 10:16 PM


  • SUGAR BOWL
    AT NEW ORLEANS LA
    NCAAF SUGAR BOWL
    TD LSU
    JAMARCUS RUSSELL 5 YD RUN
    (COLT DAVID KICK)
    NOTRE DAME (11) 14
    LSU (4) 21 1:15 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Notre Dame vs. LSUJan 3 10:11 PM


  • SUGAR BOWL
    AT NEW ORLEANS LA
    NCAAF SUGAR BOWL
    TD NOTRE DAME
    JEFF SAMARDZIJA 10 YD PASS FROM BRADY QUINN
    (CARL GIOIA KICK)
    NOTRE DAME (11) 14
    LSU (4) 14 2:25 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Notre Dame vs. LSUJan 3 10:03 PM
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  • SUGAR BOWL
    AT NEW ORLEANS LA
    NCAAF END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NOTRE DAME (11) 7 7
    LSU (4) 14 14 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: LSU - TD, KEILAND WILLIAMS 3 YD RUN
    (COLT DAVID KICK), 3:44. LSU
    7-0
    LSU - TD, DWAYNE BOWE 11 YD PASS FROM
    JAMARCUS RUSSELL (COLT DAVID
    KI

    Jan 3 9:19 PM


  • SUGAR BOWL
    AT NEW ORLEANS LA
    NCAAF SUGAR BOWL
    TD NOTRE DAME
    DAVID GRIMES 24 YD PASS FROM BRADY QUINN
    (CARL GIOIA KICK)
    NOTRE DAME (11) 7
    LSU (4) 14 1:26 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Notre Dame vs. LSUJan 3 9:14 PM


  • SUGAR BOWL
    AT NEW ORLEANS LA
    NCAAF SUGAR BOWL
    TD LSU
    DWAYNE BOWE 11 YD PASS FROM JAMARCUS RUSSELL
    (COLT DAVID KICK)
    NOTRE DAME (11) 0
    LSU (4) 14 6:03 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Notre Dame vs. LSUJan 3 9:00 PM


  • SUGAR BOWL
    AT NEW ORLEANS LA
    NCAAF SUGAR BOWL
    TD LSU
    KEILAND WILLIAMS 3 YD RUN
    (COLT DAVID KICK)
    NOTRE DAME (11) 0
    LSU (4) 7 11:16 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Notre Dame vs. LSUJan 3 8:43 PM
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    Notre Dame vs. LSUJan 3 8:42 PM
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    Notre Dame vs. LSUJan 3 1:41 PM
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    Notre Dame vs. LSUJan 3 11:46 AM
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    Notre Dame vs. LSUDec 31 3:09 AM