Before everyone mourns the 33-30 double overtime loss Notre Dame suffered Saturday afternoon, take a minute to think about their opponent.
One month ago, the Connecticut Huskies football team tragically lost cornerback Jasper Howard, who was stabbed to death on campus following a game. They've been aching for a win more than any team in the nation. They finally got one today.
"Jazz, this is for you," UConn coach Randy Edsall said after the game, pointing up toward the heavens.
Meanwhile, three times is a charm for the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. As in, three losses in a row to completely deflate Clausen and the boys, and their head coach Charlie Weis. And the seniors who left Notre Dame Stadium for the last time with a taste in their mouth more sour than a lemon.
And this was after the Irish popped out to a 14-0 lead in the second quarter. Then they went blank, like the checks Weis will be receiving from ND next year (actually, ND will be paying him for years).
UConn kicker Dave Teggart had a chip-shot field goal to win one for Howard and the Huskies, but it sailed left. The Irish were given new life. Both teams traded field goals in the first OT stanza and the Irish were held to another in the second.
The Huskies weren’t going to let another slip away; their four losses were by four points or less. It was Andre Dixon who took a handoff from Zach Frazer – a Notre Dame transfer- and ran it four yards to pay dirt. Dixon and Jordan Todman tag-teamed the Irish defense, rushing for a combined 244 yards and two touchdowns.
It was the same old story for the ND: Tally 6,000 yards of offense and score a measly 20 points. Instead of turnovers this time, the Irish had two touchdowns called back because of penalties. Clausen finished 30-for-45, 345 passing yards, two passing TDs and one rush TD. Golden Tate and Mike Floyd totaled 17 catches, 227 yards and two scores in the loss.
It could get a lot uglier for the Domers, who have to travel out west next week and take on a red-hot Stanford team. Whether Weis is on the sideline with them could be determined as soon as Monday.