The last time Notre Dame won a bowl game was three years ago in the Music City Bowl. The Irish will face the team – LSU – it defeated in that game this postseason in the Citrus Bowl.
As has been the case in recent years, there’s a lot of bowl games this holiday season, but USA Today considers the Notre Dame-LSU matchup one of the better ones. USA Today ranked the Citrus Bowl at No. 7 among all the bowl games this year and the best among any outside the traditional New Year’s Six.
Here’s their explanation:
We’ll give this battle of name-brand programs the nod as the best matchup outside the playoff access bowls. Considering where the Fighting Irish were a year ago, playing on New Year’s Day is a tremendous accomplishment, though losses in two of their last three put a damper on things. The Tigers overcame a disastrous September that ended with a homecoming loss to Troy, with a huge comeback against Auburn highlighting a 6-1 finish. The running backs take center stage in this one as Notre Dame’s Josh Adams and LSU’s Derrius Guice, both of whom easily eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark, look to make strong closing statements.
Both Notre Dame and LSU experienced up and down 2017 seasons. The Tigers lost two of their first five games, including a devastating home defeat to Troy, but LSU rebounded to finish 6-2 in the SEC and third in the western division.
The Irish had an opposite storyline. Notre Dame began the year 8-1, having only lost to eventual SEC champion Georgia by a point, but then the Irish sustained blowout losses on the road against Miami and Stanford in the final three weeks.
Both Notre Dame and LSU would love to end their season on a high note with a Citrus Bowl victory. The game will be on Jan. 1 at 1 p.m. ET.
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