IN REVIEW: The Irish game by game

Under second-year head coach Charlie Weis, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish compiled a 10-2 overall record. While 10 wins is always impressive, the two losses were less than spectacular as the Irish lost to Michigan 47-21 and to Southern California 44-24.

Sept. 2, 2006, Atlanta, Ga.

Notre Dame 14, Georgia Tech 10

After closing the gap to 10-7 just 11 seconds before halftime, Notre Dame limited Georgia Tech to a mere 66 yards of offense and forced four punts in the second half. They added the final points of the game to their total with six-and-a-half minutes to go in the third quarter. Brady Quinn completed 23 of 38 passes for 246 yards and assured victory by converting a quarterback sneak on fourth-and-1 near midfield with just over a minute remaining. Darius Walker was a yard shy of the century mark on the ground and scored the go-ahead touchdown after a personal foul on third down gave the Irish a first-and-goal.


Sept. 9, 2006, South Bend, Ind.

Notre Dame 41, Penn State 17

The Irish scored 27 before the Nittany Lions put up their first three points of the game on a field goal in the third quarter. After settling for two field goals to start the game, Brady Quinn completed 12 of 16 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns in the second quarter. Overall, Quinn completed 25 of 36 passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns. The Irish defense returned a fumble 25 yards for a score, and Notre Dame's special teams successfully faked a punt with a 43-yard run that set up a 1-yard touchdown.


Sept. 16, 2006, South Bend, Ind.

Michigan 47, Notre Dame 21

Michigan scored more points against the Irish than anyone had at home in 46 years as Brady Quinn threw three interceptions. Notre Dame was behind 26-7 prior to getting its initial first down and had scored only because the Wolverines had thrown an interception at their own 4-yard line. Michigan quarterback Chad Henne was 12-of-22 for 220 yards, and the Wolverines rushed for 120 more. The Irish were held to four yards rushing on 17 attempts and were 2-of-14 on third down conversion attempts.


Sept. 24, 2006, East Lansing, Mich.

Notre Dame 40, Michigan State 37

In an utter collapse, the Spartans allowed the Irish to overcome a 16-point deficit in the fourth quarter by giving up 19 to Notre Dame. Down 37-21 entering the fourth quarter, Brady Quinn connected on touchdown passes to Jeff Samardzija and Rhema McKnight to cut the lead to four points with just under five minutes remaining. A 19-yard pick-six with 2:53 remaining capped the comeback for Notre Dame.


Sept. 30, 2006, South Bend, Ind.

Notre Dame 35, Purdue 21

Brady Quinn picked the Boilermakers apart, completing 24 of his first 28 passes and finished by hitting on 29-of-38 for 316 yards. Darius Walker also torched Purdue for 146 yards on 36 carries. Notre Dame scored on four of its first five possessions to open up a 28-7 lead before halftime, and Rhema McKnight helped the cause with a career-high 10 catches for 120 yards and two touchdowns. Purdue's loss ended a seven-game winning streak for the Boilermakers.


Oct. 7, 2006, South Bend, Ind.

Notre Dame 31, Stanford 10

The Irish continued Stanford's season-long winless streak as Brady Quinn threw for three touchdowns and Darius Walker added 153 yards on the ground for Notre Dame. Quinn finished with 232 yards through the air on 27-of-37 completions. Notre Dame rushed for 204 yards against the Cardinals -- only 22 yards less than Stanford's entire offensive output. It was Walker's second consecutive 100-yard rushing game, and he also had six catches for 45 yards. A 1-of-8 performance on third down conversions helped to seal Stanford's fate.


Oct. 21, 2006, South Bend, Ind.

Notre Dame 20, UCLA 17

Against 4-2 UCLA, Notre Dame needed a 45-yard touchdown pass from Brady Quinn to Jeff Samardzija with 27 seconds left in the game to complete the Irish's third come-from-behind victory of the season. Quinn threw for over 300 yards, while Samardzija tied the school record of 22 career touchdown receptions. Samardzija finished the game with eight catches for 118 yards. Although Notre Dame had only 41 yards rushing in the game, the Bruins' ground attack was even worse with only 26 yards to their credit.


Oct. 28, 2006, Baltimore, Md.

Notre Dame 38, Navy 14

For the 43rd consecutive time, the Irish defeated the Midshipmen as Brady Quinn completed 18 of 25 pass attempts for 295 yards and scored on a run from 19 yards out. Notre Dame only led 17-14 in the second quarter as Navy rushed for 211 yards prior to halftime. But the Midshipmen were unable to stop the Irish's offense and didn't do so for the first time until Notre Dame had moved out ahead, 31-14. The victory preserved the longest active win streak against one opponent in NCAA history.


Nov. 4, 2006, South Bend, Ind.

Notre Dame 45, North Carolina 26

While the Irish defense and special teams floundered, the Irish offense flourished as Brady Quinn passed for 346 yards and four touchdowns. After moving out to a 24-7 lead, Notre Dame gave up a 90-yard kickoff return and then a 72-yard touchdown reception that pulled the Tar Heels within 12 points. But the Irish would add one more touchdown to their total and held North Carolina without a point from the 7:25 mark in the third quarter on. Notre Dame's defense allowed the Tar Heels a measly 31 yards on the ground and 244 yards of offense overall.


Nov. 11, 2006, Air Force Academy, CO

Notre Dame 39, Air Force 17

Facing their second academy opponent of the season, the Irish wasted little time jumping out to a lead as Brady Quinn hit Jeff Samardzija on a 51-yard pass with 14:06 to go in the first quarter. By the end of the first 15 minutes of play, Notre Dame held a 20-3 advantage. Quinn ended the day with four touchdowns through the air and 207 yards overall to complement Darius Walker's 153 yards on the ground. The Irish added points to their total courtesy of a 76-yard return of a blocked field goal and won despite the Falcons' 38:35 to 21:25 advantage in time of possession and their 79-46 advantage in the number of offensive plays run for each team.


Nov. 18, 2006, South Bend, Ind.

Notre Dame 41, Army 9

With their decisive win over the Black Knights, the Irish extended their record to 36-1 over the service academies over the course of the last 20 years. The victory marked Notre Dame's eighth straight win of the season. In his final appearance at home as a senior, Brady Quinn was 22-of-30 for 218 yards. He did, however, throw his first interception in seven games on Notre Dame's first possession. Finding themselves down by a field goal, the Irish proceeded to score on their next five possessions. It was Notre Dame's first victory wearing green jerseys since 1985, when USC fell, 37-3.


Nov. 25, 2006, Los Angeles, Calif.

USC 44, Notre Dame 24

This year, the Trojans didn't need the "Bush Push" to take down the Irish. Instead they simply rushed out to a 21-3 lead by scoring on their first three possessions, which covered 71, 26 and 59 yards. All three of those drives were in the first quarter. From there, Southern California simply went on cruise control, and Notre Dame wouldn't get any closer than 11 for the remainder of the night. Trojan quarterback John David Booty threw for 265 yards and three touchdowns, while Brady Quinn completed just 22 of 45 passes for 274 yards and three touchdowns. Quinn was sacked three times.

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