Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Irish Fall To No. 4 Tennessee

Nov. 6, 1999

Game Stats

Postgame Audio
? Head Coach Bob Davie
? QB Jarious Jackson
? FL Joey Getherall
? DE Grant Irons
Download Windows Media Player

By TOM SHARP
AP Sports Writer

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tee Martin threw for three touchdowns and ran for one and Travis Henry gained 132 yards and scored once to lead No. 4 Tennessee to a 38-14 victory over No. 24 Notre Dame.

The Volunteers (7-1), aware that No. 2 Penn State had lost earlier in the day, took advantage of the opportunity to move up in the polls with big plays and a tenacious defense, ending a four-game winning streak for the Irish (5-4).

Martin’s 43-yard heave to Leonard Scott in the back of the end zone and Henry’s 40-yard run up the middle in the third quarter gave the Vols a 31-7 lead. That was too much even for the Irish, who had come from behind to win three of their last four games.

Notre Dame tried by gambling in the kicking game. The Irish faked a field goal to set up one touchdown and recovered an onsides kick late in the third quarter, but couldn’t get any points out of it. Notre Dame also failed on a fake punt at midfield midway through the third quarter.

The two Irish rushing touchdowns were the first allowed by the Vols this season.

Martin completed 18 of 32 passes for 196 yards. His other touchdown passes covered 2 yards to Eric Parker and 21 yards to Donte’ Stallworth.

The Vols rushed for 217 yards with only three players – Martin, Henry and Jamal Lewis – carrying the ball.

Martin ran 14 yards on a bootleg to score the Vols’ last touchdown with 2:14 left in the game, capping an 18-play, 91-yard drive that took nearly 10 minutes off the clock and dashed any hopes Notre Dame had of a comeback.

Notre Dame’s Jarious Jackson completed 11 of 18 passes for 127 yards, and had one intercepted. Julius Jones led the Irish in rushing with 46 yards.

Tennessee beat the halftime clock with an 81-yard drive in 12 plays, the score coming on the pass to Parker nine seconds before intermission for a 17-7 lead.

Martin hit Burney Veazey for 14 yards on third-and-10 and a 17-yard swing pass to Lewis moved it to the Notre Dame 11.

On third down, Martin’s pass for Deon Grant, usually a defensive safety, was incomplete in the end zone. Notre Dame was flagged for pass interference, giving the Vols a first down at the Irish 2 with 16 seconds left.

With no timeouts, Tennessee decided to try one more play before settling for a field goal attempt. Martin rolled right, buying time, and rifled the TD pass to Parker.

The Irish had cut it to 10-7 on a 65-yard drive that took nearly 8 1/2 minutes.

The first key play was a pass batted away from the intended receiver by Grant that was caught at the Tennessee 16 by diving Joey Getherall, converting a third-and-7.

Four plays later, Getherall, the holder, gained four yards on a fake field goal on fourth-and-2, giving the Irish a first down at the Tennessee 4. David Givens scored two plays later.

After Notre Dame missed a short field goal late in the first quarter, the Vols drove 80 yards in 12 plays to score on Martin’s 21-yard pass to Stallworth.

Martin hit Wilson for 14 yards on third-and-10 to keep the drive going. Wilson, the Vols’ top receiver, did not play in the second half after aggravating a hamstring strain. He also hurt his back.

The Vols scored first on Alex Walls’ 24-yard field goal set up by Raynoch Thompson’s interception of a tipped pass on Notre Dame’s first possession.

Thompson was taken out of bounds at the Notre Dame 14 by Tony Fisher, the last man with a shot at him.

The Irish stuffed Martin on a quarterback draw on third down at the 7, forcing the field goal.

Notre Dame blocked a second Tennessee field goal attempt later in the first quarter to keep it at 3-0.

Tennessee returned the favor later in the quarter, holding the Irish without a point on a drive that reached the Vols 5. David Miller’s field goal attempt sailed wide right.