Anthony Fasano plays a key role in Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis' offensive scheme.

Notre Dame Wins Third Straight

Sept. 25, 2004

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AP Sports Writer

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) – Brady Quinn tied a school record with four touchdown passes to lead Notre Dame to a 38-3 victory over Washington on Saturday.

Quinn was 15-of-23 passing for 196 yards with two TDs each to Matt Shelton and Anthony Fasano in the first half, leading Notre Dame (3-1) to its first easy win of the season.

He completed only two passes in the second half, one for 53 yards that set up the Fighting Irish’s final score, but it hardly mattered. The sophomore finished 17-of-32 for 266 yards with one interception.

Washington (0-3), which hasn’t had a losing season since 1976, is off to its worst start since 1969. The Huskies lost their first nine games that year before beating Washington State in the season finale.

Quinn’s fourth TD pass tied a school record done eight times previously, the last time by Carlyle Holiday.

About the only disappointment for Notre Dame on Saturday was that after playing their best half offensively, the Irish couldn’t move the ball in the second half. It was especially disappointing because Notre Dame coaches had stressed the need to finish strong after letting Michigan State stay in the game a week earlier.

But the Huskies – who were held without a touchdown for the first time since a 16-3 loss to Arizona in 1992 – never got back in the game. The three points were the fewest allowed by the Irish since a 42-0 win over Rutgers on Nov. 23, 2002.

Quinn guided Notre Dame to scores on five of its eight first-half possessions. He started the run on Notre Dame’s second possession. He pump faked a screen pass, then threw 24 yards into the end zone to Shelton, who was wide open. Two possessions later, Quinn capped a 79-yard drive – Notre Dame’s longest scoring drive of the season – with a 27-yard pass to Shelton.

The Notre Dame defense, which had set up or scored half of Notre Dame’s touchdowns entering the game, set the offense up again on Washington’s next play. Nose guard Trevor Laws jarred the ball loose from tailback Kenny James, then recovered the ball on the Washington 18.

The Irish scored on the next play when Quinn threw an 18-yard TD pass to Fasano, giving Notre Dame a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Washington made it 21-3 on a 26-yard field goal by Michael Braunstein. But the Irish went ahead 28-3 on a 15-yard TD pass from Quinn to Fasano in the second quarter.

Notre Dame moved ahead 31-3 when D.J. Fitzpatrick kicked a 45-yard field goal with 34 seconds left in the half.

Only two of Washington nine first-half possessions lasted more than five plays. The Huskies were held to 29 yards rushing on 15 carries and had just 159 yards total offense in the half.

The Irish went ahead 38-3 on a 17-yard run by freshman Darius Walker, who finished with 81 yards on 23 carries. The Huskies held Notre Dame to 146 yards on 46 carries a week after giving up 424 yards rushing against UCLA.

Casey Paus was 10-of-26 for 130 yards in the first half with four passes deflected at the line, three by Irish defensive end Kyle Budinscak. Carl Bonnell played in the second half and was 7-of-18 for 93 yards with one interception.

It marked the first time Notre Dame coach Tyrone Willingham has defeated the Huskies. Willingham’s Stanford teams were 0-5 against Washington. The Huskies are now 0-5 against the Irish, losing by combined scored of 194-51.