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(Saturday, October 8th)
Final Score: Notre Dame 59, Air Force 33
South Bend, IN (Sports Network) - Thanks to four first half touchdown passes from quarterback Tommy Rees, Notre Dame built a huge lead and cruised to its fourth straight win, routing Air Force in South Bend, 59-33.
It marked the most points scored in a single game at Notre Dame Stadium ever and the Irish's 59 points were the most since a 62-0 shutout of Rutgers in 1996.
Notre Dame (4-2) amassed 560 yards of total offense, while Air Force (3-2) churned out 565 yards.
Rees completed 23-of-32 passes, for 261 yards and the four TDs, going to four different receivers. Sophomore tailback Andrew Hendrix added 111 yards on just six carries, while Jonas Gray scored twice on his limited carries (seven), spearheading a ground game that churned out 266 yards.
Air Force rushed for 363 yards in the game, but provided little threat of overtaking the Irish.
All-American candidate Michael Floyd got the Irish on the scoreboard first, as he caught a 34-yard TD pass from Rees early in the first quarter. Rees hooked up with Tyler Eifert just four minutes later on a five-yard touchdown.
Following a 34-yard field goal by Air Force, Notre Dame made it 21-3 with Rees' third TD pass of the quarter, a 10-yarder to Robby Toma.
Air Force made it 21-9 early in the second quarter with a three-yard TD run by quarterback Tim Jefferson.
Notre Dame scored three more times in the quarter, a five-yard run by Gray, an eight-yard run by Cierre Wood and a 24-yard pass from Rees to Theo Riddick.
Jefferson hit Ty McArthur with a six-yard TD pass in the quarter, but the Irish took a huge 42-16 lead into halftime.
The only scoring in the third quarter was Gray's second touchdown of the game, a six-yard run that gave Notre Dame 49-16 lead heading into the final quarter.
The two teams traded field goals early in the fourth quarter, a 32-yarder by Air Force followed by a 39-yarder from Notre Dame. The Irish made it 59-19 with a one-yard run by George Atkinson III at the 6:22 mark. Air Force finished the game with a 36-yard TD pass from Connor Dietz to Drew Coleman and an eight-yard run by Jonathan Lee, but it was too little, too late for the Falcons.
Notre Dame has now claimed victory over Air Force in 12 of the last 14 meetings, while improving to 23-6 all-time in the series.
10/08 23:04:42 ET