1997 Independence Bowl

The 1997 Independence Bowl was a college football postseason bowl rematch between the LSU Tigers and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

1997 Poulan/Weed Eater Independence Bowl
1234 Total
Notre Dame 3303 9
LSU 031014 27
DateDecember 28, 1997
StadiumIndependence Stadium
LocationShreveport, Louisiana
MVPRB Rondell Mealey
DE Arnold Miller
United States TV coverage
AnnouncersRon Franklin, Mike Gottfried and Adrian Karsten
Independence Bowl
 < 1996  1998


The Tigers had finished 2nd in the Western Division of the SEC. The Irish went from 1-4 early in the season to 7-5 with wins over Boston College, LSU and West Virginia. This was the second time they faced LSU in 1997. This was LSU's first Independence Bowl since 1995.

Game summaryEdit

Notre Dame could only muster two field goals in the first half, but they led 6-3 at halftime in a game clouded by rain. However Wade Richey and Abram Booty got the Tigers into the lead (on a field goal and touchdown reception, respectively) in the 3rd quarter. Trailing 13-6, Notre Dame could only muster one more field goal to narrow the lead as LSU scored twice on Rondell Mealey touchdown runs. [1] Mealey had 34 carries for 222 yards and 2 touchdowns.[2]


Notre Dame defeated LSU 39-36 in South Bend late in the 1998 season. LSU finished 1998 4-7 and was 2-8 in 1999 when coach Gerry DiNardo, an All-America offensive guard at Notre Dame under Ara Parseghian from 1972-74, was fired.

LSU wouldn't reach a bowl game again until 2000 under new coach Nick Saban. Davie led the Irish to the 2001 Fiesta Bowl, where they were blown out by Oregon State. He was fired following a 5-6 campaign in 2001.

Neither team has returned to this bowl since this game.

The Tigers and Fighting Irish have met in three subsequent bowls; LSU won the 2007 Sugar Bowl and Notre Dame the 2014 Music City Bowl and 2018 Citrus Bowl.


Statistics LSU Notre Dame
First Downs 19 19
Yards Rushing 265 128
Yards Passing 61 115
Total Yards 326 243
Punts-Average 4-35.8 5-45.0
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 1-1
Interceptions 0 0
Penalties-Yards 5-55 5-30


  1. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-03-01. Retrieved 2015-07-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ http://www.andthevalleyshook.com/2011/7/27/2296030/wednesday-walks-down-memory-lane-the-1997-independence-bowl