Sunday, November 19, 2006

Odds & Sods - You And Whose Army? Edition | by Mike

A fairly vanilla game left it up to the postgame salutes to provide the afternoon's electricity.

Fame throwa. Prior to climbing into the student section to lead the "Beat SC" chant, Brady Quinn threw for 218 yards and and 3 touchdowns. Quinn's career totals now stand at 90 touchdowns and 11,340 yards (ahead of Peyton Manning on both counts). Unfortunately, Quinn's streak of consecutive passes without an interception came to an end at 226. While the interception came on an ill-advised throw, the play should have been nullified due to Army linebacker Cason Shrode's obvious hold of Jeff Samardzija.

Watch me jumpstart. When Army led 3-0 at the end of the first quarter, it appeared that playing in the seniors' last game at Notre Dame Stadium had the team out of rhythm. Whatever the cause, by the time the second quarter rolled around, the Irish offense and defense were both controlling the Black Knights. In the middle two quarters, the Irish outgained the cadets 329 to -12. The only flaw in Notre Dame's play during these quarters was special teams play. Carl Gioia missed an extra point (Samardzija blamed his hold during his postgame comments). Army returned three kickoffs beyond the 35-yardline. If Southern Cal's speedy returnmen have similar holes to work with, the Trojans can count on points from the return game.

Trampled under foot. Darius Walker rushed for 162 yards on 24 carries, his second highest single-game rushing total. All told, Notre Dame ran for 221 yards, outgaining Army on the ground by over 100 yards. This marked only the ninth time in Weis's 23-game tenure that the Irish have outrushed their opponent. As you would expect, Notre Dame is undefeated in those nine games.

Pick up the change. For the second time this season, an Irish cornerback had a two-interception game, as Mike Richardson recorded his fifth and sixth career interceptions in his final game in Notre Dame Stadium. Derek Landri managed to block yet another kick. In my estimation, Richardson and Landri have been two of our three best players on defense this year and will be difficult to replace next year.

Last stop: this town. Following last year's game against Syracuse on Senior Day, Weis said his favorite play was Marty Mooney's strike to Michael O'Hara. That would lead one to believe that Weis's favorite play against Army was one of senior walk-on John Lyons' fourth quarter runs. Based on his expression on the sidelines, they certainly appeared to be Darius Walker's favorite plays.

Beat SC.