Notre Dame had its way with Washington State in the first half. But the way the Irish built the big halftime edge in a different manner than most teams this year. Read on.
• For one of the few times this season, Washington State’s defense is getting run over. Not through, not around, not past. Over. The Notre Dame offensive line, 1,575 pounds of it, is pushing the Cougars around, opening holes that are, at about 7 yards a pop, helping the Irish march methodically down the field. The scoring drives, except the final one, have all been longer than 3 minutes. … Robert Hughes has 70 yards on 14 carries. … The Irish offensive line has also built a wall in front of Jimmy Clausen, giving him enough time to survey the field. He’s completed 19 of 22 passes for 265 yards, the final 50 on an answered Hail Mary – appropriate, huh? – to Golden Tate to end the half. … Offensively, the Cougars couldn’t do anything until their final drive, when they seemed to find a hole in the Notre Dame defense. They exploited it, going 75 yards in seven plays. The Jeff Tuel 11-yard fade pass to Jared Karstetter put them on the board.
• That’s it for now. We’ll be back when we’re done. Until then check the S-R’s sports page for the post-game story …