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In the end, the prognosticators got this one correct. Notre Dame didn't have the speed or the strength to match up against LSU, although they made it interesting in the first half:
JaMarcus Russell thoroughly outplayed Brady Quinn and made a compelling case that the mammoth quarterback's next pass should come in the NFL.
As for Notre Dame, it was a familiar meltdown at bowl time.
The Sugar Bowl returned to New Orleans with a Cajun-style party put on by No. 4 LSU, which dominated college football's most storied program in a 41-14 rout Wednesday night that had the Superdome rockin'.
It also gave the 11th-ranked Fighting Irish a most unwanted spot in the record book.
The school of Touchdown Jesus and Knute Rockne now has a more ignominious distinction: nine straight bowl losses, breaking a tie with South Carolina and West Virginia for the most in NCAA history. And this was like most of the others, a double-digit blowout that showed Notre Dame still has work to do if it wants to compete with the nation's best.
Once again, it seemed like Brady Quinn had to shoulder too much of the offense, only tonight the running game worked for as long as Charlie Weis went to it. Darius Walker had over 100 yards in the first half, but the Irish kept challenging the speedy secondary of LSU -- and it turned out to be a poor choice, as the O-line had trouble all night long with LSU's blitzing schemes.
Notre Dame has some serious work to do to bolster its program. Weis is the right coach, but they need better recruiting and a deeper, faster team. Either that, or they need to return to the kind of physically imposing teams that won them national championships in years past. What they cannot be is both slow and light, and that's what they looked like tonight against the Tigers. They also looked like that in their two lopsided losses to Top 10 teams this season.
They showed some heart, though, in bouncing back from a bad start tonight. At the half, it looked like they had figured out LSU, having controlled the ball for much of the first two quarters and running up some yardage. All of that disappeared when LSU had a chance to make some changes at the break, and the Irish never got back in the game.
Here's to next year. I'll put the Irish jerseys aside and save them for the 2007 season. Thanks for a season of hard work and memories, guys.Sphere It View blog reactions
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