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Injuries befall Irish in last game of year

Justin Schuver | Monday, December 8, 2003

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Season sack leader and starting defensive end Justin Tuck injured himself on Syracuse’s second offensive series Saturday and had to be helped off the field. Backup offensive guard Jamie Ryan was injured late in the first quarter after Notre Dame kicked its first field goal and also had to be carried off.Irish coach Tyrone Willingham declined to comment on either player’s injury.

Burrell picks it up Junior defensive back Quentin Burrell has picked up his individual game down the stretch this year, collecting one interception in each of Notre Dame’s last three games – including one Saturday against Syracuse.Burrell, who saw his playing time increase dramatically after an injury to Glenn Earl in the USC game, ended up the team leader with four interceptions in the season.Despite his improved play, Burrell realizes that he and the rest of the team have many improvements to make in the coming offseason.”I think the main thing for me is just to get more consistent,” Burrell said. “I need to get back in the film room and pick up on those little things that could help me out.” “Things like reading plays to try and get more picks.”Jones ties for fourth Senior running back Julius Jones collected only 54 yards against Syracuse Saturday, giving him a total of 1,268 yards this season.It was a disappointing finish for a season that saw Jones return from academic probation to become the first Irish running back to have three 200-yard games in a season.”It was a tough way to go out for the seniors,” Jones said. “Not a good way to go out for anybody.”Jones’ performance this year tied him with Autry Denson in 1997 for the fourth-highest single-season total in Irish history.

Dome sweet dome? Not quiteNotre Dame’s loss to Syracuse Saturday drops the team’s record in domed stadiums to 1-3. The last time the Irish played in a domed stadium was Jan. 1, 1992 when Notre Dame defeated Florida 39-28 in the 1992 Sugar Bowl at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, La.

Gameday captainsGame captains for Notre Dame against Syracuse were running back Julius Jones, offensive lineman Jim Molinaro, defensive tackle Darrell Campbell and linebacker Courtney Watson.