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Big East: Calming talk kicks Irish into high gear
Published November 20, 2005
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Trailing by three late in first quarter, coach Charlie Weis thought his Fighting Irish were playing as if they were down by 50.
So he knew the offensive players were expecting an outburst when he approached them on the sideline. Instead, Weis did what he does best: the unexpected.
"I said, "Relax. Just gain your composure,' " he said.
The Irish responded to the unexpectedly calm command with two quick TD passes by Brady Quinn in the second quarter, scoring on drives of three and two plays to gain control en route to a 34-10 victory.
Notre Dame needs to beat Stanford next week to remain eligible for its first Bowl Championship Series berth since 2000. Students threw tortillas throughout the game in anticipation of a possible Fiesta Bowl invitation. Someone also threw an orange on the field after an Irish touchdown.
Syracuse lost its eighth straight, its longest skid since it lost its final game of 1972 and the first eight of 1973. It must beat No. 18 Louisville to avoid the first 10-loss season in school history.
"It's frustrating because you want it to happen. You want to see it start to go," Syracuse coach Greg Robinson said. "We got a little something going there in the first quarter and then we went dormant."
Quinn thought the Irish started slowly because they wanted to play well for the seniors playing their last home game.
"We weren't as loose as we usually are," he said.
The Irish offense kicked into gear in the second quarter after Chase Anastacio partially blocked Brendan Carney's punt, putting the ball on Syracuse's 36. Notre Dame scored three plays later, a 25-yard TD pass from Quinn to Maurice Stovall.