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Notre Dame undoubtedly received their bogus invitation to the Sugar Bowl based on their deceptive 10-2 regular season record, which to the untrained fan looks impressive, until you realize their ten wins came against teams with a combined 57-70 record. Michigan and USC were the only two good teams on Notre Dame’s schedule, and these two teams lit up the Irish like Guy Fawkes Day in England by a combined score of 91-45.
Keiland Williams sliced through the Notre Dame defense like a hot knife through butter, picking up a career-high 107 yards rushing. Justin Vincent added another blasé 71 yards. In all, the LSU Tigers effortlessly had a total of 245 rushing yards against the sterile Irish defense, which was as useless as rubber lips on a woodpecker.
LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell, the junior who played more like a senior, put the Tigers up for good late in the second quarter with a nonchalant 5-yard touchdown run. The touchdown run was Russell’s first of the season, but then again, LSU didn’t have the luxury of playing Notre Dame every week.
Brady Quinn, the senior who played more like a junior, was held to 15-of-35 for 148 yards passing by the ferocious Tiger defense. The only thing Brady Quinn brought to this game was his helmet and a left-handed jockstrap. At one time he threw the ball at the ground and missed. Quinn also threw not one, but two interceptions. The first interception was anticipated, as always, by the Superdome crowd. Although Brady Quinn’s parents anticipated the second interception, it is not known how many others in the capacity crowd anticipated Quinn’s second pick.
Brady Quinn completed his four-year career at Notre Dame compiling a 13-15 lifetime record against teams that finished the season with a winning record. That left him not knowing whether to scratch his watch or wind his butt. Quinn also holds just about every passing record at Notre Dame, including farting the most peas at the moon, although most of those records were previously set by the great Ron Powlus. Head Coach Charlie Weis, who is about as useful as a windshield wiper on a goat’s ass in bowl game appearances, is holding out hope someone may find a fifth and possibly a sixth year of eligibility for Brady Quinn.
Some of the Irish faithful hope Brady Quinn will be selected in the upcoming NFL draft. Others want to get drunk and holler “We’re number one” with two fingers up. Do they really think the NFL will be easier than Michigan, USC, and LSU?
We here at the Notre Dame Sucks Website envision Brady Quinn sitting by the phone for two long days, much like the mighty Ron Powlus in 1998. If Brady Quinn gets lonely on April 28th and 29th, perhaps Ron Powlus can give him a call. Imagine the type of call that would be- “Rinnnnng…Rinnnnng… (Quinn) Hello? (Powlus) Wazzzup? (Quinn) Wazzzup? (Powlus) Homos say what. (Quinn) What? (Powlus) Homos say what. (Quinn) What? (Powlus) That’s right. Now go away or I will taunt you a third time. (Quinn) Wait a minute, I have to fart. Brady lowers the phone to his butt and breaks wind into the mouthpiece. Did you hear that? (Powlus) Was that a fart or the first note of the Notre Dame Fight Song?”
As for Notre Dame in 2007, there are unconfirmed rumors that they are trying to schedule Army, Navy, and Air Force four times each. Maybe they can compile a 12-0 record and receive an undeserved invitation to the BCS Championship Game. Unreliable sources have Notre Dame continuing its tradition of choking in bowl appearances and generally sucking, changing their uniforms to pink and gold, and wearing their helmets in the off season while chanting hut…hut…hut… Well, we don’t know what makes Notre Dame suck, but it sure does work.
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The Trojans dominated this game from start to finish on offense, defense, and special teams. USC scored on its first three possessions and jumped out to a 21-3 lead. John David Booty completed 17 of 28 passes for 265 yards and three touchdowns as his counterpart, an amazed Brady Quinn, watched with his mouth hanging wide open from the opposite side of the field. CJ Gable ran 20 times for 107 yards, and Dwayne Jarrett caught seven passes for 132 yards and three touchdowns.
It seemed like nothing would go right for the Irish in this game. Even when Jeff Samardzija caught a mighty 2-yard touchdown pass from Brady Quinn to cut the USC lead to 37-24, Brian Cushing returned the ensuing kickoff for a Trojan touchdown.
Notre Dame enjoyed some sweet victories this season over Stanford, North Carolina, and the service academies. Notre Dame also had some heroic come-from-behind victories over mediocre teams like Georgia Tech, Michigan State, and UCLA. However, it certainly will not go unnoticed that Notre Dame was humiliated by the only two half-decent teams on their schedule: Michigan and USC. Notre Dame sucks!
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Notre Dame entered this game over ranked at #6, while Army entered at a sub par 3-8.
The first quarter saw Brady Quinn return to his true form by throwing the always anticipated interception. The first quarter also saw the Black Knights jump out to a 3-0 lead.
But then, the mediocre Notre Dame offense proved to be too much for the sub par Black Knights as the Irish reeled off 41 straight points. Army would not score again until the final play of the game.
As the Notre Dame seniors walked off the field for the last time, Charlie Weis had visions of himself lofting the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy high into the air after sweeping the service academies.
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AIR FORCE 17
The Falcon’s option offense controlled the ball for nearly a 2:1 margin over Notre Dame. Air Force also had 405 yards of total offense compared to 383 for Notre Dame, and a 24-19 advantage in first downs.
Surprisingly, though, it was the Notre Dame offense that struck early and often against the non-existent Air Force defense. You know your defense is bad when it allows Brady Quinn to throw three touchdowns in the first quarter alone.
After jumping out to a 20-3 first quarter lead, Notre Dame cruised to a 39-17 victory as the Irish looked ahead to next week’s game against Army and a chance to take the coveted Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy.
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NORTH CAROLINA 26
The Tar Heels showed why they are known for their men’s basketball program as the football team allowed Brady Quinn to pad his stats by completing 23 of 35 passes for 346 yards and four touchdowns. The Irish as a team had 452 yards of total offense. North Carolina coach John Bunting found that very offensive.
However, big plays kept Carolina in this game. Brandon Tate returned a kickoff 90 yards for a Tar Heel touchdown. Quarterback Joe Dailey completed a 72-yard touchdown pass to Hakeem Nicks. In fact, over rated Notre Dame could not put away the struggling Tar Heels until midway through the fourth quarter.
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Some college football fans see the Navy-Notre Dame series for its rich tradition after the Navy helped keep Notre Dame’s doors open during World War II when the University was facing financial difficulties. Other more knowledgeable fans see it as an easy win for the Irish year after year after year.
The Midshipmen waved the white flag early and often in this game as the Irish scored on their first five possessions and six of their first seven possessions.
The lone highlight of this game for Navy had to be quarterback Kalpo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada, in his first collegiate start, scoring two touchdowns against the porous Notre Dame defense.
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Notre Dame was held to a mere 41 yards rushing and 224 yards passing in the first 59 minutes of the game. However, Brady Quinn uncharacteristically completed three straight passes, including a 45-yard touchdown reception to a very surprised Jeff Samardzija with 27 seconds left as the Bruins allowed the Irish to overtake them 20-17.
After the game Notre Dame Coach Charlie Weis was quoted as saying “Good teams make a play at the end of the game to win." Yes, Charlie, this is true. Good teams do make a play at the end of the game to win. It is also true that sometimes Notre Dame gets lucky and completes a fluke play to defeat a mediocre team.
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Brady Quinn completed three touchdown passes against the Cardinal defense. But then again, Peyton Manning could probably accomplish the same feat against a high school frosh team.
The Cardinal did feel a sense of accomplishment, holding the mighty Notre Dame offense to a mere 204 yards rushing. Stanford had been giving up an average of 283 rushing yards per game.
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Brady Quinn somehow managed to complete 29-of-38 pass attempts for a mere 316 yards against the nations fifth-worst pass defense.
Purdue was definitely in this game, racking up 490 yards of offense against the overrated Irish defense. However, the Boilermakers killed themselves with stupid mistakes, including a fumble and a missed field goal.
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MICHIGAN STATE 37
It appeared Michigan State was about to beat Notre Dame for the eighth time in ten games as the Spartans jumped out to a quick 17-0 lead and later led 31-14 at halftime.
Heavy rain and sloppy field conditions in the second half may have aided the limber armed Brady Quinn as he completed lucky touchdown passes to Jeff Samardzija and Rhema McKnight. Then, on a play that would impress even Quinn, Drew Stanton’s errant pass sailed right into the hands of Terrail Lambert, who returned it 19 yards for an Irish touchdown.
As for Brady Quinn, he got off to a slow start, but still finished the game 20-of-36 with the one usual interception.
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Heisman hopeful Chad Henne threw three touchdown passes to Mario Manningham as the most storied team in the history of college football humiliated Notre Dame 47-21 in front of the clueless and hideous looking Irish faithful.
This game was so lopsided that the Wolverines were up 26-7 before the Irish even registered a first down. The Michigan defense completely shut down the overrated Notre Dame offense, allowing only four yards rushing, and 245 total yards of offense.
Brady Quinn, the Chad Henne wannabe, was back in his true form throwing three interceptions and fumbling once.
This game, hyped up to be a big showdown between two highly ranked opponents, could be a sign of what’s to come in January should Notre Dame receive another undeserved bid to a BCS bowl game.
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PENN STATE 17
The Irish, with most of their starters back from last year, easily defeated a heavily depleted Penn State team that lost most of its starters to graduation. (Yes – Penn State does graduate its football players.)
Quarterback Anthony Morelli, making only his second start for the Nittany Lions, fumbled once and threw an interception. Kind of reminds you of Brady Quinn in about his 20th or 25th start, doesn’t it?
A botched Penn State field goal attempt and a fumble by Tony Hunt helped to hand Notre Dame a 20-0 lead. After that, the Irish held on for dear life to record a 41-17 victory.
After the game, legendary coach Joe Paterno was asked what went wrong with his Nittany Lions. A senile Paterno replied with “What? There was a game today? Who did we play?”
…and we are still wondering how Penn State entered this game ranked #19 in the country.
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GEORGIA TECH 10
Meanwhile, the Irish offense just couldn’t get it into gear. It was punt after punt after punt for the Irish. (And this team was ranked #2 in the nation?)
A feminine-like tippy-toe run of five yards by Brady Quinn with 11 seconds remaining in the first half got Notre Dame on the scoreboard.
Georgia Tech would not score in the second half. We do not know why they didn’t throw to Calvin Johnson more in the second half. But we do know that Georgia Tech is a bad team, and bad teams always find ways to lose.
Notre Dame went ahead midway through the third quarter on a drive that was kept alive on a controversial late hit penalty. Replays clearly showed that Brady Quinn was still in bounds when he was hit by Philip Wheeler. Hey, if you can’t beat a bad team on your own, ask the officials for some help.
OHIO STATE 34
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This year’s much heralded Fiesta Bowl – a 34-20 romp for Ohio State – didn’t come close on the excitement meter. Which only goes to show, no matter how great your triumphs or how tragic your defeats, approximately one billion Chinese couldn’t care less.
With that said, there was a distinct sound heard across the country Monday evening emanating from Tempe, Arizona. Sort of like the disturbance in the force when Princess Leia’s home planet was destroyed in Star Wars. But this was later explained by the New York Times, who in turn plagiarized the story from the Washington Post, who overheard a conversation between a Scientologist and a Hindu describing the rumble heard was in fact not bad karma, but a groaning of Notre Dame fans. Sort of like the sound of a car engine trying to start on a cold winter morning.
All of this was later confirmed by our sports analyst who explained, “Notre Dame’s offense looked like a performance of Asscapades – a perilous dance performed inadvertently on ice or hard packed snow.”
In a mock interview, Brady Quinn was asked how he felt being sacked twice by his future brother-in-law. Quinn smiled wiping the moisture from his nose with the back of his hand and said, “Never trust a man who combs his hair straight from his left armpit.” According to unreliable sources, upon hearing this, A.J. Hawk replied, “Hey man, like dude, don’t grow wishbones where your backbone ought to be.”
We here at the Notre Dame Sucks website, where all your Irish football news is accurate at worst and spotty at best, are not surprises at the outcome of this match up. Troy Smith’s aerial attack netted 342 yards and two touchdowns. Antonio Pittman carried the ball 21 times for 136 yards and tore through the Irish for a 60-yard touchdown run while appearing to stop and sign autographs along the way.
Ted Ginn caught eight passes for 167 yards and two touchdowns, one on an end around to help Ohio State take a 21-7 halftime lead. According to unreliable sources, an ineffective Jeff Samardzija turned to place kicker D.J. Fitzpatrick, who missed an extra point, and asked him, “How long will we be losing to the Buckeyes?” Fitzpatrick said, “The whole time.” At least these two realize that teamwork is essential, it allows you to blame other people.
Meanwhile, Charlie Weis, who thinks a team effort is a lot of people doing what he says, watched his minions give up a season-high 617 yards, facilitate an 85-yard touchdown pass, the longest in Fiesta Bowl history, and lose its eighth consecutive bowl game. On a positive note, the Irish blocked two meaningless field goal attempts and Darius Walker, who was going to buy a copy of ‘Positive Thinking’ and then thought, “What the hell good would that do?” rushed for 90 yards and three Irish touchdowns.
Finally, it’s no secret that the University of Notre Dame, here in the United States, raked in 14 million dollars for its dismal bowl performance. This is quite a profitable sum, especially when one considers that the Irish spend very little for jock straps. And Charlie, that bridge to victory he has been building, apparently with mental blocks, seems to have him as confused as a baby in a topless bar. As for their loyal boys – they are STILL prancing without a victory.
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Charlie Weis knows that good teams find ways to win and bad teams find ways to lose. Is it any wonder the Irish try to play only bad teams? I.E. the Stanford game.
A shameless Notre Dame was lost twice but managed to find Palo Alto to close out their 2005 cream puff schedule against the 5-5 Stanford Cardinal. Anticipating victory while scratching his butt, perhaps from the long ride over, Weis was looking for his ninth easy win and an undeserved invitation to a BCS bowl game. He may have found one of the two.
Mediocre Stanford, to Charlie’s delight, was forced to finish the game with backup quarterback T.C. Ostrander after starting quarterback Trent Edwards, who will never play professional basketball, injured his shoulder in the third quarter. Hapless Stanford had -11 yards rushing, was 1-for-11 on third down conversions, and yet held a one point lead with 1:46 left in the fourth quarter. An unconfirmed drunken Irish fan that can swear very well was overheard by an unreliable source as saying: “Bullocks @#$% me Cousin Sully could @#$%!& coach a bigger lead over @#$%!& bleedin’ Cardinal. Weis is Banjaxed!!”
Down 7-0 early in the first quarter, Stanford would battle back and tie the score 7-7 following the first of two Brady Quinn interceptions. Quinn, who is also very good at playing a lot of very bad golf made up for not throwing the always anticipated interception last week with two, 2, count ‘em II, this week. Choking on the sideline, the leprechaun mascot couldn’t believe his lucky charms.
Stanford found themselves down 14-7, but heroically battled back to tie the score 14-14 before halftime.
During halftime, though unconfirmed, Weis rallied the Irish by singing the team fight song. He didn’t know the words, but that didn’t stop him from singing.
Notre Dame reeled off the first 9 points of the second half, and found themselves with a rather commanding lead over such a mediocre team. The Irish had two chances to put this game out of reach with a field goal, but the big buffoon D.J. Fitzpatrick, who thinks “Irish Stew” is a euphemism for boiled leftovers from the fridge, missed both attempts. Two missed field goals, to go along with his missed extra point, is not bad considering 42.7% of statistics are made up on the spot.
To Charlie’s dismay, Fitzpatrick’s second miss came with 2:15 left and gave the ball back to Stanford trailing 30-24. Following a 76-yard pass to Mark Bradford, T.C. Ostrander found Matt Traverso attractive and in the endzone for an easy 4-yard touchdown pass and a 31-30 Cardinal lead. Beautiful!
Then, like the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked, Stanford allowed Notre Dame to prance 80 yards on 6 plays to score a go ahead touchdown and 2-point conversion to go up 38-31 with 51 seconds remaining. Weis could be seen thoroughly thanking the officials on the sideline with a nervous look of confidence.
Stanford would get the ball back one more time to give it the old “college try.” Embarrassingly, Stanford didn’t know which college to try and wasn’t able to move the ball against a rather porous Notre Dame defense.
With the win and the 9-2 record against their paltry schedule, Notre Dame is now eligible for a BCS bowl game. Being eligible and being invited to a BCS bowl game is a leprechaun of a different color. This should be very interesting since there are other teams more deserving of a BCS bowl appearance than Notre Dame.
With this year’s regular schedule finished, being an Irish fan means you can’t wait for the other guy to stop talking so you can start talking about ancient championships, a bowl appearance, and a winning season. This is why the rest of us feel like we’re diagonally parked in a parallel universe.
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Notre Dame, with an uncharacteristic record of 7-2, played host to 1-8 Syracuse. This was the fifth consecutive and sixth overall home game of Notre Dame’s soft 2005 schedule. According to interim head coach Charlie Weis, this was Notre Dame’s unofficial 6th Home Opener.
To the surprise of no one, the Orangemen held a 3-0 lead on the overrated Fighting Irish at the end of the first quarter. Let’s hope Brady Quinn can deliver a pizza faster than a touchdown when his sixth year is kaput. Can anyone remember the “Golden Boy?” Ron Powlus stopped waiting for his phone call from the NFL and has rescinded to secretarial duties at “Our Lady.”
Realistically, Notre Dame wasn’t even in this game until Chase Anastacio tripped over his clown sized feet and partially blocked a punt by the Orangemen. Notre Dame took over on the Syracuse 36 yard line. Anastacio later admitted he was waving to his mom in the stands and did not mean to deflect the ball. Yeah, nice try clumsy. After having difficulty picking up positive yardage on the first two plays, Brady Quinn tossed up a Hail Mary 25-yard touchdown pass to a surprised Maurice Stovall on the third play of the drive.
Like all teams with losing records, Syracuse gave the Irish great field position again when they allowed Tom Zbikowski to return a punt to the Syracuse 40 yard line. 34 seconds later, Brady Quinn heaved a desperation pass in the general direction of Jeff Samardzija under heavy pressure, and Samardzija actually held on to it for a touchdown. Samardzija was still bragging on the sidelines about his rather ordinary feat when a drunken unreliable source overheard him gloat “I held on to that ball better than our cheerleaders hold on to their virtue.” Classy. Real classy.
A total collapse by Syracuse, like the ship is sinking and everyone is starting fires on board, allowed Notre Dame to tragically build a 34-3 lead. During the second half, misinformed Irish fans began throwing tortillas around, and one classless fan threw an orange on the field. At first, interim head coach Charlie Weis thought it was symbolic of Notre Dame going to the Fiesta Bowl or Orange Bowl. Then, one of his assistants explained to him that the tortillas and oranges meant nothing, and it would be difficult for a fan to throw a Meineke muffler onto the field.
With Notre Dame holding such a generous lead, Charlie Weis cleared the bench and played many of his seniors, some of whom hadn’t seen a locker, shower, or any playing time yet this season. The Irish fans realized Brady Quinn’s day was done when Marty Mooney came in to quarterback the Irish. Some of these fans (Ron Powlus) paid good money for their tickets and became irate when they realized Brady Quinn had not thrown the always anticipated interception, and probably wouldn’t be given another opportunity. Reports of a drunken Irish fan throwing a skunk onto the field went unconfirmed. Later, it turned out one of the Irish cheerleaders wondered onto the field looking for her shadow. She found it and now there will be another week of bad football.
Navy, Tennessee, and soon to be added Rutgers have returned the Irish to their storied past. Cheap wins over nobody losers sprinkled with an occasional upset over a ranked team equals a pathetic bowl appearance. Weis couldn’t be more proud since he sat in the front seat of the short bus. Bravo, Charlie.
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The Irish flag was flying footloose and fancy free when Notre Dame predictably defeated Navy by the score of 42-21 on Saturday. The win was Notre Dame’s 42nd consecutive boring win over Navy. When Navy sunk Notre Dame for the last time way back in 1963, the cassette tape had not been invented. Man had not walked on the moon. Heck, half the Notre Dame coaching staff hadn’t been born. When you find an easy opponent you can beat year after year, you keep them married to the gunner’s daughter or to the non-sea going public, and you make sure to keep them on your schedule.
To make heavy weather, the Midshipmen spotted Notre Dame an early 7-0 lead, and any hopes of Navy snapping the streak went down like the Bismarck when running back Matt Hall sprained his knee on his very first carry. We hate to speculate on the injury, but without Hall, the overrated Notre Dame defense looked ship shape and Bristol fashion against the nation’s second leading rushing team.
Navy would eventually shoot a warning shot across the Irish bow and tie the game 7-7, but Notre Dame would take the wind out of their sails when the Midshipmen allowed the Irish to score three second quarter touchdowns and grab a 28-7 halftime lead. At this point, an unconfirmed drunken sailor claimed he witnessed Charlie Weis stumbling three sheets to the wind headway and then leeway among the Irish floozies shaking their pom poms. Although, this inebriated soul did take a liking to the leprechaun mascot. He said he liked the cut of his jib.
Navy would match Notre Dame jibe for jibe in the second half. The Midshipmen were sailing a bit close to the wind and could get no closer than 14 points the entire second half.
Stuck between the Devil and the deep blue sea, with Notre Dame holding a 35-14 lead early in the fourth quarter, and less viewers than the premiere of Captain Ron, Domers sat drooling on the edge of their seat, waiting for Brady Quinn to throw the always anticipated interception. To the delight of the fans, Quinn sailed a Bermuda rigged ball that cleared a yard arm right into the hands of Navy’s Mon Capitaine DuJuan Price on the fifth play of the final doubloon. Interim coach Charlie Weis regretted that he did not see the interception thrown and later admitted that he was engaged in an intense game of “Battleship” with defensive coordinator Rick Minter at the time.
In the end, Navy was taken aback, put about, and on the wrong tack and scraping the barrel for a reason as to why they continue playing cabin boy to Notre Dame. Perhaps they should keep a weather eye open as trouble will always come from the blue and gold waters. Clearly the Midshipmen’s poop deck got pooped.
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Tennessee wouldn’t win the game, but did win the coin toss and elected to receive the ball. The Vols marched effortlessly down to the Notre Dame 36-yard line, like ducks in a row, on their opening possession, only to shoot themselves in the webbed foot as they have done so many times this duck season. After stalling, they looked to their coach for guidance and soon learned the gap between advice and help is very wide. Weis smiled and the Vols punted the ball away to the Irish.
Then . . . to the amazement of Charlie Weis and all the Domers in Notre Dame Stadium, the Irish put together a 14-play 94-yard drive that culminated when Brady Quinn coughed up an unprecedented 43-yard touchdown pass to a perplexed Anthony Fasano. Later, Anthony would learn that according to the latest Irish surveys, 3 out of 4 quarters make up 75% of the game of football.
And then . . . Tennessee handed overrated Notre Dame another touchdown when Lucas Taylor fumbled the ensuing kickoff on his own 27-yard line. Five plays later, Brady Quinn tried to hit Fasano again but Maurice Stovall inadvertently stole an unbelievable 35-yard touchdown pass. Weis talked him into giving it back.
As the game resumed, Tennessee found themselves behind by the score of 21-3 before they even knew what hit them. At this point Tennessee Coach Phillip Fulmer, who earlier had his team believing that the only place you can win a football game is on the field and the only place you can lose it is in your head, admitted the game was up for grabs.
But remember, Tennessee was playing Notre Dame, not a tough SEC opponent. Tennessee easily clawed their way back to a 21-21 tie score late in the third quarter. And then Coach Fulmer explained to his homeys in the booth via headphones that the first 90% of the victory takes 90% of the time and the last 10% takes the other 90% of the time.
It was at this point that the Vols self destructed.
First, the Vols blew the coverage and practically assisted Brady Quinn to complete a 73-yard pass to Jeff Samardzija when Quinn was only trying to throw the ball away. Four plays later, Quinn completed a short 4-yard flutter ball pass to Samardzija to put Notre Dame back on top with an undeserved lead.
Then, an Eric Ainge interception only belched out a D.J. Fitzpatrick field goal.
Later, another Ainge interception led to a 33-yard return for a touchdown by Tom “I’d Like To Buy A Vowel” Zbikowski.
In the end, according to an unreliable Gipper look-alike, a small boy wearing a “kelli” green Notre Dame jersey approached Charlie Weis and asked him if he would return the Irish to their storied past of glory. Weis replied, “The past is history. Tomorrow’s a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why we call it a ‘present.’” At that point Charlie dropped to the ground and ran sideways in a counter-clockwise circle . . . nyuk . . . nyuk . . . nyuk.
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Interim coach Charlie “Damn! Why Did You Interrupt Me? I Had Almost Figured Out Today’s ‘Word Jumble’” Weis proclaimed the BYU game as the “second opener,” as his team began the second half of its season. (Incidentally Weis had back up plans of proclaiming a third opener and fourth opener until the Irish won at home.) Instead, this game looked more like the SEASON opener for the Fighting Irish, as they were clearly out of sync and committed numerous false start and offside penalties.
Brady “Don’t Lick A Steak Knife” Quinn was shaky at best, being hurried, chased, knocked down, and sacked what seemed like all afternoon. If that wasn’t enough, Quinn was also flagged for intentional grounding. With BYU quarterback John “Boy, That Cold Medicine I Took Last Night Won’t Wear Off” Beck throwing two interceptions, fans were confused as to whether Brady Quinn was wearing blue or white. Thus the saying “There is a fine line between ‘Irish Fan’ and ‘Mental Illness.’”
Speaking of fans, most of the Notre Dame student body did not attend this game because either they were unable to find the stadium or they were on fall break. It also appears the BYU secondary didn’t show up for this game, either, because, well judging from the lackluster performance, they just didn’t show up. An unconfirmed drunken source claimed he overheard the BYU defense discussing the art of dead horse riding. Passed on tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, they learned that when you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount. This is interesting compared to Notre Dame’s strategy – change riders (i.e. Davie, O’Leary, Willingham, Weis.)
Despite this, the unranked BYU Cougars held leads of 3-0 and 10-7 against overrated Notre Dame early in this game.
As bad teams often do, a complete breakdown of the BYU secondary allowed Notre Dame to grab leads of 21-10 at halftime and 28-10 in the third quarter.
But even bad teams can give the Irish a run for the money. BYU put together two touchdown drives, which cut the Notre Dame lead to 28-23 later in the third quarter. A two-point conversion would have brought BYU to within a field goal, but that conversion attempt was literally thrown away.
Two late touchdowns against the porous Cougar defense gave the false impression that this wasn’t a close game. Then, Tom “Foolery” Zbikowski wrapped up the scoring for the always opportunistic Irish when he accidentally ended up with a John Beck pass attempt and surprisingly ran the right direction a whole 83 yards all by himself for a six points. Later, according to a Knute Rockne look-alike, Zbikowski paged himself over the stadium public address system and didn’t disguise his voice.
Notre Dame will now have a week off before facing Tennessee, another opponent that should be conveniently ranked in the top 25 at kickoff time. Who knows, maybe the Irish will move up an undeserving position or two in the polls while they are idle.
And speaking of other teams, Michigan State, who beat Notre Dame earlier this season, was pummeled by Northwestern by the score of 49-14. The Spartans, who were ranked #22 at the time, fell to 4-3 and will most certainly drop out of the top-25 poll. So much for Notre Dame’s “tough” schedule…
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USC stormed the Irish with an early 7-0 lead on a 36-yard touchdown run by the mighty Reggie Bush. Bush’s touchdown run, the first of three on this daring day, was set up following the always anticipated Brady Quinn interception. Unaware, perhaps even clueless, pom-poms shore through shoulder and thigh as Irish cheerleaders ate up the hysteria. The leprechaun mascot was flapping raven-like.
Miraculously, Notre Dame tied the game when Travis Thomas turned his front through a complete half-circle, facing successively south, west, and north, and ran deliriously in from 16 yards out. Irish fans shrieked in disbelief. USC fans howled at Notre Dame’s “kelli” green jerseys.
Matt Leinart’s jaw gripped and hardened as he completed passes effortlessly and Reggie Bush danced encouragingly through the Notre Dame defense. The only force that could stop USC’s offense was stinging fluke plays, like when Chinedum Ndukwe Hockawakee intercepted a deflected pass in the endzone. The fact that he held onto the ball was proof his brain was still working as if packed in ice.
Notre Dame relied heavily on bizarre plays, bad officiating, and dumb luck to do their scoring. Like when the officials magically ruled a 13-yard pass complete to Jeff Samardzija to keep a drive alive, even though the replay clearly showed his foot out of bounds. Or the USC defense, like intoxicated sophomores, allowed Tom Zbikowski to return a punt 59 yards for a touchdown. For goodness sake, USC’s special teams broke up, fell apart, and disappeared.
Notre Dame nursed leads of 21-14 at halftime and 24-21 in the fourth quarter. Domers hopelessly thought the Irish may pull off an upset. However, the Irish, mangled by every kind of torment a team can devise, failed at every chance to put the game out of reach. A dry lipped Brady Quinn badly missed Asaph Schwapp with a feeble pass attempt on a 3rd-and-7, and then, before the smoke had cleared, DJ Fitzpatrick badly missed a 34-yard field goal attempt.
USC got the ball back and put together a 10 play 80-yard opulent vengeance capped off by a steady and remorseless Reggie Bush touchdown as USC took a 38-24 lead.
Forbearing a second charge, USC was playing “prevent defense,” which allowed Notre Dame down to the Trojan 5-yard line. The attack guttered and flickered out. However, Brady Quinn tried to take it in himself. Tackled short of the goal line, Quinn stretched out his arm at the last second, and the officials blindly ruled a touchdown. Some say Brady was giving his right, cheating by any other name, to an unbeaten enemy. With his usual daring he made it so.
With one last chance, USC would show its immense superiority. The Irish had the opportunity to stop the Trojans on a 4th-and-9, but Matt Leinart valiantly completed a 61-yard pass to Dwayne Jarrett. Three plays later, Reggie Bush advanced the Trojans to a first-and-goal from the Irish 2-yard line with just seconds remaining. Now began the fiercest fight of that farce day.
The noise of something big began to creep in on the Irish. It cleared and divided into the tap of USC drums and the far away surf of sideline war cries. One saw the offensive Trojan line gather itself up and rush on evenly. Then, before the final seconds of the game, the line suddenly quivered and stopped. The goal line was yet unbroken. Charlie Weis, the Irish, and the drunken Irish fans rushed onto the field as it appeared the clock had run out. But Leinart clearly fumbled the ball out of bounds which should have stopped the clock. The officials spotted the ball inside the 1 yard line and put 7 seconds back on the clock.
The Trojans gathered themselves up again and rushed on. Leinart took the ball in himself over to the left side and got a little help moving the pile from star tailback Reggie Bush. TOUCHDOWN! (General Carroll said USC never considered settling for a field goal attempt to send it into overtime.) USC was ahead 34-31 with three seconds remaining.
Down but only 99 44/100% out, Charlie Weis gathered his troops before the ensuing kickoff. “Over?” asked Weis. “Did you say, 'over?' Nothing is over until WE decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!"
Perhaps Weis did not guess what a bellyful of beating the unbeaten enemy would take. With those words of wisdom the Irish took Troy Van Blarco’s kickoff, tried some leprechaun trickery by lateraling the ball, but went absolutely nowhere. The game WAS finally over when Maurice “The Crumb” Crum, the last to touch the ball, was brought down.
Only moments before, Charlie Weis was raising his arms in victory. But now, it might as well be a white flag. He folded his arms across his face, his limbs loosened, and he dropped to the turf beside his tears, toppled with his head on his arms and his face toward his Trojan conquerors.
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So then, let us mull over the rather mundane Irish win over the winless in their conference, bottom of the Big Ten, Purdue Boilermakers. For those outside of reality (Domers), there is more to the story of the freakish W’s in Notre Dame’s win column, and it is not good coaching. The Irish have been fortunate to find half decent, conveniently ranked football programs on their schedule just as they start to recede into oblivion. We witnessed this with Pittsburgh, Michigan, and now Purdue.
The Boilermakers are headed down the same path as Communism and the Buffalo – not much left to talk about. Fans of the Boilermakers absolutely had to be disgusted with the wanton performance turned in this weekend by Purdue. How can any legitimate Division I-A football team effortlessly move the ball to the Notre Dame one yard line, only to fumble on the next play? The Boilermakers only aided an overrated Notre Dame as they jumped to #12 as only an Independent slug can do.
In short, like an ugly red-headed leprechaun, Brady Quinn threw an uncharacteristic 440 yards and three touchdowns, two of them to Jeff Samardzija. Rashon Powers(?)-Neal stumbled into the endzone not once, but twice.
With the outcome of the game already decided midway through the third quarter, the only question left was whether or not Brady Quinn would throw the always anticipated interception. Quinn did not disappoint the huge crowd as he threw a flutter ball right into the hands of Purdue’s Rob Ninkovich. After the interception, having seen everything, Purdue fans and toothless Notre Dame fans alike started to file out of Ross-Ade Stadium.
By the way, when Purdue does turn in a performance, we’ll let you know.
Yep, there was some good football over the weekend. Go USC! Go Texas! Go Virginia Tech! Go Georgia! Go Alabama! Heck, any team but Notre Dame.
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For the third time in four weeks, “OPPORTUNISTIC” Notre Dame had an easy win handed to them by an opponent. This time it was the unranked Washington Huskies supplying the breaks to Notre Dame, allowing the Irish to register an embarrassing a 36-17 win in front of 71,400 fans in Husky Stadium. Some of the fans in attendance were actually expecting to see a good football game.
But, sometimes, common sense isn’t. Washington committed more than their share of mistakes in the first half alone. First, the Huskies left the ball at the Notre Dame 1-yard line before entering the endzone on their opening possession. Then, as losers often do, the Huskies allowed Notre Dame to inadvertently block a punt, leading to an Irish field goal. Later in the first half, Washington quarterback Isaiah “Brady Quinn Wannabe” Stanback threw an interception into the endzone on a 2nd-and-goal from the Notre Dame 6-yard line. At this point the Huskies were saying to themselves, “It doesn’t matter if you win or lose – until you lose.” Still, with all these Washington miscues, Notre Dame could only muster a monumental 12 first half points to take a mighty 12-3 lead into the locker room.
During halftime, Ty saw his shadow, to Charlie Weis’ delight, which meant two more quarters of bad football.
Notre Dame increased their lead in the second half, thanks to plays like an unconscious stumble in from 2-yards out by Rashon Powers(?)-Neal and a surprising touchdown pass from Brady Quinn to Jeff Samardzija. Domers celebrated Quinn’s touchdown pass briefly until Washington backup quarterback Johnny Durocher, a Cinderella boy out of nowhere, came in off the bench and accomplished the same feat. Reports that Durocher could have thrown his touchdown pass blindfolded and behind his back went unconfirmed.
For those who managed to stomach watching the entire second half, it was confirmed that Charlie Weis’ overrated Fighting Irish football team relies heavily on bad calls, opponents’ mistakes (i.e. turnovers, penalties, etc.) and luck. All those components and an independent schedule with teams like Navy allow the Irish to continue being legends in their fans’ minds, until, well, when they make it to an undeserved bowl game and reality sets in. If Weis doesn’t have anything else in his playbook except these expectations, he might not have learned from Ty’s mistakes.
In closing, although Notre Dame is 3-1 in their first four games, they have beaten three teams that are CURRENTLY unranked. Yes, Michigan may have been conveniently ranked when Notre Dame played them, but the Wolverines have fallen out of the top-25 poll after their loss to Wisconsin. Notre Dame has only played one team CURRENTLY ranked in the top-25 (Michigan State) and Notre Dame lost that game, proving that Notre Dame can’t beat a ranked opponent. And finally, the two lessons learned: A coach can be an ass without being an optimist, but not an optimist without being an ass. Good Luck Ty – keep reaching for that rainbow.
MICHIGAN STATE 44
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Speaking of embarrassing, this was Notre Dame’s humiliating fifth straight loss to Michigan State at Notre Dame Stadium. It has been rumored that maintenance workers at Notre Dame are already painting a paper bag over Touchdown Jesus’ face.
The loss drops Charlie Weis to 2-1 lifetime and once again leaves George O’Leary as Notre Dame’s only undefeated head coach. As George celebrated with a bottle of bubbly, the Irish continued to celebrate mediocracy.
Spartan quarterback Drew Stanton had a banner day against the Irish throwing three touchdowns and running for another touchdown. Stanton finished the day 16-of-27 for 327 yards.
Brady Quinn, who according to an unreliable source is failing trigonometry and analytical geometry because he refuses to believe pi(e) are square, was back to his usual self again. Quinn threw the often expected interception right into the hands of Sir Darean Adams. Adams returned the ball 30 yards for a Spartan touchdown in front of weary waving Irish fans. Only this time, those wearing the silly yellow shirts didn’t use all of their fingers. Naughty, naughty.
Michigan State easily built a 38-17 lead late in the third quarter. Then, just to make things interesting, as if in a game of cat and mouse, the Spartans allowed Notre Dame to score the last 21 points of regulation and send the game into overtime.
Still following the game plan – lose early or as late as you can, a pathetic 44-yard field goal by DJ Fitzpatrick was all that Notre Dame could barely contribute in overtime.
Conversely, when Michigan State got the ball in overtime, it didn’t take long for them to get it in the hands of Jason Teague on an option play. Teague easily sliced and diced his way 19 yards for a Spartan touchdown as Michigan State won the game 44-41.
For the bandwagon Irish fans with the remotes in hand, they learned two things between commercials: One, satellite radio receivers (XM, Sirius) will occasionally disrupt K-band radar guns used by police to catch speeders, and two, the Irish were spanked hard in their own house.
Later, in a celebration as monumental as the lunar landing, the Spartans planted their flag in front of 80,000 booing morons, thus claiming the hallowed Irish turf as their own. Meanwhile, a depleted, conceited, and definitely defeated Charlie Weis could be heard mumbling as he crawled back into the locker room saying “Well, this day was a total waste of make up.”
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Notre Dame is now 2-0 on the young season after escaping Michigan Stadium with a miraculous 17-10 victory. Charlie Weis has become the first Notre Dame coach since Knute Rockne in 1918 to win his first two games on the road. Unlike Rockne, Weis’ team did not play non-Division IA Case and Wabash. Later, a drunken unreliable source claimed he overheard Charlie Weis admit he is an agent of Satan, but his duties are mostly ceremonial. Former coach George O’Leary is holding his breath.
The Fighting Irish, as usual, were aided by both Michigan’s inability to put points on the board, and also two huge calls that were overturned by instant replay.
Notre Dame’s opening drive contained the usual leprechaun trickery: no huddle offenses and shotgun formations with empty backfields. The Fighting Irish tried everything on their opening drive except for two men in motion at the same time. Had the drive been a couple plays longer they may have even tried that. Notre Dame’s opening drive ended when Rhema McKnight inadvertently grabbed a Brady Quinn flutter ball that he swore was intended for someone else. Imagine how good Brady Quinn will be in his sixth year.
Garrett Rivas cut the lead to 7-3 early in the second quarter with a 38-yard field goal. Then, just before halftime, Notre Dame extended its lead to 14-3 when Jeff Samardzija caught another aimless 5-yard flutter ball from Brady Quinn. Samardzija (try saying that three times fast) later admitted he had no idea who Quinn was throwing to, but since he was closest to the ball he might as well try to catch it.
Michigan had more than their share of chances in the second half, but the Wolverines just couldn’t cash in. Early in the third quarter, Notre Dame’s Tom Zbikowski accidentally picked off a Chad Henne pass at the Notre Dame 1 yard line. Errors have been made. Others will be blamed.
Although it’s probably not worth mentioning, a mighty 43-yard field goal jack-booted by DJ Fitzpatrick just barely cleared the crossbar and extended Notre Dame’s lead to 17-3 early in the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, still unable to cash in, another Michigan drive evaporated like an Irish victory in a bowl game at the Notre Dame 5-yard line.
Then, Michigan easily strolled as far as the Notre Dame 1 yard line on their very next possession. But then, panic, chaos, and disorder flourished as usual in bizzaro world. Chad Henne was originally ruled down, but after reviewing the play on instant replay, the leprechaun in the replay booth ruled a fumble and awarded Notre Dame the ball on the 20-yard line. All this took place after Notre Dame tried more leprechaun trickery with 12 men on the field.
On the ensuing Irish possession, Brady Quinn appeared to have fumbled deep in Irish territory. However, after reviewing the play, that screwed up fairy in the replay booth once again ruled in favor of the Irish.
Michigan finally scored and cut the lead to 17-10 with just over 4 minutes remaining when Chad Henne hit Mario Manningha in stride with a 26-yard touchdown.
Michigan got the ball back one more time but couldn’t complete a pass against a very aggressive Notre Dame defense (perhaps a little too aggressive.) But heck, the officials weren’t calling anything at this point in the game.
Notre Dame eventually found their way off the field with a 17-10 victory as the final seconds clicked off the clock. Michigan made the long walk to their locker room. And the officiating crew headed back home to South Bend to enjoy a few cold ones. As for the Domers, we are already visualizing the duct tape over your mouths.
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An overrated Notre Dame opened the 2005 season with an irrelevant 42-21 win over Pittsburgh Saturday night. This somewhat anticipated game featured the debut and match up of two former NFL coaches: Pittsburgh’s Dave Wannstedt and Notre Dame’s Charlie Weis.
The 23rd ranked Pitt Panthers held leads of 7-0 and 10-7 in the first quarter, as one might expect. Pittsburgh quarterback Tyler Palko looked brilliant, completing a 39-yard touchdown pass to Greg Lee. Josh Cummings also booted a 49-yard field goal for the Panthers.
Then, as if some strange leprechaun cast a spell, the game was no longer being played in Pittsburgh, but in bizzaro world – where everything goes the Irish way.
Although no one knows for sure what happened next, Notre Dame went on to score an uncharacteristic four touchdowns in the second quarter and build a 35-13 halftime lead. Did Tyler Palko get hit harder than he remembers? Was it Marcus Furman’s fumble on a kickoff return? Was it Greg Lee’s drop of a touchdown pass near the end of the first half? Did interim head coach Charlie Weis misplace his playbook under his coloring book and crayons? Did Brady Quinn forget who he was and think he was Tom Brady? The only thing anyone knew for sure was that it was quite clear Pittsburgh did not want to win this game.
Notre Dame accidentally added another touchdown in the third quarter thanks in part to Pittsburgh’s inability to recover a forced fumble, and a huge Panther personal foul penalty on a third down and 25 to keep a drive alive. Penalties and opponents’ mistakes seem to be key in Irish victories against questionable defenses and semi-seasoned offenses.
Pittsburgh added a touchdown and two-point conversion in the fourth quarter, but 42-21 would be as close as the Panthers would come the rest of this game. Even inebriated domer fans were surprised. A drunken unreliable source claimed Charlie Weis was not sure himself how they gained such a huge lead. Unconfirmed sources overheard Charlie Weis say, “The whole game had this eerie feeling, the kind you get when you’re away out of town and Jeopardy comes on at 7:30 instead of 7:00.”
Irish quarterback Brady Quinn inadvertently completed 18 of 27 passes. However, most of those completions sailed like a bowling ball and were less than 10 yards doing nothing more than pad his stats. Quinn also threw the usual one anticipated interception.
With the win in his first game as interim head coach, Charlie Weis joins a group of legendary Notre Dame coaches. The last to accomplish this feat was the legendary Ty Willingham. Currently Charlie Weis and George O’Leary are the only two Notre Dame coaches to be undefeated.
And speaking of legendary, to borrow another quote from Alan Grant, “Oh, Notre Dame remains legendary … but only in its own mind.”
Anyhow, Blue defeated Gold 28-6 and that is what really makes you think, hey this Irish team might still be able to compete with powerhouses like Navy and whoop the pants off bicycle clubs and lesser known high school teams. But then who is Gold? Some incidental second string representation of the weaker teams on their schedule? It could be. Others claim it’s the Washington Generals. True bleeding Blue and Gold fans know that this Gold bunch of poor excuses for mustering only 42 total yards is also NOTRE DAME. This miss match anti-team building media stunt assures a victory for the Irish either way. However, on the down side, along the lines of poor coaching since Lou Holtz left, with undefeated George O’Leary being the exception, polarizes the players as good and bad.
The Gold team, already feeling and reeling from a humiliating kick in the crotch tentative shut out, learned that embarrassment comes in many forms. They call this preferential field position. In the fourth quarter after a Blue team touchdown, the Gold team was tossed a scrap of dignity by having the ball placed on the Blue team’s five yard line. This came from Weis, who maintains for now that finger tip grip on reality, a mock punishment that happens all the time in fantasy land, by disciplining the Blue team for what was called “good-natured celebration” of its final touchdown. Yes, that’s right. The Blue team needed to celebrate in the faces of their fellow “teammates” which further illustrates the hubris of the Blue team. Also, the losers, the Gold team for those who lost touch with what we’re talking about from this infernal internal dialogue going on in their hollow craniums, realized they can score only when Daddy yells at big brother to let the babies score some points too.
So in spite of a meaningless Blue victory, MVP Award for Brady Quinn and his eight of twelve pass attempts for 120 yards, two touchdowns and an unimpressive 290 total yards on 34 plays, the Gold team scored a lone touchdown in the face of a Blue team, which boastfully displayed with an in your face projected Notre Dame “two deep” depth chart that we’re better than the rest of the team.
Finally, in the world of Irish luck and flukes, an overrated Gold team stole the Blue team’s thunder, pride, and reasons for playing football. Junior quarterback Marty Mooney affirmed this when he scored Gold’s only touchdown pass when he caught his own deflected pass and unconsciously headed into the endzone for an 11-yard touchdown pass.
Afterwards, sadly, the point after attempt was missed, the purpose of this game was missed, some of the cylinders in Weis’ brain missed, and the only thing that would explain a final score of 28-6 was missed. Bravo Charlie. You certainly are headed in the right direction – up as opposed to rock bottom. And we here at the Notre Dame Sucks Website thought we would miss Ty Willingham. Now try humming to yourself that old Van Halen song – “Where have all the good times gone…”
OREGON STATE 38
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Oregon State quarterback Derek Anderson tied an Insight Bowl record by easily throwing four touchdown passes as the Beavers once again humiliated Notre Dame 38-21. The loss was Notre Dame’s second straight bowl loss to the Beavers, and the Irish’s embarrassing seventh consecutive bowl loss overall. There are now 79 different Division I teams that have won a bowl game since Notre Dame’s last postseason victory over Texas A&M in the 1993 Cotton Bowl. What??? Sing her glory and sound her shame.
Oregon State scored two first quarter touchdowns thanks in part to their special teams efforts. First, Derek Anderson hit George Gillett with a 12-yard touchdown pass following a 52-yard punt return by Sammie Stroughter. Then, Anderson completed another touchdown pass, this one to Joe Newton, following Derrick Doggett’s block of a D.J. Fitzpatrick punt.
Derek Anderson’s third touchdown pass of the first half extended Oregon State’s lead to 21-0 in the second quarter. This time it was an 11-yard touchdown pass to Dan Haines.
Notre Dame may have been down, out, and unconscious. However, they weren’t completely dead just yet as Oregon State allowed Brady Quinn to miraculously and blindly throw Anthony Fasano a 13-yard touchdown pass just seconds before halftime to make the score 21-7. At this point interim coach Kent Baer gave the team a pep talk: “I believe in lock men. How else can you explain the success of those Beavers?”
Reacting to the interim coach’s words, Notre Dame would score two more touchdowns in the second half against the much softened Beaver defense. First, Darius Walker inadvertently stumbled in from five yards out. Then, Brady Quinn completed an insignificant touchdown pass to a surprised Rhema McKnight against a Beaver defense that was only concerned with boarding the plane back to Corvallis. By the way, Derek Anderson’s fourth touchdown pass of the night was sandwiched between these two Notre Dame scores.
Then, checking with the magic 8 ball and thinking they actually had a chance to win the game, Notre Dame attempted an onside kick with just under five minutes remaining. Kent Baer had nothing to lose besides that good luck wedgie given to him by the team before the game. He knows he won’t be back next season. Oregon State recovered the kick at the Notre Dame 28-yard line. Five plays later, despite the 8 ball prediction, Dwight Wright walked in practically untouched for the Beavers fifth touchdown of the night.
Pittsburgh, USC, and Oregon State combined for 14 touchdown passes against the Notre Dame defense in the last three games. What do you do when you have defensive problems of this magnitude? Well, if you’re Notre Dame, you go out and hire New England offensive coordinator Charlie Weis as your next head coach. Meanwhile, her loyal boys are prancing without a victory.
A drunken unidentified source overheard Kent Baer say, “I find it rather easy to portray a Notre Dame head coach. Being bland, rather stoic, and incompetent comes naturally to me. I’m gonna miss y’all.”
Notre Dame played this game with all their might, but they just couldn’t win one for fired coach Ty Willingham. Then again, Ty shouldn’t feel that bad. The Irish also couldn’t win one for Bob Davie. Or George O’Leary.
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The loss was Notre Dame’s humiliating third straight loss to the Trojans. Even more humiliating is the fact Notre Dame has been outscored 130-37 in those three games.
Notre Dame was off to an unprecedented fast start, picking up an unexplainable 165 yards and 10 points on their first two possessions. Notre Dame would hold early leads of 7-0 and 10-3.
Unlike a dollar bill, which will give you four quarters, Notre Dame quickly fell apart after the first quarter. In fact, the Fighting Irish offense only picked up 135 yards the rest of the game.
Meanwhile, USC was just getting started. Heisman hopeful Matt Leinart threw five touchdown passes as USC scored on six of their next seven possessions. It was obvious the Notre Dame defense couldn’t stop the Trojans. In fact, the only time the Trojans didn’t score was when time ran out in the second quarter.
This game was safely in the win column for USC as the two teams entered the fourth quarter. The only question was whether or not the Trojans would cover the point spread. Matt Leinart took care of that by throwing a 35-yard touchdown pass to Steve Smith and another 23-yard touchdown pass to Jason Mitchell in the fourth quarter.
Leinart helped his cause by going 24 of 34 for 400 yards. Brady Quinn was 15 of 29 for a measly 105 yards. Quinn was also seen drooling on the sideline several times as he studied Matt Leinart.
After the game, an unidentified source overheard Coach Ty in the locker room as he told his team they just received a “good ass-whooping” for the third year in a row.
Another unidentified source saw Coach Ty stay behind in the locker room long after the players and other coaches left. Coach Ty appeared to pull out his Bobblehead Ty and ask it, “Little buddy, do you think I will be back as head coach next year?” The Bobblehead Ty abruptly stopped shaking his head and just stared into the eyes of Coach Ty as if he was saying, “You can’t be serious!”
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Pittsburgh’s Tyler Palko became the first quarterback to throw five touchdown passes against Notre Dame in a single game as the Panthers delivered a 41-38 setback to the Fighting Irish. Palko was 26-of-42 for 334 yards on the day compared to Brady Quinn, who was a mere 15-of-26 for a measly 259 yards and the usual two interceptions.
Also, the most storied team in college football, or at least self-proclaimed, is still adding to a growing list of new records. The loss was Notre Dame’s humiliating third home loss this season. This hysterically marks the second straight year the Irish have lost three games at Notre Dame Stadium, and the eighth time overall that they have lost three home games. Word has NBC regrets adding to its list of undesirable programming.
In this game, drunken Irish fans second guessed the illustrious Coach Ty’s decision not to start the cheerleaders on defense. What ensued was another embarrassment that Coach Ty is comfortable with, according to the lack of concern on his face.
But for those sober fans, the nightmare continued as they watched Tyler Palko throw four touchdown passes in the first half alone. Pitt racked up 28 first half points against the seemingly non-existent Notre Dame defense. At times, Palko thought it was the Irish marching band lining up against Pitt.
Palko originally planned to take it easy in the second half. However, when Tyler realized he was tied with eleven other quarterbacks with four touchdown passes against the Irish, he decided to throw one more to Erik Gill with 2:24 left in the fourth quarter to secure his name in the record books. Palko’s fifth touchdown pass gave Pitt a 38-35 lead.
Pesky Notre Dame tied the game at 38-38 with 1:11 remaining in regulation on a 45-yard field goal by D.J. Fitzpatrick, thus giving some of those toothless Irish fans a reason for painting their bodies in November.
Pittsburgh got the ball back for one final possession. Erik Gill walked away from Notre Dame’s Mike Goolsby and turned what should have been a short gain into a 36-yard gain. After two more effortless pass completions, Josh Cummings trotted on to boot a 32-yard field goal to put Pitt back on top 41-38 with one second remaining, and inevitably the “W” in the win column.
The victory raises Pittsburgh to 6-3 and makes the Panthers bowl eligible. Notre Dame, who became bowl eligible a week ago, came into this game with unrealistic hopes of possibly playing in a New Year’s Day bowl game. After the loss and a tough opponent in #1 USC in two weeks, Notre Dame will probably be lucky to play in some “dot com” bowl game on ESPN2 sometime earlier in bowl week. That is, if Notre Dame accepts the invitation.
Finally, an unidentified source claimed he overheard Coach Ty state “Those that don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat the eighth grade and in two weeks from now we should prove you can’t spell ‘Notre Dame Sucks’ without ‘USC.’” Next year if someone says “Get the door, it’s Domino’s,” don’t be surprised if Coach Ty is standing there holding a pizza.
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Tennessee Head Coach Phillip Fulmer named Brent Schaeffer and Erik Ainge as co-starting quarterbacks in the beginning of the season. Schaeffer went down with a broken collarbone a week ago, leaving the quarterbacking chores to Erik Ainge. Ainge played a near perfect first half, but was forced to leave the game with a separated shoulder following the final play of the half. Notre Dame’s Brandon Hoyte delivered a blow to Erik Ainge that even Jeff Gillooly would have been proud of. All that Ainge could do is lay on the ground and scream, “Why me?”
This game was clearly a game of two very different halves. Erik Ainge moved the ball effortlessly against the much-overrated Notre Dame defense in the first half. The Volunteers scored first on a 30-yard field goal by James Wilhoit. Notre Dame grabbed a brief 7-3 lead when tight end Anthony Fasano bobbled the ball in the endzone and inadvertently held on for an 8-yard touchdown pass. Then, Erik Ainge completed a short pass to Cedric Houston, who twisted, turned, spun, and dodged Irish defenders for a 56-yard touchdown run.
Unfortunately for the Volunteers, Erik Ainge had to watch the second half from the sideline with a separated shoulder. Rick “I’m Not Casey” Clausen came in to replace Ainge. Midway through the third quarter, Clausen threw a pass, and the game, right into the arms of Notre Dame’s Mike Goolsby. Goolsby pranced 26 yards for a touchdown. Notre Dame grabbed a mighty 14-10 lead and never looked back in this game. Now we know why Clausen is third string…
Tennessee cut the Irish lead to 14-13 on a 33-yard James Wilhoit field goal, but that was as close as Tennessee would get. Notre Dame’s D.J. Fitzpatrick hit a fourth quarter field goal to make the final score 17-13.
With the ill-gained victory, Notre Dame improves to 6-3, and the Irish are eligible for an underserved bowl appearance.
Meanwhile… Coach Ty is flexing his muscles as he grips his forehead in deep thought… “Damn, I coached these sissy momma’s boys to a victory over a top-ten team… Maybe I can get Hoyte to do a ‘Gillooly’ on all our opponents’ quarterbacks… Maybe… Hmm…” Coach Ty then scratches the secret itch as he turns out the lights and leaves the locker room.
BOSTON COLLEGE 24
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Just for grins and giggles, a beleaguered Boston College spotted the mutant-like leprechauns a 20-7 halftime lead. The Eagles did not even take the game seriously until the second half, where they out gained the Irish 319 yards to 122 and held them to 24 rushing yards in the second half.
Paul Peterson’s 21-yard touchdown pass to Joel Hazard cut the Notre Dame lead to 20-14 in the third quarter. The Eagles, like a blind man at an orgy, were feeling their way through this game. Then, Ryan Ohliger nailed a 21-yard field goal in the fourth quarter as Touchdown Jesus threw both arms in the air proclaiming “IT’S GOOD!!!” Ohliger’s field goal cut Notre Dame’s lead to 20-17. Like a midget at a urinal, Coach Ty was going to have to stay on his toes.
Sadly, a 43-yard field goal by D.J. Fitzpatrick would be the only scoring Notre Dame could muster in the second half. Fitzpatrick’s field goal would briefly extend Notre Dame’s lead to 23-17.
Paul Peterson’s effortless 30-yard touchdown pass to Tony Gonzalez gave Boston College a 24-23 lead with 54 seconds remaining in the game. A drunken unidentified source overheard Brady Quinn tell D.J. to go in there and not surrender. To which Fitzpatrick exclaimed “I don’t know the meaning of the word surrender!! I mean I know it, I’m not dumb…just not in that context.” D.J. Fitzpatrick attempted a 55-yard field goal as time expired, but it was unclear what he was aiming for.
Brady Quinn, who thinks “B.C.” is a brand of headache powder, finished the day 20 out of 33 for 231 yards and the usual two interceptions.
Boston College has now beaten Notre Dame four straight times, and five out of the last six years. More importantly, Coach Ty failed to get the monkey off his back. But hey, Coach Ty’s Irish played a perfect game. Unfortunately this wasn’t it.
Consistency is that last refuge of the unimaginative. After being humiliated by losing 7 of 13 games to the Eagles since this rivalry was renewed in 1992, Notre Dame will conveniently drop Boston College in 2005 and try to schedule a second game with Navy. It must be nice to play an independent schedule…
The Fighting Irish will now enjoy a weekend off to go trick-or-treating as football players before they visit Tennessee on November 6th.
Before leaving the stadium, Boston College coach Tom O’Brien slapped Coach Ty on the butt and said, “Well Ty, you know what they say, veni, vedi, vici.” To which Coach Ty replied, “Well you know what I say, “Caveat emptor, Coach O’Brien, caveat emptor.” Confused, Coach O’Brien asked, “Doesn’t that mean buyer beware?” To which Coach Ty replied “Yes” and then jacked him in the jaw.
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After playing four of their last five games at home, and by playing, we mean acting like some form of athlete, it was time for the Fighting Irish to go on the road. Well, at least to a neutral site. An unreliable source thought he heard Coach Ty stammer, “Wherever you go, there you are.” Where better to go than to Giants Stadium in New Jersey where Notre Dame had a perfect 10-0 record? Okay, but eight of those ten victories came against service academies…
Notre Dame beat Navy 27-9. Ho-hum. This game marked the 41st consecutive time that Notre Dame has beaten the Naval Academy. In fact, Roger Staubach was the starting quarterback for the Midshipmen the last time they defeated Notre Dame.
This game was not nearly as exciting as Friday night’s ALCS game between the Yankees and Red Sox that was rained out. Navy allowed Notre Dame to score on their first two possessions and grab a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
It was in the second quarter. D.J. Fitzpatrick looking at fourth down turned to Coach Ty and asked “Are you pondering what I’m pondering?” To which Coach Ty replied, “I think so, but suppose we do the hokey pokey and turn around, is that really what it’s all about?” Fitzpatrick kicked the field goal.
Navy finally got the offense rolling on their first possession of the second half. The Midshipmen marched effortlessly for 81 yards. However, their drive finally stalled on the Notre Dame 11-yard line and Navy had to settle for a field goal.
Notre Dame responded by putting together a little drive of their own on their first possession of the second half. Ryan Grant, who thinks the Holland Tunnel is in Amsterdam, ran nine times for 55 yards in the drive. Brady “I’m No Roger Staubach” Quinn completed two short passes. The drive was capped off when Ryan Grant jumped, twisted, and blasted in from one yard out. As it has been said before, “Navy is better at protecting our borders than its own goal line.”
D.J. Fitzpatrick would hit his second field goal of the day in the fourth quarter to give Notre Dame a 27-3 lead. Then, Navy finally hit pay dirt when Frank Divis ran in from five yards out. Divis seemed surreal and translike when a drunken unidentifiable source heard him say, “I used to be with it. Then they changed what ‘it’ was. Now what I’m with isn’t ‘it’…and what is…seems weird and scary.”
After the game Coach Ty was overheard saying “It’s critically important when you play a team as skilled as they are to limit their options and try to get ahead of them.” Duh! Just remember Ty, a foot in the mouth is worth two in the head. Isn’t that what EVERY football coach from Pop Warner to the pros tries to do? Get ahead and try to limit the other team’s options?
In conclusion, Notre Dame football is rather funny, isn’t it? It kind of has subliminal messages in it. As you watch and listen to it, it stops and makes you think “Gee…this is really cr*p.”
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Stanford, who entered the game with a 3-1 record, are off to a fine start. Head Coach Buddy Teevens has this team headed in the right direction, unlike three years ago when Stanford had some buffoon for their head coach.
Stanford completely dominated this game, moving the ball effortlessly against the erratic Irish defense. Although Stanford had no problem moving the ball into the red zone, they just couldn’t finish off their drives by punching the ball into the endzone. The Cardinal had to settle for field goals for their first three scores.
Speaking of field goals, the first half was nothing more than a battle of field goals. Michael Sgroi led D.J. Fitzpatrick by a score of 6-3 at the intermission. (yawn…)
For those sober Irish fans that have no life or the remote control was out of reach, the second half was equally as exciting as watching paint dry. Michael Sgroi, err Stanford, went up 9-3 early in the third quarter on a 38-yard field goal.
Notre Dame would take a brief 10-9 lead when Ryan Grant stumbled in from one yard out, but the Cardinal went right back on top 15-10 on J.R. Lemon’s one yard run. The Notre Dame cheerleaders were confused, but cheered anyway.
Then, on Stanford’s next possession, punter Jay Ottovegio decided to make things interesting by dropping the snap. Stanford did recover the ball, but it was turned over to the “OPPORTUNISTIC” Fighting Irish on downs. Six plays later, Notre Dame’s Ryan Grant jumped, hurdled, twisted, and blasted for a monumental 3-yard touchdown run, the longest of the game for the overrated Irish.
Notre Dame would add an insurance touchdown late in the fourth quarter on a 2-yard run by Brady Quinn. Quinn’s touchdown run came after he inadvertently completed a 34-yard pass to Rhema McKnight earlier in the drive.
On a final note, this was the 800th all-time victory for Notre Dame. It is still unclear exactly how many victories Notre Dame would have if you didn’t count games against high schools, athletic clubs, cycling clubs, and artillery clubs. It is also unclear if Ty was coaching both sides of the field…the cheerleaders couldn’t tell…NBC wouldn’t.
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Purdue quarterback Kyle Orton showed Brady Quinn what a Heisman contender really looks like. Orton easily completed 21 of 31 passes for 385 yards and four touchdowns, including a 97-yarder to Taylor Stubblefield in the third quarter. Jerome Brooks returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown, stopping along the way to sign autographs, and Ben Jones tapped two field goals to round out the scoring for the Boilermakers, the top football team in the state of Indiana.
Notre Dame, who was held to 76 yards rushing by the run-of-the-mill Purdue defense, incidentally scored touchdowns on a 40-yard touchdown pass from an unconscious Brady Quinn to a startled Rhema McKnight, who believes Paul McCartney died and was replaced by a look alike, and a one-yard stumble by Rashon Powers?-Neal. D.J. Fitzpatrick, who thinks the secret ingredient in Dr. Pepper is prune juice, also added a meaningless field goal for the Irish, thus giving the matronly Irish cheerleaders something to groan about.
But ironically, Purdue stole a page from the unguarded Notre Dame playbook/coloring book as it was the Boilermakers who showed the trickery in this game. First, running back Brandon Jones tossed a 28-yard pass to Ray Williams. Then Kyle Orton flipped a 2-yard TD pass to defensive end Rob Ninkovich. This really surprised Coach Ty because he was wearing his lucky shoes – the same shoes worn during victories over Michigan, Michigan State, and Washington.
Next up on the Notre Dame schedule is 3-1 Stanford; a team that sure had BYU’s number earlier in the season and also played a very tough game against USC. We’ll see if the Cardinal also has Notre Dame’s number… Meanwhile, Coach Ty has sharpened his crayolas in anticipation of adding to the colorful pages of Notre Dame’s playbook and storied past. Let’s make an effort not to ridicule Coach Ty, but to understand him…chuckle…chuckle…
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After having a win handed to them by Michigan State last week, Notre Dame picked up their third gratuitous win of the season by defeating the Washington Huskies. The Huskies handed the game to the “OPPORTUNISTIC” Fighting Irish by turning the ball over five times. Now we know why the Huskies are off to an 0-3 start, after losing their first two games to Ohio Medical and Physicians & Surgeons, we think.
Coach Ty was beside himself with glee, patting each other on the butt for good luck. Brady “Flutter Pass” Quinn, aided immensely all afternoon by a short playing field, threw two inadvertent touchdown passes apiece to a surprised Matt Shelton and Tony “Even My Doo Doo Smells Like Pepperoni” Fasano in the first half. The four unimpressive touchdown passes tied a Notre Dame record previously held by Carlyle Holiday, among others, and proved even the Irish can throw a touchdown pass against weak opposition. An unidentified player overheard Brady Quinn tell Shelton and Fasano he was only trying to throw the ball away to avoid a sack but the ball just fell short… Quinn finished the day completing 17 of 32 passes and the usual one inevitable interception.
The Huskies moved the ball at will all afternoon against the overrated Notre Dame defense, but just couldn’t find the endzone with two hands and a flashlight. The Huskies killed themselves by losing four fumbles and throwing one interception. Again, the only scoring the Huskies could muster was a 26-yard field goal by Michael Braunstein in the second quarter, and, according to unreliable sources, his little brother with an Irish cheerleader under the bleachers.
For those Irish fans, still sober, but watching through inebriated Irish eyes; they brushed off the crumbs of over-salted snack treats from their beer soaked t-shirts and witnessed the makings of another undeserved season’s journey to possibly, maybe, a bowl game.
Finally, the Irish jack-booted a 45-yard field goal by D.J. Fitzpatrick, then wrapped up their scoring on a 17-yard touchdown run by Darius Walker following yet another Huskie turnover. A drunken source claimed “Coach Ty said it was just like me taking candy from a baby; apparently an old past time event.” And Walker, who carried the ball 23 times for 88 yards, proved that if you carry the ball enough times eventually you will pick up a yard or two. Enough said.
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MICHIGAN STATE 24
Notre Dame was more than lucky on Saturday as the “OPPORTUNISTIC” Irish took advantage of six Michigan State turnovers to defeat the Spartans. Despite the six turnovers, the game was still relatively close with Notre Dame winning by a score of 31-24.
Michigan State grabbed an early 7-0 lead when they blocked a Notre Dame punt and it was recovered in the endzone by Jerramy Scott for a Spartan touchdown. Then, Michigan State handed the “OPPORTUNISTIC” Irish two easy touchdowns on an interception thrown by Stephen Reaves and a fumble by Jason Teague. Notre Dame surprisingly led 14-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Notre Dame added a touchdown with the skill of a Chinese fire drill in the second quarter on a very short drive following blown coverage on a Michigan State punt. It seemed that when Michigan State wasn’t turning the ball over, they were still killing themselves with mental mistakes.
Notre Dame went up 28-7 in the third quarter when Ryan Grant stumbled in from six yards out. Then, on the ensuing kickoff, DeAndra Cobb returned the kickoff 89 yards for a Michigan State touchdown. Coach Ty, who just made a visit to the men’s room, didn’t have a clue what happened as he ran through the tunnel, toilet paper flapping like a kite tail back onto the field. Okay, Coach Ty, for once you actually have a valid excuse for not having a clue. Glad to see that you at least had your priorities straight. (See picture of Bobble Head Ty.)
Drew Stanton came in to relieve Stephen Reaves at quarterback after Reaves threw three interceptions and led the Spartan offense to a total of four turnovers. And you thought Brady Quinn was bad?
A 46-yard field goal by Michigan State’s Dave Rayner cut the Notre Dame lead to 28-17 early in the fourth quarter. Then, just as Michigan State was about to make things really interesting, Jehuu Caulcrick dove into the endzone for what appeared to be a touchdown. The only problem is he forgot to bring the ball with him. It was recovered by “OPPORTUNISTIC” Notre Dame, killing the Spartan drive.
Following several turnovers by both teams, a 23-yard field goal by Notre Dame’s D.J. Fitzpatrick and a 4-yard touchdown run by the Spartan’s Drew Stanton gave Notre Dame the 31-24 victory.
Two wins in a row against Big Ten power houses forced Coach Ty back into the men’s room to reevaluate next week’s game plan with a series of x’s and o’s on the walls of the bathroom stall – right next to the scribbling of “For a good time call…”
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The winningest team in Division I football, the Michigan Wolverines, traveled to South Bend to take on the Fighting Irish. Michigan figured they would bring their “B” game with them since they were taking on a “B” team. Unfortunately, a few mistakes by Michigan combined with a few fluke plays by Notre Dame was enough to propel the “OPPORTUNISTIC” Fighting Irish to a 28-20 upset win over top-ten ranked Michigan. Well, maybe it wasn’t much of an upset considering Michigan is the only top-ten ranked team Notre Dame has beaten in the last few years.
Darius Walker, who forgot his uniform for the BYU game, ran for 115 yards on 31 carries against an ill-prepared Wolverine defense. Quarterback Brady Quinn completed just 50 percent of his passes and threw the usual three interceptions.
Michigan owned most of the first half. Although the Wolverines moved the ball and controlled the clock, they just couldn’t get the ball into the endzone. The Wolverines had to settle for three Garrett Rivas field goals and a 9-0 halftime lead.
The Notre Dame offense showed signs of a pulse in the third quarter when Brady Quinn completed a 46-yard touchdown pass to a very surprised Matt Shelton. If you throw enough passes, the laws of average state that you have to complete one sooner or later. Garrett Rivas then added his fourth field goal of the afternoon to give Michigan a 12-7 lead at the end of three quarters.
As Michigan was attempting to put the game away in the fourth quarter, quarterback Chad Henne’s pass bounced off Braylon Edwards right into the hands of an “OPPORTUNISTIC” Dwight Ellick. Three plays later Darius Walker stumbled in from six yards out to give Notre Dame a 14-12 lead.
Then, on Michigan’s next possession, Jerome Collins and Chase Anastasio combined to inadvertently block a Michigan punt that was recovered by Corey Mays. On the next play, Walker stumbled in from five yards out giving Notre Dame a 21-12 lead.
An 8-yard touchdown pass from Brady Quinn to Rashon Powers-Neal just about put the game out of reach at 28-12. Then, a 25-yard touchdown pass from Chad Henne to Steve Breaston and a two-point conversion with 2:27 left in the game made the final score 28-20.
Keeping with tradition, Michigan has now lost their first road game five years in a row, giving Notre Dame probably the only thing to brag about this year. That, and the echoing ravings of the Four Horsemen.
It is also possible that some Notre Dame students, breaking with du Lac, provoked some hedonistic ritual that metaphorically shook down the thunder from the sky. But remember, lightning strikes only once in the same spot.
Speaking of laws of probability, Stanford beat BYU, who handed Notre Dame their first loss of the year. And in the end, all this madness now has the odds makers busier than a one legged leprechaun at an ass kicking contest.
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BYU jumped out to an early 13-0 lead before the Notre Dame starters even found their way from the bus to the locker room, thanks to a Naufahu Tahi 5-yard touchdown run and two Matt Payne field goals. Coach Ty was seen pacing the sideline probably second guessing rescheduling this game. Either that, or he was second guessing playing a Division I schedule. A 21-yard field goal by D.J. Fitzpatrick just before halftime was the only scoring Notre Dame could muster in the first half.
Matt Berry, who came in to relieve John Beck, hit Austin Collie with a 42-yard touchdown pass to extend BYU’s lead to 20-3 in the third quarter.
Unable to move the ball on the ground, Notre Dame had to rely on the Brady Quinn “flutter pass.” In all, Quinn put the ball up for grabs 47 times, completing just over 50 percent of his passes, which was unexplainably well above his lifetime average.
A 54-yard pass from a surprised Brady Quinn to an astonished Rhema McKnight cut the BYU lead to 20-10. Then an inadvertent interception returned for a touchdown by Preston Jackson made the final score a respectable 20-17.
Notre Dame had a mighty 11 yards rushing in this game. Surprised? We’re not. Marcus “One Yard, More Or Less” Wilson had 22 yards rushing on 9 carries, but three other Irish combined for minus 11 yards to give Notre Dame the embarrassing team total.
After the game, a drunken fan thought he heard Coach Ty chew out his team by saying “a good high school team could gain more than 11 yards on the ground against BYU.” Another unreliable source thought he heard Coach Ty say “maybe we should have scheduled a tune-up game against South Bend High School.”
It looks like it could be another long season for Notre Dame fans. But don’t worry, the fencing team kicks off their season in less than two months.
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The humiliating loss brought a merciful ending to Notre Dame’s 5-7 season. This marks the third time in the last five seasons that Notre Dame has failed to reach the .500 plateau.
Walter Reyes rushed for 189 yards and five touchdowns. R.J. Anderson completed 17 of 27 passes for 209 yards. The Orangemen exploded for three touchdowns in the third quarter to turn an unexplainable close game into a laugher.
Julius Jones, who enjoyed some modest gains in the past few weeks against the porous defenses of Navy, BYU, and Stanford, was held to 54 yards on 20 carries. Jones’ best run of the day was a pickup of 26 yards in the second quarter. Then, as if on cue, the buffoon fumbled the ball away two plays later.
Brady Quinn was 18 for 34 passing along with the usual two interceptions. We keep watching this kid week after week and can’t believe he’s a freshman. He plays so much like a junior or a senior. Well, maybe a high school junior or a high school senior.
The first of two Brady Quinn interceptions helped set up a 2-yard touchdown run by Walter Reyes early in the first quarter. The two teams traded field goals later in the first quarter. With no scoring in the second quarter, Syracuse took a 10-3 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Syracuse tried their hardest to hand this game away in the second half. The Orangemen allowed Notre Dame to partially block a punt in the third quarter and take over at the Syracuse 30-yard line. The Irish could not move the ball and had to settle for a field goal.
Walter Reyes exploded for two touchdown runs in a span of about 90 seconds in the third quarter to build a 24-6 Syracuse lead. Then, R.J. Anderson threw a pass right into the hands of Courtney Watson who returned the interception 48 yards to the Syracuse 24-yard line. Five plays later, an Irish touchdown cut the Syracuse lead to 24-12 as a handful of fans dressed in green stood up and made jackasses out of themselves.
Another Walter Reyes touchdown in the third quarter gave Syracuse a 31-12 lead. Then Walter Reyes added one more touchdown in the fourth quarter just for good measure.
With the win, Syracuse finishes the season 6-6. However, that might not be enough to save the job of head coach Paul Pasqualoni. The Orangemen had lost three straight games prior to this and Paul Pasqualoni has been heavily criticized. Only in America can one coach win, finish a season 6-6, and wonder if he’ll have a job next season while his counterpart loses, goes 5-7, and most certainly will be back at his coaching position next year.
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College football fans across the country could not have been disappointed with the game they saw Saturday night. A total of 72 points were scored. There were five lead changes in the fourth quarter alone. A freshmen quarterback played his heart out completing 22 of 36 passes for 256 yards. However, it was the opposing junior quarter back who completed a 52-yard touchdown pass with 55 seconds remaining to give the FSU Seminoles a 38-34 victory over the Florida Gators.
Oh, by the way, Notre Dame and Stanford also, but just barely, played a game Saturday night. It was a match up of two teams with losing records. Most of the country could not see this game on television. Only 46,500 bothered to show up and watch it in person, and many of those people were there only because their mind needed a rest.
The few who actually cared about this game billed it as the “Willingham Bowl.” It matched one team that Ty Willingham has completely ruined (Stanford - Willingham recruited most of those Stanford players) against another team Ty Willingham is currently in the process of destroying (Notre Dame.) Fans owe a lot to Ty - ulcers, nausea, and diarrhea.
This game was all Notre Dame, from Julius Jones’ 10-yard stumble for a touchdown in the first quarter, to Ryan Grant’s 46-yard frolic for a touchdown late in the third quarter. This game got so ugly that many of the Stanford fans got up and left with Stanford trailing 34-0 at halftime. The one bright moment for Stanford was a 65-yard touchdown pass from Chris Lewis to Mark Bradford in the third quarter.
Julius Jones had a total of 218 yards rushing on the night; his most since a two hand touch game against a Girl Scout troop. Brady “Chris Rix Wannabe” Quinn completed 8 of 13 passes, but also had the one usual interception. Ty “I Wish I Had 10% Of Bobby Bowden’s Coaching Talent” Willingham showed his class, or lack of, by calling for a fake punt late in the game with a 50-point lead. A drunken unidentified source later confirmed that Ty once stole candy from a baby.
Notre Dame’s easy schedule will get even easier next weekend when they close out the season against Syracuse. Hapless Syracuse is coming off a loss to Rutgers. Yes, we said Rutgers. That is not a typo.
In conclusion, you will put some points up on the scoreboard and even win a few games when your schedule includes Navy, BYU, and Stanford. However, Notre Dame still has trouble beating top-ranked teams, and teams with winning records. Should the Irish finish the season at 6-6 and receive an undeserved invitation to a bowl game, Notre Dame could very well be on the other end of a 57-7 score.
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BYU literally tried to hand this game to Notre Dame. Matt “I’m More Pathetic Than Brady Quinn” Berry threw three interceptions and Taufui “Look Mom – No Hands” Vakapuna fumbled the ball away to Irish. However, the Notre Dame offense, who registered a pulse but that is about all, could only muster two D.J. Fitzpatrick field goals off of those four BYU turnovers. This still didn’t change Cougars Coach Gary Crowton’s opinion that a dingle berry had more purpose than his own quarterback during the game.
Notre Dame miraculously scored first on a D.J. “Strong Like Bull, Smart Like Tractor” Fitzpatrick field goal following the Vakapuna fumble. An impressive 18-yard touchdown run by BYU’s Reynaldo Brathwaite gave the Cougars a 7-3 lead.
Two D.J. Fitzpatrick field goals, one legitimate and one following a Matt Berry interception, gave Notre Dame a 9-7 lead in the second quarter. Then, as most viewers were falling asleep, Julius Jones busted loose, rushed forward and managed to take his place at the line of scrimmage. With his dad doing Ty impressions in the stadium, Jones forgot to tie his spikes and tripped in from one yard out just before halftime to give Notre Dame a 16-7 lead. The cheerleaders, well, cheered.
Julius Jones scored his second rushing touchdown early in the third quarter as he caught the BYU defense by surprise. The BYU defense was still traumatized from the forest fire in "Bambi". Again, the cheerleaders cheered.
Notre Dame opened the fourth quarter with another typical drive that stalled inside the 20-yard line. Again the Irish called on D.J. Fitzpatrick to kick his fourth field goal of the afternoon. That 26-7 lead gave Notre Dame their biggest lead of the season. From the constipated look on Coach Ty’s face, it was hard to tell if he had an ace up his sleeve or if the ace was missing from his deck altogether.
But BYU wasn’t done yet, as Matt “Too Little Too Late” Berry scored on a one yard run. Then, Julius Jones, still trying to get his fathers attention, added one last meaningless touchdown with less than one minute remaining in the game to make the final score 33-14 Notre Dame. And again, the cheerleaders cheered.
After the game, an unreliable source heard BYU Head Coach Gary Crowton praise his team for hanging in there against the Irish despite the turnovers and bad officiating. And before accusing Coach Ty of sending in plays through a secret decoder ring, Coach Crowton also said he would consider bringing his varsity team when BYU returns to Notre Dame Stadium in 2005.
Julius Jones, who had 161 yards rushing against the Cougar not-so-much-of-a-defense, now has 996 yards rushing on the season. Julius is now 4 yards shy of 1,000 yards rushing, and 4.0 points shy of a perfect GPA. Later, an unreliable drunken Irish fan overheard Coach Ty defending Jones’ intelligence by saying “Julius isn’t stupid. He is possessed by a retarded ghost.”
After a week off, Notre Dame will finish the season with games against mighty Stanford and powerful Syracuse. Even if the Irish win their two remaining games (yeah, right!) it is still unclear whether or not they will be bowl eligible, since they are not in a conference. Our best guess here at the Notre Dame Sucks Website is that if Notre Dame finishes the season 6-6, they will receive an undeserved bid to a bowl game just because they’re Notre Dame, while a more deserving 7-5 team stays home.
Meanwhile, Coach Ty has the Irish half a bubble off plumb. If the Irish do go to a bowl game, it will give Coach Ty a chance to redeem himself and save Notre Dame another humiliating loss on national television. But if he loses, well then those Irish fans whose definition of happiness is Coach Ty’s picture on a milk carton will have more ammo to remove him from coaching in South Bend.
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Brady “I Wish I Could Complete 50 Percent Of My Passes Against A Real Team” Quinn completed 14 of 27 passes for 137 yards and actually looked half decent against the porous Navy defense. Julius “I Can Probably Squeak By With A D-Minus Average” Jones carried the ball 33 times for 221 yards, his best performance since playing a tree in a high school play, but we digress.
Notre Dame opened the scoring when Navy allowed Julius Jones to run 48 yards for a touchdown. Minutes later, Navy’s Tony Lane tied the game on a 65-yard touchdown run.
A 35-yard field goal by Navy’s Eric Rolfs gave the Midshipmen a 10-7 lead in the second quarter. However, the Fighting Irish regained the lead 14-10 just before halftime when a perplexed Brady Quinn completed a 2-yard touchdown pass to a surprised Rhema McKnight.
Navy took a 17-14 lead in the third quarter on a 5-yard touchdown run by Kyle Eckel. Minutes later, Julius Jones stopped scratching his butt long enough to stumble in from 12 yards out to give Notre Dame a 21-17 lead.
As the fourth quarter began, Navy may have been down, but they certainly weren’t out. Not knowing Navy was supposed to lose, Kyle Eckel scored on a 1-yard touchdown run to give the Midshipmen a 24-21 lead with 9:53 remaining in the fourth quarter. At this point, an unreliable source sitting in the first row thought he overheard Coach Ty say, “I wish Navy never helped keep Notre Dame open back in the 1940’s…”
Trailing 24-21 with just over five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Coach Ty removed his finger from his nose and called on D.J. Fitzpatrick to attempt a 30-yard field goal. Fitzpatrick had already missed two attempts earlier in the game. Could the third time be the lucky charm for Fitzpatrick? Yes! The game was tied 24-24. See, Kevin White, Coach Ty is capable of making the right call.
Navy had one last chance to put together a game winning drive. They moved the ball into Notre Dame territory, but they faced a 4th down and 5 from the Irish 47 yard line. What did Navy coach Paul Johnson elect to do? Hand the ball to Tony Lane who already had 92 yards on the day? Have Craig Candeto, who was 4 out of 5, attempt a pass? No. Coach Johnson received a call from the higher ups at the Pentagon and punted the ball away to Notre Dame.
Sensing victory, a suppressed smile or gas nearly broke Coach Ty’s poker face train of thought…see the ball…be the ball…see the ball… With just over two minutes remaining, Notre Dame managed to put together a drive that would typically stall inside the Navy 25-yard line. With tension building and five seconds remaining in the game, Coach Ty called upon D.J. Fitzpatrick to attempt a game-winning 40-yard field goal. Coach Ty realized asking Fitzpatrick to make two field goals in the same game was asking a lot. In fact, a drunken unreliable source overheard Coach Ty bet the special teams coach that Fitzpatrick would miss – the loser gets a wedgie. However, Fitzpatrick was up to the challenge as his 40-yard wind-blown flutter ball kick just barely cleared the crossbar as time expired to give Notre Dame a 27-24 win.
Notre Dame fans, obviously not accustomed to winning, carried on like their team just won the national championship. One can only wonder what Notre Dame fans will do if the Fighting Irish beat a real team someday. And as Coach Ty strutted off the field with a meaningless victory, it wasn’t pride in his step, it was his underwear bunched between his cheeks.
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After a fairly close loss to unranked Boston College a week earlier, paper bag wearing Notre Dame Fans thought their team was ready to compete with the elite college teams. Florida State easily erased those thoughts by embarrassing the Fighting Irish 37-0 on Notre Dame’s home field. This game marked the first time that Notre Dame has been shutout at home since 1978. This is also the first time that the Irish have been shutout twice in the same season since 1960. (Michigan beat Notre Dame 38-0 on September 13th.)
Apparently, for the Irish, life is a long lesson in humility. For example, after an unexplainable performance against Boston College, Brady “At Least I Have An Education To Fall Back On” Quinn was back to his old usual self, completing a mighty 38 percent of his passes and throwing the not unusual three interceptions. Julius “As Confused As A Fart In A Perfume Factory” Jones had 76 yards rushing, but 32 of those yards came on one fluke play late in the game against a soft defense. An over-rated Julius couldn’t even pick up one single yard when it counted most: a 4th down and 1 on the FSU 36 yard line in the second quarter. It was embarrassing to watch, even for Coach Ty, who must be used to it by now.
The Seminoles set the tone of this game early when Chris Rix hit Craphonso Thorpe with a 38-yard pass reception on FSU’s first play from scrimmage. The pass reception was the longest of the year against Notre Dame and it helped set up a 40-yard field goal by Xavier Beitia. Meanwhile, Coach Ty was standing on the sideline staring off into space. Coach Ty always finds himself lost in thought, although to him, it’s an unfamiliar territory.
Did we say that a 38-yard pass was the longest reception against Notre Dame this year? Well, not for long. Chris Rix hit Craphonso Thorpe with a 51-yard “Stake In The Irish Heart” pass reception on FSU’s second possession. This helped set up a 6-yard touchdown pass from Chris Rix to P.K. Sam.
Chris Rix effortlessly threw two more touchdown passes, both to Craphonso Thorpe. Xavier Beitia booted two more field goals, and Leroy Smith returned an interception 90-yards for a touchdown to complete the 37-0 rout.
Chris Rix passed for a total of 327 yards. Rix even tried to keep the game interesting by teasing the Irish with three interception passes. However, the non-existent Notre Dame offense couldn’t take advantage. The highlight of the first half for the Fighting Irish had to be a first-and-goal inside the FSU 10-yardline. However, after failing to get the ball into the much elusive endzone, a 24-yard field goal attempt by D.J. “As Confused As A Blind Lesbian In A Fish Market” Fitzpatrick was blocked to keep the Irish off the scoreboard.
In all, Notre Dame was inside the FSU 10-yard line three times during the game, but couldn’t come away with any points. In fact, the “As Baffled As Adam On Mother’s Day” Notre Dame offense didn’t convert their second first down of the game until there was 10:47 remaining in the third quarter. Although many of the 80,000 nose-picking fans had already left when the score reached 30-0, many of those remaining stood, removed their fingers from their nose, and gave a “Bronx Cheer.” Truly, the most storied college football team is being rewritten as “ND Football - A Dying Art.”
Later in the game, the Notre Dame fans were so quiet that you could hear the sounds of the “Tomahawk Chop” echoing throughout the Stadium. And some of that chopping was coming from the stadium ushers. Later, an unidentified drunken source said that he even thinks he saw touchdown Jesus doing the chop.
Well, so far, in many ways this appears to be a record-setting season for Notre Dame. Notre Dame has reached rock bottom and shows signs of starting to dig. Next week the Irish take on Navy: a team that hasn’t beaten Notre Dame in 40 years. Perhaps, next week, another record will fall.
BOSTON COLLEGE 27
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Notre Dame played just about the best they are capable of playing. And I am sure most Irish fans would get more pleasure from running their nostrils down a cactus than watching another Boston College/Notre Dame match-up. Despite this observation, Brady Quinn completed over 50 percent of his passes for the first time ever in his collegiate career. Quinn also threw two miraculous touchdown passes. And most surprisingly, especially to Coach Ty, the Notre Dame defense held the nation's top rusher, Derrick Knight, to 43 yards on 23 carries. Still, as always, it wasn't enough to beat a mediocre team.
Notre Dame opened the scoring with a mighty 38-yard field goal by D.J. Fitzpatrick. However, a 26-yard touchdown pass from Quinton Porter to David Kashetta and a 4-yard touchdown run by Horace Dodd erased that lead and built a 14-3 Boston College lead. Another touchdown substitute 27-yard field goal by D.J. Fitzpatrick cut the lead to 14-6 midway through the second quarter. Later, as heard from an unreliable source, Coach Ty stated, “we were stuck behind the eight-ball all day.” Even so, Ty kept shaking that magic eight-ball until it favored his play calling.
Boston College built a 24-6 lead in the third quarter when Sandro Sciortino hit a 30-yard field goal and Quinton Porter scored on a quarterback keeper from one yard out. Notre Dame cut the lead to 24-12 later in the quarter on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Brady Quinn to a perplexed Omar Jenkins. Jenkins was so confused; he didn’t know whether to scratch his watch or wind his ass. However, the two-point conversion failed.
A 23-yard touchdown pass from Brady “Doesn't Know Much, But Leads The League In Nostril Hair” Quinn to an even more surprised Maurice Stovall cut the Boston College lead to 24-19 in the fourth quarter. Then, unable to shake anymore points out of the offense tree, Notre Dame scored on an opportunistic blocked punt and a 26-yard return for a touchdown by Carlos “Duh Look Ma - No Brains” Campbell. But the score would remain 25-24 as Notre Dame missed yet another two-point conversion. Gee whiz, after missing the earlier conversion, Willingham learned so little, and now knows it fluently.
As fate would have it, Will Blackmon returned the ensuing kickoff to the Boston College 49 yard line, which helped set up Sandro Sciortino with a game winning 26-yard field goal with 38 seconds remaining. This was very reminiscent of 1993 when David Gordon hit a game winning field goal against Notre Dame. Of course the stakes weren't as high this year as they were in 1993, but we just love mentioning David Gordon's game winning field goal in 1993.
After the game, a drunken Irish fan said after asking Coach Ty for an autograph, “now, why don’t you climb onto that Special Needs tricycle of yours with the fourth wheel attached for extra-ensured retard stability and pedal your dumb ass down to the sports field and do some “coaching” stuff for a change?” Well if any of you paper bag wearing Irish fans believe Coach Ty will coach a win next week I would have to suggest, clearly, you have lost your fingertip grip on reality and have descended into an abyss of irreversible lunacy. Happy Halloween!
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This is the second straight year, possibly a trend, that Notre Dame has been humiliated by a 31-point loss to USC. Last year, the Trojans racked up 610 yards of total offense against the Fighting Irish. This year, Notre Dame held USC to “only” 551 yards of total offense. Well, I guess home field advantage was worth something for Notre Dame.
It seemed as if USC scored at will against the non-existent Irish defense. In fact, the Trojans scored touchdowns on four of their first five possessions. The only thing that could stop the Trojans was a fumble by their own quarterback Matt Leinart. It appeared as if the only “D” Notre Dame had was in its name. What else would you expect from Coach Ty? All his play calling comes from a “John Madden’s NFL” game boy. Defensive Coordinator Kent Baer uses a Magic 8 Ball.
USC quarterback Matt Leinart threw four touchdown passes. Reggie Bush and Hershel Dennis both had touchdown runs for USC. Ryan Killeen also booted a 29-yard field goal for the Trojans. And I think I saw, through laughing eyes, a USC cheerleader score a touchdown.
As lopsided as this game was, unbelievably, it was tied 14-14 at one point. It seems as if it took the USC defense a little while to wake up. Then again, they’re used to Pacific Daylight Time.
USC allowed Notre Dame to match them touchdown for touchdown on each team’s first two drives. Then, the USC defense woke up and completely shut down the porous Notre Dame offense for the rest of the game. The mighty Julius Jones had a total of 17 yards rushing after Notre Dame’s first two drives. Quarterback Brady “Useless As A Spent Trojan” Quinn failed to complete 50 percent of his passes again in his third straight start and fifth game overall. At times you could actually hear Notre Dame’s offense falling apart throughout the cheerless stadium.
The margin of victory could have been much greater than 31 points. However, USC Head Coach Pete Carroll elected not to run up the score late in the second half. Pete, you are a real class act. We just hope that beating a team as weak as Notre Dame doesn’t hurt your teams’ strength of schedule.
Notre Dame already proved they’re not the best team in Indiana when they lost to Purdue three weeks ago. Next week they will try to prove they’re not the best Catholic team when they travel to Chestnut Hill, MA, to take on Boston College. And if tradition continues, they’ll prove they’re not the best team in a bowl game…again. All in all, you can’t spell “Notre Dame Sucks” without "USC."
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Notre Dame picked up their first win of the 2001 season against Pittsburgh after starting 0-3. Could Notre Dame beat Pittsburgh again and stop another three game losing streak? Coach Ty Willingham thought so as he was overheard giving the Irish a pep talk: “Hurry up and practice, the game has already started.”
Coach Ty must have seen the writing on the wall and realized he might end his coaching job as he began it: fired with enthusiasm. After failing to resuscitate the west coast offense with two sub par quarterbacks, Coach Ty threw the passing game, an Irish game plan as useless as a back pocket on a vest, out the window in favor of the running game.
It was obvious the Pittsburgh defense hadn’t prepared for the run. Why should they? After all, Notre Dame’s rushing offense was ranked a pathetic 109th out of 117 Division I-A teams.
The Panthers must have thought it was Ladies night out there. By the time the dumbfounded Pittsburgh defense realized what had hit them and made adjustments, Notre Dame had already unconsciously put 17 points on the board. Well, Pittsburgh may have handed Notre Dame 10 of those 17 points. Still, it was too much for Pittsburgh to overcome. Pittsburgh kicker David Abdul missed two field goal attempts, making Panther fans wish they had satellite.
Pittsburgh’s William “Tutu” Ferguson fumbled on Pittsburgh’s very first offensive play. Ferguson’s fumble was inadvertently recovered by Notre Dame’s Jared Clark. Julius Jones, moving like the scarecrow wandering around looking for brains, managed to find his way into the endzone for an Irish touchdown three plays later.
Pittsburgh showed why they were the 16th ranked team in the country when they responded with two touchdowns of their own. Rod Rutherford hit Larry Fitzgerald with a 23-yard touchdown pass on the final play of the first quarter. Two minutes later, after a 70-yard punt return by William “Tutu” Ferguson, Rod Rutherford hit Larry Fitzgerald again, this time with a 4-yard touchdown pass. Does this team actually practice or do they just show up for the games?
After building a 14-7 lead, Pittsburgh showed why they lost to Toledo three weeks ago. First, I hope this team paid to get in. Second, the “still dumbfounded by the run” Pittsburgh defense allowed Julius “Don’t Know Up From Down If He Had Three Guesses” Jones to run for a 49-yard touchdown to tie the score 14-14. Then, a fumble by Rod Rutherford, with one minute remaining in the first half, allowed Notre Dame to grab a 17-10 lead on a 34-yard field goal by D.J. Fitzpatrick.
Pittsburgh Coach Walt Harris was able to make adjustments at halftime, but Walt was three miracles shy of being where he thinks he's at. The Panthers were able to keep the Irish out of the endzone in the second half, but they were unable to score themselves. Pittsburgh had a chance to tie the game in the third quarter, but David Abdul missed a 48-yard field goal attempt, his second miss of the game. Notre Dame’s D.J. Fitzpatrick sealed the game for Notre Dame with a 34-yard field goal on Notre Dame’s next possession. At this point, again, an unreliable source overheard Coach Ty jumping and shouting, “Go start the bus.”
Yes Coach Ty finally stumbled across a win, but it was not his experience at coaching that won the game. Everyone knows that Coach Ty would be out of his depth in a stadium puddle. Plain and simple, Pittsburgh didn’t play the whole game, and when they did, their performance was floored in neutral. In the end, this game reeked of an outhouse in late July. In fact, Coach Ty kind of reminded me of Opium, a slow moving dope thankful to prolong his employment. After watching this game one was left wondering where the elephants were, since the clowns were already on the field.
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The ABC affiliate in our area chose good football over history and tradition, and decided to show the Pittsburgh/Texas A+M game. That left us to listen to this game on a weak distant AM station. At times, we couldn’t tell if the crowd was cheering, or if that was just static we were hearing.
Nobody ever denied that Coach Ty could be outwitted by a jar of marshmallow fluff, so it was no surprise he decided to start Brady Quinn at quarterback in this game. Quinn has already proven he can be useless as a pulled tooth off the bench. Coach Ty just wanted to see if Quinn could be useless for a whole 60 minutes. Willingham is like some sort of twisted super hero: able to ward off success at every turn.
After Notre Dame failed to move the ball on their opening possession, Purdue wasted little time scoring when Kyle Orton hit Ray Williams with a 36-yard touchdown pass. Then the first of four Brady Quinn interceptions set up a 46-yard field goal by Purdue’s Ben Jones.
Notre Dame started their next drive with good field position, then moved the ball like a car running with only three wheels and one tire going flat. Notre Dame, as if scripted, had to settle for a 19-yard field goal by Nick Setta. Setta had a huge role in this game for Notre Dame. Not only was he Notre Dame’s biggest offensive threat, he also made several touchdown saving tackles when no one else on Notre Dame’s kickoff team could bring down the Purdue return man. Who said kickers are sissies?
A 31-yard field goal by Purdue’s Ben Jones made the score 13-3 late in the second quarter. Then, just as Purdue was about to deliver the knockout punch, an all out blitz on Brady Quinn left Maurice Stovall open at his own 15-yard line. A surprised Stovall managed to catch the ball and frolicked with no more sense of direction than a bunch of firecrackers 85 yards for a Notre Dame touchdown. Incidentally, Ty used to refer to Stovall as a pea brain, but the team felt that would be an undeserved compliment. 13-10 would be as close as Notre Dame got all afternoon. Hey Ty, if at first you don't succeed, failure may be your style.
The second half was all Purdue. Ben Jones added his third field goal of the day. The struggling and well-beaten Brady “Couldn't Hit Sand If He Fell Off A Camel” Quinn threw three more interceptions. Then, late in the fourth quarter, Kyle Orton completed a 2-yard touchdown pass to Shaun Phillips. Phillips is listed as a defensive end, but he came in as a tight end just to prove that anyone can score against the porous Notre Dame defense. This was the icing on the cake for Purdue, as the Boilermaker fans started singing “Na Na Na Na, Hey, Hey, Hey, Goodbye!” Or was that another radio station cutting in to the one we were listening to?
It is worth mentioning that Brady Quinn attempted 59 passes in this game, second only to Terry Hanratty’s 63 attempts in the Notre Dame record books. Ironically, Hanratty’s 63 attempts came in a loss against Purdue in 1967. When the Purdue defense completely shouts down your running game, and you have an ineffective quarterback running your offense, that really doesn’t leave too many options.
Also, Purdue’s John Standeford had six receptions to become Purdue’s all-time receptions leader with 209. The previous record was 204, held by Tim Stratton. Tim Stratton? We remember him. Wasn’t he in “National Lampoon’s Animal House?” Or was that Eric Stratton?
The 1-3 Fighting Irish have a bye next weekend before limping into Pittsburgh on October 11th. Coach Ty will probably spend the next two weeks looking for answers as to how he can at least make it a close game. Will he use Brady Quinn again? Go back to Carlyle Holiday? Perhaps, start Pat Dillingham? Possibly. Coach Ty is as cunning as a Dodo Bird. Anyway, we’ll let you know in two weeks.
Finally, another unreliable source told us that Bob Davie gave Coach Ty a pep talk after the loss. Bob said with a thesaurus in hand “I detect the kind of glaring logical inconsistencies in your 'reasoning' that only botched frontal lobotomy patients with crisscrossed shoelace scars on their sloped foreheads are capable of making.” Ty replied “If I want the advice of a retard, I'll slap you on the back of the head and wake up that little peg legged hamster that operates the drool-powered waterwheel of thought in there. Until then, sit in the corner and wait until I either speak to you or spit at you.” Hey now those are tough words coming from two coaches who are easily confused with facts.
MICHIGAN STATE 22
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Michigan State jumped out to a 22-9, then held on to beat Notre Dame 22-16. The loss was Notre Dame’s humiliating fourth straight loss to the Spartans at Notre Dame Stadium, and their sixth loss in the last seven meetings overall between the two teams.
With the loss, Notre Dame drops to 1-2 on the season. This marks the first time that Notre Dame has fallen below .500 since the Bob Davie era.
The first half was pretty much uneventful, other than for Carlyle Holiday throwing an interception. What else is new? The first half was nothing more than a field goal shoot out between Michigan State’s Dave Rayner and Notre Dame’s Nick Setta. Rayner and Setta hit two field goals apiece as the two teams walked off the field tied 6-6 at halftime.
Michigan State blew the game open in the third quarter when Jaren Hayes faked out Notre Dame linebacker Derek Curry, then raced 71 yards for a Spartan touchdown and a 13-6 Michigan State lead.
Rayner and Setta weren’t done trading field goals, as each would kick one more to make the score 16-9 Michigan State in the fourth quarter.
Greg Taplin sealed the game for Michigan State when he intercepted a pass from Carlyle “I Can’t Read the Blitz” Holiday and returned it 35 yards for a Spartan touchdown.
Brady “Mop Up Time” Quinn came in to replace Carlyle Holiday in the fourth quarter, and led Notre Dame to a meaningless touchdown against a much-softened Michigan State defense.
Notre Dame entered this game with the nation’s second worst pass offense and a quarterback controversy. Coach Ty is still trying to figure out which quarterback is less ineffective as Carlyle Holiday and Brady Quinn both completed less than 50% of their passes. Holiday and Quinn have now combined for three touchdowns in three games, but all three touchdowns have occurred in the fourth quarter against soft defenses.
Finally, I heard some Notre Dame fans crying about the game’s officiating. In fact, one Notre Dame fan said that the officials cost Notre Dame the game. Well, it would also appear that Notre Dame was on the receiving end of some questionable calls, and the Irish were receiving very generous spots all day. Bad calls by the officials are part of the game. Good teams find a way to overcome these bad calls. Bad teams, well, their fans just cry about everything.
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The Michigan – Notre Dame series has been close over the years. Nine of the last eleven meetings were decided by seven points or fewer. There’s no logical explanation why the games have been close over the years. Perhaps Michigan likes to play down to the level of its competition. Or maybe Coach Willingham was using Bob Davie’s old playbook, thus ineffectively, since Davie put points on the board.
Chris Perry single-handedly made sure this wouldn’t be a close game. The Michigan running back scored four touchdowns, including touchdown runs of one, two, and nine yards. Perry was also on the receiving end of a 5-yard touchdown pass from John Navarre. Pierre Rembert added a 7-yard touchdown run, and Adam Finley added a 24-yard field goal for good measure.
An average Michigan defense frustrated Notre Dame’s West Coast Offense all day. The Irish weren’t sure which coast offense they were using, but it sure was offensive. Notre Dame could only generate 140-yards of total offense, and the Fighting Irish were not able to make it past the Michigan 35-yard line all day. In fact, the Irish couldn’t find the endzone with two hands and a flashlight.
Michigan quarterback John Navarre completed 14 passes for 199 yards. Navarre, now with 6,503 career passing yards, passed Elvis Grbac as Michigan’s all-time leader in passing yards. It was not known if Elvis was in the stadium on Saturday. But, I’m sure the Notre Dame Offensive Coordinator was trying to contact him. What else could he be doing to kill time on a Saturday afternoon?
Meanwhile, Carlyle “my mind has gone on a” Holiday started for Notre Dame, and went 5-for-14 with one interception. Brady “Holiday wannabe” Quinn came in to replace Holiday, and went an equally ineffective 3-for-10 with one interception. It looks like Notre Dame has a quarterback controversy on their hands. Perhaps Coach Willingham might consider consulting an astrologist since all common sense, talent, and luck are absent. But, even a seer would say, “Ty, we see your future and it sucks.”
This was evident when things got ugly for Notre Dame in the fourth quarter. The Michigan faithful and the Irish cheerleaders began chanting “Houston’s better!” and “Overrated!” The crowd was, of course, referring to the previous weekend when Michigan beat Houston 50-3. At least Houston scored. As for Notre Dame being ranked in the Top-25, we’re still trying to figure that one out. As for the Notre Dame cheerleaders, well, they’re still not sure who won.
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WASHINGTON STATE 26
An unimpressive Washington State jumped out to a 6-0 lead midway through the first quarter when Matt Kegel hit Sammy Moore with a 15-yard touchdown pass. Drew Dunning missed the PAT attempt, which would prove costly for the Cougars. Drew Dunning would connect on field goals of 20 and 29 yards to give Washington State a 12-0 lead after the first quarter.
A fumble recovery and a 12-yard return for a touchdown by Isaac Brown gave Washington State a 19-0 lead in the second quarter. Notre Dame’s Nick Setta unconsciously hit a 37-yard field goal just before halftime to cut the lead to 19-3.
After a halftime intermission filled with self-loathing and denial, Coach Ty flexed his muscles shouting, “I am Notre Dame! I am Notre Dame!” as was overheard by an anonymous student. And 15 minutes later, a 32-yard field goal by Nick Setta was the only scoring in the third quarter, as Washington State held on to a 19-6 lead.
Early in the fourth quarter, Coach Ty threw away the game plan and used what always seems to save the Irish – penalties. A stupid 15-yard penalty by the Cougars kept a Notre Dame drive alive which ended with a 39-yard Nick Setta field goal. Then, a fumble by Washington State’s Troy Bienemann led to a lucky 11-yard touchdown pass from Carlyle Holiday to Rhema McKnight to cut the Cougar’s lead to 19-16. Another stupid penalty (luck of the Irish) by Washington State kept a Notre Dame drive alive, which ended with a 19-yard Julius Jones inadvertent touchdown run and a 23-19 Notre Dame lead. A Matt Kegel interception led to a 47-yard field goal by Notre Dame’s Nick Setta and a 26-19 Irish lead. Washington State was able to tie up the game with about a minute left in regulation when Matt Kegel hit Sammy Moore with a 34-yard touchdown pass.
At this point, it seemed as if nobody wanted to win. Washington State had the first possession in overtime, and the Cougars attempted a 34-yard field goal. However, Drew Dunning’s field goal attempt was no good. Notre Dame took over, and after moving the ball a whole two yards on three plays, Nick Setta’s 40-yard field goal won the game for Notre Dame.
We would like to end this summary with a quote from Lou Holtz as overheard from an unreliable source. “Beating a team like WAZZU is no great accomplishment, especially when they help you score 23 points late in the game. If overrated Notre Dame plays the same way against Michigan next week, they will be taking it up the WAZZU from the Wolverines.” At that point an inebriated Lou fell off the barstool.
N.C. STATE 28
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Most often it is the Irish who rely on deceptive play calling to win games. But in this game, N.C. State was the team using the trickery, often leaving the Notre Dame defense looking dazed and confused. The Wolfpack used three trick plays on one touchdown drive alone in the second quarter. At this point, Bob Davie seemed more concerned about Notre Dame than Ty Willingham.
Notre Dame appeared ready to score the first touchdown of the day when they had a second-and-goal from the Wolfpack one-yard line. However, a vicious hit on Notre Dame’s fragile quarterback Carlyle Holiday forced Holiday out of the game with a separated shoulder. Notre Dame had to settle for a field goal and a 3-0 lead. Pat Dillingham would replace Carlyle Holiday at quarterback and do what he does best: promptly throw three interceptions.
N.C. State stormed back in the second quarter, scoring three touchdowns on three consecutive possessions. At one point N.C. State quarterback Philip Rivers completed 13 consecutive passes. A “fumblerooski” on one touchdown drive and a flea-flicker on another drive left the Notre Dame defense looking like the Physicians & Surgeons of yesteryear.
Lacking any sense of urgency, a 41-yard field goal by Nick Setta cut the N.C. State lead to 21-6 late in the third quarter. However, a 7-yard touchdown pass from Philip Rivers to Sean Berton in the fourth quarter sealed a 28-6 victory for the Wolfpack. Notre Dame was clearly frustrated as the Irish picked up three personal foul penalties. Notre Dame also picked up their crying towels after four failed attempts to get into the endzone.
After the game, Notre Dame cornerback Shane Walton was quoted as saying, “Anyone who is all right with losing is a loser.” We are glad to hear that everyone at Notre Dame is all right with losing.
Notre Dame started the season with a logic defying 8-0 record. Like an opium-induced euphoria, Notre Dame fans were talking about a BCS Bowl appearance and possibly a national championship. Then, Notre Dame’s season fell apart faster than J. Lo’s second marriage. Notre Dame lost three of their final five games, including two lopsided losses, and they were unimpressive in their wins over Navy and Rutgers.
Notre Dame was also unable to score an offensive touchdown in their final two games, very reminiscent of the beginning of the season. Special teams player Chad DeBolt was arrested in Jacksonville and charged with trespassing, bringing back memories of other arrests that occurred right after Ty Willingham took over as head coach. After limping through their last five games with a 2-3 record, Notre Dame fans are questioning whether Ty Willingham is the right man for the job and whether the Notre Dame football program will ever return to respectability. It looks like the more things change, the more they stay the same. Notre Dame sucks!
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Heisman Trophy hopeful Carson Palmer completed 32 of 46 passes for 425 yards. In all, USC had a total of 610 net yards, the most ever against the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame, on the other hand, had a mere 109 net yards.
After spotting Notre Dame a 6-0 lead, USC got on the scoreboard with 10:49 remaining in the first half when Carson Palmer hit Mike Williams with a 6-yard touchdown pass. Moments later, a 22-yard Ryan Killeen field goal extended USC’s lead to 10-6.
The “OPPORTUNISTIC” Fighting Irish, who have relied on luck all season, got a huge break with 1:07 remaining in the first half. Carlos Pierre-Antoine blocked a USC punt and recovered it in the endzone for Notre Dame’s only touchdown.
Just when it looked like Notre Dame was going to take a 13-10 lead into the locker room, the stellar Carson Palmer put together a 75-yard drive in just 1:02, capped off by a 19-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams, to put USC on top for good at 17-13 just before halftime.
The second half was all USC. The Trojans put up 27 points while the Fighting Irish struggled just to get a first down. Things really got ugly for Notre Dame in the fourth quarter when the USC fans started to chant, “OVERRATED! OVERRATED!” Apparently nobody gave them the new and improved lyrics to the Notre Dame Fight Song, “Queers Cheer for Old Notre Dame…”
In the game’s final moments, Notre Dame fans started to cry that Carlyle Holiday suffered a broken finger nail in the first quarter, thus rendering him ineffective for the rest of the game. In all seriousness, we here at the Notre Dame Sucks Website didn’t think Carlyle Holiday was any more useless than he has been the rest of the season. Besides, if you’re going to wear your nails like a girl, you are going to play like one too.
After the game, Notre Dame offensive tackle Jordan Black, standing on the sideline like a spent Trojan, was quoted as saying, “After the way we played, we don’t deserve to play in the Orange Bowl. I just want to go home and throw up.” If Notre Dame gets an undeserved bid to the Orange Bowl or any BCS Bowl, I’m sure there will be many people who will feel like throwing up.
Speaking of BCS Bowls, USC made a strong case as to why they belong in a BCS Bowl: You can’t spell “ND SUCKS” without “USC.” But seriously, will the BCS Committee select a team like USC who really belongs in a BCS Bowl? Or will they select a team based on its past fame and glory? Anyone remember the last time the undeserving Fighting Irish went to a BCS Bowl? OVERRATED! OVERRATED!
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After a scoreless first quarter, Notre Dame got on the board with 11:17 remaining in the second quarter when an errant Carlyle Holiday pass fell right into the hands of Arnaz Battle for a 38-yard touchdown reception. I wonder who that pass was really intended for?
Later in the same quarter, the “OPPORTUNISTIC” Fighting Irish, who have relied on luck all season, were awarded a touchdown by the officials when Shane Walton picked up what he thought was an interception and ran 45 yards into the endzone. Replays clearly showed that the ball bounced off the ground then was trapped by Walton.
Nervous Irish fans sat on the edges of their seats as the first half ended with a 14-0 Notre Dame lead (7-0 by our scoring.)
After a decent first half from quarterback Ryan Hart, Rutgers Head Coach Greg Schiano decided to pull Hart from the game and replace him with Ryan Cubit. With coaching decisions like this, it’s easy to see why Rutgers is 1-10.
Ryan Cubit promptly led Rutgers backwards to their own 5-yard line, forcing punter Mike Barr to punt from his own endzone. Barr’s punt was fielded by Notre Dame in Rutgers territory, and one play later, Rutgers allowed Notre Dame to score another touchdown.
On Rutgers’ next possession, they were faced with a fourth down and 3 yards to go from their own 37-yard line. Rutgers decided to go for it. With coaching decisions like this… Nathan Jones’ rushing attempt failed to get back to the line of scrimmage, and Notre Dame took over on downs. Two plays later, Rutgers allowed yet another Notre Dame touchdown.
In all, Rutgers allowed four touchdowns in the third quarter, including one span where they gave up three touchdowns on five Notre Dame offensive plays. After a scoreless fourth quarter, Notre Dame walked off the field with a 42-0 victory.
After the game, Notre Dame Head Coach Ty Willingham was quoted as saying “We believed that at some point this season our offense would show its true potential. Today our offense did exactly that.” No kidding, Ty. Even the University of Buffalo’s offense and Division I-AA Villanova’s offense looked good against Rutgers. Therefore, that puts Notre Dame in the company of other elite offenses such as Temple, Villanova, and the University of Buffalo, who all smacked Rutgers around – no great feat.
Notre Dame may never renew their rivalry with Physicians & Surgeons, but this is about as close as they will come.
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Notre Dame entered this game with an 8-1 record, which was very misleading due to their usual easy schedule. Navy entered with a 1-7 record after losing several heartbreakers to very stiff competition. The fans that made the journey to Baltimore were expecting a close and exciting game, and the two teams did not disappoint them.
The “OPPORTUNISTIC” Fighting Irish, who have relied on luck all season, got their first break on the fourth play of the game when Navy starting quarterback Craig Candeto went down with a sprained ankle. With the loss of Candeto, Navy lost their leading rusher and leading scorer. Aaron Polanco came in off the bench to call the signals for Navy the rest of the afternoon.
Navy, who is responsible for keeping Notre Dame open during World War II, presented Notre Dame with another gift when they handed them two points on a safety in the first quarter. Moments later, Navy scored on a 12-yard touchdown run by Aaron Polanco and grabbed a 7-2 lead.
Notre Dame took a 9-7 lead in the second quarter when they unintentionally put together a 75-yard touchdown drive. The drive was capped off when Tom Lopienski just barely managed to find his way into the endzone from one yard out.
The lead changed hands several times in the third quarter. First, Navy took a 14-9 lead on a 1-yard touchdown run by Aaron Polanco. Notre Dame regained the lead on the ensuing kickoff when the Midshipmen allowed Vontez Duff to return the kickoff 92 yards for an Irish touchdown. Navy went back on top 20-15 on a 10-yard touchdown run by Eric Roberts. Eric Rolfs added a 36-yard field goal to give Navy a 23-15 lead late in the third quarter. Notre Dame desperately tried to wake up the echoes, but the only sound heard was the sound of laughter echoing all the way from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor to Annapolis.
Navy’s 23-15 lead held up until midway through the fourth quarter, when Navy decided they had accomplished everything that they had set out to do. They proved that anyone could score against Notre Dame’s defense, they recovered three Irish fumbles while not turning the ball over once, and most importantly, they had the lead. At this point, Navy allowed Notre Dame to score two late touchdowns just so the Irish could continue their streak against Navy to 39 games. Then, Navy threw two meaningless interceptions in the last two minutes just to help a couple of Notre Dame players to pad their stats.
BOSTON COLLEGE 14
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The “OPPORTUNISTIC” Notre Dame defense has relied on interceptions and fumble recoveries all year. Before you start whining that you've heard me mention this observation already, may I just point out that anyone who's sitting around reading a game summary on a Notre Dame Sucks website probably oughtn't to get too captious, eh? Today, the Boston College defense appeared to be more “OPPORTUNISTIC” as they recovered three fumbles and intercepted two Notre Dame passes.
Boston College got on the board in the first quarter following a Ryan Grant fumble that was recovered by Boston College linebacker Josh Ott. Six plays later, Derrick Knight ran in from three yards out to give Boston College a 6-0 lead as the PAT failed.
Pat Dillingham replaced an ineffective Carlyle Holiday at quarterback for Notre Dame in the second quarter. On Dillingham’s second offensive series, he threw a shovel pass right into the arms of Josh Ott, who raced 71 yards, for a Boston College touchdown. Brian St. Pierre’s 2-point pass to Sean Ryan allowed Boston College to deliver the final first half 14-0 coup de grace with great imperiousness and gravitas.
After halftime, the touching and tragic opening second half with the Irish slowly walking down the steps tapping the “Play like a Champion” propaganda... I cried... Well, it was a sneeze, but my eyes kind of watered afterwards...
After much confusion, Carlyle Holiday came back in to replace Pat Dillingham at quarterback in the third quarter, as Dillingham proved to be even more useless. Surprisingly as it seems, Notre Dame had their chances to score being in Boston College territory all afternoon and with the help from the officials. But the 109th ranked offense just couldn’t get the ball into the endzone, until Carlyle Holiday threw a mesmerizing horrible ball to Maurice Stovall, thus finding the Irish’s first points of the game with a 20-yard touchdown pass and 2:25 remaining in the game. At that point, the Boston College defense was more concerned about who was going to gain control of the Senate than the final score.
Notre Dame did get the ball back with 12 seconds remaining. After a holding penalty and a lame duck Holiday pass that was batted down, Boston College celebrated their 14-7 win over Notre Dame.
This game brought back memories of 1993 when an undefeated Notre Dame knocked off Florida State, only to lose to Boston College one week later. An unidentified fan sitting in the one row designated for those with a full set of teeth was quoted as saying “It’s like déjà vu all over again.”
I weep for Willingham as the loss is the first for Notre Dame in the Ty Willingham era. That leaves George O’Leary as the lone undefeated Notre Dame head coach.
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FLORIDA STATE 24
Still struggling on offense eight games into the season, Notre Dame had to rely on poor officiating to give them a new set of downs whenever they fell short of the first down marker. The Irish also had the ball handed to them by the Seminoles three straight times in the third quarter. Those three turnovers allowed Notre Dame to build a 27-10 lead. In the end, Notre Dame held off a late rally by the Seminoles to win the game 34-24.
Notre Dame caught the Seminoles sleeping on their first play from scrimmage as Carlyle Holiday actually completed a 65-yard touchdown pass to an amazed Arnaz Battle. After Florida State cut the lead to 7-3 on an Xavier Beitia field goal, Nick “Gee whiz, I made one” Setta helped Notre Dame regain their seven point lead with a 39-yard field goal of his own.
A second quarter touchdown run by Florida State’s Torrance Washington made the score 10-10 at halftime.
What was a close game at halftime was blown wide open in a span of four minutes in the third quarter, thanks in part to the Seminoles. First, Florida State quarter back Chris Rix completed a pass to a Notre Dame defender. This eventually led to three more points from Nick “Would you believe two in one day” Setta. On Florida State’s next possession, Chris Rix placed the ball on the ground for Notre Dame. On the next play, Florida State allowed Ryan Grant to stumble in from two yards out thus giving Notre Dame a 20-10 lead. The Seminole’s Leon “What was I thinking about” Washington mishandled the ensuing kickoff, and Notre Dame picked up the hot potato. Three plays later, Carlyle Holiday perplexed himself by finding Omar Jenkins in the endzone for a 16-yard touchdown pass.
Notre Dame finally scored a touchdown with no Seminole assistance in the fourth quarter when Ryan Grant weaseled through the Florida State defense for a 31-yard touchdown run.
Adrian McPherson came in a little too late to relieve the ineffective Chris Rix in the fourth quarter. McPherson made the game interesting by orchestrating two touchdown drives in the final two minutes, including an impressive 95-yard drive. However, time ran out on the Seminoles before they could get any closer than 34-24.
Bobby Bowden’s Criminoles apparently never learned the moral of “The Tortoise and the Hair.” That is to say – as they were resting, the “OPPORTUNISTIC” Irish were moving in an unconscious fashion toward victory. Meanwhile, shocked Florida State fans believe Ty has his players brainwashed because everyone knows Notre Dame sucks except them.
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AIR FORCE 14
Notre Dame’s offense has been unconscious for most of the season. Ryan Grant and Arnaz Battle displayed some signs of life Saturday as Grant rushed for 190 yards and Battle caught 8 passes for 112 yards. Was it the high altitude? Was it the fact that Notre Dame was playing a service academy? Was it a fluke? Perhaps, we may never know.
Notre Dame had the edge in every offensive statistic, including total yardage where Notre Dame outgained the Falcons 447-161. Surprising though, this game was a real nail biter right down to the end. Air Force actually had a 7-0 lead at one point in the game, there were two ties, and Air Force never trailed by more than seven points. An unbelievable Air Force desperately tried to put up a game tying touchdown several times in the second half, but several of Chance Harridge’s pass attempts missed his receivers by inches. A valiant effort for and from our Country’s military school.
Air Force grabbed a 7-0 lead in the first quarter when Marchello Graddy picked up Carlyle Holiday’s second fumble of the game and returned it 21 yards for a touchdown. An uncharacteristic 53-yard touchdown run by Carlyle Holiday tied the score at 7-7 moments later. Hey Carlyle, next time try not to look astonished.
Notre Dame stole a 14-7 lead in the second quarter when Ryan Grant blindly found his way to the endzone from 18 yards out.
Again, an amazing Air Force tied the game at 14-14 in the third quarter on a 1-yard run by Chance Harridge. Harridge’s touchdown run came six plays after Sean Rodgers stripped the ball from Vontez Duff on the second half opening kickoff. Suddenly, Air Force looked more like an “OPPORTUNISTIC” team than Notre Dame.
Notre Dame eventually scored the game winning touchdown midway through the third quarter when Carlyle Holiday stumbled in from one yard out.
Notre Dame had several more scoring opportunities in the game, but placekicker Nick “Don’t blame me, I’m from Uranus” Setta missed two field goal attempts. Setta has now missed 9 of his last 12 attempts. Does anyone remember when this guy was named player-of-the-week?
After watching this game, conspiracy theorists might conclude that UFO’s are real – the Air Force does not exist. And now that Notre Dame has destroyed the mighty Air Force and moved up in the rankings, Irish fans are higher than a kite on cocaine and prescription drugs.
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On the opening drive, the Panthers effortlessly moved the ball down to the Fighting Irish 8-yard line. After some unsuccessful play calls, David Abdul booted a 29-yard field goal.
As for Notre Dame’s offensive prowess, roughly half of their total offense came on the first drive of the second quarter. The Irish unconsciously moved 80 yards for a touchdown capped off by that stupid fight song (Queers Cheer for Notre Dame…)
Later, Pittsburgh had a first-and-goal from just inside the Notre Dame 10-yard line, but instead of scoring a touchdown they settled for a David Abdul field goal to cut Notre Dame’s lead to 7-6 at halftime.
The Panthers tried to put together a scoring drive several times in the second half, but for lack of ambition, only managed to move the ball into Notre Dame territory once. About halfway through the fourth quarter, Pitt quarterback Rod Rutherford handed over the ball at his own 12-yard line to an eager Domer Glenn Earl. Five plays later, Ryan Grant managed to stumble in the right direction from one yard out to give Notre Dame a 14-6 lead.
Pitt had one last chance with 2:34 left in the game, but Rod Rutherford opted to toss the ball to Preston Jackson with just over one minute remaining to miraculously seal the victory for Notre Dame.
Pittsburgh is just another of the many scheduled teams giving Notre Dame what the offense can’t generate – points. If everything keeps going the way it is now in Bizarro World, next week Air Force might win.
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During the course of the game, while the Notre Dame offense was still struggling, the “OPPORTUNISTIC” Notre Dame defense scored two touchdowns and set up the offense for another touchdown. Stanford, who was averaging five turnovers a game, improved against the Irish by only committing three turnovers. Much to the dismay of the Cardinal, all three turnovers led to Notre Dame touchdowns.
The game turned out to be more exciting than an infomercial according to bed ridden patients at a nearby hospital. Stanford, who at best could barely beat a high school team, got on the board first on a 14-yard pass from Chris Lewis to Teyo Johnson. A 30-yard field goal by Nick Setta would cut the lead to 7-3 in the second quarter. The 30-yard field goal by the former player-of-the-week would be his only field goal of the day as he missed three other opportunities.
Later, Notre Dame inadvertently took a 10-7 lead on a 3-yard stumble by Rashon Powers-Neal in the third quarter. Then an 18-yard interception return by a surprised Shane Walton and a 34-yard interception return by a dumb-founded Courtney Watson extended Notre Dame’s lead to 24-7. A Gerome “Can’t Find the Endzone” Sapp interception helped set up a drive capped by a 1-yard run by Ryan Grant to provide the final 31-7 winning margin for Notre Dame.
One might have thought the Irish could muster more than 31 points against the Cardinal, but one would be wrong. Some might say they’re lucky to be playing teams at their worst, and some are right.
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MICHIGAN STATE 17
In spite of all this, Notre Dame’s logic defying winning streak to start the 2002 season reached four games with a last-minute come-from-behind victory over Michigan State. The win snapped a five game Irish losing streak to Michigan State, and was also Notre Dame’s first win over the less than threatening Spartans since 1994.
The still struggling Irish offense, four games into the season, had to rely on trickery, witchcraft, voodoo, and blind luck to get on the scoreboard in the first quarter. And so it happened, Arnaz Battle managed a 30-yard pass to quarterback Carlyle Holiday to set up Notre Dame’s first touchdown. Three plays later, Ryan Gant stumbled in from seven yards out to give the Irish a 7-0 lead. A 35-yard field goal by Michigan State’s Dave Rayner cut the Irish lead to 7-3 late in the first quarter.
Neither team was able to generate much on offense in the second quarter. Notre Dame got a huge break late in the second quarter when Shane Walton deflected a Jeff Smoker pass to Gerome Sapp, and Sapp returned the ball to Michigan State’s 28-yard line. A few plays later, Carlyle Holiday threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to a surprised Maurice Stovall to give the Irish a 14-3 halftime lead. Stovall, picking his nose, couldn’t believe it either according to sources who overheard him saying “It was like unbelievable.”
Carlyle Holiday was sacked four times on the afternoon, bringing his season total to 18. But then the hits started taking a toll on Holiday, and inevitably the fragile Holiday was forced out of the game with a separated shoulder in the third quarter. Rudy, err, Pat Dillingham took over the signal-calling for Notre Dame.
While Pat Dillingham was just as ineffective as Carlyle Holiday, the Michigan State offense started to come to life in the third quarter. The Spartans moved into Notre Dame territory, then Jeff Smoker hit Charles Rogers with a 38-yard textbook touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter to cut Notre Dame’s lead to 14-10. Later in the fourth quarter, a 22-yard touchdown pass from Jeff Smoker to Charles Rogers gave Michigan State a 17-14 lead.
With less than two minutes left in the game, Pat Dillingham threw a short desperation pass to Arnaz Battle. The voodoo and blind luck kicked in and several Michigan State defenders collided on the play, affording Arnaz Battle to run 60 yards for a touchdown thus giving Notre Dame a lasting 21-17 lead.
In the end, Michigan State got the ball back one more time, but the game ended when Gerome Sapp inadvertently picked off a Jeff Smoker pass for the second time in the game.
A win is a win by Irish standards, but great teams win decidedly. It must make Bob Davie sick to see Ty Willingham driving the 4-0 car he put together.
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Notre Dame’s first offensive touchdown of the season came with 10:30 left in the first quarter when Ryan Grant ran the ball in from one yard out. Moments later, Michigan tied the score at 7-7 when Marlin Jackson returned an interception 20 yards for a touchdown.
Then we entered bizzaro world where things are not always as they seem. Notre Dame grabbed a 9-7 lead in the second quarter on a safety when Michigan was called for offensive holding in their own endzone. The officials called Courtney Morgan for holding Justin Tuck after Tuck tipped John Navarre’s pass attempt. If you thought that was crazy, you didn’t see anything yet. But, the love was entirely one-sided.
On Notre Dame’s next possession, Michigan was called for pass interference in the endzone, even though it appeared as if Notre Dame’s Omar Jenkins tripped over his own two feet. On the next play, Carlyle Holiday tried to take it in, but he fumbled at the two yard line. Holiday ended up in the endzone, but the ball never crossed the goal line. What was the call by the officials? A touchdown, of course. After all, this game was in South Bend. Regardless, on the matter of proof, shouldn’t we err on the side of reality? Hello?
Michigan’s offense finally registered a pulse in the third quarter, grabbing a 17-16 lead on a Philip Brabbs field goal and a Chris Perry touchdown run. However, moments later, the Wolverine defense flat-lined when Ryan Grant ran for his second touchdown of the game and a 22-17 Notre Dame lead.
Notre Dame’s next possession left Michigan Coach Lloyd Carr with a decision when the Irish were called for an offensive penalty on third down. Should Michigan accept the penalty and move Notre Dame back 10 yards, or decline the penalty and force Notre Dame to try a long field goal? The Magic 8 Ball said decline the penalty! Notre Dame’s Nicholas “I missed two last week” Setta trotted out onto the field for a 46-yard field goal attempt. Setta’s redeeming kick slipped just inside the upright to give Notre Dame a 25-17 lead. Eyewitnesses saw Coach Carr smashing the 8 Ball.
Michigan wasn’t done yet. Well, they were, but didn’t know it. Bennie Joppru’s 8-yard touchdown reception cut Notre Dame’s lead to 25-23. Michigan went for the two point conversion, but John Navarre’s pass attempt was batted away by Shane Walton.
Michigan had one last gasp when they got the ball back with just over one minute remaining in the game. However, Shane Walton sealed the victory for Notre Dame when he intercepted John Navarre’s pass attempt with 21 seconds remaining in the game.
Notre Dame is 3-0 and the bandwagon is filling quick. Not to worry though; the lead float is Ty Willingham’s head. This ought to be some kind of parade.
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After an uneventful (somebody wake me up) first quarter, Notre Dame found its pot of gold when Gerome Sapp picked up a Montrell Lowe fumble and returned it 54 yards for a touchdown. As if on cue, Deaunte Ferrell followed lead and handed the overrated Irish another seven points.
On Notre Dame’s next possession, the mighty lame Notre Dame West Coast Offense made it inside the Purdue 10-yard line where they had a first-and-goal from the 6-yard line. Irish fans could smell three points. Unable to get the ball into the endzone, Notre Dame had to settle for a 19-yard Nicholas Setta field goal and a 17-0 lead.
Purdue got on the scoreboard before halftime when Anthony Chambers returned a punt 76 yards for a Boilermaker touchdown.
A 3-yard touchdown run by Jerod Void and a 35-yard field goal by Berin Lacevic tied the score at 17-17 in the second half. Former Player of the Week Nicholas Setta missed not one, but two field goals keeping the score knotted at 17-17. Again another who wants to lose more scenario.
Notre Dame finally put the game away late in the fourth quarter when Vontez Duff picked off a Kyle Orton pass at the Purdue 33-yard line and returned it for a Fighting Irish touchdown.
After the game Notre Dame quarterback Carlyle Holiday said, “A couple of us on offense, we felt real embarrassed about not having scored in two games.” A couple felt embarrassed? The whole offensive unit should feel embarrassed. Knute is embarrassed. Bob Davie scored more on offense. 7-for-22 passing? No wonder Notre Dame’s offense hasn’t scored a touchdown. And still Irish fans poke fun at Matt LoVecchio for leaving. That is the only thing offensive about Notre Dame football.
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Notre Dame shamelessly boasted victory after beating an ACC championship team that hardly resembled the look and feel of the previous year. With Bruce Perry missing from the line-up and quarterback, Scott “Lets throw two interceptions” McBrien barely playing his first game for Maryland, the advantage went to the Irish. The Terps handed Shane Walton three interceptions to help Ty Willingham’s West Coast offense kick some field goals. A 76-yard punt return by Vontez Duff and a 7-yard shanked punt by Maryland Punter Brooks Barnard also helped seal Maryland’s fate.
The Fighting Irish controlled the ball for over 41 minutes, producing 356 total offensive yards on 72 plays. Any other team with that many yards would most likely score a touch down or two, but not the Irish. It even seemed as if the Notre Dame offense was in Maryland territory most of the game. Still, Notre Dame was unable to move the ball with the much-anticipated West Coast offense, and fell apart the closer it came to Maryland’s goal line. At best, the Irish offense could only muster five Nicholas Setta field goals. Hardly the stuff legends are made of anymore.
One could only imagine what was going through the player’s minds much of the game. Holiday often seemed dazed and confused at times, not knowing whether to run the East or West Coast offense or run for his life. Undecided, he would just throw the ball away. Notre Dame running back Ryan Gant managed to pick up a measly 66 yards on 23 carries, while Rashon Powers-Neil stumbled for an insignificant 33 yards on 8 carries. Ultimately, it was the placekicker, Nicholas Setta, that saved the day for Notre Dame. Ole’ Saint Nicholas kicked field goals of 51, 32, 18, 46, and 24 yards.
In conclusion, Notre Dame may be able to win without an offensive touchdown when playing turtles and some of the other tokens on their schedule this year. However, Notre Dame better find a way to get the ball into the end zone before they playing Michigan, Michigan State, FSU, and USC; Christmas comes but once a year. As a final note, a coherent Maryland Linebacker E.J. Henderson called the Kickoff Classic a “mini bowl” game. Perhaps this was because they do not win big bowl games and this was as close to a bowl game as Notre Dame will get this year. In the meantime, Notre Dame’s offense is as useful as air brakes on a turtle.
Not much offense was generated by either side in this game. Nonetheless, there was a series of tense exchanges during which they probed each other for weaknesses. Matt LoVecchio completed 6 of 14 passes, but also threw 3 interceptions. Carlyle Holiday completed 3 of 7 passes, but looked very shaky. Both offensive lines looked terrible. Reserve kicker David Miller missed two very makeable field goals. What we had, essentially, was a Mexican standoff with place kickers instead of guns. The only scoring of the game came midway through the third quarter as kicker Nicholas Setta connected on a 37-yard field goal to give the Gold team a 3-0 win.
A steady rain fell minutes after kickoff, and lasted all afternoon. Notre Dame coaches, players, and fans immediately blamed the weather conditions for the sloppy play. Coach Ty Willingham, Quarterback Matt LoVecchio, and Quarterback Carlyle Holiday all continued to cry about the weather after the game.
Relatedly, in the sense that the rest of the world’s thought process is here, while Notre Dame coaching is standing over there, coach Bob Davie, um, I mean George O’Leary, no wait, Ty Willingham was quoted as saying, “I was pleased with today because what I needed to see was not necessarily execution, but an attitude, and I think I saw that.” Think? With that “attitude,” what will Willingham do during the Kickoff Classic? I want to give the intelligent 30% of Notre Dame fans every chance to guess the answer here. (The other 70% may try, not try, or just drool slowly into a warm beer.) So, I’ll tell you when we arrive at August 31, 2002.
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Purdue moved the ball up and down the field pretty much at will for most of the game. The 109th-ranked Purdue offense racked up 332 total yards of offense compared to 162 yards for the 110th-ranked Notre Dame offense. Purdue also had 22 first downs, compared to 10 for Notre Dame. While often in Notre Dame territory, the Purdue offense just seemed unable to put the ball in the endzone. Four golden opportunities to score ended in field goals for Purdue. Three interceptions killed drives by the Boilermakers, with one touchdown returned all the way for an Irish touchdown.
Purdue kicker Travis Dorsch kicked field goals of 50, 19, 27, and 31 yards to become the Big Ten career leader in both kicking points and field goals. Purdue also added a 12-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Orton to Tim Stratton.
A 14-yard touchdown run and a 47-yard field goal by Nick Setta was all the Notre Dame offense could generate. Notre Dame had to rely on fluke plays by the defense and special teams. Vontez Duff returned a kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown, and Jason Beckstrom returned an interception 29 yards for a touchdown.
Finally winning the game, Bob Davie felt pretty comfortable about his future with Notre Dame. In fact, Davie put his faith in the department’s integrity assuring the press he would be around next year. In the back of his mind, he realized this would mean scalping tickets to the Blue and Gold Game. A drunken unidentified source overheard Davie talking to Touchdown Jesus. Apparently he asked, “Will I be around next year?” Touchdown Jesus said “It’s Good!”
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Stanford scored first on a 29-yard field goal by Mike Biselli. Notre Dame took the lead later in the first quarter on a 47-yard touchdown pass from Carlyle Holiday to Omar Jenkins. The pass completion would be Holiday’s only completion of the evening, as he finished 1-for-16.
Semi-conscious Domers saw a 59-yard run by Julius Jones in the second quarter move the ball down to the Stanford 7-yard line, but Notre Dame’s offense sputtered at that point. The Irish had to settle for a mere field goal, and a 10-3 lead.
A third quarter field goal by Notre Dame extended their mighty lead to 13-3.
Then, Stanford got down to business in the fourth quarter. The Cardinal appeared to be ready to take control when Luke Powell returned a punt to the Notre Dame 31-yard line. However, Powell fumbled the ball away to Notre Dame. This didn’t stop Stanford from taking control, it only delayed them. After another ineffective drive, Notre Dame had to punt the ball back to Stanford.
Randy Fasani completed a 46-yard pass to Nick Sebes, and then Stanford turned to run-it-up-the-middle smash mouth football. An 11-yard run by Fasani and a 9-yard touchdown run by Casey Moore cut the Notre Dame lead to 13-10.
After yet another ineffective Notre Dame drive, Stanford ran the ball right up the middle again, putting together a drive capped off by a 1-yard touchdown run by Kenneth Tolon and a 17-13 Stanford lead.
Notre Dame had one last gasp, but Matt LoVecchio threw a pass right where two Stanford defenders were converging. Matt literally threw away the game. “Tank You” Williams grabbed it for an interception that sealed up the victory for Stanford.
The loss was Notre Dame’s ninth straight nighttime loss. The loss drops Notre Dame to 4-6, and assures that the Fighting Irish will finish the season with a losing record, which has become common under Bob Davie’s regimen. The Cardinal rule is simple; Notre Dame is not eligible to participate in a bowl game this year. As for the storm brewing around a coaching controversy, well Bob, when it rains it pours.
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Notre Dame grabbed an early 10-0 lead. Navy looked like anything but an 0-9 team as it responded with 10 points to tie the score at 10-10. Notre Dame regained the lead at 17-10 on a Terrance Howard touchdown run. However, a Navy field goal by David Hills made the score 17-13 at halftime.
Navy turned the ball over a total of three times in the first half, yet trailed only by a mere four points at intermission. Can you imagine what the halftime score might have been if Navy had been able to hold onto the ball?
Notre Dame held a 24-13 lead after three quarters. Navy, trailing by 11 points, led Notre Dame in total offense 280 yards to 252 yards after three quarters.
Navy moved all the way down to the Notre Dame 2-yard line early in the fourth quarter, and appeared like they were ready to close the score to 24-20. However, Navy couldn't punch it in, and had to settle for a field goal. A 44-yard touchdown run by Julius Jones and a 32-yard field goal by Nicholas Setta finally put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter.
Notre Dame fans are always whining about the tough schedule the Fighting Irish have to play each year. Let’s face it, when your team has trouble beating Navy, any schedule is going to be a tough schedule.
This may have been the last game for Bob Davie at Notre Dame Stadium. Davie has come under heavy criticism by the Fighting Irish fans this season, one year after signing a contract extension with Notre Dame. Davie has already said that he will not resign. So what does Notre Dame do now? Fire Davie and admit they made a mistake by offering him a contract extension? We're not sure how much longer Bob Davie will remain at Notre Dame. But, we wouldn't be surprised if someday he winds up coaching a real team to a winning record at another university. Look at Lou Holtz at South Carolina.
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The Vols did not look anything like a top-ten team. They had a fumble, an interception, eight penalties, and countless dropped passes. But still, they had little trouble putting away the hapless unranked Fighting Irish.
Despite three chances to score early in the game, Notre Dame, like all losers, found a way to come away empty. First, the Domers had the ball inside the Tennessee 20-yard line, but quickly backed out of field goal range when Carlyle Holiday's pitch went out of bounds. On the next play, Holiday was sacked.
On Notre Dame's next possession, they mysteriously managed their way down to the Volunteer's one-yard line. But, Arnaz, Battling the demons in his head, fumbled the ball. Fumbled? Yes, fumbled, and Tennessee recovered. Surprised? No, it's classic Notre Dame football.
Later, on another Notre Dame possession, Davie's Heroes made it as far as the Tennessee 15-yard line. This time it was Ryan Grant's turn to fumble. Fumble again? Yes, and it was picked up by Tennessee's Julian Battle at the 19-yard line. When the Battle ended, Julian returned the fumble 81 yards for a Tennessee touchdown.
Finally, after enjoying a brief lead in the third quarter, reality set in on South Bend. Barely conscious Notre dame fans watched their hopes and dreams fade as Carlyle Holiday tossed another career interception. A few plays later, Tennessee quarterback Casey Clausen knew what to do. He took it in himself from two yards out to seal up the victory for the Vols.
Since Notre Dame plays better on paper, they should consider changing their name from the "Fighting Irish" to the "High Fluting Irish." Seriously, what in hell are they "fighting" for? Ah, yes. Last place.
BOSTON COLLEGE 21
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A crowd of 45,000 waving red and gold saw Boston College defeat Notre Dame by a score of 21-17. There was no blue and gold in the stands. No Leprechaun green. In fact, the only green seen all night was Boston College's William Green, who rushed for 195 yards on 28 carries. Green ran for one touchdown and caught a pass for another.
It has been 13 seasons since Notre Dame finished #1. And now Notre Dame can't even claim to be #1 among the Division I-A Catholic Schools. After an 0-3 start, Notre Dame improved to a 3-4 record, but not before giving Boston College the honor of bowl eligibility, not to mention the Frank Leahy Memorial Bowl and the Ireland Trophy.
Notre Dame held leads of 7-0, 14-7, and 17-14. Brian St. Pierre's 20-yard touchdown pass to Jamal Burke gave Boston College its first lead of the evening at 21-17 with 12:32 left in the game. Then, the Eagles handed the game over to its defense.
Trailing for the first time all night, Notre Dame surprisingly moved down the field in a desperate attempt to regain the lead. Notre Dame got as far as the Boston College 16-yard line, but Carlyle Holiday's desperate fourth-down pass into the endzone was knocked down, and Boston College took over possession with 3:04 to go in the game.
Notre Dame used up all three of their timeouts only to have Boston College pick up a first down with just over two minutes remaining in the game. With a new set of downs, the Eagles could have run out the clock. But, they decided to hand the ball back to Notre Dame just to make the game interesting.
On Notre Dame's first play from the Boston College 35-yard line, Carlyle Holiday was stopped after a very short 2-yard gain. With no timeouts left, the fake quarterback had to fake an injury to stop the clock.
Holiday left the game and was replaced by Matt LoVecchio, as the Notre Dame equipment managers started to pack up the Irish gear on the sideline. LoVecchio did manage to move Notre Dame as far as the Boston College 20-yard line, but then threw an incomplete pass and was sacked to turn the ball over to the Eagles with 26 seconds left in the game. This time, Boston College decided to run out the clock.
As Bob Davie's career looms, Notre Dame is moving perilously close to postseason elimination. And that is no surprise considering Notre Dame has been masquerading most of October as a football team. Let's send a volley cheer on high. Ready? "Happy Halloween!"
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The Trojans managed to play about one half of football, taking a 13-3 lead at one point in the second quarter. Carson Palmer took advantage of one of many Carlyle Holiday fumbles and a napping Notre Dame defense to throw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Keary Colbert to give USC that 13-3 lead.
But then, like a spent Trojan, things started to fall apart for USC. Trojan punter Mike MacGillivray attempted to run for a first down on a fake punt, but he was stopped short by the Notre Dame defense, turning possession over to the Irish. Four plays later, with the help of a controversial penalty, Notre Dame's Terrance "Butterfingers" Howard ran into the endzone from four yards out. Unlike the Nebraska game, this time Howard actually remembered to carry the ball with him.
A third quarter field goal briefly extended USC's lead to 16-10. This field goal was set up after another one of Carlyle Holiday's many fumbles. This lead didn't last long, as a 35-yard touchdown run redeemed Holiday and put Notre Dame on top. Even though they had the lead, the Irish still struggled putting this game to bed.
On Notre Dame's next possession, Carlyle Holiday threw a 42-yard pass to Javin Hunter, who was brought down on the USC 1-yard line by a great diving tackle. After several attempts to pick up one lousy, stinking yard, Holiday fumbled the ball away. He did not want to win. So what else is new?
Notre Dame couldn't even put the game away when Abram Elam intercepted a pass at the USC 19-yard line. The mighty Notre Dame offense flexed its muscles and gained negative 18 yards in only three plays. Wow! Bob Davie in place of scoring opted to punt to keep the game interesting.
Like all loser ball clubs, Notre Dame relied heavily on its kicker. A Nicholas Setta field goal jumped started the technically dead offense and was shortly followed by a Julius Jones 5-yard touchdown run. Both of these scores occurred in the final three minutes of the game.
Finally this game of losers is behind us and Davie keeps his October win streak going. This should keep Notre Dame fans smiling like the bunch of toothless jack-O'lanterns they resemble. O'lanterns? Yeah, that sounds Irish.
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WEST VIRGINIA 24
This game of losers was already filled with controversy before the coin toss. The crying Notre Dame officials threatened to have West Virginia tailback Cooper Rego arrested if he stepped on the field. Rego stayed home and did not make the trip to South Bend. Boo hoo!
Notre Dame rushed for 345 yards as a team. Julius Jones and Tony Fisher ran for two touchdowns each. However, it was 17 points in the last 20 minutes that pulled this one out for Notre Dame.
Notre Dame enjoyed leads of 7-0, 10-7, and 17-10 in the first half. West Virginia scored two touchdowns in a span of 5 minutes to take a 24-17 lead in the third quarter. A touchdown and a Nicholas Setta field goal later, Notre Dame had regained the lead at 27-24 with 10:56 left in the fourth quarter. But, the Mountaineers weren't about to roll over and play dead.
West Virginia marched down the field trying to regain the lead. They marched deep into Notre Dame territory, but a Brad Lewis pass was picked off at the 12-yard line by Notre Dame's Justin Smith, who returned the ball to the 45-yard line. On the next play, Tony Fisher ran for a 55-yard touchdown to put the game away for Notre Dame.
Again, another meaningless win for Notre Dame over another nobody team along the way to another undeserved bowl game. Was threatening Cooper Rego part of the game plan? If so, Bob Davie should be ashamed of his desperate measures taken to win a game. If not, he should be ashamed of his less than .500 season thus far.
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Coming into this game, Notre Dame's offense was ranked 113th out of 115 Division I-A teams. Pittsburgh tried their best to wake up the Fighting Irish offense by throwing three interceptions and fumbling the ball away twice. Even with the five turnovers, and despite an honest effort to lose, Pittsburgh was still in the game until midway through the fourth quarter.
Notre Dame scored first on a 5-yard touchdown run by Julius Jones. Pittsburgh tied the score at 7-7 on a 32-yard touchdown pass from David Priestley to Antonio Bryant. Due to a mix-up, Notre Dame had only 10 defenders on the field when Priestley threw the touchdown pass. Donald Dykes counted 11 Notre Dame defenders on the field and ran off. Counting along with Big Bird has never been his intellectual strong point.
Later, a 40-yard field goal by Nicholas Setta gave Notre Dame a 10-7 lead in the third quarter. Then came the play of the game. Pittsburgh's R.J. English appeared to be running into the endzone untouched for a Pittsburgh lead, but he threw the ball down on the 4-yard line, and it was recovered by Notre Dame's Abram Elam.
If you think that's funny, on the following drive, an athletic Tony Fisher looked like he could-go-all-the-way for a 98-yard touchdown. He didn't! He fell down at his own 30-yard line. Two plays later, Carlyle Holiday ran 67 yards for a touchdown and a 17-7 Notre Dame lead.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Notre Dame increased their lead when Julius Jones ran the ball in from the 1-yard line after a pass interference call.
Notre Dame is 15-2 in the month of October under Bob Davie, including 14 straight wins. Too bad they can't play crappy teams in September, November, and token January.
TEXAS A&M 24
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The Illustrious Davie tried to jump start the Notre Dame offense by starting Carlyle Holiday at quarterback in place of the yet unconscious Matt LoVecchio. This was the start of bad things to come. Holiday did not make it through the first half. He was knocked out of the game with a sprained neck late in the second quarter, but not before throwing two interceptions, getting sacked three times, and being knocked down a countless number of times. "I can't remember being hit that many times in one game," said Holiday. Then, Matt LoVecchio came in and did what he does best...take up space.
Texas A&M scored on their first three possessions. The Aggies took the opening kickoff and smashmouthed 76 yards on nine plays, capped off on a 31-yard run by Derek Farmer, to take a 7-0 lead. Following the first of three Notre Dame interceptions, the Aggies scored on their next possession when tailback Oschlor Flemming tossed the ball to quarterback Mark Farris for a 22-yard touchdown run. An understated Notre Dame coach Bob Davie later admitted, "I got outcoached on that play." DUH!
Texas A&M extended its lead to 17-0 on their third possession on a 29-yard field goal by Cody Scates. A meaningless 47-yard field goal by Notre Dame's Nicholas Setta made the score 17-3 just before halftime. The Aggies added a touchdown in the third quarter when Randall Webb picked up a blocked punt and ran 13 yards for a touchdown.
Notre Dame's 3 points raised their season total to 23 points, or a worst-in-the-nation 7.67 points per game. I smell a bowl game.
MICHIGAN STATE 17
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Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on Bob Davie. For the second year in a row, Michigan State ran a quick slant with Notre Dame blitzing for the game winning score. "It was just one play that killed us," said Notre Dame tailback Tony Fisher, who was also quoted by unreliable sources as saying, "It was like déjà vu all over again." Later that day, Bob Davie was informed of the loss, and it was explained to him that it was not just a replay of last year's game.
And you may ask yourself, how did Notre Dame get here? Overrated program? Sure. Poor coaching? Yes. And in this case, five false starts, four holding calls, and fumbles. Oh da fumbles! If they are not coughing up the ball, Matt LoVecchio is giving it away. In fact, LoVecchio threw an interception, thus rendering him ineffective for three games now going back to the Fiesta Bowl. Notre Dame's only touchdown of the game came after Julius Jones returned a punt to the Michigan State 6-yard line. What does this mean? This means Notre Dame hasn't put together any kind of a touchdown drive so far this season. When Notre Dame puts one together we will let you know. Notre Dame was only 3-of-13 on third down conversions against Michigan State. This comes after going 3-of-15 on third down conversions against Nebraska. Michigan State had over 100 yards in penalties and still won the game. And fifteen of them came before the game started.
Notre Dame still had a chance. Notre Dame attempted a fake field goal. The Spartans knew it. Davie heard some rumors of it. Kicker Nicholas Setta didn't know it and was immediately tackled. Later, all hope was abandoned when there was confusion with the play calling and Notre Dame attempted a pass with a fake quarterback.
No one body is saying Notre Dame football is a failing program, and there is absolutely no truth to the rumors of Touchdown Jesus being up for sale on eBay. This negative ideology comes from within the coaching staff. With the vagueness of an astrologer, Bob Davie explained everything. "When you're not real explosive, you have to execute at a high level. There's no margin for error. That's the kind of team we are right now." Hey Bob, put down the excuse book and pick up a playbook. I've seen a copy of "Fighting Irish for Dummies" on this great web site. Get started.
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Nebraska entered the game as a 14-point favorite. The Huskers covered that point spread on their first two possessions of the game with a 2-yard touchdown run by Dahrran Diedrick and a 22-yard touchdown pass from Eric Crouch to John Gibson.
The not ready for prime-time Irish committed three turnovers in the first quarter alone, after turning the ball over only eight times all of last year. After throwing an interception, Matt was benched and replaced by Carlyle, but it was no Holiday for him either.
Nebraska built a 27-3 halftime lead, and sat on that lead for much of the second half, like a leprechaun sitting on a pot of gold. A late touchdown by Tony Fisher made the final score 27-10.
Bob Davie put Notre Dame’s last season 41-9 loss to Oregon State in the Fiesta Bowl behind him. And now he can put Notre Dame’s 27-10 opening loss to Nebraska behind him as well, as well any hopes of restoring its faded reputation of winning big games. Who he will put behind the center next week when Notre Dame plays Purdue is questionable, considering the accuracy problem LoVecchio has in big games. Tick-tock Bob. Who is it going to be?
Finally, Notre Dame continues to be a mediocre team on its way to another undeserved Bowl game. Oh, and as for those echoes, I guess they were sounds of Knute Rockne turning over in his grave.
The Blue-Gold Game is played with a specially formatted scoring system that rewards the defense with points for such things as interceptions and fumble recoveries. What’s next? Flag football? A powder puff game with the Notre Dame Cheerleaders?
The defense scored early and often, en route to crushing the offense 74-40. The offense put up very little on the board, while providing the defense with plenty of scoring opportunities. Quarterbacks Jared Clark, Carlyle Holiday, and Matt LoVecchio were a combined 13 for 31. Jared Clark and Carlyle Holiday both threw interceptions. Mike McNair also coughed up the ball to aid the defense with their scoring.
Once again, this game reeked of the same inspiration Notre Dame demonstrated in the Fiesta Bowl (bowel.) Coach Davie outcoached himself to another humiliating defeat after promising not to repeat the same mistakes and embarrassments. Kudos to you Bob Davie.