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Notre Dame Jumps Into Bowl Picture

Nonconference: Blocked field goal, Getherall's touchdown run in overtime save Irish.

October 29, 2000|From Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Glenn Earl wasn't supposed to jump. Notre Dame's season would have taken a precipitous drop if he didn't.

Earl was supposed to be guarding against a fake when Air Force kicker Dave Adams attempted a game-winning 28-yard field-goal try as time expired in regulation.

"I was really supposed to give Tony [Driver] a push and watch for the fake," Earl said.

Earl jumped instead and got a hand on it, setting the stage for Joey Getherall to score his third touchdown of the game in overtime as No. 19 Notre Dame defeated Air Force, 34-31, Saturday, making the Fighting Irish bowl eligible.

"You dream about that your whole life. Especially as a kicker, you don't get many opportunities like that," Adams said. "When it came off my foot it felt like I hit it straighter and higher than any of my previous kicks. It felt like my best kick of the day."

Getherall said he couldn't watch.

"I was just praying, hoping that they blocked the kick," he said.

Air Force (5-3) defeated the Irish, 20-17, in overtime the last time they played four years ago when Notre Dame (6-2) was ranked No. 8.

It marked the fourth time this season that special teams have played a key role in Irish victories.

The game-winning play was a fake option right, but Matt LoVecchio pitched back to Getherall, who ran around the left end and dove into the end zone for the nine-yard score.

"Once he got the ball, we knew he was going to score," LoVecchio said.

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