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Jackson and the Irish Perk Up in Time to Beat LSU, 39-36

November 22, 1998| From Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Jarious Jackson's first pass attempt Saturday was intercepted and returned 53 yards for a touchdown.

It was one of the few mistakes the Notre Dame quarterback would make as the 10th-ranked Irish defeated Louisiana State, 39-36.

Jackson passed for 276 yards, ran for 80 and led the game-winning fourth-quarter touchdown drive as the Irish (9-1) finished unbeaten at home for the first time since 1989.

But Jackson's big day was bittersweet--he suffered a knee injury while taking an intentional safety in the closing seconds and will probably sit out Saturday's game against USC at the Coliseum, Coach Bob Davie said.

"I feel so bad for Jarious as a person," Davie said. "The team is a little upset. His injury takes something out of the victory. But setbacks are something you fight through."

The decision to take the safety came after the Irish scored 19 unanswered points, beginning with an eight-play, 78-yard drive Jackson capped off with an eight-yard touchdown pass to Malcolm Johnson, cutting the LSU lead to 34-27 with 4:06 left in the third quarter.

LSU (4-6) got the ball back at its 21-yard line and drove to the Notre Dame 17 before Herb Tyler's pass was intercepted by Bobby Howard, who returned the interception 89 yards for a touchdown. Jim Sanson missed the extra point, leaving the Irish down by a point.

Danny Boyd missed a 42-yard field-goal attempt on LSU's next possession, and the Irish took over at their 35.

Jackson had runs of 14 and 12 yards and pass completions of 24 and 17 before finding Raki Nelson for the decisive score on a 10-yard touchdown pass.

"Today we were basically trying to do whatever needed to be done to win the game," said Jackson, who completed eight of 10 third-down passes for 186 yards. "LSU was a great team today, and luckily in the end we came out with the win. I just try to spark the rest of the team to do what I know they are capable of doing."

LSU freshman Craig Nall, coming off the bench after Tyler suffered a hamstring injury, had two chances to pull out a Tiger victory in the final 90 seconds. His first shot ended at the Notre Dame 31 with 21 seconds to play as his pass into the flat fell incomplete on fourth and eight.

The Tigers then got the ball back with one second left after Davie elected to have Jackson take the safety in the back of the end zone rather than punt on fourth and 16 from the Notre Dame 10.

LSU took over at the Notre Dame 46 after a fair catch on a line-drive kick, but Nall's pass fell incomplete at the one-yard line.


WHO: Notre Dame

WHERE: Coliseum

WHEN: Saturday, 5 p.m.

TV: Channel 7


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