Preview | Feature 1 | Feature 2 | Coach Conf (Oct. 1) | Coach Conf (Oct. 8) | Sunday Press Conference

Notre Dame Dominates Huskies, 54-20

Autry Denson ran for 137 yards against the Huskies.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame scored four quick touchdowns and Ron Powlus put the game away with three touchdown passes after intermission as the 11th-ranked Fighting Irish defeated 16th-ranked Washington, 54-20.

Notre Dame (3-1), which saw its national title hopes take a hit with a loss to Ohio State two weeks ago, shook off the defeat by scoring touchdowns on four of its first five possessions.

Washington (3-2) allowed 650 yards, marking the first time it has allowed more than 500 yards since 1983 against UCLA. The 54 points were the most for Notre Dame since a 55-27 win over Texas last season.

“We knew we needed a big game because it was a tough loss to Ohio State,” Powlus said. “We knew we needed to make some improvements.”

Defensive back Deke Cooper, a freshman making his first start, intercepted a pass from Washington’s Brock Huard at the Huskies 38 on the game’s opening possession. Two plays later, Autry Denson raced 33 yards for a touchdown. Denson finished with 137 yards on 14 carries and the Irish had 397 rushing yards overall.

“My running came from good blocks and openings, but the offensive lineman made it all happen,” Denson said. “If they had not done their job today, the outcome would have been different.”

The Fighting Irish then drove 86 yards in 12 plays on their next possession, capped by a 16-yard run by Jamie Spencer, to take a 16-0 lead after one quarter.

A 13-yard reverse by Emmett Mosley to the Washington 5 set up a two-yard run by Randy Kinder early in the second quarter.

Notre Dame increased its lead to 26-0 on a 21-yard run by Robert Farmer. A 42-yard pass from Powlus to Shannon Stephens set up the score.

The Huskies, who nearly rallied from a 21-point deficit before losing to Arizona State in their season opener, got back into the game with an 11-yard touchdown run by Corey Dillon with 4:51 left in the first half.

Allen Rossum of the Irish fumbled the ensuing kickoff and the Huskies recovered at the Irish 32. Rashaan Shehee later scored on a one-yard run, cutting the deficit to 26-14 with 2:54 left in the half.

A fumble by Powlus on the next possession gave the Huskies yet another opportunity before halftime. But John Wales missed two short field-goal attempts — the first hit the upright and the second, which followed a deadball penalty, was blocked.

The Irish exploded for 21 points in the third quarter. Powlus threw touchdown passes to six and 29 yards to tight end Pete Chryplewicz and 45 yards to Malcolm Johnson for a 47-14 lead.

Powlus completed all four of his passes for 119 yards in the second half and was 8-for-12 for 194 yards overall.

Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz did not mind the lopsided win. “I don’t think it ever hurts your team to beat a 16th-ranked team convincingly,” Holtz said. “It did us a lot of good.”

Dillon scored his second touchdown in a 15-yard run before Notre Dame closed the scoring on a 23-yard pass from Jarious Jackson to Stephens.

Huard completed 8-of-26 passes for 99 yards before leaving in the third quarter with a concussion.

“This a game you learn from, and, as always, you have to have a conviction to where we’re going to take this game as a lesson,” Washington coach Jim Lambright said. “This puts us in proper place in terms of where we rank nationally.”

Notre Dame has won all four games between the schools, including a 29-21 victory at Washington last season. It was the third straight game against a ranked team for Notre Dame, which defeated Texas before losing to Ohio State.

Scoring Summary

                  1st    2nd   3rd   4th   TOTALWashington (16)     0     14     0     6      20Notre Dame (11)    14     12    21     7      541st QuarterND--TD, Autry Denson 33-yd run (Jim Sanson kick); 1:30ND--TD, Jamie Spencer 16-yd run (Jim Sanson kick); 10:422nd QuarterND--TD, Randy Kinder 2-yd run (kick failed); 4:13ND--TD, Robert Farmer 21-yd run (2-pt conversion failed); 6:23UW--TD, Corey Dillon 11-yd run (John Wales kick); 10:09UW--TD, Rashaan Shehee 1-yd run (John Wales kick); 12:063rd QuarterND--TD, Pete Chryplewicz 6-yd pass from Ron Powlus    (Jim Sanson kick); 3:15ND--TD, Pete Chryplewicz 29-yd pass from Ron Powlus    (Jim Sanson kick); 12:42ND--TD, Malcolm Johnson 45-yd pass from Ron Powlus    (Jim Sanson kick); 14:444th QuarterUW--TD, Corey Dillon 15-yd run (2-pt conversion failed); 4:37 ND--TD, Shannon Stephens 23-yd pass from Jarious Jackson    (Jim Sanson kick); 11:15                     Washington  Notre Dame First downs                  16          31 Rushed-yards             42-111      58-397 Passing yards               146         253 Sacked-yards lost          5-30         1-7 Return yards                 16          10 Passes                  12-35-2     11-16-0 Punts                   10-32.5      4-45.0 Fumbles-lost                1-1         3-3 Penalties-yards            5-51        6-61 Time of possession        28:46       31:14 Individual Statistics RUSHING: Washington-Dillon 18-87, Reed 4-14, Shehee 8-7,Fortney 4-2, Huard 7-1, Keiaho 1-0. Notre Dame-Denson 14-137,Farmer 7-68, Kinder 11-60, Edwards 8-37, Goodspeed 4-26, Barry3-25, Spencer 1-16, Mosley 1-13, Stephens 1-10, Powlus 5-8,Jackson 3-minus 3.PASSING: Washington-Huard 8-26-1-99, Fortney 4-9-1-47. NotreDame-Powlus 8-12-0-194, Jackson 3-4-0-59.RECEIVING: Washington-Janoski 3-48, Cleeland 3-45, Pathon 3-38,Coleman 2-11, Dillon 1-4. Notre Dame-Stephens 3-93, Chryplewicz3-41, Edwards 2-46, M Johnson 1-45, Nelson 1-20, Spencer 1-8.Att: 59,075