When Les Miles thinks of Notre Dame-Michigan, he thinks of Lou Holtz, Desmond Howard and Rocket Ismail.
Specifically, Ismail, the former Notre Dame kick returner and receiver.
“I can remember a Lou Holtz team that had two kickoff returns for touchdowns at Michigan for a win,” said Miles, a former Michigan coach player and coach.
That guy was Ismail. He returned consecutive Michigan kickoffs in a 24-19 victory in 1989.
Miles has a history with Notre Dame. That continues on Dec. 30 in Nashville, Tennessee, when the Irish (7-5) and No. 22 LSU (8-4) play in the Music City Bowl.
Michigan and Notre Dame played 30 times from 1978-2014 — with Miles on the sidelines as a Michigan assistant coach or graduate assistant in 10 of those seasons.
Michigan lost six of those 10 games in 1980-81 (Miles as graduate assistant) and 1987-1994 (Miles as offensive line coach).
“I can remember during my coaching days significantly,” Miles said of playing the Fighting Irish. “I think the Desmond Howard team played very well against Notre Dame. I remember them playing very hard against the Michigan team.”
Michigan and Notre Dame suspended their series. They played for the last time this season.
“We just recognize Ara Parseghian and some of the great coaches that have been there,” Miles said. “Been a tremendously competitive time between Michigan and Notre Dame. Again, a traditional Midwest power. That’s Notre Dame.”
Collins All-SEC first team
LSU left tackle La’el Collins earned Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference first-team honors, and linebacker Kwon Alexander and safety Ronald Martin made the second team.
Left guard Vadal Alexander was honorable mention. The full All-SEC teams can be found here.
Collins, a senior from Baton Rouge, passed on the NFL draft last season to return for his senior year. He’s projected as a mid-to-late first-round draft pick this year. Collins likely increased his draft value by 10-20 picks, analysts say. His signing bonus this year could be as large as $5 million. He will play in the Senior Bowl in January.
Alexander, a draft-eligible junior, led the Tigers in tackles with 79 over the regular season. Martin, a senior from White Castle, was third on the team with 66 tackles and had eight pass breakups.
Charlot de-commits from Bama
LSU might have made some progress in securing commits from more of the state’s top-10 ranked talent.
Four star receiver Daylon Charlot dropped his commitment from Alabama after visiting LSU over the weekend, 247Sports.com and Scout.com reported Sunday. Charlot, the No. 5 ranked player in the state in the 2015 class, had been committed to the Tide since February.
LSU has commitments from just four of the top 10 players in the state. If that holds, that would be the smallest number of top-10 Louisiana to sign with LSU under coach Les Miles. There’s plenty of time to change that, though. National Signing Day isn’t until Feb. 4, and four of the top-10 Louisiana recruits are now uncommitted.
Rasco to East-West Shrine Game
LSU senior defensive end Jermauria Rasco became the third LSU player to accept an invitation to the East-West Shrine Game, the game announced Monday.
Running backs Kenny Hilliard and Terrence Magee have also accepted invitations. The East-West game is 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 17, at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. It will be broadcast on NFL Network.
Mettenberger may be out for year
Former LSU and current Tennessee Titans starting quarterback Zach Mettenberger is out for the season with a shoulder sprain, according to multiple reports. But Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt said there is a “legitimate chance” Mettenberger plays again this season.
Mettenberger injured the throwing shoulder in the fourth quarter of the Titan’s loss Sunday to Giants. Mettenberger had an MRI on the shoulder on Monday, and it revealed he suffered a Grade III sprain/AC joint separation, according to The Tennessean and NFL.com. Mettenberger isn’t expected to need surgery, The Tennessean reported.
Mettenberger completed 107-of-179 yards for 1,412 yards with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions in his rookie year.
LSU had sold more than 6,000 of its allotted 8,000 tickets to the Music City Bowl, said Brian Broussard, associate athletic director for ticket sales. Fans can purchase tickets in LSU’s section at LP Field by visiting www.lsutix.net. … Former LSU special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey hopes to become the next head coach at Houston, according to comments he made to Houston’s FOX26 Sports. A Houston alum, McGaughey coached LSU’s special teams from 2011-2013 before leaving last winter for a job with the New York Jets. Houston fired head coach Tony Levine on Monday.