Offensive captains Eric Olsen (55) and Jimmy Clausen (7), along with defensive captain Kyle McCarthy and special teams captain Scott Smith, took their turn in front of the microphones on Wednesday, previewing Saturday's game at Pittsburgh.

Jimmy Clausen Named O'Brien Quarterback of the Week

Oct. 5, 2009

FORT WORTH, Texas – The Davey O’Brien Foundation has named Notre Dame junior Jimmy Clausen the O’Brien Quarterback of the Week for week five. Clausen, a returning O’Brien Watch List candidate, led the Irish to a 37-30 thrilling win over Washington in overtime.

Clausen (Westlake Village, Calif.) threw for a career-high 422 yards, which included a 67-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Golden Tate. Clausen’s performance in Saturday’s victory over the Huskies propelled him to the top of the QB rankings with a passing efficiency rating of 179.3.

“He played a terrific game,” Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian said of Clausen. “There weren’t very many things that were just clean for him in the pocket. A lot of what he did was when pressure came, he was able to avoid the rush, buy time, kept his vision extremely well and made a lot of plays down the field.”

Clausen is the third Irish quarterback to ever eclipse 400 yards passing in a game, joining Joe Theismann and Brady Quinn. He is also the second Notre Dame signal caller to accomplish the feat more than once in a career (Quinn). His 422 yards passing ranked seventh-best in single-game Irish history. Clausen’s 13.61 yards per attempt ranked as the second-best in single-game school history. He already holds the school record for yards per attempt (15.42), set against Hawai’i in last season’s Hawai’i Bowl.

Clausen guided the Irish on a go-ahead touchdown drive in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter for the second straight week. On the drive, Clausen went 4-for-4 for 57 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown pass to sophomore tight end Kyle Rudolph with 1:20 left in regulation.

Clausen was 7-for-9 for 119 yards and one touchdown in the fourth quarter and overtime against the Huskies. He has been at the top of his game in the fourth quarter and overtime all season. Clausen is 29-for-45 for 396 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions in the final quarter against Nevada, Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue and Washington.

This week Notre Dame has a bye, but continues its home stand next Saturday, Oct. 17 when they will host USC at 3:30 p.m. (EST) on NBC.

The O’Brien honors the nation’s best college quarterback of the year. Each week a subset of The O’Brien Selection Committee will name the quarterback of the week who exemplifies the award’s standards. Currently all 120 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) quarterbacks are candidates for the award until Semifinalists are announced Oct. 26. Finalists will be announced Nov. 23 and the 2009 O’Brien Winner will be announced Dec. 10.

About The O’Brien Fan Vote
Fans can now register and vote for any of the 120 FBS quarterbacks online at The Fan Vote counts as 5% during each round of the voting process. The Fan Vote will be combined with the results from the Selection Committee, an elite group of journalists, commentators, broadcasters and former Winners. The 2009 O’Brien Winner will be announced on The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show airing Dec. 10 on ESPN and will be honored at the 33rd Annual Davey O’Brien Awards Dinner held at The Fort Worth Club on Feb. 15, 2010 in Fort Worth, Texas.

About The Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award®
The O’Brien honors the nation’s best college quarterback of the year and inspires student-athletes to triumph both on and off the field. By recognizing and honoring athletes who excel in both sports and academics while exhibiting strong character and leadership, The O’Brien aims to help instill a lifelong moral fiber in each candidate. The O’Brien is overseen by the Davey O’Brien Foundation, which was founded in 1977 and is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. The Foundation has given away more than $770,000 in scholarships and university grants to help high school and college athletes transform leadership on the field into leadership in life. For more information, visit

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