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Football: Irish Defeat Wolf Pack 35-0

Doug Farmer | Monday, September 7, 2009

NOTE: For more thoughts on Notre Dame’s victory over Nevada, tune in to the Irish Insider podcast, which can be found at ndsmcobserver.com/podcasts

Eight months later, Jimmy Clausen and the Notre Dame offense rose to the high standard set in the Hawaii Bowl in December. First reaching the end zone with 8:42 left in the first quarter, the Irish scored five touchdowns en route to a 35-0 victory over Nevada.

After receiving the kickoff, Notre Dame marched 67 yards down the field in 12 plays, and junior quarterback Clausen concluded the drive by completing a pass to sophomore tight end Kyle Rudolph in the back of the end zone. Clausen ended his day with 300 yards on 14-for-17 passing and four touchdowns in only three quarters.

Sophomore wide receiver Michael Floyd caught the other three passing touchdowns. Floyd’s strikes came on plays of 24 yards, 70 yards, and 88 yards. The 88-yard touchdown is the third-longest score through the air in Notre Dame football history.

For the Irish running game, Armando Allen led the way. Allen rushed for a one-yard touchdown in the second quarter and recorded 72 rushing yards on 15 carries.

Matching the outstanding display by the Irish offense, Notre Dame’s defense held a team scoreless for the first time in Charlie Weis’ career. Sparked by two early Brian Smith sacks of Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the defense did not allow a substantial drive by the Wolfpack until only six minutes remained in the first half.

On fourth-and-one on the Notre Dame 18-yard line, Nevada running back Vai Taua was stopped behind the line by senior Notre Dame linebacker Toryan Smith.

Nevada only managed to enter the red zone one more time the entire game. With less than three minutes left in the third quarter, Taua mishandled a pitch at the Notre Dame seven-yard line. Sophomore defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore quickly recovered the fumble, once again stopping a Wolfpack attack in its tracks.

Sophomore quarterback Dayne Crist took the Irish snaps in the fourth quarter as the game was already in hand. Many freshmen also saw pieces of playing time, including linebacker Man’Ti Teo, receiver Shaq Evans, and running back Theo Riddick.

Notre Dame will go on the road next weekend, entering the Big House to face Michigan on Saturday.