3:30 PM ET, September 25, 2004
Notre Dame Stadium, NOTRE DAME, IN
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- Notre Dame's West Coast offense clicked against a West Coast defense.
Brady Quinn took control of the game in the first half, completing 15-of-23 passes for 196 yards and four touchdowns to lead Notre Dame to a 38-3 victory Saturday against Washington.
Quinn was unstoppable in the first half as he played the West Coast offense to perfection, hitting short passes, long throws and everything in between. He connected for two TDs each to Matt Shelton and Anthony Fasano to match a school record for touchdown passes in a game done eight times previously.
"It should have been more," Quinn said. "It's a good feeling, but I'm still unhappy with the play in the second half."
Quinn completed only two passes in the second half, one for 53 yards that set up the final score for Notre Dame (3-1), but it hardly mattered. The sophomore finished 17-of-32 for 266 yards with one interception.
"Unfortunately, we couldn't get any pressure on Quinn," Washington coach Keith Gilbertson said. "He made the plays when he needed to, and we struggled to stop him."
Washington (0-3), which hasn't had a losing season since 1976, is off to its worst start since 1969. The Huskies lost their first nine games that year before beating Washington State in the season finale.
About the only disappointment for Notre Dame on Saturday was that after playing their best half offensively, the Irish couldn't move the ball in the second half. It was especially disappointing because Notre Dame coaches had stressed the need to finish strong after letting Michigan State stay in the game a week earlier.
Notre Dame coach Tyrone Willingham didn't seem too disappointed.
"That was a pretty good first half, I think for the most part," Willingham said. "We were able to do just about all the things we set out to do."
Willingham was most pleased with the 21 points in the first quarter.
"We hadn't had a quick start all year, so it was really important for us to do so in this ball game," he said.
Washington cornerback Derrick Johnson said the Huskies, who gave up 424 yards rushing against UCLA a week earlier, expected Notre Dame to run more.
"Basically, in the passing game, we were a little bit surprised. But you've still got to make plays," he said.
Despite Notre Dame's troubles in the second half, Washington never got back in the game. They were held without a touchdown for the first time since a 16-3 loss to Arizona in 1992.
Gilbertson said the Huskies are desperate for a victory.
"Sooner or later you've got to win a game so you don't forget what that feels like," he said.
The three points were the fewest allowed by the Irish since a 42-0 victory against Rutgers on Nov. 23, 2002.
It marked the first time Willingham has defeated the Huskies. Willingham's Stanford teams were 0-5 against Washington. The Huskies are now 0-5 against the Irish, losing by combined scored of 194-51.
"Tyrone has a really good looking football team in a lot of ways," Gilbertson said. "I think at this point they are going to be tough to beat."
Willingham said it wasn't the complete game the Irish were looking for.
"But today, we're not going to worry about it," he said.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||3-15||5-16|
|4th Down Conversions||0-2||0-1|
|TD||8:59||MATT SHELTON 24 YD PASS FROM BRADY QUINN (D.J. FITZPATRICK KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 45 yards.
|TD||0:20||MATT SHELTON 27 YD PASS FROM BRADY QUINN (D.J. FITZPATRICK KICK)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 79 yards.
|TD||0:00||ANTHONY FASANO 18 YD PASS FROM BRADY QUINN (D.J. FITZPATRICK KICK)|
Drive info: 1 plays, 18 yards.
|FG||11:53||MICHAEL BRAUNSTEIN 26 YD FG|
Drive info: 10 plays, 58 yards.
|TD||9:14||ANTHONY FASANO 15 YD PASS FROM BRADY QUINN (D.J. FITZPATRICK KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 65 yards.
|FG||0:34||D.J. FITZPATRICK 45 YD FG|
Drive info: 9 plays, 34 yards.
|TD||12:19||DARIUS WALKER 17 YD RUN (D.J. FITZPATRICK KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 75 yards.