Blue and Gold Illustrated

January 2015

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 51 of 115

GAME PREVIEW: LSU BY ANDREW OWENS I t wasn't evident then, but Notre Dame and LSU were headed in com‑ pletely different directions the last time they met. That clash, a 41‑14 win by the Tigers in the Sugar Bowl following the 2006 season, is one many Irish fans have tried to forget. It is one of two recent bowl beatdowns at the hands of an SEC op‑ ponent, along with the 42‑14 pummeling by Alabama in the BCS National Cham‑ pionship Game at the conclusion of the 2012 campaign. While LSU went on to capture a na‑ tional championship the next year, the 2006 Irish squad marked the end of the successful two‑year run under head coach Charlie Weis. The Sugar Bowl loss was the final game for veterans such as quarterback Brady Quinn, wide receiver Jeff Samardzija and running back Darius Walker — losses from which Weis' pro‑ gram would not recover during the en‑ suing 16‑21 stretch that led to his ouster. In 2014, neither Notre Dame nor LSU dreamt of reaching the Music City Bowl during the offseason. But respective 7‑5 and 8‑4 regular seasons are the current reality, even if both squads boast tal‑ ented crops of underclassmen. For LSU, the young talent is led by Freshman running back Leonard Fournette has registered a team-high 891 rushing yards and eight touchdowns during his debut campaign. PHOTO COURTESY LSU WAYS TO GEAUX Young Tigers look to the future after disappointing season

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