Huskies Fall To No. 16 Notre Dame, 36-17
Sept. 24, 2005
SEATTLE (AP) - The 16th-ranked Irish, clicking in the air and on the ground after a sluggish start, beat the Huskies 36-17 Saturday in a game that had little to do with coaches matching wits and everything to do with slick execution by Notre Dame and mistakes by Washington.
A year after Notre Dame won 38-3 in South Bend, Ind., against Washington, they took their show on the road to do virtually the same thing against their former coach on a brilliant fall afternoon before 71,473 fans in Husky Stadium.
Quarterback Brady Quinn, who threw four touchdown passes last year, threw only one this time but compiled 327 yards passing in a more balanced attack that saw sophomore halfback Darius Walker rush for a career-high 128 yards on 21 carries. Walker became the first running back in Notre Dame history to rush for more than 100 yards in each of his first four games.
Quinn, who also ran for 29 yards, spread the wealth of passes around to his targets, with wide receiver Jeff Samardzija leading them all and gaining a career-high 164 yards.
Notre Dame's dominating offense controlled the game, and the Irish never punted until 11 seconds were left. They held possession of the ball for 36:56, breaking open the game with 24 points in the second half. Rashon Powers-Neal had a 2-yard TD run, Samardzija scored on a 52-yard pass and Travis Thomas scored on an 11-yard run.
Washington, down 29-3 in the fourth quarter, made the final score slightly more respectable with two late touchdowns, the first on a 1-yard run by Mark Palaita, and the second with 2:26 left on a 41-yard pass from reserve quarterback Johnny Durocher.
Starting Husky quarterback Isaiah Stanback finished with 353 yards on 17-of-34 passing.
A fumble near the goal line on Washington's game-opening, length-of-the-field drive cost the Huskies one touchdown, and an interception in the end zone, after Stanback's career-high 69-yard pass to Marion Wood, cost them another in the second quarter. Notre Dame's only costly turnover came on a botched field goal snap after driving to the Huskies' 24 on its first possession.
Notre Dame led 12-3 at halftime, scoring on Walker's 17-yard touchdown run, blowing an extra point, making field goals from the 25 in the first quarter, the 39 in the second quarter and holding Washington to a 27-yard field goal early in the second quarter.
Washington gained all but five of its 243 yards in the first half on passes, while Notre Dame had the more balanced attack - 146 yards in the air, 102 on the ground.