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