On a day when the offense sputtered, the Notre Dame defense kept the Irish in the game long enough until the "O" could conjure up some fourth quarter magic. Using a combination of turnovers and big plays, the Irish overcame a 19-point deficit to pull out a 29-26 overtime thriller.
The offense looked out manned and in disarray at times in the first half. Washington State threw repeated blitzes and the inexperienced Notre Dame line had trouble picking them up. However, as the game went on and adjustments were made, the offense made the plays when it mattered most and scored 20 fourth quarter points.
The hero of the game for the Irish was kicker Nick Setta. Setta was 5-6 on field goal attempts, with kicks from the 37, 32, 39, 47, and 40 yards. The 40 yarder was the game winner in overtime.
Quarterback Carlyle Holiday was 21-34 on the day with 149 yards passing. Holiday threw one touchdown and one interception. He was faced with constant pressure and twice fumbled the ball while getting sacked.
The dynamic duo of Ryan Grant and Julius Jones combined for 170 yards on 28 carries and one touchdown. Grant had 17 carries for 98 yards, while Jones added 11 carries for 72 yards, including a bruising 19-yard run for a touchdown.
Omar Jenkins and Rhema McKnight led the Irish receiving corps with five receptions each. Jenkins tallied 46 yards receiving and McKnight netted 33 yards, including an 11- yard touchdown catch in the pivotal fourth quarter.
The defense had its share of playmakers as well. Staying with the same script that was so successful last season, the "D" stepped up and made game turning turnovers.
Cornerback Vontez Duff was once again a ball hawk. Duff was only credited with three tackles but none was more important as the bone crunching hit he made in the forth quarter to force a fumble that was recovered by safety Glenn Earl. The Irish parlayed that into a touchdown that cut the WSU lead to 19-16.
The Notre Dame linebackers made their presence felt as well. Derrick Curry totaled 5 tackles and added an interception that was turned into a Nick Setta field goal. Brandon Hoyte was all over the field for the Irish and was credited with 8 total tackles.