Down one Sam Hartman heading into the Sun Bowl, Notre Dame football had to feel like it needed to make a statement in order to command some national respect.
Well, the Irish got just that, dominating an 8-4 Oregon State team 40-8 to pick up their 10th win on the season and they did it with their backup quarterback. It was impressive all around and it deserves plenty of respect from the national media. This team just exerted its strength and flexed its muscle en route to a blowout win.
Oh yeah, and the backup quarterback, Steve Angeli, was the star of the game.
This team should be really good again next year. What did we learn?
3. Notre Dame dominated the trenches
Looking at the numbers, one thing was clear: Notre Dame dominated up front.
Anyone who watched the game would have noticed the same thing. The Irish were able to do whatever they wanted on the ground, rushing for 244 yards and two touchdowns on 5.1 yards per carry. On the other side of the field, the Irish held Oregon State to just two yards rushing on 16 carries. Sure, the Beavers were without Damien Martinez, but that's just pure and utter dominance no matter how you look at it.
Notre Dame clearly had the advantage on the offensive and defensive lines and usually when that's the case, you see lopsided victories. That's exactly what we saw on Friday afternoon.