For their efforts, the Tigers were
rewarded a trip just over 60 miles from Tiger Stadium and will play the Fighting
Irish of Notre Dame on Jan. 3 in
"We are doing this for the state," senior receiver Dwayne Bowe said. "After what Katrina did to this city, we are going to put on a show."
Throughout the week, several media
outlets had reported LSU was a lock for the Rose Bowl in
LSU coaches, players and fans were still hopeful for a trip to the west coast Sunday evening, even though quarterback JaMarcus Russell said it was fun to watch USC lose the day before.
"You could say there were some disappointment," junior defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey said. "We were looking forward to possibly going to the Rose Bowl and seeing the west coast. We are still very fortunate to be in the situation we are in. Last year we didn't even get a BCS bowl so it's a great opportunity to show on a national level what we can do."
Many players were disappointed when
they were not selected by the Rose Bowl, but all said they were excited to be
playing at home in
"It's a win-win situation. We wanted to go to the Rose, but now we get to play at home in front of our fans," Bowe said. "It's a great feeling. I just hope I am not nervous. There is going to be a lot of eyes watching because my job is to catch the ball and make plays."
The last time the Tigers played in
the Sugar Bowl was in 2003 for the national championship against
"It was a lot of fun to go out and win a national championship," Russell said. "This time it is not a national championship, but it is a championship for us. It's a great opportunity for us to go out and show that we are one of the greatest."
Players that were freshmen or redshirt freshmen would have been members of the 2003 squad. Many players still remember the excitement of the contest and are looking forward to a comparable experience.
"Its going to be a special game for
us especially since the hurricane and us winning a national championship their a
few years ago," senior receiver Craig "Buster"