Russell outduels Brady in LSU's sweet win over Notre Dame

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- LSU's two-headed ground game was too much for Notre Dame.

Keiland Williams ran for a career-high 107 yards and Justin Vincent added 71, grinding time off the clock in the second half as No. 4 LSU sealed a 41-14 victory over the 11th-ranked Fighting Irish in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Wednesday night.

Going with a running back-by-committee, the Tigers rushed for 245 yards -- their second-highest total of the season behind the 268 yards they piled up against Kentucky. That kept star quarterback Brady Quinn and the Irish offense off the field.

"We wanted to run the football and that's what we did, and ate the clock," LSU coach Les Miles said. "It was because of the ability to take what the defense gave us."

It was a nice way for Vincent to finish his college career after he rushed for only 139 yards this season. He had 1,001 yards as a freshman in 2003 when the Tigers won a national championship. He ran for 117 yards in the Sugar Bowl that season against Oklahoma and was selected the game's most outstanding player.

"We started my freshman year by ending here, and everything happens for a reason," Vincent said. "I feel lucky to be here."


JOB SECURITY: Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis says he has no interest in any NFL jobs, although his name keeps surfacing as a possible candidate, most recently in media reports about the New York Giants.

"I can only say it so many times," Weis said. "The best part about this, whether it's the Giants or any other team, here's the best part -- every coach is perceived to be a liar. Every coach is perceived to be a liar. 'Well, Weis will say it, but we really shouldn't believe him because he's a liar.' I'm just using me as an example. Well, believe it or not, there are some people who aren't liars."

Weis, who was offensive coordinator when the New England Patriots won three Super Bowls in four seasons, signed a 10-year contract in October 2005. He signed the agreement just six games into his original five-year contract and said then he wanted to show loyalty to his alma mater.

His name surfaced as a potential NFL candidate again this past October and he reiterated his position, saying: "Everyone knows I'm staying here until they fire me or I die. I'm here for life."

This week at the Sugar Bowl, he was asked three times about the reports involving the Giants and said he plans to stay at Notre Dame until his son, Charlie Jr., graduates from the school. His son is now in the eighth grade.

"When he finishes, hopefully I'll end up lying around some beach drinking pina coladas," Weis said. "Until that time, I intend to be at Notre Dame."

LSU coach Les Miles said he also plans to be at his school for a long time, saying it has "every possible facet to make a family man/coach happy."

"The Miles family would like to end our coaching tenure right here -- in several years, maybe 18," he quipped.


BOWL RETURN: Sugar Bowl chief executive officer Paul Hoolahan said the electricity surging through the Louisiana Superdome on Wednesday night reminded him of the feeling three years ago when LSU beat Oklahoma to win the 2003 national championship.

Hoolahan said it was a great feeling shortly before kickoff when he saw the crowd -- especially after the game was moved to Atlanta last season because of damage caused by Hurricane Katrina.

"I just felt to myself: We're back. We're back and running to full capacity, hitting on all cylinders," he said. "It was a great feeling. It was exhilarating."

Hoolahan said he hopes the success of the Sugar Bowl will help the city in its efforts to recover.

"There's no doubt in my mind the enthusiasm that you're seeing displayed tonight is happening throughout the city right now. This energy is contagious. I hope people will get a feeling of excitement and enthusiasm," he said.


QUARTERBACK NUMBERS: Brady Quinn's 10-yard touchdown pass to Jeff Samardzija in the second quarter was the 95th TD pass of his career, tying him for seventh on the NCAA list with former North Carolina State quarterback Philip Rivers.

The 5-yard TD run by LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell late in the second quarter was his first touchdown run of the season.


SWEET ODDS: The Sugar Bowl, where the Irish were eight-point underdogs to LSU, marked the eighth time in the last nine bowl games the Irish were underdogs. The other game, the 2003 Gator Bowl against North Carolina State, was pick 'em.

The last time the Irish were favored in a bowl game was the 1994 Cotton Bowl, by four points against Texas A&M. The Irish won 24-21.

LSU was a seven-point underdog to Miami last year in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. The Tigers won 40-3.

Weis knows something about being an underdog in New Orleans. The Patriots were 14-point underdogs to the St. Louis Rams in the 2002 Super Bowl and won 20-17 when Adam Vinatieri kicked a 48-yard field goal as time expired.

"My last memory here is Adam kicking that field goal at the end of that game, which was one of the few times I can say I really did smile," Weis said.


INJURY UPDATE: Notre Dame defensive tackle Derek Landri injured his knee in the second quarter and didn't return. He didn't have a tackle in the game.