We’re diving back into the transfer portal Throwback Thursday portal for what is seriously one of the more underrated games in Notre Dame history.
1998: Notre Dame Fighting Irish 39, LSU Tigers 36
I think we are going to need do some backstory (briefly) here, before we move on. The 1998 Notre Dame team was 8-1 on the year and ranked #10 in the nation before its matchup against LSU. The Irish beat the defending national champion usurpers, the Michigan Wolverines, in the season opener — which was a great way to start off the year.
However, the very next week against the Michigan State Spartans, Notre Dame got took out to the woodshed and beat mercilessly. The head coach for Michigan State... Nick Saban.
Notre Dame recovered and rattled off 7 more wins and talks of a major bowl game (possibly the Orange Bowl) were becoming a very real thing. Enter LSU as they made the trip to Notre Dame Stadium.
Let’s bullet point this:
- On the very first series, Jarious Jackson was picked off by Mark Roman and he returned it 53 yards for a TD.
- Lamont Bryant returned a Kevin Faulk fumble 13 yards for a TD.
- Kevin Faulk returned a kickoff for TD DESPITE Bob Davie saying all week long that he wasn’t going to kick it to Faulk.
- Irish got owned by Booty as Abram Booty caught a TD pass over Brock Williams. Then, on the ensuing kickoff, Tony Driver fumbled the ball and LSU recovered. The LSU offensive series ended with another Booty TD.
- LSU was driving once again until linebacker Bobbie Howard (HS teammate of Randy Moss) took an interception 89 yards for a touchdown. Notre Dame failed on its 2 point conversion attempt.
- With 8 seconds left in the game, Jarious Jackson took the fourth down snap and was told to run around as long as he could and then take a safety.
- Jackson took the safety — but injured himself in the process.
- Notre Dame wins.
The Irish went out to L.A. and lost to the USC Trojans to end the regular season 9-2 and was slotted for the Gator Bowl (where they lost to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets).