Saturday, November 04, 2006

Irish Tar (Some) Real Heels 45-26

While the Notre Dame defense may need to get intense (or talented) before the Irish contend for the BCS title, today the offense more than made up for the "D's" miscues, taking out the 1-8 North Carolina Tar Heels 45-26.

Brady Quinn had another Heisman-esque day, completing 23 of 35 passes for 346 yds and 4TDs. TE John Carlson caught eight of them for 91 yds and one twisting, turning touchdown, while electrifying Jeff Samardzija caught six for a whopping 177 yds and 1TD which gave him 23 touchdowns for his career, breaking the old ND record of 22. The rushing attack didn't get untracked until late as Darius Walker finished with 86 yds on 20 attempts, and the much heralded freshman James Aldridge gained 45 yds on 8.

But the defense continued to give up big plays to keep the contest somewhat close. Joe Dailey completed 14 of 22 for 213 yds and 3TDs, including a blown coverage/poor tackling 72-yard strike to Hakeem Nicks who finished with 6 grabs for 171 yds. The Irish special teams didn't help matters any by allowing a 90-yard kickoff return touchdown, although "Zibby" (Tom Zbikowski) helped make up for this with a 52-yard punt return for the Irish.

But the Tar Heels truly showed why they are 1-8 by committing five personal fouls, including two on one play which practically handed Notre Dame its last touchdown and finally put the game out of reach. So while the Irish "D" didn't live up to its lofty standards today, it also didn't live down to those of its opponents who really played like "Heels" today.

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