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Orton helps Purdue end 30-year drought at Notre Dame

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  • Orton helps Purdue end 30-year drought at Notre Dame

    Oct. 2, 2004 wire reports
    SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Purdue quarterback Kyle Orton accomplished something that Drew Brees, Jim Everett and Mark Hermann never did -- win at Notre Dame.

    Orton threw four touchdown passes, including a 97 yarder to Taylor Stubblefield, to lead the 15th-ranked Boilermakers to a 41-16 victory Saturday. It was Purdue's first win at Notre Dame Stadium since Ara Parseghian's last year as Irish coach in 1974, when the Irish were ranked No. 2.

    Orton was 21-of-31 for 385 yards, third most in his career, to help the Boilermakers (4-0) end a 13-game losing streak at Notre Dame (3-2). Purdue coach Joe Tiller said it might have been Orton's best game.

    "I'm not surprised by what No. 18 can do any more," Tiller said. "He does a great job and our team is following his talent."

    Orton, who has 17 TD passes with no interceptions this season, was asked after the game if he thought his performance might help his Heisman Trophy chances.

    "You guys keep bringing up the Heisman. I don't have a vote on that," he said.

    The Irish certainly were impressed, though.


    "He was unstoppable," defensive end Justin Tuck said. "A lot of people say he is the leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy. He's got my vote."

    In their last three trips to Notre Dame Stadium, the Boilermakers had come close to beating the Irish but always had a key turnover that cost them. On Saturday, though, the Boilermakers, who have not lost a fumble this year, didn't turn the ball over once against a Notre Dame defense which had forced 16 turnovers in its first four games.

    "I told the coach before the game that if we could get 24 points and no turnovers, we would be in good shape," Orton said. "To get 41 points showed we played outstanding today."

    Tiller said he was more impressed with the win over the Irish than winning at Notre Dame Stadium.

    "I'll be real honest. I don't think too much about winning in this stadium," he said.

    The victory also marked the first time Purdue has won a road game at a traditional powerhouse under Tiller, who is in his eighth season. The Boilermakers have lost six straight at Ohio State, they are 0-3-1 at Penn State and haven't won at Michigan since 1966.

    Orton said he thought too much was made about Purdue's losing streak at Notre Dame.

    "We don't go around thinking about that too much but it's nice for the fans and the program to get a win here," Orton said.

    The Boilermakers also got a big play from Jerome Brooks, who returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown right after Notre Dame had tied the score at 3-3.

    Purdue's defense stepped up midway through the second quarter, when Notre Dame had a second-and-goal from the 2. Defensive end Anthony Spencer stripped the ball at the 1 and defensive tackle Brent Grover recovered.

    But it was Orton who really hurt the Irish. After the defensive stand by Purdue, Orton drove the Boilermakers 97 yards for a touchdown, taking a 20-3 halftime lead.

    On the drive, running back Brandon Jones threw a 28-yard pass to Ray Williams, who was wide open, at the 2. Orton then threw a 2-yard TD pass to defensive end Rob Ninkovich.

    The Boilermakers went ahead 27-3 on their first possession of the second half. On third-and-10 from their own 3, Orton lofted a pass up the right sideline, just beyond the reach of cornerback Dwight Ellick. Stubblefield caught the ball in full stride at the 25 and was all alone. He began celebrating at midfield, repeatedly pumping his left arm, and was called for unsportsmanlike conduct for excessive celebrating.

    He finished the TD by striking a Heisman pose, "for Kyle," he said.

    "He looked at me like, whatever, and gave me a smile," said Stubblefield, who finished with seven receptions for 181 yards.

    Brady Quinn was 26-of-46 for a career-high 432 yards, the most yards ever at Notre Dame Stadium and the second most in Notre Dame history. Joe Theismann passed for 576 yards at Southern California in 1970.

    Quinn threw a 40-yard TD pass to Rhema McKnight in the third quarter. Rashon Powers-Neal added a 1-yard TD run for the Irish. Anthony Fasano caught eight passes for 155 yards, the most yards ever by a Notre Dame tight end.

    Orton said he's not worried about losing focus as Heisman talk escalates.

    "It feels the same as if I were a nobody," he said. "It's no added pressure."

    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

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  • DJRamFan
    Irish too much for Navy, easily extend NCAA-record streak
    by DJRamFan
    Oct. 16, 2004 wire reports
    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- There is no secret to Notre Dame's 41-game winning streak against Navy.

    The Fighting Irish are bigger, stronger and faster -- and they showed it on Saturday.

    Ryan Grant ran for 114 yards and two touchdowns, and Notre Dame had little trouble extending its NCAA-record winning streak against the Midshipmen with a 27-9 victory.

    Navy (5-1) came in unbeaten with hopes of finally ending four decades of futility against the Irish. Adding to the optimism for the Midshipmen were their performances against Notre Dame the past two seasons. The Irish needed late-game heroics in both to extend the streak.

    "We remember how close this game has been the last two years," Notre Dame linebacker Mike Goolsby. "That was the thing coach (Greg) Mattison tried to get across to us this week. It doesn't have to be close."

    The defensive line coach was right. Grant and Notre Dame's dominant lines wrapped this one up early for the Irish (5-2).

    Notre Dame needed two possessions to take a 14-0 lead.


    "It kind of set the tone for the game and gave us confidence," said quarterback Brady Quinn, who was 11-for-20 for 130 yards.

    The Irish went into halftime up 17-0, having allowed Navy's triple-option attack to break midfield at Giants Stadium just once.

    The Midshipmen got their ground game going on the first drive of the second half, marching 81 yards without throwing a pass. But Navy stalled and settled for a field goal to make it 17-3.

    Kyle Eckel finished with 102 yards on 22 rushes for Navy, but playing from behind just doesn't suit the Midshipmen. Navy completed 3 of 6 passes for 44 yards.

    "We'd have to have played mentally perfect to have a chance to win this game, and obviously we didn't do that," said quarterback Aaron Polanco, who was held to 19 yards on 24 carries.

    Navy came in averaging 267 yards rushing, but led by defensive tackles Greg Pauly and Derek Landri, Notre Dame had six sacks and limited the Midshipmen to 216 yards rushing.

    "We heard it all week," Goolsby said. "It's all about discipline."

    Added Pauly, "Everyone just took their assignment and stuck to them."

    Navy's only touchdown came on a late 5-yard run by Frank Divis.

    Notre Dame showed off its version of power football on its first drive of the second half. The Irish went 73 yards on 13 plays, throwing just two short passes. Grant, from nearby Nyack, N.Y., accounted for 64 yards on the drive -- 55 on nine rushes. He skipped into the end zone from a yard out to make it 24-3 late in the third quarter.

    "That score kind of put them on their heels....
    -10-16-2004, 02:52 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Pinegar's five TDs guide Fresno State's upset of No. 18 Virginia
    by DJRamFan
    Dec. 27, 2004 wire reports
    BOISE, Idaho -- Paul Pinegar shrugged off midseason criticism and kept throwing for touchdowns.

    Pinegar had five TD passes, including the game-winning 25-yarder to Stephen Spach in overtime, as Fresno State beat No. 18 Virginia 37-34 in the MPC Computers Bowl on Monday.

    "Winning feels great, especially against a Virginia team that has a great defense," Pinegar said.

    He was fabulous, completing 23 of 36 passes for 235 yards without an interception, helping the Bulldogs (9-3) erase a 21-7 second-quarter deficit and notch another win against a big-name team.

    Fresno State, the third-place team in the Western Athletic Conference, added the Cavaliers (8-4) of the Atlantic Coast Conference to a list of victims that has included Colorado, Oregon State, Wisconsin, Washington and Kansas State in recent years.

    "We've got a lot of great teams in the WAC: Boise State, Hawaii, UTEP," Pinegar said. "We've showed that we definitely can compete with some of the best teams in the nation."

    His five touchdown passes were a record for the game, formerly known as the Humanitarian Bowl.


    Virginia got the first possession of overtime, taking a 34-31 lead on a 26-yard field goal by Connor Hughes.

    It didn't take Pinegar long to end it, though. He froze the defense with a play-action call and zipped a pass inside the 5 to Spach, who fought off a pair of would-be tacklers and dropped into the end zone.

    "We ought to be able to cover a post pass when we know it's a post pass situation," Virginia coach Al Groh said.

    The Bulldogs stormed off the sideline in celebration while the Cavaliers were left dazed.

    "When you catch the ball in that situation, you're just looking for the end zone," Spach said. "You just keep on running. I knew I was really close."

    Virginia had things in hand after Wali Lundy followed his big blockers and rumbled across the blue turf at Boise State's home field on a 20-yard TD run that put the Cavaliers up 31-24 with 6:20 remaining.

    But Pinegar wasn't finished. He started on the 17, turning to the ground game and working the clock to give Fresno State a chance to tie.

    Wendell Mathis ran 22 yards to Virginia's 25 and Bryson Sumlin reached the 15 on a 6-yard burst. On third-and-6 at the 10, Pinegar threaded a 7-yard pass into double coverage to tight end Duncan Reid, then spiked the ball to stop the clock at 28 seconds.

    That put the ball at the 3, but soon the Bulldogs faced fourth-and-goal. Pinegar rolled right and connected with Jaron Fairman for a TD with 11 seconds to go.

    "My last option was to tuck it and run, but that would have been...
    -12-28-2004, 09:42 AM
  • DJRamFan
    Gophers grind out Music City victory over Alabama
    by DJRamFan
    Dec. 31, 2004 wire reports
    NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Marion Barber III heard all about how Alabama stopped Auburn's vaunted running backs.

    Barber and teammate Laurence Maroney simply thought they were better.

    Barber ran for 187 yards and a touchdown and Maroney added 105 yards to lead Minnesota to a 20-16 victory over Alabama in the Music City Bowl on Friday.

    Barber and Maroney, the only teammates in NCAA history to each rush for 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons, were the only runners to go for more than 100 yards in a game this season against the Crimson Tide, who entered with the nation's second-ranked defense.

    "They're a duo, and they're both going to come at you," Minnesota coach Glen Mason said, grinning. "They must be pretty good, I guess."

    Alabama held Auburn to just 74 yards rushing in the Crimson Tide's final game, but Barber wasn't impressed.

    "I never looked at that," the soft-spoken Barber said. "We just came in more prepared."


    The Golden Gophers (7-5) ran for 276 yards to overcome three turnovers -- including two by Barber -- on their first three drives. Still, they nearly gave the game away in the fourth quarter.

    Rhys Lloyd, who made field goals from 27 and 24 yards, missed a 24-yard attempt with 5:34 left that would have sealed the victory. Mason admitted he was worried since Minnesota lost games late against Michigan and Iowa.

    "When we missed the field goal that would have put us in pretty good shape, I said, 'Here we go again,'" Mason said. "I know if I'm thinking that, so are our kids, but we fought through."

    On Minnesota's next possession, it was pinned deep in its own end and elected to take a safety to make it 20-16 rather than attempt a punt.

    The decision nearly backfired.

    Alabama's Tyrone Prothro returned the free kick to the Minnesota 48, and four completions by Spencer Pennington got the Crimson Tide to the 15. But Pennington overthrew a Prothro in the end zone on third down and couldn't convert a fourth-and-5 with 1:14 to left, ending the game.

    "That's all you can ask for, a chance to win the game," Pennington said. "Prothro was open, and I threw it a little high."

    Alabama (6-6), making an NCAA-record 52nd bowl appearance, was forced to throw throughout the game with leading rusher Kenneth Darby limited because of an abdominal strain. The Crimson Tide had minus-2 yards rushing in the first half and finished with 21.

    Pennington, who finished 22-of-36 for 243 yards and a touchdown, frequently tried to let receivers make plays using short passes.

    "We didn't execute the way we should have," he said. "We felt...
    -12-31-2004, 02:57 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Northwestern ends 33-year losing streak vs. Ohio State
    by DJRamFan
    Oct. 3, 2004 wire reports
    EVANSTON, Ill. -- The Northwestern players piled on top of each other in the corner of the end zone while students rushed the field, turning it into a purple mosh pit.

    They partied into the night long after Noah Herron's 1-yard touchdown run gave Northwestern a 33-27 upset of No. 7 Ohio State on Saturday night, not even caring when the north goal post held firm. This party was 33 years in the making, and they weren't about to go home early.

    "It's hard to put into words," said safety Jeff Backes, an Ohio native. "I came here with a dream to beat the Buckeyes and it's been 33 years. This is one I will never forget."

    Herron scored three touchdowns, including the winner in overtime, and Northwestern (2-3, 1-1 Big Ten) backed up its pregame trash talk with its first victory over Ohio State (3-1, 0-1) since 1971. The win snapped the Buckeyes' 24-game winning streak in the series, and handed them their first loss in Evanston since 1958.

    "Thirty-three years was long enough," said Northwestern coach Randy Walker, an Ohio native.

    It also was Northwestern's first victory over a top-10 team since beating then-No. 7 Wisconsin in double overtime in Madison on Sept. 23, 2000.

    Ohio State has made it a habit of pulling out the close wins, winning 13 of its last 15 games that were decided by seven points or less. The Buckeyes beat Marshall earlier this season on Mike Nugent's field goal as time expired, and Nugent tied a school record with five field goals to beat North Carolina State two weeks ago.


    It looked as if the Buckeyes' luck might hold again Saturday after they rallied to score 10 points in the final nine minutes and force overtime. But the normally automatic Nugent misfired, with his 40-yard field-goal attempt sailing wide right on the first overtime possession.

    "It was probably one of the best balls I hit tonight," Nugent said. "I thought it was going to be dead-center."

    Instead, the Wildcats got a second chance to put the Buckeyes away and they made the most of it. On the second play, quarterback Brett Basanez scrambled to the left and up the sideline for a 21-yard gain. Two plays later, Herron bulldozed his way into the end zone for the winning score, setting off pandemonium at the stadium.

    "I wouldn't have requested to be at the end of (the streak)," Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said. "But we are. Unfortunately, that's the case. We have to start trying to get better, starting tomorrow."

    Herron ran for 113 yards, rushed for two 1-yard scores and also caught a 12-yard TD pass. Mark Philmore had 134 yards receiving and a touchdown, the first of his career. Brett Basanez was 24-of-44 for 278 yards, two touchdowns...
    -10-04-2004, 12:14 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Weis Drawing Big Comparisons After Two Wins
    by DJRamFan
    New Notre Dame coach has Irish off to suprising 2-0 start.

    Sept. 10, 2005

    By Jim Harty
    Special to from the Sports Xchange

    Ann Arbor, Mich. -- Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis was typically low-key after Saturday's 17-10 victory over third-ranked Michigan until somebody reminded him of a bet he had with former Michigan quarterback and current New England Patriots' star Tom Brady.

    Brady will have to wear a Notre Dame baseball cap at his Monday press conference after Weis, his former offensive coordinator, beat Brady's alma mater.

    "That hat will be on," Weis joked. "Trust me, I'll have 15 phone calls on the way home (from Patriot players). I'll make sure there are people holding him accountable."

    Meanwhile, Irish fans all over the country are taking their hats off to Weis, who is quickly awakening the echoes in South Bend. Notre Dame opened the season with a resounding 42-21 win over Pittsburgh, then validated the commotion over that victory with another at Michigan, leaving the Irish with a 2-0 record. They're wondering how high the team will be rated after entering the Michigan game as No. 20 in the nation.

    Weis' reputation was made at New England as an offensive coordinator, and he showed why Saturday by putting Michigan on its heels immediately with a shotgun formation that mounted a 12-play drive with no third downs.

    "That sent a message to start the game like that," said Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn, who punctuated the impressive drive with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Rhema McKnight.

    But Notre Dame's defense was a major factor in both victories. The Irish put pressure on Michigan sophomore quarterback Chad Henne throughout Saturday's game, harassing him into three critical mistakes and perhaps his worst college game.

    Notre Dame safety Tom Zbikowski intercepted a Henne pass at the goal line, ending what seemed to be a dominating drive to open the third quarter. That maintained Notre Dame's 14-3 lead.

    Under pressure, Henne also overthrew Jason Avant in the end zone on fourth down in the fourth quarter, leaving the Wolverines with another pointless drive after recording a fumble on the Irish 18-yard line.

    Most notably, Henne fumbled the ball away on first and goal on the Notre Dame 1-yard line when he couldn't get a handle on the snap from center.

    TOP PLAYER: Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn. The numbers weren't great (19-for-30, 140 yards passing), but he calmly marched the Irish down the field for two early touchdown passes to get all the points Notre Dame needed and was especially effective from the shotgun in that opening drive, setting the tone for the day.

    TOP QUOTE: "I've just coached two games and they've played two games. Let's...
    -09-11-2005, 12:34 PM