Feature 1 |
Feature 2 |
Coach Conf |
Game Notes |
Coach Quotes |
Falcons Stun Irish in Overtime, 20-17
By Tim Sherman
SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- Fumbles, a touchdown
mistakingly called back, a missed field goal, and Beau Morgan added up
to disaster for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, as the Air Force Academy
stunned the Irish with a 20-17 overtime victory on Saturday (Oct. 19).
The first overtime game in Notre Dame Stadium came to a quick
On the first play from scrimmage in the new overtime
system, Irish quarterback Ron Powlus was hit by left tackle Joe Suhajada
and lost the ball. Falcon Alex Pupich recovered to turn the ball over
Air Force at the pre-set position of the ND 25.
"The play was designed to hit Marc over the middle and it had worked
twice before," Powlus said. "I just lost the ball."
The game was over. Actually, a personal foul facemask penalty all but confirmed the result.
After that, it just took a 27-yard field goal from Dallas Thompson to
seal the win.
"When we had the opportunties, we made the plays,
especially our defense," an elated Air Force coach Fisher DeBerry said.
"And Beau Morgan did a great job."
In fact, Morgan ended the day with
183 yards rushing on 23 carries and kept the Irish defense off balance
all game long.
"He's perfected the option," Irish linebacker Kinnon
Tatum said after the game. "He's so elusive."
Irish bowl hopes now
might be even more elusive, and they can blame it on the running game,
or lack thereof. The Falcons limited the mighty Notre Dame ground attack
to just 67 net yards.
"They controlled the line of scrimmage," Irish
coach Lou Holtz admitted. "They stunted and twisted and did all kinds of
things and it worked. We couldn't get any movement."
Air Force, though,
racked up 304 yards on the ground, and did so without turning the ball
over, something the Irish cannot say.
"We made too many mistakes with
penalties and fumbles," Holtz said.
The game began in fine fashion for
the Irish, as speedster Allen Rossum returned a punt for a 57-yard
touchdown early in the first quarter. But throughout the first half, the
Academy looked like a completely different squad than the one the Irish
blasted 44-14 last season.
Morgan, a senior, a dual handoff or run threat, chose
the latter to keep the Falcons in the game and confidence level high.
The Falcon's first possession of the second quarter saw Morgan keep the
ball himself four times for 56 yards, 30 of which came on the last
carry, to bring AF all the way to the Irish seven-yard line. A play
later, Morgan dashed outside for the five-yard score.
so strong and quick," said ND defensive coordinator Bob Davie.
score put AFA up 10-7, but the Irish responded with a 27-yard Jim Sanson
field goal to tie the game.
In fact, a quick defensive stance gave the
Irish a golden chance to take the lead. Powlus and the Irish took it but
the officials took it away. Notre Dame appeared ready to take the lead
as Powlus connected on three passes to drive 45 yards to the Air Force
14. The next play, he hit a sliding Raki Nelson in the back of the
end zone, but the catch was ruled a trap. A missed Jim Sanson field
goal followed and the squads entered the lockerroom knotted at 10.
caught the ball," said Nelson. "It bounced and hit my chest but I
caught it. The ref was behind me and didn't have a good angle."
Falcons opended the second half with a bit of trickery, as they
successfully hit the Irish with an on-side kick. All was naught,
however, as the Notre Dame defense stiffened to force a punt. In fact,
neither squad would allow a point in the quarter.
"At times, our defense
played well," Holtz said.
Three of the senior members of the offense,
Ron Powlus, Pete Chryplevicz, and Marc Edwards, took matters into their
own hands on the first possession of the fourth quarter. Powlus, who
set a season-high with 268 yards on 16-24 passes, connected with
Chryplevicz on a key 31-yard strike over the middle.
Four plays and 25
yards after the catch, Edwards bulled ahead 9 yards to the goal line,
only to set up his one yard catapult into the end zone.
squad didn't flinch. A perfectly-orchestrated 10-play drive taking 4:54
was capped by a 26-yard option run by Tobin Ruff. On the play, Irish
defensive backs Benny Guilbeaux and Ivory Covington missed clear shots
to bring Ruff down.
Notre Dame took the ensuing kick-off to the ND 38
and on the first play, Powlus completed a 29-yard out to Cikai Champion.
Two plays later, though, Powlus was hit by Pupich and fumbled with six
Each team would have two more possessions but neither
could muster any points.
"Our game is power running," said Powlus. "But
it didn't work today. I don't know why."
The Irish inefficiency on
offense in the end gave the Falcons an easy chance to win the game in
overtime. It was a chance they gladly took.
"Give the Air Force Academy
credit, they deserved to win this game," Holtz said. "They're very
happy and deservedly so. I can't really say too much more until I look
at the film."
It may seem like a horror film for Holtz.
Air Force 3 7 0 7 3 -- 20
Notre Dame (8) 7 3 0 7 0 -- 17
ND--TD, Allen Rossum 57-yd punt return (Jim Sanson kick); 7:01
AF--FG, Dallas Thompson 21-yd; 11:51
AF--TD, Beau Morgan 5-yd run (Dallas Thompson kick); 6:37
ND--FG, Jim Sanson 27-yd; 11:25
ND--TD, Marc Edwards 1-yd run (Jim Sanson kick); 2:51
AF--TD, Tobin Ruff 26-yd run (Dallas Thompson kick); 7:45
AF--FG, Dallas Thompson 27-yd
First downs 20 17
Rushes-yards 57-304 37-67
Passing 51 268
Comp-Att-Int 5-11-0 16-24-0
Return Yards 18 101
Punts-Avg. 8-41.0 5-47.4
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 4-2
Penalties-Yards 4-20 6-51
Time of Possession 33:15 26:45
Air Force, Morgan 23-183, Ruff 3-46, Addison 17-37, Eilers
5-16, Tanner 3-10, Johnson 4-5, Gilliam 1-4, Singleton 1-3.
Denson 14-46, Edward 7-29, Kinder 8-25, Powlus 8-(minus 33).
Air Force, Morgan 5-11-0-51
Notre Dame, Powlus 16-24-0-268.
Air Force, Alexander 1-17, Ranger 1-10, Tyner 1-10, Johnson
1-9, Addison 1-5.
Notre Dame, Chryplewicz 3-70, Johnson 3-37, Mosley
2-42, Champion 2-38, Stephens 2-32, Edwards 2-28, Denson 2-21.