'Weis-men' have all the magic


POSTED: Thursday, December 25, 2008

For the first time in close to 15 years, Notre Dame could celebrate a bowl win.

For the second time in less than 12 months, Hawaii absorbed a bowl-game beatdown.

The Fighting Irish put an emphatic end to the program's NCAA-record nine-game bowl losing streak with a 49-21 win over the Warriors in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl yesterday at Aloha Stadium.

For the Warriors, who began 2008 with a blowout loss to Georgia in the Sugar Bowl, it was an all-too-familiar conclusion.

“;It hurts even more, I feel, because this was our last game and we felt this was a bowl game we should have played better in,”; said senior linebacker Solomon Elimimian. “;To know we can't take that back, we can't say, 'OK there's next year.' That's the part that hurts the most.”;

























Notre Dame











































  Hawaii closed Greg McMackin's first season as head coach at 7-7 and enters 2009 with a two-game losing streak.

Notre Dame, meanwhile, closed the year at 7-6 with its first postseason win since defeating Texas A&M in the 1994 Cotton Bowl.

“;This was a big step forward for us and leads us into 2009 with a good taste in our mouths,”; Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis said.

“;It also allows the seniors who are walking out the door to leave here with part of their legacy knowing that they were a part of a team that ended that long drought of bowl games.”;

Unlike Notre Dame's previous two encounters with Hawaii—when the Irish pulled out close wins in 1991 and '97—the drama had escaped Aloha Stadium long before the fourth quarter yesterday.

The sophomore combination of quarterback Jimmy Clausen and receiver Golden Tate dissected the Warriors defense in connecting six times for 177 yards and three touchdowns to share MVP honors for Notre Dame.

Weis, hobbled by sore knees, called the offensive plays from the coaches' booth rather than the sidelines and saw Clausen complete 22 of 26 passes for 401 yards and five touchdowns.

With Notre Dame ahead 7-0 entering the second quarter, Clausen led the Irish to touchdowns on five consecutive possessions on the way to the most lopsided outcome in the Hawaii Bowl's seven-year history.

“;Today (Clausen) was as accurate as I've ever seen,”; McMackin said.

“;Defensively we just didn't make any plays. We didn't get any interceptions, we didn't get any fumbles. ... (Clausen) had a great game. He could have beaten a lot of people today.”;

Running back Armando Allen, yet another sophomore, had two touchdowns, the second coming on a 96-yard kickoff return in the third quarter.

While Clausen operated in relative comfort, Hawaii quarterback Greg Alexander was under duress for much of the afternoon and into the evening.

Alexander passed for 261 yards and two touchdowns, both going to senior slotback Aaron Bain, who had a career-best eight catches for 109 yards and was named UH's MVP. But Alexander was sacked eight times as UH broke the NCAA's single-season record for sacks allowed.

“;They did a great job defending our routes in the secondary and underneath coverage and that kind of factored into the pressure,”; Alexander said. “;They were bringing at least six every time. They had a good game plan.”;

Clausen, who struggled late in the regular season, was on from the start. He found Tate for a 27-yard completion that set up Robert Hughes' 2-yard run to open the scoring.

A 14-yard completion to David Grimes gave the Irish a 14-0 lead, with the Irish outgaining the Warriors 181 yards to 28 at that point.

“;It was a push-off, and I didn't get the call, but you can't use that as an excuse,”; UH cornerback Jameel Dowling said.

Following a 37-yard kickoff return by Malcolm Lane, Alexander led a six-play drive, the last a swing pass to Bain who slipped past David Brunton and dove for the pylon as UH closed to 14-7.

But the Warriors would get no closer, as Notre Dame answered immediately with a 69-yard pass from Clausen to Tate and the Irish pulled away from there.

“;They had some team speed, but more so we just didn't do what we had to do to counter that,”; Elimimian said.

But Clausen's most damaging completions came on Notre Dame's final possession of the half. Facing fourth and 1 at the Hawaii 34, Clausen faked the handoff, rolled away from pressure and floated a pass that was pulled down by tight end Kyle Rudolph at the Hawaii 5.

“;I was running with the tight end and I had pretty decent coverage,”; safety Keao Monteilh said. “;I turned and looked for the ball and he grabbed the back of my jersey. No call for me, I guess.”;

After the Warriors stuffed two running plays, Tate beat double coverage to pull in a throw just inside the left sideline with 1 second left in the half.


Notre Dame 49, Hawaii 21

At Aloha Stadium


otre Dame (7-6)72121049
Hawaii (7-7)077721





































































First Quarter
ND3:07Robert Hughes 2 run (Brandon Walker kick) 7-0



Second Quarter
ND 10:25 David Grimes 14 pass from Jimmy Clausen (Walker kick)
UH 8:12 Aaron Bain 10 pass from Greg Alexander (Dan Kelly kick)
ND 6:49 Golden Tate 69 pass from Clausen(Walker kick)
ND 0:01 Tate 18 pass from Clausen (Walker kick) 28-7
Third Quarter
ND 10:50 Armondo Allen, Jr. 18 pass from Clausen (Walker kick)
ND 7:22 Tate 40 pass from Clausen (Walker kick) 42-7
UH 4:25 Bain 21 pass from Alexander (Kelly kick) 42-14
ND 4:12 Allen 96 kickoff return (Walker kick)





Fourth Quarter
UH 1:45 Michael Washington 27 pass from Funaki (Kelly kick)


Attendance: 43,487. Time: 3:23.
Officials—Referee: Stan Evans; Umpire: Mark Shupe; Linesman: Jeff Sznik; Line judge: Brian Bollinger; Back judge: Ron Luklan; Field judge: John Hayes; Side judge: Rick Ames; Scorer: Dara Young.


Team Statistics


Rushing 74
Passing 1417
Penalty 21
Rushing Attempts 3419
Average Per Rush 1.91.7
Rushing Touchdowns 10
Yards Gained Rushing 10787
Yards Lost Rushing 4255
Completions-Attempts-Int 24-28-028-44-1
Average Per Attempt 14.87.4
Average Per Completion 17.211.6
Passing Touchdowns 53
Total offense plays 6263
Average Gain Per Play 7.75.7
PUNTS-YARDS 5-2197-242
Average Yards Per Punt 43.834.6
Net Yards Per Punt 35.033.9
Inside 20 13
50+ Yards 10
Touchbacks 20
Fair catch 13

Average Yards Per Kickoff 59.667.3
Net Yards Per Kickoff 43.223.0
Touchbacks 00
Punt returns: Number-Yards-TD 2-5-02-4-0
Average Per Return 2.52.0
Kickoff returns: Number-Yds-TD 3-133-17-131-0
Average Per Return 44.318.7
Fumbles: Number-Lost 2-0 2-1
Penalties: Number-Yards 5-608-69
Interceptions: Number-Yds-TD 1-26-00-0-0
Fumble Returns: Number-Yds-TD 0-0-0 0-0-0
Miscellaneous Yards 00
Possession Time 33:0027:00
1st Quarter 10:014:59
2nd Quarter 8:146:46
3rd Quarter 5:289:32
4th Quarter 9:175:43
Third-Down Conversions 4 of 113 of 13
Fourth-Down Conversions 1 of 10 of 0
Red-Zone Scores-Chances 4-41-1
Sacks By: Number-Yards 8-552-8
PAT Kicks 7-73-3
Field Goals 0-00-0


Individual Offensive Statistics

RUSHING Notre Dame, Hughes 17-55, Gray, J. 5-13, Allen 4-9, Aldridge 1-0, Sharpley 2-0, Clausen 2-(-6), Team 3-(-6). Hawaii, Pilares 2-19, Funaki 1-15, Libre 1-12, Wright-Jackson 1-1, Farmer 1-1, Alexander 13-(-16).
PASSING Notre Dame, Clausen 22-26-0-401, Sharpley 2-2-0-12. Hawaii, Alexander 23-39-1-261, Funaki 5-5-0-65.
RECEIVING Notre Dame, Tate 6-177, Rudolph 4-78, Grimes 4-34, Hughes 3-27, Kamara 3-21, Allen 2-59, Floyd 2-17. Hawaii, Bain 8-109, Salas 7-76, Washington 6-96, Lane 4-29, Pilares 3-16.


Individual Defensive Statistics






























































































































Notre Dame

McCarthy, K. 617
Brown, S.606
Smith, H.505
Smith, B.101
Smith, S. 101




Player Solo Ast Tot
Elimimian 5 4 9
Mouton 6 1 7
Fonoti 3 4 7
Leonard, A. 3 4 7
Robinson 4 1 5
Thomas 3 2 5
Roberts 2 3 5
Monteilh 3 0 3
Smith 1 2 3
Satele 1 2 3
Laeli 2 0 2
Veikune 1 1 2
Allen-Jones, C.J. 1 1 2
Kafentzis 1 0 1
Maka 1 0 1
Purcell 0 1 1
Galdeira 0 1 1
Meatoga 0 1 1

Tackles for loss-yards—Notre Dame, Quinn 2-19, Johnson2-6, Fleming 1-11, Crum 1-9, Neal 1-7, Smith, S. 1-3. Hawaii, Fonoti 2.5-8, Leonard, A. 1.5-8, Elimimian 1-6, Satele 1-6, Maka 1-4, Mouton 1-3, Laeli 1-2, Veikune 0.5-1, Meatoga 0.5-1. Sacks-yards—Notre Dame, Quinn 2-19, Johnson 2-6, Fleming 1-11, Crum 1-9, Neal 1-7, Smith, S. 1-3. Hawaii, Elimimian 1-6, Fonoti 0.5-1, Leonard, A. 0.5-1.
Interceptions—Notre Dame, Bruton 1-18. Hawaii, none.
Kicks blocked—Notre Dame, Brown, S.. Hawaii, none.
Quarterback hurries—Notre Dame, Neal, Nwankwo, Ryan. Hawaii, Veikune, Maka.


Bowl Results

EagleBank Bowl
Wake Forest 29, Navy 19
New Mexico Bowl
Colorado St. 40, Fresno St. 35
St. Petersburg (Fla.) Bowl
South Florida 41, Memphis 14
Las Vegas Bowl
Arizona 31, BYU 21

New Orleans Bowl
Southern Miss 30, Troy 27, OT

Poinsettia Bowl
TCU 17, Boise State 16


Upcoming Bowls

All times Hawaii time

Motor City Bowl
Florida Atlantic (6-6) vs. Central Michigan (8-4), 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Meineke Bowl
North Carolina (8-4) vs. West Virginia (8-4), 8 a.m. (ESPN)
Champs Sports Bowl
Florida State (8-4) vs. Wisconsin (7-5), 11:30 a.m. (ESPN)
Emerald Bowl
California (8-4) vs. Miami (7-5), 3 p.m. (ESPN)

Independence Bowl
Louisiana Tech (7-5) vs. Northern Illinois (6-6), 3 p.m. (ESPN)

PapaJohns.com Bowl
Rutgers (7-5) vs. North Carolina State (6-6), 10 a.m. (ESPN)
Alamo Bowl
Northwestern (9-3) vs. Missouri (9-4), 3 p.m. (ESPN)

Humanitarian Bowl
Nevada (7-5) vs. Maryland (7-5), 11:30 a.m. (ESPN)
Holiday Bowl
Oklahoma State (9-3) vs. Oregon (9-3), 3 p.m. (ESPN)
Texas Bowl
Rice (9-3) vs. Western Michigan (9-3), 3 p.m. (NFLN)