Ian Book came off the bench to throw two touchdown passes and No. 14 Notre Dame defeated No. 17 LSU, 21-17, in the Citrus Bowl on Monday afternoon in Orlando, Fla.
A 55-yard touchdown pass from Book to Miles Boykin with 1:28 left provided the winning points moments after the Tigers had taken a 17-14 lead on Jack Gonsoulin’s 18-yard field goal.
“The man is rangy, can’t you tell? Amazing catch,” Book said. “He’s been working his butt off all year, and he deserves this. That was awesome.”
The Fighting Irish, who had lost two of their final three regular-season games, finished 10-3. LSU, which had won six of its last seven regular-season games, finished 9-4.
Book, a sophomore who relieved Brandon Wimbush, completed 14-of-19 passes for 164 yards and was intercepted once. Boykin was named the game’s Most Valuable Player after making three catches for 102 yards.
“We prepared so well and we stayed positive,” Book said. “My hat’s off to the other 10 guys (on offense). They made it easy for me.”
The Irish led, 3-0, at halftime, but fumbled a punt that set up the Tigers at the Notre Dame 43. Five plays later Danny Etling threw a 20-yard touchdown to running back Derrius Guice to give LSU its first lead.
It was the first touchdown reception of the season for Guice, a junior who is projected to be a first-round pick if he enters the 2018 NFL Draft. Guice rushed 21 times for 98 yards.
Justin Yoon’s 49-yard field goal cut the lead to 7-6 after three quarters.
Etling and Guice teamed on a 2-yard touchdown that gave the Tigers a 14-6 lead with 11:13 left.
Book threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Michael Young and a two-point conversion pass to Josh Adams to tie the score with 7:49 remaining.
After a scoreless first quarter, LSU threatened but Etling was stopped just short of the goal line on a third-down quarterback sneak and Connor Culp missed a 22-yard field goal midway through the second quarter.
Later in the quarter, Gonsoulin missed a 37-yarder field goal for the Tigers.
Yoon’s 46-yard field goal with four seconds left in the half gave the Irish a 3-0 halftime lead.
Notre Dame completed a 10-win season a year after finishing a disappointing 4-8 in 2016.
“It means so much, we’ve been rebuilding since January,” Book said. “To get 10 wins, it just shows our hard work paid off. It’s a great way to start the new year.”
—Field Level Media