Oct. 28, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – (AP) — Glenn Earl blocked a field goal as time expired, and Joey Getherall scored his third TD of the game in overtime as No. 19 Notre Dame beat Air Force 34-31 on Saturday.
The game-winning play appeared to be an option to the right, but LoVecchio pitched back to Getherall, who ran around the left end and dove into the end zone.
It was the first overtime victory ever for Notre Dame (6-2) in four tries and the first overtime loss for Air Force (5-3) in four tries.
The Irish controlled the first and third quarters, and the Falcons controlled the second and fourth. Air Force scored 18 points in the fourth quarter to force the overtime, outgaining the Irish 265 yards to 30 yards in the period.
The Irish twice narrowly averted losing in regulation. With the score tied at 28 late in the fourth quarter, LoVecchio was nearly tackled for a safety by Dan Probert but managed to escape.
Air Force, which beat the Irish 20-17 in overtime the last time they played four years ago when Notre Dame was ranked No. 8, nearly did it again but Earl blocked Dave Adams’ 28-yard field-goal try.
Notre Dame appeared to have the game under control when Getherall scored on a 68-yard touchdown pass late in the third quarter. But Air Force came back in the fourth quarter as Mike Thiessen threw a 30-yard TD pass to Chris Jessop, Bert Givanetti recovered a fumble in the end zone, and Adams kicked a 34-yard field goal with 1:56 left.
Getherall had four catches for 116 yards. LoVecchio passed for three touchdowns – the fourth straight game the freshman has passed for at least two touchdowns. He’s the first Notre Dame quarterback to do that since Rick Mirer in 1992. LoVecchio was 10-of-25 for 171 yards.
Thiessen threw two touchdown passes, giving him 11 for the season. That’s the second most by an Air Force quarterback since the Falcons went to the option in 1980. Beau Morgan had 12 TD passes in 1995. Thiessen was 17-of-28 for 265 yards. Ryan Fleming had eight catches for 163 yards for Air Force.
Julius Jones had 111 yards rushing on 27 carries but also had the first fumble lost by the Irish this season on Notre Dame’s first possession.
After being held to 17 yards in the second quarter – 2 yards after scoring their first touchdown early in the quarter – the Irish had 214 yards total offense in the third quarter. Air Force had 13 yards in the first quarter and 147 in the second.
The Irish, who became bowl eligible with their sixth victory, finished with 383 yards total offense. Air Force had 471 yards.