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Football Notebook: Quinn’s 4th-down pass goes for 10,000

Chris Hine | Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Brady Quinn’s 25-yard completion on fourth-and-one to tight end John Carlson in the first quarter Saturday gave him exactly 10,000 passing yards for his collegiate career. Quinn became the 32nd quarterback in Division 1-A history to reach that milestone.

Third time Irish charmSaturday’s comeback marked the third time in school history that the Irish scored a go-ahead touchdown with less than 30 seconds remaining. The first time was in the 1979 Cotton Bowl when Joe Montana’s touchdown pass to Kris Haines lifted Notre Dame to a 35-34 victory over Houston. The second time came in the “Snow Bowl” against Penn State in 1992. Rick Mirer threw a three-yard TD to Jerome Bettis to pull the Irish within one. Mirer then found Reggie Brooks in the corner of the end zone on a two-point conversion to give the Irish a 17-16 win.

Lambert earns starting nodCharlie Weis said Ambrose Wooden had fully recovered from a concussion suffered against Michigan before the game, but junior Terrail Lambert started at the field cornerback position. Lambert intercepted UCLA quarterback Patrick Cowan in the first quarter for his third interception of the season. “After he made that pick they pretty much stopped going over there,” Irish safety Tom Zbikowski said.

Zbikowski absent on returnsZbikowski did not return punts for the second straight game. Jeff Samardzija and George West split return duties on Saturday. Zbikowski has not returned a punt since suffering an injury to his shoulder against Purdue.”I wasn’t going to risk him,” Irish coach Charlie Weis said. “Zbikowski is our punt returner. I just didn’t want to waste him on a punt return.”

Fourth down dominanceNotre Dame went 4-for-5 on fourth down conversions Saturday. On the season, the Irish are 13-for-17, while the defense has stopped 7-of-10 fourth down attempts by Irish opponents.

Healthy Thomas returnsLinebacker Joe Brockington still saw significant time in Saturday’s game even though a healthy Travis Thomas returned to the lineup. “Travis was ready to come back and Joe played really well the last couple of games,” Weis said. “So we just didn’t feel that taking Joe out of the lineup was the right thing to do, and we didn’t feel that keeping Travis out of the lineup was the right thing to do. We just felt that we [should play] both of them.”

Hornung honored at gameNotre Dame honored 1956 Heisman Trophy winner Paul Hornung before the game. Hornung flipped the coin at the beginning of Saturday’s game. UCLA won the coin toss and deferred the option to the second half. Notre Dame received, and the Bruins defended the north end zone. Notre Dame is now 5-2 this season in coin flips, but has received the ball to start each game.