(Saturday, October 16th)
Final Score: Notre Dame 44, Western Michigan 20
South Bend, IN (Sports Network) - Dayne Crist threw for 255 yards with three touchdowns and added a score on the ground to lead the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in a 44-20 rout over the Western Michigan Broncos in a non-conference affair at Notre Dame Stadium.
Crist completed an efficient 18-of-28 to pace Notre Dame (4-3) in the win, while his favorite target of the day, Michael Floyd, hauled in nine passes for 157 yards and three touchdowns. Cierre Wood led the Irish ground attack with 94 yards and a score on just 11 attempts, while Tyler Eifert caught four balls for 72 yards and a touchdown.
Alex Carder threw for 277 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions in a tough day under center for the Broncos (2-4). Carder did manage to run for a pair of scores, however, but a virtually nonexistent Western Michigan ground- game featured Aaron Winchester with a team-high 17 yards. Juan Nunez grabbed 11 passes for 103 yards in the losing effort.
The Irish jumped out to an early 7-0 lead on their first play from scrimmage, as Crist hit Floyd with an 80-yard strike.
The Broncos responded late in the stanza with a one-yard Carder plunge to tie things up at 7-7.
The Irish reclaimed the lead early in the second quarter with a 32-yard completion from John Goodman to Floyd. A nine-yard run by Crist midway through the stanza gave the Irish a 20-7 advantage, as the extra-point attempt from David Ruffer was blocked.
A 23-yard John Potter field goal cut the Irish advantage to 20-10 late in the period, but the Irish pulled away again less than two minutes later with a 39- yard strike from Crist to Eifert.
The Broncos pulled to within 27-17 with under a minute remaining in the half thanks to a three-yard TD run by Carder.
A 39-yard scoring scamper from Wood early in the third quarter gave the Irish a 34-17 lead, while a two-yard strike from Crist to Floyd midway through the period extended the advantage to 41-17. Ruffer added a 33-yard field goal midway through the final period of play, while the Broncos added a 26-yard kick from Potter late in the frame to close out the scoring.
The Broncos gained just 37 yards rushing during the contest, compared to 149 yards by Notre Dame.
10/16 19:36:22 ET