Blue and Gold Illustrated

February 2018

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

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24 FEBRUARY 2018 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED "We were just stretching," Boykin recalled of the practice where Kelly made his prediction. "Then I ran past him and he said, 'Miles, you are go- ing to win MVP.' I was just kind of like, 'All right. That's a good way to start off practice.' "They put me in great positions to make plays, and I couldn't have asked for a better game plan." DEFENSES SHINES IN VICTORY In a game of two teams looking for knockout blows, Notre Dame proved the more punishing unit and made the plays on defense when it mat- tered most. "We fought for every inch. [Der- rius] Guice is a heck of a back," head coach Brian Kelly said of the LSU junior who rushed for 98 yards on 21 carries. "Their offensive line is outstand- ing, but we fought for every inch, and it became a game of inches down there where we were able to hold them to the field goals. That was the difference in the game." In the second quarter, Notre Dame faced a LSU second-and-goal at the 1-yard line. The Tigers ran off tackle, but senior linebacker Nyles Morgan brought down 228-pound running back Darrel Williams short of the goal line. A play later, senior linebacker Greer Martini and senior rover Drue Tranquill stopped LSU quarterback Danny Etling inches short of the goal line, ultimately forcing a LSU field goal attempt that was missed. With the game tied 14-14 in the fourth quarter, LSU again had third- and-goal. The Tigers ran a shovel pass to Guice, who was brought down short of the goal line by soph- omore end Daelin Hayes and fresh- man safety Jordan Genmark Heath, forcing another field goal attempt. Notre Dame bowed up when it mattered most. "It's a mentality that we've de- veloped within our football team," Kelly stated. "It's a mentality that we lacked last year that — we didn't fight for every inch. "Playing the kind of schedule we did this year with 11 bowl teams, you have to fight for everything, and I think our kids developed that tough- ness and that mindset. "Today it was absolutely necessary against LSU." TE'VON CONEY HAS A CAREER DAY Junior linebacker Te'von Coney was a driving force for Notre Dame's defense, finishing with a career-high 17 tackles, with many of them pun- ishing. Despite his strong perfor- mance, Coney after the game wanted to talk more about the work the en- tire defense put in. "I think we stayed in the process, stayed in the moment," Coney ex- plained. "Never got down or too up and stayed level headed. We did our job each play and trusted each other, and it paid off. "It just goes back to doing your job all the time. Coaches put the players in the right position to do their job. If you do your job, everything is going to turn out well." The extra time to prepare proved beneficial for the entire defense, and it was ready to handle LSU offensive coordinator Matt Canada's multiple offense. "We had a month to prepare, so [linebackers] Coach [Clark] Lea made sure I knew where the ball was going in certain formations," Coney explained. "I just went out there and my instincts took over. I did what I had to do." ✦ LSU VS. NOTRE DAME QUARTER-BY-QUARTER COMPARISON LSU 1st Qtr. 2nd Qtr. 3rd Qtr. 4th Qtr. 1st Half 2nd Half Total Time of Possession 6:53 11:53 8:21 10:29 18:46 18:50 37:36 Third-Down Conversions 1-4 4-6 2-4 3-5 5-10 5-9 10-19 Fourth-Down Conversions 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-1 0-0 0-1 0-1 Average Field Position LSU-27 LSU-34 LSU-28 LSU-23 LSU-30 LSU-26 LSU-28 Notre Dame 1st Qtr. 2nd Qtr. 3rd Qtr. 4th Qtr. 1st Half 2nd Half Final Time of Possession 8:07 3:07 6:39 4:31 11:14 11:10 22:24 Third-Down Conversions 1-5 1-3 2-3 2-2 2-8 4-5 6-13 Fourth-Down Conversions 0-1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-1 0-0 0-1 Average Field Position ND-12 ND-20 ND-38 ND-41 ND-15 ND-39 ND-26 PLAY CHART (NO. OF PLAYS) Yards LSU ND (-) 4 8 0-5 46 33 6-9 8 10 10-19 12 5 20-29 3 2 30-39 2 3 40-49 0 0 50 or more 0 1 RED ZONE EFFICIENCY (INSIDE 20-YARD LINE) No Poss. TD FG Score LSU 5 2 1 2 Notre Dame 1 1 0 0 Freshman safety Jordan Genmark Heath, who made a career-best five tackles, was part of an Irish defense that came up with big plays with the game on the line. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA BIG PLAYS (25 YARDS OR MORE) LSU • 1-10 LSU3 Guice rush for 31 yards to the LSU34 • 3-16 LSU28 Etling pass complete to Anderson for 30 yards to the ND42 • 3-4 LSU31 Etling pass complete to Moreau for 26 yards to the ND43 Notre Dame • 1-10 ND25 Wimbush pass complete to St. Brown for 35 yards to the LSU40 • 2-10 ND23 Wimbush rush for 31 yards to the LSU46 • 2-5 ND30 Williams rush for 31 yards to the LSU39 • 3-19 LSU48 Book pass complete to Boykin for 29 yards to the LSU19 • 1-10 ND45 Book pass complete to Boykin for 55 yards and a touchdown

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