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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Cougars Fall To No. 19 Notre Dame In OT, 29-26
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 09/06/2003
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By TOM COYNE
AP Sports Writer

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Nicholas Setta kicked a 40-yard field goal in overtime as No. 19 Notre Dame overcame a 19-point deficit to beat Washington State 29-26 Saturday.

The Irish (1-0), who had gone 12 quarters without an offensive touchdown when they entered the fourth quarter trailing 19-6, scored 20 points for their biggest come-from-behind win since beating Southern California 25-24 in 1999 after trailing 21-3 at halftime.

Washington State (1-1) scored on a 34-yard pass from Matt Kegel to Sammy Moore with 53 seconds left to force the overtime.

Drew Dunning, who hit the left crossbar on a point-after in the first quarter, missed a 34-yard field goal in overtime. Setta then made his kick as the Irish fans, some of whom booed the offense in the first half, cheered wildly.

The Irish, who had just 125 yards total offense through three quarters, shook off the rust and amassed 181 yards in the fourth quarter. Even more amazingly, freshman quarterback Brady Quinn guided the Irish to the go-ahead score while Carlyle Holiday sat out several plays with what appeared to be an injured left leg.

Even after the Irish drove 78 yards early in the fourth quarter to set up a 39-yard field goal by Setta to make it 19-9, the Irish appeared to have little chance.

The momentum changed abruptly, though, when Troy Bienemann caught a short pass from Kegel and was hit hard by Vontez Duff, knocking the ball free. Glenn Earl recovered the ball on the Washington State 25-yard line.

But it appeared that Washington State wouldn't be harmed by the mistake when Holiday mishandled a snap and it bounced loose. Washington State defensive end D.D. Acholonu fell on the ball but couldn't wrap it up, and Holiday reached under him and pulled it in. That set up an 11-yard TD pass from Holiday to Rhema McKnight to make it 19-16.

The TD was the first offensive score for Notre Dame since the third quarter of the Rutgers game last season. Still, it was a marked improvement from last season, when Notre Dame did not have an offensive score until the third game.

Julius Jones, who missed last year's surprising turnaround season because he was academically ineligible, scored on a 19-yard TD run to give the Irish a 23-19 lead.

The Cougars forced overtime when Kegel threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Moore, the second time they connected for a TD. Moore was interfered with on the play by Preston Jackson but still managed to pull it in one-handed as he dove into the end zone.

Holiday was 31-of-34 passing for 149 yards with one touchdown. Ryan Grant had 98 yards on 17 carries and Jones ran for 72 yards on 11 carries.

The Irish comeback overshadowed a strong first half performance by the Washington State defense, which scored a touchdown on a 12-yard fumble return by Isaac Brown and set up two field goals.

Washington State Cougars Football
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