Notre Dame Snatches Victory from LSU in Closing Minutes


Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly (left) and quarterback Ian Book speak to the media after the Citrus Bowl.

Robert Manfreda, Contributing Writer

Orlando–In a hard-fought battle between two teams ranked in the top-20, The Notre Dame Fighting Irish defeated the Louisiana State Tigers 21-17. In front of a crowd of 57,726 fans in Orlando’s Camping World Stadium, the Irish were able to sneak away with the win after sophomore quarterback Ian Book connected with junior wide receiver Miles Boykin for the go ahead score with a 55-yard touchdown pass with less than 90 seconds left to play.

In a game where cold weather was a factor, both teams struggled to gain momentum. After struggling to move the ball, Notre Dame Coach, Brian Kelly made a change at quarterback, replacing starter Brandon Wimbush with sophomore Ian Book. Kelly told reporters he originally planned to use a two-quarterback system throughout the entire game.

Book would finish the day with 164 yards passing with two touchdowns, one interception, and an additional 36 yards on 11 rushing attempts. When asked how it felt coming into the game and leading his team to victory, Book said, “It was so surreal and there’s really no way to describe it, but I couldn’t ask for anything more. It’s just the best way to start this new year definitely with the people I want to start it with.”

The game’s most valuable player, Miles Boykin had three receptions for 102 yards and the winning touchdown. Coach Kelly took credit for prophesizing this at the team’s practice leading up to the game. Kelly said, “I said Miles, you’re going to win the MVP trophy and he looked at me like I had two heads, but I felt like he had a chance, he’s got the ability if we could get him the football, then Ian got him the ball and Miles made a great individual play.”

LSU delivered a strong performance led by the tandem of quarterback Danny Etling and running back Derrius Guice. Etling threw for 229 yards and two touchdowns. Guice was on the receiving end of both of those scores as well as gaining 98 yards on the ground. Tigers Redshirt Freshman Andraez “Greedy” Williams intercepted a pass from Book midway through the third quarter. Williams led the SEC in interceptions in 2017 with six.