Blue Rolls Gold in 35-7 win

<P>The Notre Dame football team wrapped up another spring season with the 75th annual Blue-Gold game. The Blue team, loaded with many starters on both sides of the ball, dominated the Gold for the 35-7 win as the Blue offense shined with a number of big plays. </P>

The Blue team featured most of the current starters on both offense and defense while the Gold featured many players from the No 2. and No. 3 units, and the final score reflected as much.

The Blue offense scored on all three of their first possessions in the first half. Ryan Grant rushed for the first two scores on offense scoring on a 16-yard scamper and adding a five yard run for a touchdown. The Blue offense also scored when Rashon Powers-Neal added a 4-yard run with just three minutes left in the half.

Quarterback Brady Quinn was sharp in the first half with an 11-for-14 performance for 154 yards. His three misfires probably could've been caught as most appeared dropped by Blue receivers.

The Gold got things going in the in the second half as a number of offensive starters switched jerseys to give the Gold a chance. Sophomore receiver Jeff Samardzija showed his vast potential on an amazing 24-yard grab to give to Gold their only score of the game.

Rashon Powers-Neal added another score with an impressive 59-yard grab from Quinn to widen the lead for the Blue, 28-7.

Fullback Josh Schmidt closed the scoring on a 1-yard plunge to give the Blue the 35-7 victory.

Coach Tyrone Willingham seemed happy with the performance today, but was more pleased with ending spring without a major injury. "The only thing I prayed for and winced about every time somebody hit or somebody moved was that they get up and that we'd be healthy at the end of the day," Willingham said. "That was the biggest thing on my agenda."

Brady Quinn looked spectacular today under limited pressure finishing 17-for-22 on the day for 263 yards and a touchdown. "He was very consistent throughout the game," said Willingham of Quinn. "Ball placement, which is important to us, timing, getting it out of his hands. Even when he had to hold it, he made great decisions."

Rashon Powers-Neal also impressed with some impressive runs as well as an impressive catch. "I've got him at fullback, and everything he does says "Coach, you need to give me more balls," said Willingham of Powers Neal.

Another player that impressed Irish Eyes was Ryan Grant. Grant looked much more patient and his vision was impressive looking for lanes to run. "I've been very pleased with Ryan," Willingham said of Grant. "Ryan is running the ball as well as anytime in his career. I think some of the cuts that he made today that you saw were impressive, and he's been doing it all spring."

Irish Notes

A number of players did not participate on Saturday. Those out of action were Quentin Burell, Preston Jackson, Lionel Bolen, Mike Richardson, Justin Tuck, Jamie Ryan, Mark LeVoir, Anthony Fasano, Kyle Budinscak, Travis Thomas and John Sullivan.

Starting with the first-team offensive line on the day were Ryan Harris, Darrin Mitchell, Bob Morton, Dan Stevenson and Scott Raridon.

Starting with the first-team secondary were corners Dwight Ellick, Carlos Campbell and safeties Chinedum Ndukwe and Tom Zbikowski.


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