Below is our play-by-play review of the Irish offense in the 2nd Quarter Saturday night in San Antonio. Click here
for a review of Notre Dame
's offensive performance in the 1st Quarter vs. the Cougars.
First Notre Dame Drive/2nd Quarter:
Breakdown: Beginning at its own 29-yard line, ND drove 71 yards in 8 plays (4:01) with a drive ending in a 16-yard TD run by Tate. ND 16 WSU 0
Second Drive/2nd Quarter:
Breakdown: After forcing another Cougars punt, the Irish drove 80 yards in 8 plays (4:02) to take a commanding lead on a Hughes TD plunge. ND 23 WSU 0
Final Drive/1st Half:
Breakdown: After a Cougars touchdown drive cut the ND lead to 16, the Irish took possession at their own 25-yard line with 1:16 remaining and drove 75 yards in 6 plays, scoring with no time remaining in the first half on a Hail Mary pass from Clausen-to-Tate. ND 30 WSU 7
- (3-Wide with John Goodman): Matt Romine checks in at LT for Paul Duncan. Clausen hits Rudolph inside on a 9-yard hook route.
- (3-Wide with John Goodman): On 2nd and 6 following a procedure penalty on Romine (that negated a long catch-and-run by Rudolph who had hooked up in the seam before carrying defenders downfield), a scrambling Clausen hit Riddick for a 6-yard check down over the middle for a first down at the ND 35-yard line. The subsequent personal foul penalty on Olsen put the Irish at 1st and 25 back at their own 20-yard line. Olsen, who delivered a vicious, and completely legal block on Mattingly downfield at the end of the run, then dove on top of Mattingly and delivered a needless shot to the fallen defender's back post-play.
- (3-Wide with John Goodman): On 1st and 25, Clausen again hits Riddick for six yards outside right and the freshman ‘back wisely skated out of bounds to stop the clock.
- (3-Wide with John Goodman): Clausen scrambles to his right and found Kamara who makes a fine all-hands sideline catch on a frozen rope from Clausen.
- (3-Wide with John Goodman): On 3rd and 7, Clausen hits Riddick who cuts back for five additional yards and the first down (to temporarily stop the clock though the Irish burn their final timeout with just seven seconds remaining).
- (3-Wide with John Goodman): On what we now know as "50-Go" and the ball marked at midfield, Clausen buys time by rolling right and uncorking a pass 60 yards in the air to the right corner end zone. A leaping Golden Tate stabbed, then secured the ball from three WSU defenders for a dramatic Hail Mary Touchdown.
An absolutely incredible catch by the junior playmaker…the best skill position player in college football (at least the best non-QB).
Skill position subs on the drive: John Goodman as the No. 3 WR.
Three 2nd Quarter Observations:
- Weis should have benched Olsen for his ridiculous post-play personal foul penalty (his second of the game) on the final drive.
- If Michael Floyd returns to action at 90 percent of his former self, the Irish offense will be completely unstoppable at season's end. The Clausen/Tate/Rudolph/Floyd quartet will dominate college football if given the chance in 2010.
- Mike Ragone played his best half of the season since the opener vs. Nevada, another game in which the Irish often employed the power 2-TE set.
Halftime Score: Notre Dame 30 WSU 7
First Half Personal Groupings (Includes Penalties and Irish sets prior to time-outs):
- Two-Tight End Sets: 17, including one that turned into a 5-receiver, empty backfield set.
- Three-Wide Receiver Sets: 14 (including a play prior to a timeout and subsequent change).
- Power I-Formation (Aldridge as FB): 6
- Wild-Cat (Tate or Hughes as "QB"): 6
- Off-Set I-Formation (Aldridge or Ragone as FB) 4
Note: The 3rd Quarter review will be posted near noon today.
Part II of today's offensive film review examines the Irish 2nd Quarter effort and a 30-7 halftime advantage.