The Irish never looked back after the opening quarter, and went on to down the Huskies 38-3. The Irish defense played a determined game and shut down Washington every time they were in the red zone except for the 26-yard field goal early in the second quarter.
Irish Eyes spoke with several of the Notre Dame players and coaches following their victory on Saturday. Here is what they had to say about the game.
Senior Wide Receiver Matt Shelton.
You have been a major contributor the last two games. Are you beginning to like that feeling?
"It is a very good feeling. I'm not going to lie about that. I'm glad I can go out and contribute to the best of my ability."
What were your thoughts when you found out you were going to start today?
"It felt really good, but I approached it just like any other day when I found out."
What did you think of Brady's performance today?
"Brady had a heckuva of a day. He had a great day. I can't speak enough about him."
How were his throws to you? Were the balls right there?
"He puts it right where I can catch it, and I make the most of it."
Was it the play action that enabled you to get open?
"To tell the truth, I don't know. I don't t remember which plays were play action or not, but it definitely helps."
Senior Linebacker Mike Goolsby
How did it feel to have the offense to get off to a fast start?
"It felt good. That is something we have talked about all year and this is the first time it has materialized for us. Just to get up ahead early and start fast and then to finish faster with the shut out in the fourth quarter. Having the shut out in the second quarter and having everything come to gather for us was huge. That is what we have been talking about all year and today it happened."
Does it help the defense when the offense gets a big early lead?
"Definitely. That enables us to do what we do best and that is create turnovers. Anytime you get to set on the bench and catch your breath and enjoy the show because of what they are doing is great for us."
Junior Guard Bob Morton
How has Brady improved from last year?
"He has improved so drastically from last year. His decision-making in throwing has really come so far. We haven't given him the opportunity to show that to the world, but I think today we gave him time and the opportunity to make plays. So as a group I think we have been able to showcase his talent a little better."
Do think your defensive teammates are happy because the offense opened a big lead early?
"Hopefully a little more than in the past. We kept them off the field a little more and the only time they had to go back on the field was when we scored quickly. We're happy as pie with them and hopefully they are as pleased as punch with us, and if I could throw in a few more clichés, I would."
Senior Defensive End Justin Tuck.
Great defense today. Are you satisfied?
"We can never be satisfied. We played a pretty good game but when we go back and look at film tomorrow, we will see where we could have played a lot better."
How big was it for the offense to get the early lead?
"It was a big thing. Once you get a lead like that the defense can go. You have to keep your techniques and things like that, but you can really fly around and make plays. It was a big thing for our offense to come out and get a big lead as that relaxes us and allows us to play loose."
Freshman Running Justin Hoskins
How do you think the team did today?
"We did pretty good today. I think we executed on offense, defense, and special teams. And it all came together today."
How did it feel to get out on the field today?
"It felt great. I had a lot of family up here, my Mom and Dad and both of my brothers and it felt good to be out there."
Defensive Coordinator Kent Baer
Did you start the chain idea?
"We did it as a staff. It's a sign of unity as much as anything else and we keep saying we are only as good as our weakest link. It's something the kids believe in and hang on to and look forward to as it is a sign of unity."
Were you pleased with the defensive performance today?
"I was pleased. Anytime you can keep a team out of the end zone and don't let them score, it is good. I think we had a couple of lapses, but you take the win and be pleased with it."
How important was it to get some of the younger plays on the field?
"It's real important as it will help us down the road. We have a long stretch before we have a bye and it's important that we get a lot of kids in and get some playing time so that if something happens, a guy goes down with an injury, then we know a guy is coming in that we can count on, and anytime you can get them in front of 81,000, I'm sure it is going to help them."