2007 Sugar Bowl Preview: LSU vs. Notre Dame ]]> include($base_url . “/includes/header.htm”); ?>
|Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-2) +8, o/u 56vs. LSU Tigers (10-2), 8 p.m. Eastern Wednesday, Fox |
by Ultimatecapper.com Staff
Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish will try to break an eight-gamebowl losing streak when they battle the Louisiana State Tigersin the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans Wednesday night.
Notre Dame hasn’t won a bowl game since beating Texas A&M inthe Cotton Bowl in 1994. The Golden Domers’ eight-game bowl losingskid includes that 34-20 drubbing at the hands of Ohio State inthe Fiesta Bowl last January.
This season, Notre Dame won its first two games, then lost badlyat home to Michigan. The Irish then won eight straight beforegetting bounced by USC 44-24 in their season finale to end upat 10-2.
LSU won its first two games this season, then lost at Auburn7-3. The Tigers then won a couple more games before falling atFlorida, then won their last eight in a row to finish the regularseason at 10-2 overall, 6-2 and in second place in the SEC’s WestDivision.
Last season, LSU capped off its campaign by pounding Miami 40-3in the Peach Bowl.
Notre Dame, consistently overrated by both the oddsmakers and the public, is just 5-6 against the spread this season, and0-1 vs. the number as an underdog.
The Tigers are 7-5 against the spread this season, and 5-3 ATSwhen giving up a touchdown or more.
The Irish offense is ranked 20th in Division 1 college footballby averaging 398 total yards per game, while the LSU defense isranked 3rd (out of 119 D1 teams) by limiting opponents to just239 TYPG.
Meanwhile, the Tigers offense ranks 18th in the country, averaging404 total yards per game, and the Notre Dame defense ranks 42ndby allowing 321 TYPG.
Irish senior QB Brady Quinn has been solid, completing 63% ofhis passes this season and compiling a gaudy 35/5 TD/INT ratio.
LSU QB JaMarcus Russell has had a pretty good year himself,hitting on 69% of his throws and piling up a 26/7 TD/INT ratio.
Notre Dame is getting outrushed this season by a 128-124 yards-per-gameaverage, while the Tigers are outgrounding foes by a 159-93 YPGmargin.
On the season, the Irish are +5 in the turnover category, whileLSU sits at dead even.
And while Notre Dame ranks 36th in average time-of-possessionat 30:46, the Tigers rank 52nd at 30:02.
These two teams last met during the 1998 season, when the Irishoutlasted LSU 39-36.
These two teams didn’t play any common opponents this season.For what it’s worth, a few links can be made using Penn State,Tennessee and a few PAC 10 teams.
The O/U went 7-5 in Notre Dame games this season, and Irishgames averaged 55 points. Notre Dame played four games with totalsof 55 or more this season, with the O/U going 2-2 in those games.
The O/U is also 7-5 in LSU games this season, but those gamesonly averaged 46 points. The Tigers played two games this seasonwith totals of 50 or more, and the O/U went 0-2 in those games.
The Sagarin PREDICTOR ratings at USAToday.com ranks LSU #5 at89.6, the Irish #21 at 82.3. Sagarin also ranks the SEC, whichis 4-3 in bowl games so far this season, as the second-best conferencein D1.
The Tigers opened up as nine-point favorites for Wednesday’sgame, with a total of 54 ½. The line has fallen just a bit, whilethe total has gone up a point or two.