Ian Book Leads Notre Dame to Comeback Win over LSU in 2018 Citrus Bowl

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 1, 2018

Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book (12) shambles for yardage past LSU linebacker Michael Divinity Jr. (45) during the first half of the Citrus Bowl NCAA college football game, Monday, Jan. 1, 2018, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
John Raoux/Associated Press

Ian Book didn't start the game for Notre Dame, but he finished it in style.

The sophomore quarterback replaced a struggling Brandon Wimbush and led the Fighting Irish to a 21-17 come-from-behind win over LSU Monday in the Citrus Bowl.

Down three points in the final minutes, Book found receiver Miles Boykin, who used an outstanding individual effort to score the game-winning 55-yard touchdown.

SportsCenter provided video of the decisive score:

Boykin only had 151 receiving yards all season, but finished with 102 in the bowl game and turned some heads with his final play:

Meanwhile, Book entered the game shortly before halftime with Wimbush having gone just 3-of-8 passing in a scoreless battle. The sophomore, who only played sparingly this season, took the reins and finished 14-of-19 for 164 yards and two touchdowns with only one interception.

This was enough to top LSU, which struggled to finish off drives all day and left points on the board with two missed field goals.

Derrius Guice, who was the Citrus Bowl MVP in LSU's win last year, was the most important player on the field for the Tigers. He rushed for 98 yards on 21 carries while scoring two touchdowns on receptions.

Michael Bratton of That SEC Podcast broke down the running back's play before likely heading to the NFL:

He almost had a third receiving score on a shuffle pass in the final minutes, but was ruled short of the goal line. This left LSU to kick a 17-yard field goal for a 17-14 lead.

Three players later, Notre Dame took over the lead with Boykin's touchdown.

While an elite offensive play decided the game, it was the defenses that starred throughout most of the day. The Irish held just a 3-0 lead at halftime with the offenses struggling to gain any consistency.

LSU had the best chance of scoring with two drives of at least 10 plays to get deep in opposing territory. Unfortunately, both ended with a missed field goal to remain scoreless. One of those drives went all the way to the Irish 1-yard line before two stuffed runs and a false start contributed to the team coming away with zero points.

Jeff Duncan of NOLA.com gave a harsh criticism of the series:

The Tigers had almost twice as much possession in the half but ended up with a 3-0 deficit. These missed opportunities ended up costing them a win in a low-scoring bowl game.

Both teams will have a lot of holes to fill before next season, with Notre Dame losing its top performers on the line and LSU expected to lose several key skill players. However, the programs are each moving in the right direction and should return to the top of the rankings next year.

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