for this game

Clausen ends Notre Dame's bowl struggles with a bang

Dec 25, 2008 - 7:37 AM HONOLULU (Ticker) -- Notre Dame was stuck in the worst slump in bowl history. Jimmy Clausen gave the Fighting Irish an unexpected jolt on Wednesday.

Clausen threw for a career-high five touchdowns and posted his first 400-yard passing performance as Notre Dame crushed Hawaii, 49-21, in the Hawaii Bowl.

Golden Tate had three touchdown catches and Armando Allen returned a kickoff 96 yards for a score for the Fighting Irish (7-6), who claimed their first postseason win in nearly 15 years, snapping an NCAA-record nine-game losing streak in bowl games.

Notre Dame's previous bowl win was a 24-21 win over Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl on January 1, 1994.

"I think it will be a happy time for our players," Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis said. "It's been a long time since we've won a bowl game. I am also very happy for Notre Dame because this was a big step forward for us and leads us into 2009 with a good taste in our mouths."

The Fighting Irish did it in a very big way on Wednesday, setting school records for most points, passing touchdowns (5) and passing yards (413) in a bowl game.

It was a huge effort for Notre Dame despite the fact that Weis was calling plays from the coaches box for the first time due to knee problems.

"It was ten times easier," Weis said about his seat for the game. "It was like night and day. Jimmy (Clausen) and I were talking about this earlier. I haven't been up in the box since Drew Bledsoe got hurt in 2001."

Clausen provided the spark early, recording 300 of his 401 yards and three touchdowns in the first half, lifting the Irish to a 28-7 lead.

With the big first half, Clausen surpassed the previous school record of 286 passing yards set by Brady Quinn against Ohio State in the 2006 Fiesta Bowl.

It was not a start expected out of Notre Dame, as it struggled to another subpar season under Weis.

After a nightmarish 2007 season in which he coached the Irish to a 3-9 record, the worst in the storied program's history, Weis guided the team to wins in five of its first seven games before a terrible finish that included an embarrassing loss to lowly Syracuse in the home finale and a blowout defeat at Southern California to end the season.

The poor finish drew calls for Weis to lose his job. However, athletic director Jack Swarbrick announced that the maligned Weis would return to coach in 2009 following the loss to USC.

With the black cloud of uncertainly lifted, Notre Dame played relaxed and with confidence, giving some possible indications of what next season may have in store.

While Clausen and the offense was rolling up numbers never seen for the Irish in a previous bowl game, the Notre Dame defense also came up big, recording eight sacks and almost completely disrupting a Warriors team that entered the game averaging 31.8 points in their previous six games.

"I think that our players came here on a mission to mix business with pleasure and I think they did a heck of a job," Weis said. "They showed up today and was ready from the start of the game till the end of the game."

Predicted to give Notre Dame a challenge, Hawaii instead had another disastrous performance in a bowl. Coupled with their 41-10 thumping by Georgia in last year's Sugar Bowl, the Warriors have been outscored 90-31 in their last two bowl appearances.

"I really admire Notre Dame," Hawaii head coach Greg McMackin said. "They were down, losing the last four of five games. I thought tonight's game was going to come out different. But they jumped on us. We didn't make some plays and they did. They finished.

"We talked at halftime, and we thought that if we could score, we could be back in the ball game. But they didn't let us back in."

Greg Alexander finished with 261 yards passing, two touchdowns and an interception for Hawaii (7-7).

While the Warriors struggled, Clausen was extremely close to perfect, finishing 22-of-26.

"I've taught in the pros and today he (Clausen) was as accurate as I've ever seen," McMackin said. "I give him full credit - he was outstanding and his receivers were outstanding. They made the plays and we couldn't make the plays."

The sophomore signal caller completed eight of his first nine passes on the Irish's first two possessions, the second of which ended with a 2-yard touchdown run by Robert Hughes.

After Hawaii was held to a three-and-out, defensive back Sergio Brown blocked the ensuing punt. However, he was also flagged for excessive celebrating, forcing Notre Dame to start its next possession at its own 45-yard line instead of in Warrior territory.

That may have slowed down the Irish on that possession, but Clausen caught fire afterwards, finding David Grimes for a 14-yard scoring play and a 14-0 lead 4:35 into the second quarter.

Although Hawaii responded with a six-play drive that lasted just over two minutes and finished with a 10-yard TD pass to Aaron Bain, Clausen answered right back, finding Tate for the first of his three scores - a 69-yard bomb that also was a bowl record.

Tate, who also caught an 18-yard TD in the back left end of the end zone with a second left before halftime for a 28-7 lead, finished with six catches for 177 yards. His receiving yards and touchdowns were also Notre Dame bowl records.

Clausen, who had only two touchdowns in his previous four games, extended the lead to 35-7 when he found Allen on an 18-yard screen on a 3rd-and-9 play for his fourth scoring pass.

Topping the previous high of 39 points put up against Florida in the 1992 Sugar Bowl, the Irish could have had more but Tate's lengthy punt return with 2:25 left in the third quarter was called back after Notre Dame was flagged for roughing the kicker.






  • SuketoKetchi Hawaii should crawl under a rock.

    Hawaii 21, Notre Dame 49  FinalDec 25 4:06 AM


  • HAWAII BOWL
    AT HONOLULU
    NCAAF FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    HAWAII 0 7 7 7 21
    NOTRE DAME 7 21 21 0 49 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NOTRE DAME - TD, ROBERT HUGHES 2 YD RUN
    (BRANDON WALKER KICK), 11:53.
    NOTRE DAME 7-0
    2ND QUARTER: NOTRE DAME - TD, DAVID GRIMES 14 YD PASS FROM
    JIMMY CLAUSEN (BRANDON

    Dec 24 11:25 PM


  • HAWAII BOWL
    AT HONOLULU
    NCAAF HAWAII BOWL
    TD HAWAII
    MICHAEL WASHINGTON 27 YD PASS FROM INOKE FUNAKI
    (DANIEL KELLY KICK)
    HAWAII 21
    NOTRE DAME 49 1:45 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Hawaii 21, Notre Dame 49  4th - 1:45Dec 24 11:20 PM


  • HAWAII BOWL
    AT HONOLULU
    NCAAF END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    HAWAII 0 7 7 14
    NOTRE DAME 7 21 21 49 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NOTRE DAME - TD, ROBERT HUGHES 2 YD RUN
    (BRANDON WALKER KICK), 11:53.
    NOTRE DAME 7-0
    2ND QUARTER: NOTRE DAME - TD, DAVID GRIMES 14 YD PASS FROM
    JIMMY CLAUSEN

    Dec 24 10:40 PM


  • HAWAII BOWL
    AT HONOLULU
    NCAAF HAWAII BOWL
    TD NOTRE DAME
    ARMANDO ALLEN 96 YD KICKOFF RETURN
    (BRANDON WALKER KICK)
    HAWAII 14
    NOTRE DAME 49 4:12 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Hawaii 14, Notre Dame 49  3rd - 4:12Dec 24 10:30 PM


  • HAWAII BOWL
    AT HONOLULU
    NCAAF HAWAII BOWL
    TD HAWAII
    AARON BAIN 21 YD PASS FROM GREG ALEXANDER
    (DANIEL KELLY KICK)
    HAWAII 14
    NOTRE DAME 42 4:25 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Hawaii 14, Notre Dame 42  3rd - 4:25Dec 24 10:26 PM


  • HAWAII BOWL
    AT HONOLULU
    NCAAF HAWAII BOWL
    TD NOTRE DAME
    GOLDEN TATE 40 YD PASS FROM JIMMY CLAUSEN
    (BRANDON WALKER KICK)
    HAWAII 7
    NOTRE DAME 42 7:22 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Hawaii 7, Notre Dame 42  3rd - 7:22Dec 24 10:15 PM


  • HAWAII BOWL
    AT HONOLULU
    NCAAF HAWAII BOWL
    TD NOTRE DAME
    ARMANDO ALLEN 18 YD PASS FROM JIMMY CLAUSEN
    (BRANDON WALKER KICK)
    HAWAII 7
    NOTRE DAME 35 10:50 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Hawaii 7, Notre Dame 35  3rd - 10:50Dec 24 10:01 PM


  • HAWAII BOWL
    AT HONOLULU
    NCAAF HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    HAWAII 0 7 7
    NOTRE DAME 7 21 28 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NOTRE DAME - TD, ROBERT HUGHES 2 YD RUN
    (BRANDON WALKER KICK), 11:53.
    NOTRE DAME 7-0
    2ND QUARTER: NOTRE DAME - TD, DAVID GRIMES 14 YD PASS FROM
    JIMMY CLAUSEN (BRA

    Dec 24 9:29 PM


  • HAWAII BOWL
    AT HONOLULU
    NCAAF HAWAII BOWL
    TD NOTRE DAME
    GOLDEN TATE 18 YD PASS FROM JIMMY CLAUSEN
    (BRANDON WALKER KICK)
    HAWAII 7
    NOTRE DAME 28 0:01 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Hawaii 7, Notre Dame 28  2nd - 0:01Dec 24 9:28 PM


  • HAWAII BOWL
    AT HONOLULU
    NCAAF HAWAII BOWL
    TD NOTRE DAME
    GOLDEN TATE 69 YD PASS FROM JIMMY CLAUSEN
    (BRANDON WALKER KICK)
    HAWAII 7
    NOTRE DAME 21 6:49 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Hawaii 7, Notre Dame 21  2nd - 6:49Dec 24 9:08 PM


  • HAWAII BOWL
    AT HONOLULU
    NCAAF HAWAII BOWL
    TD HAWAII
    AARON BAIN 10 YD PASS FROM GREG ALEXANDER
    (DANIEL KELLY KICK)
    HAWAII 7
    NOTRE DAME 14 8:12 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Hawaii 7, Notre Dame 14  2nd - 8:12Dec 24 9:02 PM


  • HAWAII BOWL
    AT HONOLULU
    NCAAF HAWAII BOWL
    TD NOTRE DAME
    DAVID GRIMES 14 YD PASS FROM JIMMY CLAUSEN
    (BRANDON WALKER KICK)
    HAWAII 0
    NOTRE DAME 14 10:25 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Hawaii 0, Notre Dame 14  2nd - 10:25Dec 24 8:51 PM


  • HAWAII BOWL
    AT HONOLULU
    NCAAF END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    HAWAII 0 0
    NOTRE DAME 7 7 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NOTRE DAME - TD, ROBERT HUGHES 2 YD RUN
    (BRANDON WALKER KICK), 11:53.
    NOTRE DAME 7-0

    Dec 24 8:36 PM


  • HAWAII BOWL
    AT HONOLULU
    NCAAF HAWAII BOWL
    TD NOTRE DAME
    ROBERT HUGHES 2 YD RUN
    (BRANDON WALKER KICK)
    HAWAII 0
    NOTRE DAME 7 3:07 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Hawaii 0, Notre Dame 7  1st - 3:07Dec 24 8:25 PM
  • 10
    roots
    DJRob Added 5 roots

    Hawaii vs. Notre DameDec 24 7:26 AM
  • 5
    roots
    mark Added 5 roots

    Hawaii vs. Notre DameDec 18 12:11 PM