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Five things we learned: Notre Dame vs. Washington

Oct 3, 2009, 8:15 PM EDT

It’s bordering on ridiculous and closing quickly on beyond description.

The Irish once again pull out a miracle football game and win one for the ages. Maybe it’s not for the ages, but merely for the season,  as the Irish are making a case for reserving their own ESPN Classic channel. As Jake Locker’s fourth down heave to the middle of the field rattled out of the hands of D’Andre Goodwin (thanks to a fierce sandwich hit by safeties Kyle McCarthy and Harrison Smith), Notre Dame again escaped improbably, walking away with a 37-30 overtime victory.

During a game where driving rain fell sideways and a sloppy track befuddled Irish defenders and quarterback Jimmy Clausen, the Irish may not have played perfectly, but they certainly had a flair for the dramatic. The Irish defense, battered by the arm of Locker and the running of Chris Polk, stood strong when the going got toughest, pulling out two goal-line stands, the final one a tour-de-force performance that included 8 plays that started after the Huskies got to the Irish one-yard-line, and a mulligan for the Huskies after a bizarre roughing the snapper penalty was called. The Irish forced Steve Sarkisian to attempt a second field goal after running over nine-minutes off the 4th quarter clock, and gave the Irish its chance to win the ballgame by keeping the contest a one-possession game.

It wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t pretty, but it was certainly gutty. The Irish stand 4-1 with a bye week before the Trojans of Southern Cal come to town. Here’s what we learned today:

1) Golden Tate has answered the bell.

Tate’s herculean numbers explode from the stat sheet: 9 catches for 244 yards (27.1 per catch), 1 carry for 31 yards, and a TD. With the absence of Michael Floyd, Tate has stepped up his game, getting the ball in every way possible and wreaking havoc on defenses that struggle to contain him. While the Irish offense is certainly a different beast with Floyd out, Tate has done everything he could to put the Irish passing game on his back and create plays.

2) Jimmy Clausen is ready for his closeup.

In a monsoon, Jimmy Clausen completed 74% of his passes for 422 yards. An incredible feat that’s almost becoming a regular occurrence by the junior quarterback. 31 times Clausen dropped back to pass, and 23 times Irish players came down with the ball. Of his 8 misses, off the top of my head, I can think of two throwaways, two drops (one a TD by Robby Parris, the other an INT through Armando Allen’s hands), and only one truly bad decision — a backwards pass that didn’t technically count against Clausen’s passing numbers. The only thing that stopped Clausen today were his suspect feet, already battered before they had to deal with the sloppy sod of Notre Dame Stadium. We’re running out of things to say about Clausen, who was once again cool under pressure in his final two possessions. With 2:52 remaining in regulation, Clausen marched the Irish offense down the field with remarkable efficiency, 5 plays for 63 yards, in only 104 seconds. Most people wait at stoplights longer. With a bye week, expect Clausen to have his foot on ice for the next 9 days, resting for the biggest challenge of his career.

3) The Irish defense continues to pick itself back up.

Let’s start with the bad: 457 total yards — 176 on the ground, 281 in the air — and countless missed tackles. The Irish looked like a powder puff team trying to tackle 200-pound running back Chris Polk, who carried defenders countless times for 136 tough yards, many after first contact. But the defense stood tall when it mattered the most. Bend but don’t break would be an insult to this unit — the Irish defense looked like Rocky Balboa pulling itself off of the mat and miraculously stopping the Huskies when things were at their bleakest. With the Huskies up 24-19 and time running out in the 3rd quarter, the Irish stuffed Locker three times from inside the three-yard-line, getting a turnover on downs at the one-foot line. Then, in a goal-line stand that has to match up with the greatest in school history, the Irish survived 8 plays of do-or-die football, and forced a field goal by Sarkisian’s Huskies when a touchdown would’ve put the game out of reach. The Irish gave up two field goals in the two-minute drill, but when backed up against it all, somehow came out alive.

4) The red zone offense without Michael Floyd is a question mark.

Five field goals. Five. For those who don’t have Nick Tausch in their college football fantasy league, this is a nightmare. The Irish only punted the ball twice today, but when they drove the ball inside the Husky 20, the offense that was running in overdrive seemed to stall out. It’s clear that Notre Dame missing their jump ball threat in Floyd is forcing the Irish to find different ways to score, and today the Irish couldn’t figure a way into the end zone. The running game got stuffed several times today, and while Tausch’s accuracy today was exemplary, Notre Dame needs to get 6 instead of settling for 3, especially in games like this.

5) There’s a magic in the sound of their name…

Say what you will, but there is something going on here. Another miracle finish and another celebration for the Irish and their fans. The goal line stands, the late game heroics, the two-point conversion, it’s as if Notre Dame actually believes that these games should go this way. Even with Locker and the Huskies miraculously marching 70 yards on 9 plays in the final 1:20, the Irish offense calmly went down the field in overtime and scored in two plays. Two minutes earlier, with a one-point lead and two points needed to make it a field goal game, Notre Dame’s trick shotgun draw was snuffed out, but Robert Hughes and a squadron of offensive lineman willed their way into the end zone. That’s the kind of play that becomes a signature moment. That’s the kind of play that wakes up the echoes.

The Irish once again played a dangerous game with fate, but walked away victorious. After years of feeling like nothing can go right, the Irish have reversed course over the last three games and walk into their bye week knowing that the luck of the Irish may have been restored. 

  1. sharkey - Oct 3, 2009 at 10:37 PM

    I totally agree. The defense deserves most of the credit for the win with the most incredible goal line stand(s) EVER! They gave up a lot of big plays, but keeping it a one score game gave the Irish it’s only chance of victory. Way to go defense! Keep up the good work. Your’e improving every game, so don’t let the fans, sports experts or anyone else keep you down! BCS here comes the IRISH!

  2. dan ergas - Oct 3, 2009 at 11:00 PM

    great win for our lads. the only negative is the red zone play calling. before anyone gets all charlie weiss hater on me, i just thought 1, he should have reviewed the spot of the ball when tate stepped out. it should have been on the goal line instead of the two. and 2, be committed to 4 downs and RUN the ball with number 33 straight up the gut. sometimes charlie gets “to cute” going east/west, instead of right at them. the really great thing about this victory is that we havent played our best game yet. it sure would be great if that came in a few weeks.

  3. J.Kellogg - Oct 3, 2009 at 11:22 PM

    As an Irish fan I loved the win but, for the 3rd game in a row the Irish seemed to be a different team in the second half. The defense stiffened up when it had to but if they give up this much yardage to a non elite RB like Polk then SC’s stable of blue chippers will have a field day.

  4. Jill Sarbenoff - Oct 3, 2009 at 11:41 PM

    Unbelievable game yet again, Notre Dame. The magic is definitely back in South Bend. amd somewhere, I know Knute Rockne is smiling. BCS , take notice The Fighting Irish are back, and they are planning to stay that way. Most of the Irish offensive weapons are sophomores and juniors. Michael Floyd, Jimmy Claussen, and Golden Tate all deserve to be mentioned in any Heisman Trophy poll, if not this year, then definitely by next year. The offensive line on the two point conversion has to make highlight films everywhere. Such determination, the play should have been dead on the 4 yard-line. Furthermore, even the young defensive studs are already getting in the act. Yeah, there are still things that need to tweaked, but It has been decades, since I have been this excited about ND football. Not only for this year, but also for the future.

  5. John Nguyen - Oct 4, 2009 at 12:03 AM

    WOWOWOW! This honestly feels like the most exciting season I’ve witnessed since Notre Dame beat big bad Florida St. with Charlie Ward at the helm, back in the 90’s. Although nailbiting games are so exhilirating to watch, Notre Dame should be blowing these teams out! They can’t seem to build that big lead like their suppose to. Anyway, glad Clausen can show the nation his potential that everyone talked about when he came out of H.S., thanks to that great O-LINE! AHH too bad we all have to wait for two weeks to see ND beat USC, at least Jimmy can get more time healing his Shaq-idus toe.

  6. Steve - Oct 4, 2009 at 12:54 AM

    Don’t forget the extra help from the referee’s when they reversed the touchdown call for Washington! It was a touchdown and might have made the difference in the final score!

  7. James - Oct 4, 2009 at 1:27 AM

    No question this is the most exciting football at Notre Dame since 2005, but these wins are not supposed to be dramatic! The fact is that in all four games, Notre Dame has demonstrably better players. Notre Dame’s players are bigger, faster, and more experienced than their opponnents — arguably, at almost every position.
    Yes, today the drama was due to the supreme late game performance of Clausen, Rudolph and Tate under pressure. However, it is also due to at least sixty missed tackles, poor red zone performance by the offense. and a leaky pass defense. Goal line stands happen because ND’s weaker opponent today spent a lot of time on the goal line ! Given the talent and experience difference, Notre Dame should have won this game by three touchdowns. Same or similar story with Purdue, Michigan and Michigan State.
    This is a team that is underperforming every week, and slipping by. ND fans should celebrate the comebacks all night, but also try to grasp the reality of missed opportunity and what this team could be.

  8. Mike - Oct 4, 2009 at 2:10 AM

    “That’s the kind of play that becomes a signature moment. That’s the kind of play that wakes up the echoes.”
    More accurately, it’s the type of play that makes one question its legitimacy. Hughes looks down in this photo:
    http://backseatfan.com/index.php/2009/10/notre-dame-awarded-2-free-points/

  9. Bill - Oct 4, 2009 at 2:14 AM

    I really respect the prideful way the ND fans talk about their team and most especially, the RESPECT they show to their opponent (NOT!)
    Show some class people, and give Washington it’s due. The Huskies almost beat ND and there were some bad calls by the officials, especially that Washington touchdown being called back…
    Credit the ND defense for excellent goal-line stands. Credit Washington also, for coming in and playing way better than any ND fan or the sportswriters expected them to.
    Cheers!

  10. richard in chandler az - Oct 4, 2009 at 2:16 AM

    That was not a TD, also the make up a rule garbage call “roughing the snapper.” And once again Pac 10 Officials took a TD off the board with a holiding call. Great win going into the bye, playing without Fleming, Allen, and Floyd was tough!

  11. Bill - Oct 4, 2009 at 2:49 AM

    So sorry Richard, but it was a TD. Did you listen to how surprised the announcers were? Also, here’s absolute proof that ND did a Major Fail on the two-point conversion:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/dharmabruce/3978109543/
    The lousy officials were from the Big East…
    ND had the proverbial ‘Luck of’ in many ways, especially from the refs. On the other hand, the ‘roughing the kicker’ call was bogus and I’ll be the first to say Jimmy Clausen is awesome. But, as I said before, show some respect for your opponent and pay him a compliment too. Jake Locker is also awesome.

  12. The FreQ - Oct 4, 2009 at 2:57 AM

    Who cares about this one call… there have been quite a few blown calls by refs in our games this year. For once, we get a break. Face it, there will never be a perfectly called game by refs.
    We are winning but there are too many missed tackles on defense and lack of discipline resulting in silly penalties for us to get too confident for USC in two weeks.
    Despite Tate’s heroics today, IMO this was the worst that our offense has looked all year. Of the five drives that ended in FG’s, two of them should have been an easy six with Hughes or Allen running it in. Weis better stop being cutesy in his play calling because his star players won’t keep bailing him out.

  13. The FreQ - Oct 4, 2009 at 2:58 AM

    Who cares about this one call… there have been quite a few blown calls by refs in our games this year. For once, we get a break. Face it, there will never be a perfectly called game by refs.
    We are winning but there are too many missed tackles on defense and lack of discipline resulting in silly penalties for us to get too confident for USC in two weeks.
    Despite Tate’s heroics today, IMO this was the worst that our offense has looked all year. Of the five drives that ended in FG’s, two of them should have been an easy six with Hughes or Allen running it in. Weis better stop being cutesy in his play calling because his star players won’t keep bailing him out.

  14. robertg - Oct 4, 2009 at 3:58 AM

    1. we congratulate both teams on great offense, great defense, and lots of guts.
    2. obviously, we prefer the notre dame win.
    3. however, whatever the outcome, the game was honestly officiated by an honest pac 10 ref crew(courtesy of new honest pac 10 commissioner larry scott) and an honest big east tech review crew.
    4. for the fellow who thinks that hughes did not earn the 2 points, try reading the rules and buying some decent film analysis equipment.
    5. you have to look at the time when hughes got the ball over the goal line, well before his knee was down. what happened after that is simply irrelevant.
    6. can you imagine that the washington coaching staff would not have challenged that call if there had been any basis for doing so?
    7. we expect this washington team to have a great deal of success this season. they hold the tiebreaker over usc for the pac 10 title and stanford still has to play usc at the mausoleum.
    8. washington’s win over usc was no fluke and usc comes to south bend with the same problems-many rbs and wrs, but no reliable qb, and without the benefit of a crooked pac 10 ref crew like the crew that allowed usc to steal that win from notre dame in 2005, with the bush push being only only of the many dishonest non calls of penalties against usc at the end of that game, in addition to putting time back on the clock after the game was over.
    9. nd’s offense and defense are getting better every day with robby parris and shaquelle evans really starting to fill in the floyd role and with kamara and deion and other just ready to bust out and with robert hughes and other rbs stepping right in when allen cannot go.
    10. the difference between 2005 and 2006 and 2009 and future years is talent at every position and depth of talent at every position, along with excellent recruiting and player development by charlie and his staff.
    11. we wonder where eric hansen and his associates are hiding out right now? probably in los angeles with their buddy pete carroll.
    GO IRISH!!!

  15. NDatlien - Oct 4, 2009 at 9:08 AM

    I couldn’t agree more, robertg.
    Let me add a few things to your list, RE: officiating:
    1) It’s a Pac-10 officiating crew with a Pac-10 team. Anyone really think the officials were out to get Washington?
    2) The WA “touchdown” that was called back to 1st and goal was actually the right call. The way the receiver was cradling the ball prevented it from crossing the plain.
    3) Anyone comparing Hughes’ run with the “Bush Push” needs to step back and look at the two plays. Hughes was just running in a scrum of linemen until the play was blown dead. Totally fine. Was it a close call? Sure. But WA could have challenged and they chose not to. Probably because they saw the same thing we did; a really close call go ND’s way.
    In the case of “the push,” time had already expired and ND was walking onto the field for handshakes. Then time is put BACK on the clock, you can clearly see Bush tossing his QB over the line (after he’d been stopped again), and the game’s over. ND has no chance to respond. Even Mark May (who’s in the hall of fame of ND haters) identified several things that were wrong with that play. Point being, if the Hughes run or the non-touchdown had ended the game, I’d have a lot more sympathy for the finger pointing. I think both calls were correct, but they were both close. Neither caused the ND victory. I think we can trace that back to the two consecutive goal line stands.
    Let’s be honest here, a very talented WA team had back to back series with goal to go…and they failed to get a TD. Even then they could have taken the game in overtime. They didn’t. This wasn’t the officials’ fault, it was just a tough loss for a good team and a great win for ND.

  16. robertg - Oct 4, 2009 at 9:14 AM

    1. since someone asked the question about how it is determined what ref and tech review crews will officiate particular games, we do have the answers.
    2. in the absence of provisions to the contrary in individual games contracts, the visiting team brings a ref crew from their conference, theoretically to eliminate part of the advantage for the home team playing on its home field in front of a home crowd.
    3. with respect to tech review crews, in the absence of provisions to the contrary in individual game contracts, the home team provides tech review crews from its own conference for home games.
    4. for these reasons, the ref crews are often from one conference and the tech review crews from another in non conference games.
    5. since notre dame is an independent and does not belong to any conference in football, for decades prior to 2007, notre dame contracted with the big 10 conference to provide ref crews for notre dame’s away games.
    6. as the direct result of some really egregiously dishonest reffing by big 10 ref crews headed by crooked big 10 ref dennis lipski and others at the 2006 michigan/notre dame and notre dame/usc games, with coverups provided by big 10 commissioner delany and then big 10 conference official in charge of football reffing and tech reviewing dave parry, notre dame terminated its long term agreements with the big 10 conference and switched to big east ref crews for away games and big east tech review crews for home games.
    7. thus, the ref crew at the 2005 notre dame/usc game was all pac 10 and all crooked(tech review was optional in 2005 and petey declined for obvious reasons). the 2007 notre dame stanford game featured big east refs and a pac 10 tech review crew.
    8. because of provisions in the game contract executed long before charlie arrived at notre dame, the 2009 notre dame/michigan game, although it was an away game for notre dame,provided for a big 10 ref and tech review crew, with one of the refs assigned to the game by the big 10 conference actually being a long term resident of ann arbor and quite a few others having close connections with michigan.
    9. those who have run crooked college sports enterprises for many years saw the discontent with the current system boiling up into a public war between the big 12 conference and the pac 10 conference for a game played between oklahoma and oregon at oregon in september of 2006.
    10. those who ran the pac 10 crooked ref and tech review con operations in the pac 10 conference for many years, former pac 10 commissioner tom hansen and jim muldoon, put provisions in the fine print of every new pac 10 non conference game contract changing the normal rules to pac 10 refs and tech reviewers for all pac 10 non conference home games.
    11. in september of 2006, the sooners were robbed of a clear win over oregon by crooked pac 10 ref and tech reviewers in such a grotesque and obvious manner that hansen and muldoon were forced to admit the the crooked reffing and tech reviewing had changed the outcome of the game, to apologize in writing, and to agrre to discipline harshly every pac 10 ref and tech reviewer involved.
    12. the disciplinary action was so harsh that hansen and muldoon promoted dave cutaia, the head ref at the oregon/oklahoma game, to the position of the pac 10 conference official in charge of football reffing and tech reviewing and moved muldoon up in the pac 10 conference structure so that cutaia would report to muldoon.
    13. hansen resigned before the 2009 season began and the pac 10 selected an honest man, larry scott, to be the new pac 10 commissioner, obviously thinking that they could run the crooked reffing operation just like old times by keeping scott, whose background is playing tennis at harvard and as a pro and organizing the very successful and very honest wta tour, on the speaking circuit.
    14. well, muldoon and cutaia were mistaken about scott, who has actually begun clearing the corruption out of the pac 10 football reffing and tech reviewing systems.
    15. however, delany and carollo, the big 10 conference official who took over parry’s position at the big 10, along with hansen, muldoon, and cutaia, and their asociates at every other conference needed a fallback position.
    16. therefore, in december of 2007, the conferences and the ncaa formed college football officiating llc and selected none otherr than dave cutaia as the 1st national coordinator of college football officiating in an attempt to deceive the public into believing that some type of real oversight of the conference officiating and tech revciewing was taking place.
    17. naturally, the supposed reforms never took place and never will take place until the current systems are eliminated and replaced with high tech systems, such as those used in the olympic swimming events, which are fully transparent to the public.
    18. obviously, if such changes are left up to committees and discussions, nothing will ever be done.
    19. why can the honest coaches and independents like notre dame do nothing to correct the situation?
    20. there are rules which are ironically called sportsmanship conduct rules(aka provide cover for the crooked refs and tech revieweres) both at the conference and ncaa levels which porovide for severe monetary and other sanctions, including being banned by the ncaa from patricipating in college athletics, for any coaches or student athletes who complain to the public, instead of just through private channels to the conferences and the ncaa which come back with standard screw you replies.
    21. the solution lies in severe economic violence in the civil courts against every individual involved in crooked college sports enterprises, the same type of economic violence which we used so successfully to bring down the former hot shots at enron and mci worldcom and quite a number of ex judges.
    22. so, unless people actually like the current corrupt systems and want them to continue, there is plenty that can be done to change the status quo, especially since at the website of every conference, anyone can fnd a list of coprporate sponsors that actually pay the salaries of these con artists.
    23. like us, many of you probably own shares in these companies and can put a halt to funding any more con operations until honest transparent systems are put in place.
    24. we give out a prize every week to the most egregious crooked refing crew.
    25. this week, the prize goes to the all sec crew which did what was necessary, for reasons which we will find out, to make it possible for lsu to steal a win from georgia by giving lsu extra time outs under the guise of bogus penalties.
    26. anyone can get the names of the officials from the full box scores at the websites of the schools, the names of the responsible sec conference officials at the sec conference website and all of the information you need for civil litigation against these individuals from intelius.com.
    27. of course, there are cases in which the sports bookies bypass the conference officials and pay off the refs and tech reviewers directly. however, because someone at the conference levels needs to provide cover for the crooked refs and tech reviewers, these direct only arrangements are rare.
    GO IRISH AND GO HONEST COLLEGE SPORTS!!!

  17. NDatlien - Oct 4, 2009 at 9:32 AM

    And this comment’s for the ND hand-wringers–
    WA is for real. Their QB is a hoss, and we aren’t giving nearly enough credit to their running back. You don’t accidentally beat USC.
    Purdue isn’t nearly as bad as their record, and both MI and Michigan State are legit. It’ll be tough going for us, considering our entire offense is hurt (save Golden “I’m making plays like I’m in a bad college FB movie” Tate) and Rudolph. Finding ways to win under these circumstances is nothing to sneeze at. I’m as sick as everyone else of the D giving up just enough to make it thrilling, but they came up HUGE today in terrible weather. Bad turf is especially tough on Defense because you have to react to the play. Your foot work is always going to be more awkward than a reciever who knows exactly where he’s going, or a running back who knows exactly which hole he’s supposed to hit. Add to that a QB who can barely run anyway, and bad weather will always work against us.

  18. Kevin - Oct 4, 2009 at 11:47 AM

    The point about Hughes not being over the goal line is not legitimate because you can’t see a number, and you can not tell where the ball is. Not certain that this is Hughes.

  19. PSM - Oct 4, 2009 at 12:53 PM

    ND remains the standard, based on the weekly comments from fans of opposing teams. Washington’s new head coach has done an amazing job based on the talent pool and extremely short tenure. One clearly imagines that within 3 years he will have Washington in the top 15 on a regular basis, with top 5 in any given year depending on their recruiting across the board.
    However, Washington is not yet an accomplished team, as ND imploded from substandard coaching. If a WU fan wants to argue that their head coach is superior to ND’s OC and DC, I question whether any serious ND fan will argue.
    Unfortunately, Weis’ achilles heel remains his need to win the “coaches meeting” rather than the ball game, as he employs hard to fathom playcalling inside the red zone. I wish Charlie would contract with a company to make his own video football game, replete with hundreds of plays on offense and defense and get it out of his system. When the defense is on its heels and ND has moved with alacrity to the red zone, that is not the time to show everyone how clever he is. Especially with superior talent on the field. This is not pro football, where such plays are necessary because virtually every team in the pros can win on any given Sunday.
    The Defensive Coordinator (DC) is taking ND into the bottom of the NCAA conference with his high stakes, ill-advised addiction to blitzing. I felt it was a mistake to hire him, I really cringed when he was made DC and now I wonder if USC will destroy ND again. The defense is good enough now to play normal defense with occasional blitzes.
    My Six Observations
    1) Defensive line hire already paid huge dividends. Replay shows the the DL firing on each snap on the goal line, stuffing the WU offensive line. It is his and their victory and not the blitz-happy Georgia Tech DC.
    2) Offensive line hire is the real deal and probably too good for ND to keep. One benefit of DC is the offensive line is pretty good at picking up blitzes.
    3) If Charlie lets Clausen heal so he has full mobility by USC, Clausen is going to win the Heisman. Charlie can run an offense up to the red zone, but has not learned to “quick strike” and score.
    4) Put DB coach back as DC. Else, its going to be a long season and Charlie’s last at ND.
    5) Cierre Wood needs to take his blocking skills seriously, as it was a missed block by the RB that lead to Clausen’s injury, and ND needs him.
    6) ND finally has a kicker who may end up being one of the most valuable assets the team has over the next few years. ND is too talented and high profile not to be competitive in most games and the kicker is going to win a lot of games for ND, I suspect.

  20. Pat - Oct 4, 2009 at 1:02 PM

    Response to PSM’s Six Observations
    # 5). ND needs Cierre Wood and he should take his blocking skills seriously, but it was not Cierre Wood who was on the field when Clausen was injured.

  21. N Anderson - Oct 4, 2009 at 1:29 PM

    As a Husky fan, my heart sank when I learned that a Pac-10 orew would be officiating; believe me, that gave the Huskies absolutely NO advantage! The Pac-10 has the dubious distinction of having the worst refs in the entire NCAA. The Huskies were robbed of a touchdown–the score should have been 31-22 going into the 4th quarter. That was key to ND’s “miraculous” win.

  22. Mike - Oct 4, 2009 at 2:01 PM

    Pretty sure it is Hughes. About the only way I can imagine this legitimately counting as a 2-pt. conversion is if the ball crossed the line, then Hughes was pushed back, at which time this photo was taken. However, that didn’t appear to happen, as ND surged forward, and I don’t recall a counter-surge by UW.
    Sometimes a camera angle appears to confirm a belief, but then another more telling camera angle overturns it.
    Photography is often revealing, but it’s still an imperfect re-creation of an actual event, so it’s possible that this camera angle was in fact deceptive. But I doubt it, and I certainly wouldn’t pick this play as the one that “wakens the echoes.” If there was such a play, it was Tate hanging onto the ball when he got flipped at the goal line.

  23. J B - Oct 4, 2009 at 2:15 PM

    ND fans boo’d the Huskies as they came onto the field pre-game. Very classy in South Bend. You got a present yesterday so take it and shut up.

  24. Goldendomer - Oct 4, 2009 at 2:26 PM

    For those of you who are crying about officiating, ND has been fighting Refs all season, welcome to the club. Some un noticed penalties hurt the irish as well. On the lateral play, i watched the play three times to make sure, Armando allen was being held by his arm, and that is actually what caused that. Then on our third field goal, Golden tata was being held in the back of the erndzone which didn’t allow him to go up for the ball. And a big run that pope had, our Fantastic # nine had him, then got clipped off with an illegal block. So do not cry Ref, No game is called 100% correct

  25. Snoop - Oct 4, 2009 at 2:42 PM

    @JB – Washington fans boo’d USC as they took the field a few weeks ago. Was that “lack of class”?
    What home crowd doesn’t boo the opposition when they take the field?
    “Present” or not, you lost. You were 0-for-2008 a year ago, and have a great future. Take a deep breath, dry your eyes, and look forward to next week.

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