Opponents Recap

Here's how the opponents of Notre Dame did this past weekend:

***NAVY: The Midshipmen lost to Division I-AA Delaware 59-52 despite rolling up 506 yards of total offense. The problem for Navy is their lack of defense. The Blue Hens haven't scored 59 points in seven years and totaled 586 yards of total offense. Delaware quarterback Joe Flacco threw four touchdown passes while running back Omar Cuff ran another four into the end zone.

The Midshipmen's Kaipo-Nao Kaheaku-Enhada did start after sustaining a neck injury in the prior game and ran for 72 yards and two touchdowns. Backup Jarod Bryant was 8-for-11 for 126 yards and a 51-yard completion to Zerb Singleton set up a score to cut the Delaware lead to 52-49 late in the fourth quarter. But Cuff's 37-yard touchdown run sealed the upset win for the Blue Hens.

Navy (4-4), losers of two in a row, continued their dominance on the ground. The Midshipmen ran for 342 yards against Delaware. For the year, Navy is tops in the nation, averaging 342 yards a game on the ground. But the Midshipmen are 105th in total defense, 119th in pass efficiency defense, 114th in scoring defense and 82nd against the run. Something will have to give on Saturday when Navy plays at Notre Dame, who has the nation's worst offense.

***AIR FORCE: The Falcons came up a little short last Thursday, falling to New Mexico 34-31. A late fumble ruined a chance to tie the contest up late in the fourth quarter as Air Force falls to 5-3 on the season. The Lobos (6-2) got four field goals from John Sullivan, including a 36-yarder with ten minutes remaining that proved to be the difference.

This contest was a back-and-forth affair. The Falcons led 21-10 in the second quarter after Chad Hall scored from 18 yards out. But New Mexico came storming back and took a 28-24 lead on Rodney Ferguson's three-yard touchdown run. Ferguson ran for 146 yards on the night. Jim Ollis' eight-yard scoring run gave the lead back to Air Force late in the fourth quarter 31-28 but Sullivan's two fourth quarter field goals gave the Lobos the victory.

Just like their fellow service academy, the Falcons dominate on the ground. Air Force is sixth nationally in rushing offense, averaging 254 yards per contest. The Falcons are 53rd in total defense and 65th against the run.

***DUKE: The Blue Devils continued their losing ways with a 25-6 loss at Florida State. Duke was held to its lowest point total of the season and falls to 1-7 on the year and 0-5 in the ACC. The only thing that prevented a shutout was a Thaddeus Lewis-to-Brandon King scoring connection in the fourth quarter.

Lewis was 16-of-30 for 198 yards while wide receiver Jomar Wright finished with seven catches for 141 yards. Offensively, though, Duke was held to 222 total yards while Florida State's Drew Weatherford passed for 339 yards. The Seminoles (5-3) also got 146 yards on the ground from Antone Smith.

The Blue Devils are 58th nationally through the air but 118th in rushing offense. On defense, Duke has trouble stopping the pass, ranking 108th in Division I-A.

***STANFORD: The Cardinal was held to 181 yards of total offense in losing at Oregon State 23-6. Stanford falls to 3-5 on the year and 2-4 in the Pac-10. The Beavers improved to 5-3 and 3-2 in conference action.

Stanford's lone bright moment came in the second quarter. Two Derrick Belch field goals cut the Oregon State lead to 14-6 going into halftime. But the Beavers took control of the game in the third quarter. Alexis Serna hit three field in the second half to give Oregon State breathing room. The Cardinal's freshman quarterback Tavita Pritchard completed 16-of-32 passes for 168 yards but was sacked five times. Stanford also turned the ball over four times.

The Cardinal hasn't been getting it going on offense, ranking 107th nationally. On defense, Stanford is 111th in pass efficiency defense and 94th overall. The Cardinal are eighth in sacks.

***GEORGIA TECH: The Yellow Jackets had a bye week. Georgia Tech (5-3) now prepare for a Thursday night home game against Virginia Tech. ESPN will have the national television broadcast.

***PENN STATE: The Nittany Lions could not pull the upset in losing to top-ranked Ohio State 37-17. In front of the second largest crowd ever at Beaver Stadium, Penn State could not do a lot of damage against the Buckeyes defense in falling to 6-3 on the season.

It was 10-7 in the second quarter before Ohio State took control. Buckeyes quarterback Todd Boeckman hit Brian Hartline for a 16-yard touchdown pass to increase the lead to 17-7 before halftime. Boeckman connected on another scoring strike, this time a 15-yard touchdown pass to Jake Ballard to make it 24-7. The nail in the coffin was Malcolm Jenkins' 27-yard interception return for a score off of an errant pass from Anthony Morelli to give Ohio State a 34-10 fourth quarter advantage. The Buckeyes outgained Penn State by almost 200 yards while Morelli finished 12-of-21 for 111 yards. The Nittany Lions' Dan Connor totaled 18 tackles on the night.

***MICHIGAN: The Wolverines overcame a 10-0 deficit and came back to beat Minnesota 34-10 in Ann Arbor. After two losses to begin the year, Michigan has rolled off seven straight wins to improve to 7-2 on the year and undefeated in the Big 10.

Freshman quarterback Ryan Mallett was 11-of-20 for 233 yards while Brandon Minor rushed for 157 yards and a touchdown. Carlos Brown added 132 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. Playing without injured Michael Hart, Michigan racked up 307 yards on the ground and over 500 yards of total offense. Mario Manningham caught five passes for 162 yards, including a 48-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter to give Michigan a 27-10 advantage.

The Wolverines are 22nd in rushing offense, averaging 203 yards per game on the ground. Michigan is 21st in total defense and 15th in sacks and 16th in tackles for loss.

***MICHIGAN STATE: The Spartans lost another tough overtime battle, this one a 34-27 defeat at the hands of Iowa on the road. It was Michigan State's second loss this season in overtime and fourth by seven points or less.

The Spartans were in control of the game at halftime. Michigan State was up 17-3 after Jehuu Caulcrick's one-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. That's before Hawkeyes running back Albert Young got hot, scoring twice in the third quarter to tie the contest up at 17-all going into the fourth quarter. Young ended the day with 179 rushing yards. In the first overtime, both teams got touchdowns. Caulcrick scored from three yards out to make it 24-17 but Iowa responded with a 23-yard touchdown reception by Pat Chaney, Jr. The Hawkeyes took a 31-24 lead on a one-yard scoring run from Jevon Pugh and the Spartans could not match it as a Brian Hoyer pass completion to Devin Thomas was short of the first down. Hoyer threw for over 300 yard while Javon Ringer eclipsed the 100-yard rushing barrier.

With the combination of Ringer and Caulcrick, Michigan State is 18th nationally in rushing offense, averaging 213 YPG. On defense, the Spartans have been successful in getting to the quarterback, ranking sixth in sacks and seventh in TFL.

***PURDUE: Jaycen Taylor's 157 yards and two touchdowns were enough to help the Boilermakers to a 35-17 home win over Northwestern. Purdue improves to 7-2 overall and 3-2 in the Big Ten.

Curtis Painter tossed for 182 yards and two touchdowns, including a 21-yard scoring strike to Dorien Bryant to give the Boilermakers a 28-17 fourth quarter advantage. Purdue sealed the deal with a Taylor one-yard scoring plunge as the Boilermakers scored the last 21 points of the game. C.J. Bacher's lone touchdown pass of the day gave Northwestern a 17-14 halftime lead. But Bacher threw three interceptions as the Wildcats fall to 5-4 on the year.

Behind Painter, Purdue is 15th in the nation in passing offense. The offensive line is doing a good job protecting the quarterback as the Boilermakers are 19th in sacks allowed.

***UCLA: The Bruins continued their roller coaster season, losing on the road to Washington State 27-7. UCLA, who lost to one-win Notre Dame earlier in the year, falls to 5-3 overall and 4-1 in the Pac-10 while the Cougars are now 3-5 and 1-4 in conference action.

The Bruins started off fast. UCLA took the opening kickoff 62 yards, capped by Kahili Bell's 50-yard touchdown run to give the Bruins a 7-0 advantage. That would be it for the UCLA offense as Washington State scored the next 27 points of the game. An Alex Brink-to-Brandon Gibson scoring connection gave the Cougars a 20-7 fourth quarter lead. Bruins quarterback Patrick Cowan could not find his groove, completing 17-of-36 passes for 167 yards. UCLA was outgained 545-267.

***BOSTON COLLEGE: The Eagles delivered when it counted as Heisman Trophy hopeful Matt Ryan's last second touchdown pass to Andre Callender was the difference in a 14-10 win on the road to Virginia Tech. No. 2 Boston College (8-0) continues their drive for the ACC Championship and a possible spot in the BCS National Championship game.

Held in check for almost the entire contest, Ryan led two late touchdown drives to give the Eagles the miracle victory. The quarterback hit Rich Gunnell for a 16-yard score to cut the deficit to 10-7 with 2:11 remaining. Boston College then recovered an onside kick. Ryan calmly drove the Eagles down the field and on 3rd-and-20, scrambled around and found Callender for the winning score. On the night, Ryan finished 25-for-52 for 285 yards and two interceptions in the rainy conditions.

With Ryan at the helm, Boston College is ninth nationally in passing offense. On defense, the strength is against the run. The Eagles are second in the nation in rushing defense.

***USC: The run of BCS Bowl appearances appears to be over for the Trojans after a 24-17 loss at No. 5 Oregon over the weekend. USC is now 6-2 overall and 3-2 in the Pac-10. The Ducks are 7-1 and 4-1 in conference action.

Turnovers killed the Trojans chances at an upset victory. USC turned the ball over three times. The biggest miscue came on Stanley Havili's fumble in the third quarter deep inside Trojan territory. Oregon recovered and scored two plays later on Jonathan Stewart's 16-yard touchdown run. It gave the Ducks a 17-10 lead. USC quarterback Matt Sanchez drove the Trojans down the field but threw the first of two interceptions on the day. Oregon converted the opportunity into a Stewart one-yard touchdown run to make it 24-10. Sanchez hit David Ausberry for a 14-yard scoring strike to cut the deficit to 24-17 with four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. But the USC quarterback threw a late pickoff inside the Ducks' 20-yard line to give Oregon the game. Sanchez ended the day 26-of-41 for 277 yards while the Ducks' Dennis Dixon accounted for 233 total yards.


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