For the first time in what seems like an eternity Notre Dame finally put away a team in the first half.
Jimmy Clausen continued to pad his Heisman candidacy stats by completing 22 of 27 passes for 268 yards and two TDs.
Golden Tate also showed why he's worthy of the sought after trophy with an unbelievable Hail Mary grab from Clausen at the end of the first half to give the Irish a 30-7 lead. Prior to that outstanding snag he bounced off of two Washington State defenders, leaving them confused and in his rearview mirror as he coasted to a TD run out of the Wildcat formation.
All in all there were only a few negatives to glean from the game: Ben Turk's 11 yard punt, Nick Tausch's blocked extra point attempt, Dayne Crist's injury, and the lack of ND campus shots as this marked the first in a series of neutral site "home" games for the Irish.
The same cannot be said for the Hokies, who suffered their third loss of the year with a crushing last-second home defeat to the North Carolina Tar Heels who recorded their first ACC victory of the season.
To be fair, the Tar Heels have turned into a talented program under the direction of Butch Davis. Had it not been for the unfortunate Ryan Williams fumble, however, the Hokies would have walked away with an Orange Effect victory. Williams is a tremendous back and I can't help but feel sorry for the guy who has elevated himself while filling in seamlessly for the injured Darren Evans.
Neither Justin nor I correctly picked the outcome of the Hokies' game but, as previously mentioned, we're left playing for pride and point totals as our records and remaining picks are identical.
We both sit at 12-4 for the year but have varying degrees of point differential accuracy. Justin is -50 while I am -93 with only nine regular season games left between the two teams (including the ACC championship).
In related news, prognosticators are projecting a Gator Bowl matchup between the Fighting Irish and the Hokies. If that theory comes to fruition my fiancee claims that "Stars and Slights would explode!" Personally, I would love to meet up against the Hokies in a bowl game especially since the two schools have never played against one another.
As long as both teams keep winning we very well might see that explosion.
Go Hokies, Go Irish!