(Saturday, September 5th)
Final Score: (23) Notre Dame 35, Nevada 0
South Bend, IN (Sports Network) - Jimmy Clausen was near flawless in leading No. 23 Notre Dame to a 35-0 rout of Nevada in the season opener for both programs, tossing three of his four touchdowns to sophomore standout Michael Floyd.
It was the first shutout for Notre Dame since blanking Rutgers, 42-0, on November 23, 2002.
Clausen completed all but three of his 18 attempts, finishing with 315 yards, while Floyd needed just four catches in his 189-yard performance for the Fighting Irish (1-0), who hope to build off a 7-6 record last year that included their first bowl win this decade.
"It was a great game for the whole team," Clausen said. "Guys just made plays out there. [We] had a lot of fun, and that's what coach [Charlie] Weis wanted us to do, and I think he did a great job of that today."
Armando Allen led ND in rushing with 72 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.
The Wolf Pack (0-1), coming off a seven-win 2008 campaign, moved the ball but failed to light the scoreboard. Colin Kaepernick was picked off twice, logging 149 yards through the air on 12-of-23 attempts, adding 39 yards on the ground.
"Offensively we just didn't finish our drives," Kaepernick said. "We were getting six, seven, eight, nine yards every time we ran the ball, but once we were getting to the 30 or 20-yard line and getting ready to score we made a mistake, whether it be the receiver, quarterback, running back, or whoever it may be."
Vai Taua carried the ball 18 times for 114 yards in defeat.
The hosts crossed the goal line on their first three possessions of the game, with their first drive featuring a fourth-down conversion and Kyle Rudolph's 19-yard reception in the end zone on 3rd-and-16.
Nevada moved the ball quickly down the field on its first touch, though Ricky Drake missed a 38-yard field goal try.
The Irish countered with a nine-play, 78-yard drive capped by another long TD grab on third down, this time it was Floyd coming down with a 24-yard score early in the second frame.
Two plays after a three-and-out from the visitors, Clausen hit Floyd with a quick pass and the talented wideout took it 70 yards to paydirt.
With under two minutes to play in the half, Allen rushed around the left end untouched for a one-yard touchdown, and the Irish were up 28-0 at the break.
The second half followed the same storyline as the first. A punt pinned ND at its own one-yard line early on, and after several hard runs by Allen, Clausen aired a jump ball to Floyd down the left side of the field. The defensive back had position on the ball, but Floyd used his height to take the ball away and added a stiff arm to break free down the sideline for an 88-yard strike.
The Wolf Pack had the ball inside the ND 10 late in the third, but a botched pitch from Kaepernick to Taua resulted in a lost fumble, typifying Nevada's rough trip to Notre Dame Stadium.
This was the first ever meeting between the teams...Kaepernick won the Western Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year Award last season...Notre Dame outgained the Wolf Pack, 510-307...Golden Tate had three catches for 59 yards for the Irish...It was just the third time in Nevada coach Chris Ault's 25 years as coach that the Wolf Pack were shut out.
09/05 23:19:32 ET