BATON ROUGE, La. — For the second time in four years, LSU will face Notre Dame in a bowl game.
No. 17 LSU (9-3) and No. 14 Notre Dame (9-3) will face off in the Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1 in Orlando, Fla., setting up a rematch of the 2014 Music City Bowl, a game the Fighting Irish won 31-28.
The Citrus Bowl pits the top-ranked SEC team outside the New Year’s Six bowls against the best at-large team from the ACC, Big Ten or Notre Dame. With Georgia and Alabama in the College Football Playoff and Auburn in the Orange Bowl, the Citrus Bowl selected LSU as the best SEC option.
Here are five things to know about Notre Dame heading into the Citrus Bowl:
1. Notre Dame has played a tough schedule
Like LSU, Notre Dame is a three-loss team, but the Irish’s three losses haven’t come to the Troys of the world. Their three losses came against No. 3 Georgia, No. 10 Miami and No. 13 Stanford, all of whom played in their conference championship games this weekend. The Irish also have wins over No. 8 USC, the Pac-12 champion, and No. 24 North Carolina State.
2. Notre Dame can run the football
If there’s one phase the Irish know how to dominate, it’s the run game. Behind Heisman Trophy contender Josh Adams, the Irish averaged 279 rushing yards per game in 2017, the seventh-best mark in the FBS. Among Power 5 teams, only Arizona and Georgia Tech averaged more rushing yards per game.
3. Notre Dame has Josh Adams
Though he fell off with injuries toward the end of the season, Adams was one of the most productive running backs in the country in 2017. Through eight games, Adams rushed for 1,169 yards (146.1 yards per game) and 9 touchdowns. But in his last four games, Adams amassed 217 yards (54 yards per game) and zero touchdowns.
4. Notre Dame’s defense is average
The Irish have allowed 21.8 yards per game this season, ranking 32nd in the FBS. This includes the nation’s No. 49 rush defense, allowing 153 yards per game, and No. 51 pass defense, allowing 214 yards per game.
5. Notre Dame doesn’t hold the ball long
Despite being a run-first team, the Irish ranked 108th in the nation in time of possession, holding the ball an average of 28:02 per game. The only top-25 team that held the ball for less time per game on average was Miami.
LSU-Notre Dame game time, watch info
The 2018 Citrus Bowl will be played on Monday, Jan. 1, 2018, at noon CT in Orlando, Fla. The television broadcast is on ABC.