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Instant Reaction: Irish Beat Falcons 45-10

Notre Dame got off to their customary slow start but rounded into form with a swift defeat or Air Force.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Spor

The ball was kicked off on a beautifully sunny October day in Colorado Springs and early on Air Force played well taking a 7-0 lead over Notre Dame. After settling down, it was all Irish the rest of the way.

The Notre Dame ground game was stymied for most of the first half but it didn't matter as Tommy Rees caught fire against the weak Air Force secondary tossing 3 touchdown passes before the break. Both teams also hit field goals in the second quarter---Notre Dame's Kyle Brindza making one from 51 yards---and the Irish went into halftime with a somewhat comfortable 24-10 lead.

In the second half the Irish really clamped down on Air Force putting the game away with a few minutes left in the third quarter. Rees tossed 2 more touchdown passes while Notre Dame ended up pitching a shutout on defense in the second half. A 4-yard touchdown run by quarterback Andrew Hendrix (who played the entire fourth quarter) moved the lead to 45-10 where the game would end.

With the victory Notre Dame moved to 6-2 on the season and may find themselves inside the Top 25 this week.

With the loss Air Force falls to 1-7 and will not go to a bowl game for the first time under head coach Troy Calhoun.

Other facts and figures...

  • Tommy Rees finished the day 17 for 22 with 284 yards and 5 touchdowns. For the first time in school history 5 different receivers caught touchdown passes in a single game.
  • Chris Brown, Corey Robinson, and Will Fuller all caught their first touchdown passes of their careers on Saturday afternoon. Fuller especially had a nice day catching 2 deep passes for a career high 93 yards.
  • After seeing a lot of action in the second half true freshman running back Tarean Folston ended up leading the team with 11 carries. Folston and Cam McDaniel combined for a nice combination gaining 108 yards on 21 carries.
  • George Atkinson struggled with just 18 yards on 6 carries. Even worse, Amir Carlisle's struggles continued again with 3 yards on 3 carries and nearly losing a fumbled punt return.
  • Notre Dame did not turn the ball over and Air Force lost two crucial fumbles.
  • The Irish gained 466 yards of total offense the 5th time this season they went over the 400-yard mark.
  • Air Force gained 290 yards on the ground with a nice 4.5 per carry average but the passing game was very limited and the Falcons only mustered 339 total yards.
  • Notre Dame averaged 7.4 yards per play on offense---thanks to some big pass plays--while Air Force averaged just 4.4 yards per play.
  • Notre Dame lost the time of possession battle by just under 2 minutes.