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Irish Rally, Survive LSU Scare

Jarious Jackson passed for 276 yards, ran for 80 more and engineered the winning fourth-quarter touchdown drive as Notre Dame beat LSU 39-36 on Saturday to keep its hopes for a Bowl Championship Series appearance alive.

Jackson threw touchdown passes of 8 and 10 yards as the Irish (9-1) scored 19 unanswered points to go undefeated at home for the first time since 1989.

Coming off the bench for an injured Herb Tyler, LSU freshman Craig Nall had two chances to pull out a win in the final 90 seconds for the Tigers (4-6). His first shot ended at the Notre Dame 31 with 21 seconds left as his pass in the flat fell incomplete on fourth-and-eight.

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

    Jackson was injured as he was tackled in the end zone and stayed down on the grass for a few minutes before getting up on his own power and trotting off the field. Coach Bob Davie said Jackson injured his knee and will probably miss the season finale next week against Southern California.

    After the Tigers fielded the line-drive kickoff at the Notre Dame 46, Nall's pass fell incomplete at the one-yard line, and Notre Dame escaped with their sixth win at home this season.

    Tyler, who injured his hamstring, led the Tigers to a 34-20 lead in the third quarter, throwing for 186 yards and touchdown passes to Abram Booty of 27 and 18 yards before Notre Dame began its comeback.

    First, Jackson marched the Irish 78 yards in eight plays and hit Malcolm Johnson for an eight-yard touchdown pass to pull within seven points.

    The Tigers got the ball back at their own 21-yard line and methodically drove down field to the NotrDame 17 before Tyler threw to his left and was picked off by Bobby Howard, who returned the interception 89 yards for a touchdown. Jim Sanson missed the extra point, leaving the Irish down by one.

    Danny Boyd missed a 42-yard field goal attempt on LSU's next possession, and Jackson took over at Notre Dame's own 35 before driving for the winning score.

    Jackson's career day included 8-of-10 passing on third down for 184 yards.

    His performance overshadowed running back Kevin Faulk's record setting day in which he became LSU's career leader in most rushing touchdowns (45), most touchdowns overall (52) and most points scored (312). He finished with 108 yards rushing on 31 carries and returned a kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown to put LSU up 21-14 at the half.

    The kickoff return came after Faulk fumbled the ball, which Lamont Bryant picked up and returned 13 yards for a touchdown.

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