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Overruling aids Irish victory
Big East officials trump Pac-10 refs
Malamute, 04 October 2009

Big East replay officials overturned a six-yard touchdown run by Chris Polk that would have given Washington a 31-22 lead with 7:07 left in the game; Notre Dame prevailed in overtime to post a 37-30 victory at South Bend, Indiana in front of 80,795 electrified fans.

The replay on NBC television showed the ball breaking the plain of the goal line as Polk's knee touched the ground. Buttressing my opinion, color announcer Pat Haden thought the ball had broken the plain. At the very least, the replay was not convincing enough to have overruled what was ruled a touchdown on the field, this by a group of Pac-10 officials.

And apparently the eastern mafia has struck again. ;-)

"I felt like I got in the end zone," said Polk, who ran for a career-high 136 yards.

Unfortunately, the decision in the booth took some luster off two brilliant goal-line stands by the Irish, one coming in the third quarter when Harrison Smith and Kevin McCarthy stopped Jake Locker on a one-yard keeper.

Then following Polk's apparent touchdown in the fourth quarter, the Dawgs failed to score on three tries from the half-yard line. However, the Dawgs got a new set of downs when Notre Dame  was called for roughing the snapper on the field goal attempt. The Huskies couldn't score on the next three plays either, with Locker finally being stuffed for no gain from the 1. Erik Folk kicked a 24-yard field goal to cap a 19-play drive and Washington took a 27-22 lead with 3:04 left in the game.

At the 1:20 mark, Jimmy Clausen hit Kyle Rudolph on a 12-yard touchdown pass; Robert Hughes ran the ball in for a two-point conversion and the Irish took a 30-27 lead on what looked like a Rugby play, the rugger Hughes being pushed into the end zone by a plethora of offensive linemen. (*)

But then once again Locker put Washington's momentum back into overdrive. Chauffeuring a 2009 Sarkmobile with its Elway-drive transmission, he drove his crew from the Washington 10 to the Notre Dame 19. From there Folk hit a 37-yarder to tie the score at 30-all with six ticks left on the clock.

In overtime, Hughes rushed the ball in from the one to give the Irish a 37-30 lead. On Washington's subsequent turn, the team of Smith and  McCarthy jarred the ball loose from WR D'Andre Goodwin near the goal line on fourth-and-19. And that was the end of the ball game.

Odds and ends

-- On controversial replays that are so close, it all depends on which coast you side with, east or west, in making a determination. The Polk touchdown run could have gone either way; however, the conclusive evidence needed to overturn the call on the field just wasn't there. Notre Dame's basketball teams play in the Big East Conference.

-- Fans tell me that an ESPN replay of the two-point conversion showed that Hughe's knee touched the ground approximately 1/12 yards from pay dirt. I hadn't seen the ESPN replay at the time I wrote this article, nor I have I since.

-- I thought Locker outplayed Clausen in that Jake was given poor pass protection and, most of the time, Clausen had all day to throw. Locker had to do much more with his feet than Clausen, and rushed 16 times for a net of 33 yards. Sacked three times, Clausen had a net of minus 33 yards rushing, and he threw an errant lateral pass that was scooped up by Washington's Desmond Trufant and run in from 17 yards out.

-- Although the Dawgs held the Irish ground game to just 108 yards, they gave up 422 yards in the air. Golden Tate caught 9 passes for 244 yards.

-- You can add Chris Polk, a bonafied playmaker, to what heretofore has been, mostly, the Jake Locker offensive show.

-- That's Chris Folk pictured above. Add this special teams player to the playmaker category.

Click on the photo to enlarge. It was taken after the USC game, with Jake and his dad on center stage. I purchased it from Replay Photos, then scanned and resized it.


(*) Ironically, the Eastern mafia is still moaning about the push Reggie Bush gave Matt Leinart to give USC a touchdown against Notre Dame in their 2005 meeting. Seemingly, still intimidated by the "mafia," the Pac-10 refs picked up the yellow flag on the Hughe's two-point play.

Why are they moaning and why the intimidation?

The "Bush Push," as it has been called," was criticized by some fans claiming that Section 3, Article 2b of the NCAA rule book states that, "[t]he runner shall not grasp a teammate; and no other player of his team shall grasp, push, lift or charge into him to assist him in forward progress."

Go back to the Oregon/Oklahoma game of 2006 for the beginning of the "intimidation factor."

Team 1 2 3 4 OT Total
UW 7 10 7 6 0 30
Notre Dame 3 13 3 11 7 37

Time Team How Player (s) Score
1st qtr        
10:10 UW TD Jake Locker 5 yard run; Erik Folk kick. UW, 7-0
7:11 ND FG Nick Tausch 34-yard field goal UW, 7-3
2nd Qtr
14:08 ND FG Tausch 40-yard boot. UW, 7-6
7:08 ND FG Tausch 34-yard kick ND, 9-7
4:39 UW TD Desmond Trufant 17-yard fumble recovery. UW, 14-9
3:27 UW ND Jimmy Clausen 67-yard completion to Golden Tate. Tausch kick.  ND, 16-14
0:00 UW FG Folk 40 yarder. UW, 17-16
3rd Qtr
12:51 ND FG Tausch 21-yard kick. ND, 19-17
8:57 UW TD Locker 8-yard pass to Jermaine Kearse; Folk kick. UW, 24-19
4th Qtr
12:23 ND FG Tausch 24-yarder UW, 24-22
3:04 UW FG Folk 24-yard boot UW, 27-22
1:20 ND TD Clausen 12-yard pass to Kyle Rudolph; Robert Hughes rush. ND, 30-27
0:06 UW FG Folk 37-yard kick T, 30-30
15:00 ND TD Hughes one-yard run; Tausch kick. ND, 37-30


Statistic UW ND
Total First Downs 25 23
  Rushing 9 16
  Passing 13 6
  Penalty 3 1
Total Net Yards 457 530
Net Yards Passing 281 422
Net Yards Rushing 176 108
Completions-att-int 22-40-0 23-31-1
Punts, yards, average 4-162, 40.5 2-79, 39.5
Sacks by (number, yards) 3-19 3-22
Kickoff Returns: number, yds, tds 8-147-0 6-129-0
Punt returns: number, yds, tds 0-0-0 0-0-0
Kickoff Yards 6-365 8-491
Net Yards per kickoff 39.3 43.0
Average yards per kickoff 60.8 61.4
Touchbacks (kickoffs) 0 0
Third-down conversions 7-17 2-10
Interception returns: no., yds, tds 1-10-0 0-0
Penalties, no., Yards 13-82 6-43
Fumbles returns; number/lost/td 1-17-1 0-0-0
Time of Possession  32:29 27:31

Passing cmp att yds tds int
Notre Dame          
Jimmy Clausen (203.28) 31 23 422 2 1
Jake Locker (122.26) 22 40 281 1 0
Notre Dame Rushing No. Yds TDs Long  
Robert Hughes 8 70 1 37  
Armando Allen 12 39 0 21  
Golden Tate 1 31 0 31  
Jimmy Clausen 8 -32 0 6  
Washington Rushing No. yds tds long
Chris Polk 22 136 0 41  
Jake Locker 16 33 1 14  
Johri Fogerson 1 7 0 7  
Irish Pass Receiving No. yds tds long
Golden Tate 9 244 1 77
Kyle Rudolph 4 53 1 30  
Shaquelle Evans 4 34 0 15  
Armando Allen 3 20 0 13  
Bobby Parris 2 46 0 26  
Robert Hughes 1 25 0 25  
Washington Pass Rec. No. yds tds long
James Johnson 2 59 0 37  
Kavario Middleton 4 33 0 12  
Johri Fogerson 2 16 0 9  
Chris Polk 2 9 0 5  
D'Andre Goodwin 3 65 0 30  
Jermaine Kearse 8 94 1 24  
Paul Homer 1 5 0 5  
Punting punts yds long Avg
Ben Turk 2 79 40 39.5
Will Mahan 4 162 57 40.5  
Attendance: 80,795          

Richard Linde, aka Malamute can be reached at malamute@4malamute.com

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