for this game

Quinn, Notre Dame crush Army

Nov 18, 2006 - 10:58 PM SOUTH BEND, Indiana (Ticker) -- It took Brady Quinn and Notre Dame a quarter to get warmed up against Army.

Quinn threw three touchdowns in his final home game as the sixth-ranked Fighting Irish completed a sweep of the service academies with a 41-9 rout of the Black Knights.

Darius Walker ran for 162 yards and two scores for the Irish (10-1), who crushed Navy here on October 28, 38-14, and posted a comfortable 39-17 win at Air Force last weekend.

The Irish were wearing green uniforms for the game to honor their seniors.

"Two nights ago I was sitting there with my wife and my son," Irish coach Charlie Weis said. "My son actually brought it up. He said, 'Dad, we should wear the green uniforms. 'Charlie, that's an unwritten rule, uniforms you never wear when you're playing against the No. 1 ranked team in the country.'

"He goes, 'Well, Dad, you tell me how special this senior class is. It just doesn't seem right that they don't get an opportunity to be honored as seniors going out.' I thought for a 13-year-old kid to make a statement like that, I thought it made a lot of sense."

Notre Dame fell behind, 3-0, on a 27-yard field goal by Austin Miller with 1:46 left in the first quarter, and Irish return man George West fumbled the ensuing kickoff. But the Irish recovered the ball and quickly moved down the field, with Walker giving the hosts the lead on a 10-yard run 50 seconds into the second quarter. It was the start of 41 straight points for the Irish.

A Heisman Trophy candidate who holds numerous school passing records, Quinn took over thereafter, throwing touchdowns of 16 yards to Jeff Samardzija and eight yards to Rhema McKnight, both fellow seniors, to give the Irish a 20-3 lead entering the break.

Quinn completed 22-of-30 passes for 218 yards with an interception. After the game, he jumped into the stands to celebrate with his fans.

"I think he's been watching his brother-in-law and that Green Bay stuff they do," Weis said, alluding to Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk, who married Quinn's sister. "Isn't his brother-in-law in Green Bay where they dive into the stands? I think he's been watching too many Packer games.

"Brady really enjoys being part of the experience and enjoys being part of the student body. For a guy that's of his stature, he could very easily, very easily act like a prima donna, and he doesn't have one ounce of that in his body. I think he wanted to share that moment with the fans, especially the student body at the end. He's really a special person."

The Irish, who won their eighth consecutive game, pulled away in the third quarter on a recovery in the end zone by David Grimes after a fumble by Walker and a 24-yard connection from Quinn to McKnight.

Freshman David Pevoto went 7-of-13 for 76 yards, a last-second TD and an interception for Army (3-8), which had not played since a 43-7 loss to Air Force on November 3.

"We didn't do very well," Army coach Bobby Ross said. "We didn't protect well up front. I think that was one of our big problems in the game is we didn't protect well. We wanted to run the ball as much as we possibly could. We started off well with that, and then we started moving their line a little, did a little slanting, etc. Their quickness was a little bit too much for us to handle."

This was the Black Knights' fifth straight defeat. Notre Dame, which visits fourth-ranked Southern California next week, has won 13 straight meetings against Army since a 1958 loss to grab a 37-8-4 series lead. The teams had not met since 1998.

"Obviously USC, we know how good they are and whoever we're matched up in a bowl game, we're going to come up against a top-flight team in the country," Weis said. "Whether it's the first team or whether it's not, that's not the point. We're up against two tough opponents to go.

"As I tell these guys, you're always remembered how you go out the end of the year. You're not going to be remembered by beating Army 41-9. They are going to be remembered by that game out in California and what happens in that Bowl game. We have a lot of work yet to do.