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Nov. 23, 1996

Final Home Game Is A Winner For Holtz, 62-0

By Mike Day

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — It was a truly magical day at Notre Dame Stadium. Lou Holtz coached his final game at the house that Rockne built after announcing his resignation earlier in the week.

The Irish also played for the last time in majestic Notre Dame Stadium, as the 22,000 seat addition and renovation is scheduled to be completed in time for next season.

To add to the historic day, Irish quarterback Ron Powlus tossed four touchdown passes to surpass Rick Mirer as the school’s all-time leader with 42.

Oh, by the way, 10th-ranked Notre Dame dominated Rutgers, 62-0, before a capacity crowd in South Bend, Ind.

“I think right now we’re playing as well as we have in the last five years,” Holtz said after the game.

The numbers seem to prove that. Notre Dame (8-2) finished with 648 yards of total offense. Rutgers (2-8) managed just 43.

Holtz joked prior to the game that his seniors would struggle because of the tears in their eyes during their final home game. His fears were put to rest early in the contest. Seniors Robert Farmer, Pete Chryplewicz and Emmett Mosley each found the end zone and Powlus, the senior signal-caller, tied a career-high with his four TD passes.

His first came with 10:22 remaining in the opening quarter when he found tailback Autry Denson wide open in the corner of the end zone for an 8-yard score.

“It was good to come out the way we did,” Denson said. “We were able to set the tone and never look back.”

After Joey Goodspeed recovered a punt and returned it 33 yards to up the lead to 14-0, Powlus connected with fullback Jamie Spencer for a 13-yard score.

“We wanted to come out in the first half and take control of the game,” said Powlus. “By doing that, we were able to give coach Holtz a victory lap in the second half.”

The story of the game though was Holtz’s final triumph at Notre Dame Stadium. The victory was the most lopsided in the Holtz era and the largest since 1957.

Early in the fourth quarter, the crowd gave its beloved coach several standing ovations, including the infamous “Lou” chant that echoed throughout the stadium.

“It’s gratifying to close the old stadium the way we did,” said Holtz. “It will never be like that again.”

Indeed, it was a magical moment Saturday afternoon at Notre Dame Stadium.

Game Statistics

            1st   2nd   3rd   4th   Total              ---   ---   ---   ---   -----Rutgers         0     0     0     0       0Notre Dame     21    14    13    14      62

SCORING SUMMARYFirst QuarterND -- Autry Denson 8 pass from Ron Powlus (Kevin McDonnell kick), 4:38ND -- Joey Goodspeed 33 return of blocked punt (Kevin McDonnell kick), 8:27ND -- Jamie Spencer 13 pass from Ron Powlus (Jim Sanson kick), 10:53Second QuarterND -- Robert Farmer 9 run (Jim Sanson kick), 8:47ND -- Pete Chryplewicz 3 pass from Ron Powlus (Jim Sanson kick), 12:17Third QuarterND -- Malcolm Johnson 42 pass from Ron Powlus (PAT failed), 3:44 ND -- Emmett Mosley 6 run (Jim Sanson kick), 9:07Fourth QuarterND -- Raki Nelson 38 pass from Jarious Jackson (Jim Sanson kick), 0:09ND -- Robert Farmer 13 run (Jim Sanson kick), 3:27 Rutgers Notre Dame First downs 6 27 Rushes-yards 36-(-6) 56-329Passing yards 49 319 Passes (comp-att-int) 3-16-2 17-21-0Total offense (plays-yards) 52-43 77-648Fumble returns-yards 2-0 0-0Punt returns-yards 1-11 5-22Kickoff returns-yards 10-166 0-0Interception returns-yards 0-0 2-42Punts (number-avg) 11-40.0 2-45.0Sacked-yards lost 5-47 0-0 Fumbles-lost 0-0 3-2Penalties-yards 6-63 10-80Time of possession 26:18 33:42INDIVIDUAL STATISTICSRushing Rutgers -- Fauntleroy 9-40, Bosch 8-15, Luna 1-7, Crooks 7-minus1. Notre Dame -- Farmer 14-117, Denson 13-116, Barry 8-52,Spencer 6-37.Passing Rutgers -- Stephans 3-14-1-49, Sacca 0-2-1-0. Notre Dame --Powlus 14-18-0-257, Jackson 2-2-0-58.Receiving Rutgers -- Holland 1-22, King 1-17, Bosch 1-10. Notre Dame --Mosley 3-83, Chryplewicz 3-36, Nelson 2-60, Carretta 2-28.