This Washington team is a much better team than last year's winless team. Jake Locker is a lot like Michigan's Tate Forcier. But this time, Notre Dame came through. Instead of letting Locker run wild on their defense, the ND offense kept the pressure on, forcing Washington to throw the ball.
Remember this team beat USC two weeks ago. Jimmy Clausen scorched the Huskie secondary for 422 yards and 2 TDs. Clausen looked good, bouncing back from that turf toe injury. Golden Tate had a monster day, further proving that he is one of the best receivers in college football, catching 9 passes for 244 yards and a touchdown.
Notre Dame's goaline defense surprised many (including me) today. They stopped the Washington offense inside the 1-yard line 3 times. In the 3rd quarter on 3rd and goal from inside the 1-yard line, Locker tried a QB sneak up the middle and the ND D-line held him up. Washington ran the same play on 4th down and the Notre Dame D held up again.
Then, in the 4th quarter, on 1rst and 1 from the 1-yard line, Chris Polk ran up the middle for a slight loss. On 2nd down, Locker threw an incomplete pass. On 3rd down, Locker ran yet another QB sneak and was denied yet again. The Huskies then elected for the field goal attempt. A phantom "roughing-the-snapper" call was made on the FG attempt. Washington had a automatic 1rst down, half the distance to the goal. Not surprisingly this time, Notre Dame forced a field goal.
Late in the 4th quarter with Washington up 27-22, Captain Comeback (Jimmy Clausen), led a drive down the field. He connected with Kyle Rudolph for a 12-yard TD pass with less than 2 minutes left in the game. Notre Dame went for the 2-point conversion (so they could extend their lead to 3 points). Clausen handed off to RB Robert Hughes, who carried the pile in for the conversion.
The 2-point conversion run was the offensive play of the game. If that 2-pointer was stopped. Washington would have won the game on the field goal they hit with 10 seconds left. Instead, it went to overtime.
NBC had a MAJOR malfunction during when overtime was scheduled to start. First, a NBC screen-saver came up for a few minutes. Then, Access Hollywood came on and I was obviously flipping out at those dipsticks at NBC. They finally fixed their error and the only play I saw was the Notre Dame TD run.
Bottom line: Notre Dame got another win. Every game they play, it seems like it comes down to the final drive. It is exciting but not good for the heart (and I'm sure some of those BCS geekheads like blowouts more than close games). They are now 4-1... and they welcome USC to Notre Dame Stadium next week!