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No. 23 Notre Dame 35, Nevada 0

Jimmy Clausen passes for 315 yards and four touchdowns as the Irish get their first easy season-opening victory since 2005.

September 06, 2009|Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, IND — . -- Jimmy Clausen must have felt as if he were still in paradise.

Clausen, last seen playing nearly flawless in a Hawaii Bowl victory, completed 15 of 18 passes for 315 yards and four touchdowns to lead No. 23 Notre Dame to a 35-0 victory over Nevada on Saturday.

For Fighting Irish Coach Charlie Weis, a pivotal season began with Notre Dame's first easy season-opening win since his first game in 2005. The Irish ended a disappointing 2008 season, one in which they finished 7-6 and had to deal with plenty of speculation about Weis's job security, with a 49-21 victory over Hawaii in the Hawaii Bowl that provided at least some hope for the future.

"How do you keep momentum rolling from a game that was so long ago? A lot of it has to do with hunger. These guys are hungry," Weis said.

Clausen started the game by completing 10 of 11 passes for 184 yards and three touchdowns, highlighted by a career-long 70-yard pass for a touchdown to Michael Floyd. He bettered that in the third quarter with an 88-yard scoring pass to Floyd.

It was the third-longest pass completion in Notre Dame history.

Floyd also had a 24-yard touchdown catch and tight end Kyle Rudolph opened the scoring with a 19-yard touchdown catch. The other touchdown by the Irish (1-0) came on a one-yard run by Armando Allen Jr.

It was the first shutout for Notre Dame during the Weis era. The last shutout for the Irish was a 42-0 victory over Rutgers in 2002.

It was just the third time in Chris Ault's 25 years as head coach that the Wolf Pack was shut out.

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