Irish Dominate Huskies In Impressive Performance

In a game that appeared over before it really started, the Notre Dame football team came out firing on all cylinders on Saturday, overwhelming an undermanned Washington team. The Irish scored 21 points in the first quarter on their way to 38-3 victory over the Huskies, and improving to 3-1 on the season.

Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn told the media earlier in the week that he was still waiting to play a complete game. Quinn might not have had a complete game, but he certainly had a complete half. The Dublin, Ohio native led his Irish team to 31 first half points while completing 15 of 23 passes for 196 yards and four touchdowns.

Not to be outdone, the Irish defense put together another spectacular performance, holding the Huskies to just three points for the game, and continuing their physical play by forcing four turnovers on the day.

The Irish got rolling early when Quinn found his new favorite receiver, senior Matt Shelton, for two touchdowns early in the first half with a 24-yard strike to put the Irish up 7-0, and a 27-yard strike to give Notre Dame the 14-0 lead.

After the Irish defense created their first of four turnovers on the day, Quinn closed the first quarter with another strike, this time to tight end Anthony Fasano, for an 18-yard strike to put the Irish up 21-3.

Quinn and Fasano hooked up once again early in the second quarter on a 15-yard strike to give Notre Dame the 28-3 lead.

The Irish would later add a field goal and ended their most impressive half of the season with 31 points and 264 yards of total offense.

The second half wasn't quite as pretty, however, but the Irish defense turned Washington's offense away in their only serious scoring threat of the game.

The Irish defense found themselves at their own one-yard line at the start of the fourth quarter with Washington on the move.

But the Irish defense held on three straight plays, forcing a field goal attempt that failed, turning away the Huskies on their only legitimate chance at the end zone.

Freshman running back Darius Walker scored Notre Dame's only touchdown of the second half with a 17-yard scamper into the end zone to cap the scoring for the Irish and the final score of 38-3.

Irish head coach Tyrone Willingham seemed very pleased with how his team played in the first half.

"I thought that we played a pretty good first half," said Willingham. "For the most part, we were able to do everything that we set out to do. We wanted to get the running game going and work in the pass."

Willingham was also pleased with the quick start his offense had on the day.

"We really haven't had a quick start all year," Willingham said. "We had a great week of practice. I thought we played well at Michigan State, but I sensed that the players weren't happy with the entire performance. They came in with a great mind set to start the week and it went from there."

As impressive as the Irish offense was on Saturday, the Irish defense continues their disruptive ways.

"We've played pretty good defense all season," said Willingham. "It wasn't surprising the way they played today. I was very pleased with the play of the defense."

The Irish offense had their first 400-yard performance of the season on Saturday, and also had their highest scoring game of the season with 38 points.

The Irish defense continues to play at a very high level, causing 15 turnovers in just four games.

Notre Dame (3-1) will now set their sights on an undefeated Purdue (3-0) team. The Irish lost a disappointing game last year in West Lafayette (Ind.) 22-16, and will try to avenge that loss in what should be another classic game in the rivalry between two Indiana schools.


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