POSTED: Thursday, December 25, 2008

Notre Dame gave Charlie Weis the gift the Fighting Irish head coach wanted most this Christmas.

Notre Dame ended the program's NCAA record nine-game bowl losing streak yesterday with a dominant 49-21 win over Hawaii in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl at Aloha Stadium.

Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen dazzled the crowd of 43,487 by completing 22 of 26 passes for 401 yards - 300 coming in the first half - and five touchdowns, and the Fighting Irish won their first postseason game since New Year's Day of 1994. Three of Clausen's scores went to fellow sophomore Golden Tate, who finished with six receptions for 177 yards as the Irish ended the season at 7-6.

Armando Allen, yet another Irish sophomore, returned a kickoff 96 yards to give Notre Dame a 49-14 lead in the third quarter.

Hawaii (7-7) suffered a second straight lopsided bowl loss and will take a two-game losing streak into 2009.

Greg Alexander threw for 261 yards and two touchdowns to senior slotback Aaron Bain for the Warriors, who lost to Georgia 41-10 in the Sugar Bowl in their previous bowl appearance on New Year's Day.

Alexander was sacked eight times, and two UH turnovers led to Notre Dame scores in the most lopsided contest in the Hawaii Bowl's seven-year history. The MVPs of the game were Bain for Hawaii and Clausen and Tate for Notre Dame.