Washington had Notre Dame on the ropes most of the second half in yesterday's game but they were unable to deliver the knock out punch on two drives that terminated at the Notre Dame goal line. The result was hard to take for a Husky squad who played their hearts out in South Bend on Saturday.
The first was late in the third quarter when the Irish held the Huskies for no points on two plays from the 1-yard line on a pair of keepers by Jake Locker. Locker gained a half yard on the first play, but was stopped by Brian Smith and McCarthy. On fourth-and-goal from the 1, Locker lost a half yard when Kerry Neal and Harrison Smith stopped him.
On a questionable call from our vantage point Chris Polk appeared to give the Huskies a 30-22 lead with a 6-yard TD run with 7:07 left, but after a review he was ruled down on the half-yard line.
The Huskies couldn't advance the ball on three tries, but got a fresh set of downs when Notre Dame nose tackle Ian Williams was called for roughing the snapper on the field goal attempt. The Huskies couldn't get it in on the next three plays either, with Locker being stuffed for no gain from the 1. Erik Folk kicked a 24-yard field goal to cap the 19-play drive that ate up 9 minutes and 19 seconds on the clock.
The entire game came down to the Irish stop on the double goal line stand and the earlier one when UW came up with zero points. In hindsight a FG on that earlier drive would have ended up winning the game. Washington was looking a for a knock out punch not a FG at that time.
Notre Dame did end up scoring a go ahead TD to take a 30-27 lead with a little over a minute left in the game. A questionable Robert Hughes 2-point conversion prevented UW winning with a game ending FG. All the replays show Hughes's knee down on that play. Just another great call by the Pac 10 refs who seem to have it in for Washington. The Huskies led by Jake Locker marched down the field to kick the final FG which tied the game at the end of regulation.
The Irish dominated the overtime period scoring a TD on their first possession. Washington ended up going four and out with the last Locker pass popping out of the hands on D'Andre Goodwin near the goal line. It looked like Goodwin had it but he was creamed by couple of Notre Dame DB's. A friend on the sideline said it looked like Goodwin was hit so hard that he started to go into convulsion.
The hero of the day for the Irish was Jimmy Clausen who bounced back from a turf toe injury to complete 23 of 31 passes for a career-high 422 yards. Golden Tate caught nine passes for a career-high 244 yards and a touchdown. Robert Hughes picked up a lot of tough yards which kept the Irish in the game.
It was the fourth straight game decided in the final 60 seconds for the Irish, the last three of which were wins.
On the Washington side Jake Locker was 22-40 for 281 yards and a TD. Chris Polk had a great day toting the rock. He picked up 136 yards on 22 carries.
Jake took the loss pretty hard. He wouldn't talk to the media after the game. It was obvious he felt when the game was on the line and he was stopped a number of times at the goal line on rushing attempts that he had let down his team. I wouldn't put that on Jake at all.. when you are running the snaek you need some push out in front of you and the Huskies just didn't get it done.
Overall it was one of the better games I have ever seen and the most competitive we have been with the Irish in eight meetings. This one left a sour taste in the mouths of team and the fans that traveled to South Bend. It is hard to believe that we couldn't pick up the one yard we needed to win this game on two series at the goal line with multiple chances.
For the Huskies it is tme to move on and get ready for conference play. Arizona comes to Husky Stadium next weekend and the coaches need to get the team healthy and ready to go.
Speaking of health this one took a physical toll. Justin Glenn broke his fibula so he could miss most or all of the rest of the season. Nate Williams and D'Andre Goodwin apparenty suffered concussions so their availability will be in question next weekend.