Sugar Bowl Live Blog: It’s All About Length

Deep in LSU territory, Quinn lofts a perfect pass to Samareifeuajia, but Jeff loses it in the lights. Or the ceiling. The ball actually glanced off the helmet of the dumbfounded Samardzija. On fourth and 5, Notre Dame attempts a short field goal, which drifts wide right.

Back from commercial and the discussion is whether Charlie Weis should’ve gone for it on 4th and 5 from the 16 instead of attempting the field goal. Classic 20/20 hindsight, but it’s only a 33 yard field goal attempt! High school kids make that! It was essentially a free three points for a team that had already pissed away a touchdown with a failed fake punt.

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LSU on offense now, it’s 3rd and 10 following two nearly-picked Russell passes. Remember, he’s streaky. He’s also wrapped up six yards short of the first down on the subsequent play, and LSU trots out the punt team. Replay shows that Russell fumbled AGAIN, but it goes unnoticed by Kenny, Howie, and Terry. I’m telling you, if there’s one guy who can win this game for Notre Dame, it’s The Immense And Lengthy JaMarcus Russell. Punt, fair catch, commercial, beer run.

Whoa, guys! Careful on those 20,000 foot ladders! It’s only a crystal football, you can probably pick one up at Nick Saban’s garage sale in Miami.

In a stunning admission, Terry Bradshaw says that he didn’t go to LSU because he couldn’t pass the SAT test. And by “stunning”, I mean stunning that he admitted it. Meanwhile, Notre Dame is taking what LSU gives them, which is six yard chunks of real estate. McKnight makes a nice bobbling catch, and ND is now at the LSU 39. Quinn goes deep for Samardzija and the LSU safety and cornerback converge for the interception near the goal line. You can’t say Notre Dame hasn’t had its share of chances in this game. Still, they’re a JaMarcus Russell goal line fumble away from a tie game.

Back from commercial and the interception is reviewed and overturned! More bonus points for Terry Bradshaw, who correctly notes that the ball never touched the ground. Sadly, Bradshaw isn’t wearing stripes tonight and the pass will go down as incomplete in tonight’s boxscore. Not a single replay showed the ball hitting the ground. Let’s remember that. It’s 3rd and 8 on the LSU 36, and this is four down territory. Quinn throws an unconscionable interception under a heavy rush by LSU, and the Tigers hit a 30 yard pass after taking over on their own 42. The ball is fumbled as the receiver is tackled and whistles are blown. Charlie Weis is convinced that he can challenge this, but he’s wrong.

I could be wrong, but I think Howie Long made a “Scrooged” joke with his “take Walt off the list for a towel and give him a VCR” comment. Am I imagining that?

The Tigers line up for a field goal and their kicker sails the ball directly over the “S” in LSU. Unfortunately, the “LSU” is badly off-center and the kick sails wide right.

I hate to brag (no, I don’t), but you’ll notice that Brady Quinn gets rattled under pressure, JaMarcus Russell is eminently capable of bone-headed, bed crapping plays, and both teams’ kicking units blow. I warned you.

Notre Dame is tearing LSU apart with their running game, and worms its way down to the LSU 10 yard line for a 3rd and 6. Samardzija easily ditches the LSU corner at the line of scrimmage, the safety is late to the party, and Quinn ties the game at 14-14 with a touchdown pass.

2:25 left in the second quarter, and this is suddenly a crucial point in the game for LSU. They need a few first downs at the very least. Giving Notre Dame the ball now could be a big problem. With that in mind, LSU breaks a 20 yard run and Fox inexplicably cuts to some sort of weird semi-psuhup routine by the Notre Dame band. In the middle of the play. Well played, Fox.

Notre Dame calls timeout just as LSU throws a lateral pass to Early Doucet, and I swear Doucet was getting ready to throw the ball downfield. Les Miles is not amused. Russell lobs a lengthy pass to Doucet, and LSU is at the Irish 5. They run a QB draw, and Russell plods his way to six points. Still 1:15 left for Notre Dame to tie it up before halftime. 21-14, LSU.

Howie just called these the “top two quarterbacks in the country.” Okay. Terry followed that up with, “I don’t care about your size or how strong your arm is, but if you panic, you can’t play quarterback.” He would’ve LOVED Zack Mills.

Notre Dame makes a weak attempt at a scoring drive, but lets time run out before they even make it to midfield. It’s a seven-point lead for LSU at halftime, which is a fair representation of the first half. Each team is playing relatively well, but just poorly enough to keep its opponent in the game.

I love a good halftime fan-attempted field goal, and a Notre Dame fans hooks a 25-yarder for the consolation prize of $10,000. That would make him the sixth highest paid Ohio State Buckeye!

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