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Wednesday Wayback: Charlie And The Sugar Factory

LSU effectively put college football on notice for 2007 with a beatdown over Notre Dame

Despite winning six in a row and besting Arkansas, LSU did not win the SEC West and had to watch Florida drop it into fourth gear and speed past the Hogs en route to their SEC Championship and eventual national title. LSU knew they were better than Arkansas and their #6 ranking and the Tigers were itching to break a board over somebody's back to prove it.

And then in walked one Charles Weis. Notre Dame had opened the year with a narrow escape of Georgia Tech and a boat racing of Penn State before getting humbled at home to Michigan. After Michigan, Notre Dame had a great run of lesser opponents (even if they were big names) before drawing USC and once again losing by 20 or more. So while the Irish were 1-2 against Top 25 opponents, they were a weak Top 25 at best, and LSU knew it.

LSU knew they were going to ragdoll one of college football's blue bloods in a major bowl game, and they were going to do it for the Sugar Bowl's homecoming back into the Louisiana Superdome.

The Game

  • Has LSU lost a game on FOX? I don't think they have. FOX should broadcast more LSU games. Don't fact check this and ruin it for me.
  • Jessie Daniels and Trindon Holliday were suspended for this game, as if it would matter.
  • Seriously, this was the most confident I would ever be about an LSU bowl game until Texas Tech last year. At the time I was impressionable enough to buy into my dad's hatred for Notre Dame, but I was also knowledgeable enough to look at Notre Dame's schedule and see that it was bullllshiiiiit.
  • Oh by the way, if you want to watch just the game, skip ahead to 45 minute mark but there's a pretty good vignette about LSU and Katrina that ends with Dan Borne's speech that he gave to Tiger Stadium in 2005.
  • Notre Dame moves the ball a bit and then on 4th and 3 they concluded they have a D E C I D E D S C H E M A T I C A D V A N T A G E and fake a punt from their 34. It goes well. On the first play from scrimmage Russell hits Doucet 31 yards downfield. That puts the ball at the three for all you math majors out there, and Williams carries it into the endzone. The game is afoot. 7-0 LSU.
  • Darius Walker has like 14 yards on two rushes so on 2nd/3rd and three Weis goes pass. It goes well.
  • Following a late hit, a reverse to Davis goes for 8, a screen to Doucet for 6, and then a comeback to Davis for 12 puts Notre Dame on skates before a false start pushes LSU back, but it's voided by a Russell scramble for 21. The skates are still on. Vincent takes it to the 11 where Russell hits Bowe on crossing route for six. 14-0.
  • LSU sacks Quinn for 10 on a busted bootleg, but a Walker run of 11 and pass to him for 21 bust them out of jail. A facemask moves Notre Dame into LSU territory and then Quinn somehow finds David Grimes (who has to make a hell of an adjustment) who falls into the endzone. 14-7 LSU.
  • After a 10 yard rush for a first down, Russell gets hit and the ball comes out. Notre Dame falls on it and suddenly the Irish are just outside the LSU red zone.
  • LSU puts the clamps down to force a field goal try on 4th and 5 from the LSU 15 and it sails right.
  • The Tigers can't move the ball and give it back to Notre Dame, who finally realizes that Darius Walker is kinda good and ride him to midfield. But Weis can't keep his finger off of the pass button for too long. Weis gets greedy and goes for the home run ball, but it's intercepted by Jonathan Zenon. Review says he didn't have possession so Notre Dame keeps the ball. After a 2 yd rush from Walker, ND goes back to the pass, this time a fleeting scramble pass that Zenon picks off cleanly. Take it away, Rasheed
  • Once again, after a big turnover Russell goes for the big play. Bowe is scampering wide open 29 yards downfield on an in route. Notre Dame tries to review a down by contact rule, which goes well.
  • LSU can't do much else more, and Colt David misses a 31 yard kick by a mile.
  • At this point, my football world is crumbling down around me because I was convinced that we would be mopping the floor with these guys at this point. Brady Quinn rushes for 12 on a desperate scramble and then Darius Walker s goes off tackle down the sideline 35 yards downfield and then gets the edge for 15 more yards. LSU really isn't about to be level with these guys, right?
  • LSU is level with Notre Dame when Quinn finds Samardzija after Jeff beats Zenon's jam. 14 all with 2:25 left to play.
  • Vincents gets the drive moving with a 19 yard rush and then Russell makes Notre Dame pay for playing cover two with a 58 yard layup to Doucet to the Irish five. Russell carries the rock into paydirt. 21-14 LSU.
  • LSU gets the ball following half with an 11 yard run from Vincent and a screen pass to Doucet which is fumbled and recovered by Notre Dame, but upon (lengthy) review it's reversed. A pass to Davis for 17 takes the ball to midfield and then Vincent picks up a first on a checkdown. Suddenly LSU beginning to impose their will on Notre Dame. After a slant to Davis for 12, LSU stalls out and fakes a field goal. Flynn picks up the snap, reads the end and pitches out to Chris Jackson. Damn near the exact same play ran in the Peach Bowl. Vincent cuts the Irish for eight but then gains nothing and then Russell misses Bowe on a slant that should have been six. But LSU actually kicks the field goal this time and it's good. 24-14 LSU.
  • Notre Dame gets 20 yards on 2 passes of 13 and seven, but they fail to move the chains again.
  • Did you know Herman Johnson was the biggest baby born in the state of Louisiana?
  • LSU is no longer just dinking and dunking against them, they're outright gashing them on every single play. Yards per play on this drive: 7, 8, 12, 15, 14, 4, 1, 0. It dropped off at the end of it and LSU settled for the field goal, but LSU was starting to take over. 27-14 LSU.
  • decided schematic advantage
  • Tigers get into a 3rd and 8 at their 42, so the solution is obvious: throw a 48 yard bomb to Jojo LaFell. 34-14 LSU.
  • Notre Dame got a first down! It was via a pass interference and came off of a dive,  but a first down regardless.
  • And it didn't even matter because the next pass was deflected and LaRon came down with the ball.
  • Trindon Holliday, fresh off of his suspension, goes for 11 but it's negated by an unsportsmanlike. Russell lays up a jump ball in the endzone and then Notre Dame comes down with it. But once again, the Irish punt.
  • As apathy begins to set in for the navy shirts, LSU continues to slash away at Notre Dame chunks at a time. 2 yard rush, 12 yard pass, 11 yard rush, 6 yard rush, 12 yard rush, 5 yard rush, 8 yard rush, 20 yard rush. Touchdown. 41-14 LSU. #BEATEMDOWN
  • After that, LSU offered Notre Dame a clean death and Notre Dame accepted. Notre Dame would need a Hawaii Bowl victory over Hawaii to avoid not having a season above .500 in Weis' three remaining seasons in South Bend. Notre Dame would go a dismal 3-9 in 2007 and really the only player of note in this team is Jeff Smardzija, who chose baseball over football (and he made the right decision based on his career). A year after ending The U, LSU extended Notre Dame's bowl victory drought to nine games.