January 4, 2007

Tigers secondary batters Irish passing game

NEW ORLEANS, La. - Charlie Weis isn't concerned about Brady Quinn's draft stock in the wake of Notre Dame's letdown of a Sugar Bowl. Maybe the Irish head coach should be after the LSU secondary harassed Quinn into a season-low 148 yards passing during the 41-14 rout.

The Tigers defensive backfield mixed and matched coverages, playing zone one down and man-to-man the next. The glut of two-deep coverages, more than Notre Dame expected to see on Wednesday night, cleared some room for the running game, but it didn't let the Irish take to the skies.

"Our receiving corps just has to play a lot better," said receiver David Grimes, who hauled in one catch for a 24-yard touchdown. "I guess they had our numbers today. They switched up their coverages."

Quinn's 15-of-35 passing, which computes to a 42.8 percent completion rate, was the least accurate he's been since a 20-of-52 performance (38.5 percent) against Florida State during his freshman season. That's not how Quinn wanted to end a career that included 36 school records. The senior choked up after the game in describing the emotions of leaving the program.

"You know, it's tough," Quinn said. "Notre Dame has been a great place for me, somewhere that I've grown to love and the best part about it was the people."

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