Notre Dame's defense allowed Western Michigan 212 yards in the first half, including 80 in a 10-play touchdown drive that got the Broncos within 27-17 with 15 seconds in the first half. But the Irish defense responded with two dominant three-and-outs and the offense scored touchdowns off both of them to take a 41-17 lead in the third quarter.
After Tevin Drake was stopped for a one-yard gain on first down, Kerry Neal and Ethan Johnson combined to sack Western Michigan quarterback Alex Carder for an eight-yard loss. After an incomplete pass, a 20-yard punt gave Notre Dame the ball on its 44.
It took the Irish only two plays to score. Cierre Wood gained five yards on first down, then broke outside on second down and went down the right sideline for a 39-yard touchdown and a 34-17 lead.
On the ensuing possession, a pass to Drake lost one yard on first down, Carder threw incomplete, then scrambled for seven yards to force another punt. Notre Dame drove for another touchdown, with Dayne Crist throwing a 2-yard scoring pass to Michael Floyd on fourth-and-goal to give the Irish a 41-17 lead.
It was Floyd's third touchdown catch of the game.