Dec. 29, 2004
PHOENIX – Derek Anderson and Oregon State finished off Notre Dame’s season with a 38-21 victory over the Irish on Tuesday night in the Insight Bowl.
Anderson, in his final game for the Beavers, tied an Insight record with four touchdown passes, two to tight end Joe Newton.
The 6-foot, 6-inch quarterback completed 28 of 45 for 358 yards with no interceptions against Notre Dame’s leaky secondary.
Anderson moved ahead of Steve Stenstrom to No. 3 on the Pac-10 career yards passing list with 11,249. Only Carson Palmer (11,818) had more.
The Irish (6-6) had vowed to win one for coach Tyrone Willingham, fired at the end of the regular season. But Sammie Stroughter’s 52-yard punt return and Derrick Doggett’s blocked punt helped Oregon State to an early 21-0 lead.
Brady Quinn threw two touchdown passes as Notre Dame twice cut the lead to 10 points, the last on an 18-yard throw to Rhema McKnight that made it 31-21 with 4:52 left.
The Irish onside kick try backfired and left Oregon State at the Notre Dame 28. Dwight Wright’s 3-yard TD run with 3:19 left sealed the victory.
After a 1-4 start, Oregon State (7-5) won six of its last seven games.
The Irish, meanwhile, lost their seventh consecutive bowl game. Notre Dame’s last postseason victory was in the Cotton Bowl at the end of the 1993 season.
Oregon State improved to 2-0 against Notre Dame. Five seasons ago, the Beavers pounded the Irish 41-9 just down the road at the Fiesta Bowl.
The Irish pass defense crumbled in three consecutive season-ending losses, allowing 14 TD passes against Pittsburgh, Southern California and Oregon State.
The Beavers had TD drives of only 26, 4 and 45 yards take their early lead, then went 90 yards in 12 plays midway in the second half after Notre Dame had cut the lead to 24-14. Anderson’s 1-yard TD toss to Newton capped the long drive and it was 31-14 with 12:17 to play.
With Willingham ousted, and hired as head coach at Washington, the Irish played under interim coach Kent Baer, Notre Dame’s defensive coordinator. New Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis, offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots, takes over the Irish program when his NFL season ends.
Anderson’s passes of 12 yards to George Gillett, 11 to Newton and 11 to Dan Haines had Oregon State up 21-0 with 7:49 left in the first half. But the Irish managed a 13-play, 84-yard drive, aided by a pass interference penalty against Brandon Browner.
On third-and-seven, Quinn threw 13 yards to Anthony Fasano for the score to cut the lead to 21-7 with 56 seconds left in the half.
Alex Serna, who missed two field goals in the first half, kicked a 38-yarder to give Oregon State a 24-7 third-quarter lead. But the next time the Beavers had the ball, Jerome Collins deflected Saam Paulescu’s punt, and the Irish quickly went 49 yards in six plays, Darius Walker running 5 yards to cut the lead to 24-14 with 2:40 left in the third.
The capacity crowd of 45,917 was the largest since the Insight Bowl moved to Bank One Ballpark six years ago. The roof was open at kickoff, but was closed in the first quarter as a light rain fell.
AP Sports Writer