Quarterly Report

What follows is a quarter-by-quarter recap of Notre Dame's 41-21 defeat of Tennessee Saturday in South Bend:

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UT 0 Quarter 1 15:00 0 ND
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Tennessee took the opening kickoff and marched to a second-and-one at Notre Dame's 37-yard line only to lose three yards on an Erik Ainge fumble and wind up punting two plays later.

Starting at its 6-yard line, Notre Dame zipped 94 yards in 11 plays to go up 7-0. Brady Quinn completed 7 of 10 passes for 101 yards on the drive, which included a holding penalty. The TD came on a 43-yard crossing route to tight end Anthony Fasano.

Lucas Taylor fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and Notre Dame recovered at the Vol 27-yard line. Two plays later Quinn hit Maurice Stovall with a 35-yard TD pass, and it was 14-0.

A 43-yard run by Arian Foster helped UT get a first-and-10 at the Irish 12-yard line but Ainge was sacked and the Vols wound up settling for a 26-yard James Wilhoit field goal that narrowed the gap to 14-3.

KEY PLAY

On third and 18 at the Vol 35-yard line, Quinn lofted a pass into the left corner of the end zone. The 6-foot-5 Stovall outjumped 6-0 Vol cornerback Roshaun Fellows and made a spectacular catch, boosting the lead to 14-0.

KEY PLAYER

Quinn (ND) and Foster (UT). Quinn was 8 of 13 for 136 yards and two touchdowns in the quarter. Foster rushed 10 times for 77 yards.

KEY STAT

Notre Dame's two TD plays covered 78 yards, an average of 39 yards each.



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UT 3 Quarter 1 00:00 14 ND
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Tom Zbikowski fielded a Britton Colquitt punt at the Notre Dame 22-yard line, popped through a cluster of Vols, then raced to the end zone to complete a 78-yard touchdown return.

Late in the period, a lateral from Quinn bounded off the hands of Jeff Samardzija and was recovered by UT's Ryan Karl at the Notre Dame 37-yard line. Ainge completed a 21-yard strike to C.J. Fayton and later found Bret Smith from seven yards out for a touchdown that narrowed the gap to 21-10.

Tennessee had a chance to score again, advancing to the Irish 36-yard line. Ainge was called for intentional grounding, however, and the drive fizzled.

KEY PLAY

The lateral to Samardzija. Notre Dame had an 18-point lead and tons of momentum. When Karl recovered and Tennessee scored eight plays later, the Vols suddenly found themselves back in the game.

KEY PLAYER

Zbikowski. He juked Vol "gunner" Demetrice Morley a split-second after fielding Colquitt's punt, shot between a couple more Vols and went 78 yards on his spectacular punt return.

KEY STAT

After rushing for 77 first-quarter yards, Foster was a marked man in period No. 2, managing just 10 yards on eight carries.



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UT 10 Quarter 2 00:00 21 ND
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Notre Dame marched to a third-and-two at UT's 31-yard line but Kevin Simon and Jesse Mahelona threw Travis Thomas for a three-yard loss. The Irish went for it on fourth-and-five at the 34, only to see Vol end Jason Hall sack Quinn for a seven-yard loss.

Foster reversed his field for a dazzling 24-yard gain to open UT's ensuing possession. Ainge hit Robert Meachem for 17 yards to the Notre Dame 17-yard line but the drive stalled at this point, and Wilhoit hit a 30-yard field goal, pulling the Vols within 21-13.

Tennessee scored again on its next possession. Ainge hit Bret Smith for 14 yards, and a late hit tacked on another 15. Ainge found Fayton for 23 yards, then Foster scored on a three-yard run up the middle. A two-point conversion pass from Ainge to Smith tied the score at 21-21.

KEY PLAY

On third-and-10 at the Irish 26-yard line, Ainge threw a strike over the middle to Fayton, who made the grab at the 3-yard line. One TD run and one PAT pass later, the score was tied.

KEY PLAYER

Jason Hall. His fourth-down sack of Quinn gave Tennessee possession at its 41-yard line, along with a tremendous emotional lift.

KEY STAT

Notre Dame netted just 34 yards of total offense in the period.



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UT 21 Quarter 3 00:00 21 ND
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Mere seconds into the quarter Quinn hit Samardzija on a crossing route, and the 6-5 wideout sailed 74 yards to the Vol 3-yard line. Morley threw Thomas for a three-yard loss on first down and Jason Mitchell sacked Quinn for an apparent five-yard loss on second down. The sack was nullified by an offsides penalty, however. Quinn fumbled on the very next play but Notre Dame recovered, enabling Quinn to hit Samardzija with a four-yard TD pass moments later, giving the Irish a 28-21 lead.

Ambrose Wooden intercepted Ainge on UT's ensuing possession and returned the ball to Tennessee's 34-yard line. D.J. Fitzpatrick eventually hit a 36-yard field goal, boosting the lead to 31-21.

Tennessee's offense stalled, then Zbikowski returned a punt 26 yards to the Vol 20-yard line. Fitzpatrick booted a 28-yard field goal, widening the gap to 34-21 with 4:01 remaining.

Ainge was intercepted by Zbikowski on the second play of UT's ensuing possession, and his 30-yard return boosted the score to 41-21.

KEY PLAY

The 74-yard hookup between Quinn and Samardzija. It came on a third-and-10 play when the Irish appeared to be struggling. That play opened the floodgates for a 20-point fourth-quarter explosion by the Irish.

KEY PLAYER

Zbikowski. He returned a punt 26 yards to set up a field goal and returned an interception 30 yards for the game's final score.

KEY STAT

Ainge completed just 2 of 9 passes for 30 yards with two interceptions in the final period.



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UT 21 Quarter 4 00:00 41 ND
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More in-depth info...

Game #: 1113
Site: South Bend
Date: Nov. 5
Conference: IND
Coach Match-up:
For the Vols - Fulmer and for the Fighting Irish - Wies


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