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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Notre Dame Clobbered By Georgia Tech 30-3 - Largest 1st Game Loss In ND History

Without Brady Quinn, Jeff Samardzija, and Darius Walker, all Tyrone Willingham recruits, Notre Dame took its largest opening day loss in school history. Here are the details...

NY Times....

SOUTH BEND, Ind., Sept. 1 — Once Saturday’s game began, Notre Dame’s optimism turned to angst, and some of the pertinent questions surrounding the Fighting Irish received preliminary answers:

How much would they miss their former quarterback Brady Quinn, now with the Cleveland Browns? In a humbling season-opening 33-3 loss to Georgia Tech, the Irish passing game produced only 130 yards, and their quarterbacks were sacked nine times.

Would the Notre Dame defense be tougher under the new coordinator Corwin Brown? Georgia Tech running back Tashard Choice pounded the Irish for 196 yards on 26 carries.

Is Coach Charlie Weis worried? After this kind of performance, name a coach who would not be. Looking at the Fighting Irish on the field, and looking at their schedule, it is difficult to picture a feel-good season. Notre Dame’s next two games are at Penn State and at Michigan, followed by a home game against Michigan State.

From ESPN:

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- Tashard Choice helped Georgia Tech fans forget about the loss of Calvin Johnson. Notre Dame's three quarterbacks had Fighting Irish fans longing for Brady Quinn.

Choice rushed for a career-high 196 yards and two touchdowns and the Georgia Tech defense had little trouble with Notre Dame's new passers, forcing two fumbles by Demetrius Jones, sacking Evan Sharpley seven times and keeping Jimmy Clausen from doing any damage in a 33-3 victory Saturday.

"I did not see this coming," Georgia Tech coach Chan Gailey said. "I thought we would play pretty well defensively. I did not know we would run the ball as well as we ran it today."

Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis didn't see it coming either. He said one of the biggest problems was the Irish weren't ready for the speed of the game, and blamed himself for not having the team prepared.

"Who else are you going to blame but yourself? I'm the head coach," he said. "It's my responsibility."

It was just the 15th season-opening loss in Notre Dame history and the most lopsided, surpassing the 31-10 loss to Pittsburgh to start the 1976 season. It's also the first time the Irish failed to score a touchdown in a season opener since a 20-12 loss at Michigan in 1985.


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