Irish slip past Washington in overtimePublished 10:50am Sunday, October 4, 2009
By SCOTT NOVAK
Dowagiac Daily News
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Robert Hughes’ 1-yard run on overtime lifted Notre Dame to a 37-30 win over visiting Washington on Saturday.
For the Fighting Irish it was the fourth consecutive game decided by a touchdown or less.
The win gave Notre Dame a 4-1 record heading into a bye week before its big match up with arch rival USC on Oct. 17.
“I’ll tell you what, I’m just happy, really happy for these kids,” Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis said following the game. “They just keep on fighting and fighting and fighting. Four weeks in a row you get into the same situation, and the first one doesn’t turn out right, turn out the way you want it, and now three weeks in a row they’ve come up. There was a lot of bad stuff in the game, but I’m going to have a tough time feeling bad tonight.”
Notre Dame appeared to won the game in regulation when it drove 63 yards in five plays to score on a Jimmy Clausen to Kyle Rudolph 12-yard touchdown pass with 1:20 left on the clock.
The touchdown gave the Fighting Irish a 30-27 lead.
But the Huskies, who were 0-12 in 2008, took the ball and marched down the field 70 yards in nine plays to knot the score at 30-30 on a 37-yard field goal by Erik Folk.
With over 700 yards in total offense between the two teams, a pair of defensive stands by the Irish allowed Notre Dame to stay within striking distance.
Notre Dame had a goal line stand in the third quarter and then had a “double” goal line stand late in the game to stop the Huskies on downs the first time and then hold them to a field goal the second time.
There were big plays from players on both sides. For Washington it was quarterback Jake Locker and Chris Polk, while for Notre Dame it was Clausen and Golden Tate.
Clausen threw for a career-high 422 yards on 23-of-31 passing with two touchdowns and an interception.
Tate tied a career high with nine receptions and set a new standard for himself in yards with 244.
Locker was 22-of-40 for 281 yards with a touchdown, while Polk, just a freshman, rushed for a career-high 136 yards on 22 caries.
Washington opened the scoring on a 5-yard run by Locker, while Notre Dame countered with three consecutive field goals by freshman Nick Tausch, who tied a Fighting Irish record with five on the day.
Tausch connected from 34, 40 and 34 yards to give Notre Dame a 9-7 advantage midway through the second quarter.
Washington’s D’Andre Trufant picked up a lateral on a screen pass and returned the fumble 17-yards to put the Huskies back out in front 14-9 with 4:39 to play in the opening half.
Tate scored his only touchdown of the game on a 67-yard pass from Clausen in which he brought three tackles on his way to the end zone.
But Washington came back once again and took a 17-16 lead into the locker room on an Erik Folk 40-yard field goal as time expired.
Tausch sandwiched a Washington touchdown by Jermaine Kearse on an 8-yard pass from Locker with field goals of 21 and 24 yards to cut the lead to 24-22 with 12:23 to play in the fourth quarter.
Folk’s field goal after Notre Dame’s goal line stand made it a 5-point game with 3:04 to play and setting up the final drama.
“Well, great college football game, you know, for everybody,” first-year Washington coach Steve Sarkisian said. “It was exciting. Obviously it’s frustrating when you had an opportunity like we had there in the fourth quarter to put the game in a situation to be a two‑score game, and we weren’t able to do it.”
“You know, the bottom line is this game came down to we had two opportunities to score touchdowns from the 1-yard line, two separate occasions, and we came away with three total points. That’s the bottom line. Our kids played hard, I’m proud of them, and they battled a very good football team, a very well‑coached team.”
Washington 7 10 7 6 0 – 30
Notre Dame 3 13 3 11 7 – 37
W – Jake Locker 5 run (Erik Folk kick)
ND – Nick Tausch 34 field goal
ND – Tausch 40 field goal
ND – Tausch 34 field goal
W – D’Andre Trufant 17 fumble return (Folk kick)
ND – Golden Tate 67 pass from Jimmy Clausen (Tausch kick)
W – Folk 40 field goal
ND – Tausch 21 field goal
W – Jermaine Kearse 8 pass from Locker (Folk kick)
ND – Tausch 24 field goal
W – Folk 24 field goal
ND – Kyle Rudolph 12 pass from Clausen (Robert Hughes run)
W – Folk 37 field goal
ND – Hughes 1 run (Tausch kick)