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Palko drops bombs on Irish ‘D’

Kate Gales | Monday, November 15, 2004

Tyler Palko became the first quarterback ever to throw for five touchdowns against the Irish. Eleven others have completed four touchdown passes – most recently Purdue’s Kyle Orton in this season’s Oct. 2 game.

“There’s no better feeling then to come in here and get a win,” Palko said. “I’d give those five touchdowns back and get a win anytime,”

Palko was also able to scramble in the pocket, rushing for 50 yards in the game before sacks were figured into the stats.

“I thought their quarterback did a great job,” Irish coach Tyrone Willingham said. “I thought his ability to run bailed them out of situations where drives were just about to be stopped but his feet kept the drive alive.”

In a postgame interview with NBC, the sophomore used an expletive in describing the game. He apologized for the slip after the game.

Holiday, Campbell shine

In his last game at Notre Dame Stadium, fifth-year senior Carlyle Holiday made something happen after a disappointing season.

Holiday returned a punt 68 yards in the third quarter, which lead to the Rashon Powers-Neal 19-yard touchdown reception from Brady Quinn, tying the game at 28.

“I felt like I had a good chance to make something happen,” Holiday said of Notre Dame’s longest punt return this season. “It was definitely good just to rush for more than 10 yards, just get the feet moving and being able to celebrate doing something and helping the team out.”

Holiday said the Irish specialists had worked on a different blocking scheme in practices against Tennessee.

“We did set up a different return this week,” he said. “We worked on it this whole week in practice, and it was successful in the game today.”

In his final game at Notre Dame Stadium, Holiday was able to make something happen for an Irish offense that has struggled all year with consistency.

“I just tried to get up the sideline and make the kicker miss if I had the ability to,” Holiday said, “but all I was thinking was touchdown.”

Carlos Campbell was also able to make an impact in his last game, returning a kickoff 41 yards, Notre Dame’s longest of the season as well.

“It’s just me on my last day, trying to get out there and make a play for the team,” Campbell said. “They gave me the opportunity I asked for on senior day, and I took advantage of it.”

Penalties problematic

The Irish were called for 10 penalties for a season-high 119 yards. The team gave up a key pass-interference penalty late in the fourth quarter, which called back a Tom Zbikowski interception in the red zone.

“It was difficult for me to see,” Willingham said after the game. “But it’s the way the game goes.”

The two penalties on the way to the Panthers’ final touchdown allowed the drive to continue twice.

Gameday captains

Saturday’s captains for Notre Dame were Holiday, linebacker Derek Curry, running back Ryan Grant and linebacker Mike Goolsby.