It's finally come to this for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. A 9-3 record with a chance to win a New Years Day bowl game (it's played on New Years Day so y'all can eat it). It's been a whirlwind of a year for Notre Dame football fans, and no one could blame us for feeling a little whiplashed after all that has transpired.
We won't rehash it here, but you understand the point.
Ahead of us is a bowl game, and another chance for Notre Dame to finally win a game in the state of Florida. My unofficial count has Notre Dame's last win in the Sunshine State being back in 2002. Yeah - it's been a while.
Standing in Notre Dame's way are...
THE LSU TIGERS
As we have pointed out already here at One Foot Down, Notre Dame (if you include this game) has played the Tigers in a bowl game more than any other school that they have faced.
LSU is incredibly talented (as always) but despite all of that talent, the Tigers can't seem to get over that hump in the SEC. A loss to the Troy Trojans at home earlier in the year proved that LSU can certainly play like shit, and a win over the Auburn Tigers proved that they could beat anyone.
A rift between head coach Ed Orgeron and offensive coordinator Matt Canada will see the one year partnership dissolve after Monday's game. Will this be an issue for the game itself?
WHAT SHOULD YOU BE DRINKING?
I'm sorry. I know this will be more of a "southern" thing and a "summer" thing, but there is no way in hell I was going to pass up showing this video to you all. According to SB Nation's Jason Kirk, she will destroy any bar that you put in front of her.
She tends bar like the Incredible Hulk would, and I respect that— (@JasonKirkSBN) December 30, 2017
The Mint Julep
WHAT SHOULD YOU BE EATING?
You can say what you want about LSU, but the state they reside in has some killer cuisine. This is one of my all-time favorites. (#1 on my list, however, is Oysters Bienville - holy shit you guys!).
Red Beans & Rice With Sausage
- 1 pound dry kidney beans
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 6 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- 1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups long grain white rice
- Rinse beans, and then soak in a large pot of water overnight.
- In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook onion, bell pepper, garlic, and celery in olive oil for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Rinse beans, and transfer to a large pot with 6 cups water. Stir cooked vegetables into beans. Season with bay leaves, cayenne pepper, thyme, sage, parsley, and Cajun seasoning. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 2 1/2 hours.
- Stir sausage into beans, and continue to simmer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the rice. In a saucepan, bring water and rice to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve beans over steamed white rice.
WHAT SHOULD YOU BE WEARING?
Notre Dame is in Orlando, so I guess there's nothing left to do but to reach into your Halloween box and represent.
WHAT'S THE BEST THING ABOUT THIS GAME?
That it's on New Year's Day? I just don't know if there is one great thing about this game, but there is a handful of nice things - such as the date and time. Playing a ranked SEC opponent has its upside as well, if you can get the win.
Most bowl games of this nature seem to be geared toward providing a boost for next season, but this one still seems like it stays right on point with this season and what the Irish have accomplished. A 10th win would be a great way to forget about November (or obsess compulsively over it because OH WHAT THE HELL).
5 REASONS TO HATE LSU
- One bowl game between the Irish and Tigers - ONE, made Jamarcus Russell one of the biggest draft busts of all-time.
- Those awful uniforms LSU wore in the 1997 Independence Bowl.
- Making the Mad Hatter leave.
Durham Smythe. Durham Smythe probably isn't a name that you would expect here, but given all of the losses that Notre Dame has suffered before this game on the offensive side of the ball, and the fact that Brandon Wimbush will need some confidence in this game... I think Smythe will be a huge part of what the Irish try to do.
Jerry Tillery. In what could be his last game as a Domer, Jerry Tillery has a chance to really help his linebackers and defense out with some of that tough play that he flashed this season. As Notre Dame's sack leader this year, he can put the pressure on Danny Etling that Notre Dame's secondary will need to cover these Tiger receivers.
AT THE END OF THE DAY...
I think Notre Dame rises to the occasion. With all of the bullshit behind them, Notre Dame goes back to the gameplan that worked so well during that 7 game winning streak, and gets it done on offense. I think the Irish will come out much more inspired than LSU, and it will help them establish a lead in the first half that they protect in the second half. NOTRE DAME 31 - LSU 24
LET'S GEAUX GET IT!