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Belated Box Score: Irish Hammer Hawaii

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Dec 26, 2008 7:40PM


AP Photo/Marco Garcia

Wow, we did not see this one coming. A struggling Notre Dame offense came to life on Christmas Eve in the warmer setting of Honolulu as the Irish throttled the Hawaii Warriors in the Hawaii Bowl, 49-21 and finished the year at 7-6. Not only was Notre Dame able to finish over .500, but they also said, "Aloha" to that nasty nine-game bowl losing streak. QB Jimmy Clausen looked as sharp as he ever has with the Irish, completing 22 of 26 passes for 401 yards and five touchdowns; his favorite target was the aptly named WR Golden Tate who reeled in six catches for 177 yards and three touchdowns. Notre Dame stormed out to a 28-7 halftime lead, accruing 327 total yards of offense in the first half alone, good for 9.1 yards a play. And while the Irish defense gave up 326 passing yards to Hawaii, they still recorded an astounding eight sacks and forced two turnovers, holding the Warriors - who were essentially playing a home game - to just 32 yards on the ground. By the time the dust settled, the Irish set eight new bowl game records:

  • Points scored (49)
  • Total yards (478)
  • Passing yards (413)
  • Passing touchdowns (Clausen's five)
  • Completion percentage (Clausen's 84.6 on 22 of 26 passing)
  • Individual receiving yards and touchdown catches (Tate's 177 and three)
  • Longest kickoff return (Armando Allen's 96-yarder for a score).

It certainly gives the Irish a reason to look to 2009 with optimism. Said Golden Tate, "We have something to hang our hats on. We're trying to get Notre Dame back to where it's supposed to be."