Sunday, September 03, 2006

Fighting Irish Survive Yellow Jackets [J. Mark English]

In typical Irish fashion, they did not make it easy on themselves. But by the end, the score read No. 2 Notre Dame 14, Georgia Tech 10.
When a team ranked as high as No. 2 faces off against an unranked team, the contest should not be close. But Notre Dame seems to play down to the level of their opponents in these type of games. The atmosphere was ripe for an upset by Georgia Tech.
Georgia Tech led 7-0 at the end of the first, and 10-7 going into half time. Notre Dame took the lead for good in the 3rd quarter off a Darius Walker 1 yard touchdown score.
Then Notre Dame's defense tamed the Tech offense. The Yellow Jackets only managed a few pitiful drives in the second half. Notre Dame sealed the win late in the fourth on a gamble 4th and 1 conversion with only a minute left.
It may be safe to say that Notre Dame has the toughest schedule in all of football...they play No. 19 Penn State next week...but this could go down as one of the toughest challenges for Notre Dame. To come out of the gate with such high expectations, and to play on the road in a hostile environment, against a team that has had its entire summer focused on this opening match up...and pull out a victory, even if it is not pretty, is an accomplishment. Most of all it is a test of character. These tests will only continue to build, and so far Notre Dame comes out 1-0.
We'll see next week if they can keep it up.