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Quinn throws four TDs as Notre Dame tops Air Force

Nov 12, 2006 - 5:23 AM COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (Ticker) -- Brady Quinn struck quickly to make this a disappointing Veterans Day for Air Force.

Quinn completed 14-of-19 passes for 207 yards and four touchdowns and Darius Walker rushed for 153 yards to lead No. 9 Notre Dame to its seventh consecutive victory, a 39-17 triumph over the Falcons.

Entering ninth in the BCS standings, the Fighting Irish (9-1) are expected to move up Sunday following Louisville's loss to Rutgers on Thursday and defeats by Auburn and California on Saturday. Notre Dame will play in a BCS bowl game if it finishes in the top eight.

The Irish have back-to-back nine-win campaigns for the first time since 1992-1993 and are 35-1 against the service academies since 1986. The lone defeat was in overtime Air Force in 1996.

Quinn completed all eight passes for 150 yards and three touchdowns in the first quarter and extended his streak of passes without an interception to 223.

After the Irish took a touchback on the opening kickoff, Quinn went right to work, hitting Jeff Samardzija for 29 yards to the Notre Dame 49. On the next play, the duo connected for a 51-yard touchdown. However, the extra-point attempt was blocked.

On Notre Dame's next possession, Quinn capped a seven-play, 56-yard drive with a one-yard score to John Carlson for a 13-0 lead.

After Zach Sasser kicked a 32-yard field goal for Air Force, Quinn found Rhema McKnight for a 24-yard TD to highlight a nine-play, 80-yard drive, which widened the margin to 20-3.

One of the leading contenders for the Heisman Trophy, Quinn continues to rewrite the Notre Dame record books and climb higher among the NCAA's all-time passing leaders.

Quinn became the first Notre Dame passer to top 11,000 yards and moved into 18th place in Division I history. He also moved into 14th place in pass attempts (1,492), 17th in completions (870) and a tie for 11th in touchdowns with Luke McCown of Louisiana Tech (87).

The Irish put the game out of reach with 7:06 left in the second quarter when defensive back Terrail Lambert recovered the ball following Sasser's blocked field-goal attempt and raced 76 yards to the end zone for a 27-3 bulge.

Samardzija caught six passes for 106 yards for Notre Dame, which has won all eight road games under coach Charlie Weis. The Irish face Army next Saturday before closing the regular season at Southern California.

Shaun Carney went 14-of-17 for 205 yards with second-half touchdown strikes to Beau Suder and Jacobe Kendrick for the Falcons (4-5), who have dropped three of four.

Air Force is 3-2 in the Mountain West Conference and faces Utah next week before road contests at UNLV and TCU.

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