December 28, 1997 - The Independence Bowl
Tis the season to go bowling. Notre Dame (7-5) came into the Independence Bowl XXII against hometown favorite #15 LSU (8-3). Earlier in the season, Bob Davie's team defeated then #11 LSU in Baton Rouge 24-6 in a near perfectly played game.
The Independence Bowl started in 1976 in honor of the United States' bicentennial. Originally a team from the Southland Conference had a tie to the bowl, but after the first five years they were able to choose teams from all of I-A. A sellout crowd of 50,459 would be on hand for the season rematch between two nationally promiment teams.
Notre Dame started the season 1-4 but was riding a five-game winning streak and looked to keep rolling. LSU without Kevin Faulk after the second possession, the SEC's leading rusher, was forced to play backup Rondell Mealey. In the first half neither team could really find a good rhythym. The Irish managed a field goal in each of the first two quarters and led 6-3 at halftime.
In the second half, Mealey hit his stride and LSU woke up. After LSU tied the game at 6-6, Mealey began ripping off big runs and set up a 12-yard pass for the go ahead touchdown. Scott Cengia would kick his third field goal of the game in the fourth quarter to make the score 13-9. But Mealey then had an Independence Bowl record run of 78 yards and touchdown runs of 1-yard and 2-yards. LSU would win the game 27-9 as many local LSU fans stormed the field.
The Irish had only 13 yards in the third quarter and failed to score a touchdown in the entire game (the fourth team to do so in the Independence Bowl). Cengia's three field goals tied the Independence Bowl record.
1 2 3 4 Notre Dame 3 3 0 3 - 9 LSU 0 3 10 14 - 27
Keywords: football, lsu, independence bowl, bob davie, scott cengia
Posted On: 2011-12-28 03:15:00 by IrishTrpt07
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