The 2013 version of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish got off to an extra shiny start against the Temple Owls, only to wear down to a dull finish. Maybe that's a harsh statement about a team that won by more than three touchdowns, but there aren't too many other ways to describe it after the super-charged start that Notre Dame had in the game.
Within the first 4 minutes and 41 seconds, Notre Dame scored on two different touchdown pitch and catches from the Tommy Rees and DaVaris Daniels combo. The first drive was highlighted by a 45 yard run by Amir Carlilse that showcased his quickness and his speed. Two plays later, Rees found Daniels in the middle of the endzone for a 32 yard touchdown. The next possession was much like the first. It started with a 51 yard TJ Jones catch and run, and then two plays later, Rees would find DaVaris Daniels again; this time it was another 32 yard touchdown grab on a corner route.
The "blowout" was in full swing. Well… not quite.
What followed the fast start was not only frustrating to Irish fans, but also, most likely, frustrating to Temple fans. It was an odd series of possessions that saw Temple miss two field goal attempts while Notre Dame missed one field goal attempt of their own. Yards were being rang up on the stat sheets, but the scorecards were reading, null. Finally, Temple used a 12 play drive and got some help from a 3rd and goal incomplete pass that ended with a pass interference call against Elijah Shumate. That penalty led to an Owl touchdown run by Kenny Harper. Of course the extra point would be blocked by Jarron Jones- how else would it have gone down.
So, here come the Irish. The crowd seemed like it was just about to do a group itch for those spiders that were creeping all over their body- and then Tommy Rees hit Troy Niklas for a 66 yard touchdown strike on the first play of the drive.
Although the second half saw a lot of yards for both teams, only the Irish were able to change the scoreboard on a George Atkinson TD run that capped a 7 play, 94 yard drive.
This game was a lot like many other first games of the season for many other top 25 teams throughout the years. Notre Dame was going up against an inferior opponent that came to play its ass off. It was sloppy at times, and the flashy start to the game only hid the rust from 7 months off of REAL game, football action.
Obviously, the Irish could have played a much cleaner game and should have scored a lot more points. They didn't- but there are logical reasons for that such as having no real film on Temple's offense, and playing fairly vanilla on both sides of the ball due to the big game next week against those feisty Canadians, the Skunkbears of Michigan.
Take this win for what it was, and that was a damn near guaranteed "win" in the column. Notre Dame got the job done with no real drama, they stayed fairly healthy, and are now prepared to go play a better opponent.
Tommy Rees threw for over 340 yards and 3 touchdowns while not committing a single turnover. Irish win 28-6. Go celebrate. It's MICHIGAN SUCKS week… now.