No luck for Irish

Walter Reyes made sure Syracuse would not endure another losing season.

Reyes rushed for 189 yards and five touchdowns as Syracuse (6-6, 2-5) ending its season by beating Notre Dame (5-7), 38-12, Saturday. With the loss, the Irish have had three losing seasons in their last five, something that has not happened in the history of the program.

Reyes, who hadn't topped the 100-yard mark since late September, scored twice in less than two minutes, giving Syracuse a 24-6 lead midway through the third quarter.

"I give credit to the offensive line," Reyes said. "Without them, I wouldn't be doing what I did."

Courtney Watson intercepted an R.J. Anderson pass, and returned the ball to the Syracuse 24-yard line before being taken down by Johnnie Morant. The Irish would punch it in when Brady Quinn found tight end Anthony Fasano with a 5-yard pass, to cut the lead to 24-12.

But the Orangemen stopped an attempted 2-point conversion by the Irish, and Reyes ended any hope for the Irish, taking a 71-yard run into the endzone to give Syracuse a 31-12 lead.

"Stopping the two point conversion helped stop some of the momentum they were trying to build," linebacker Rich Scanlon said.

Reyes would then collect his final score with 10:27 left, punching the ball in from three yards out after Morant caught a 47-yard pass.

Reyes finished the season with 1,347 yards rushing and 21 touchdowns while breaking several school records. His 38 career touchdowns and his 134 points this season set a new school record.

"The fans today were unbelievable," Reyes said. "The electricity and excitement even before we took to the field was great."

Things didn't go as well for Reyes' counterpart, Irish tailback Julius Jones.

Jones, who had averaged more than 200-yards a game during Notre Dame's three-game win streak, was stuffed by an unrelenting Syracuse defense. Jones gained just 54 yards in 20 attempts, fumbling a ball at the Syracuse 16 early in the second quarter. The Irish mustered just 62 yards on 36 carries.

"We were the best (defensive line) they faced," defensive linemen Christian Ferrara said. "They didn't move the ball an inch on us."

The Irish couldn't convert even when presented with good opportunities.

After SU punter Brendan Carney had his kick partially blocked and Notre Dame took over at the Syracuse 30, the Irish were actually pushed back 13 yards in three plays, and were only able to come away with a field goal.

Syracuse set the tone early, as safety Anthony Smith intercepted Brady Quinn's second pass, giving the Orangemen excellent field position, at the Irish 24. Walter Reyes would punch the ball in for his first score of the game.

Collin Barber's 42-yard field goal made it 10-0 before D.J. Fitzpatrick connected on a 50-yard field goal late in the first quarter to cut the lead to 10-3.

The win reprieved Pasqualoni. There have been several rumors that Pasqualoni would be fired at the conclusion of the season. Should that happen, at the very least, Pasqualoni will go out a winner.

"The kids didn't give in," Pasqualoni said. "You gotta love them and be proud of them."

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