Chicago Sun-Times
with Mark Lazerus

Sweeping up after Air Force win

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It will take a long time for Andrew Hendrix to live down his impressive debut. 

The sophomore quarterback completed all four of his passes and was Notre Dame's leading rusher with 11 yards on six carries against Air Force on Saturday but all anybody wanted to talk about was how he got caught from behind on a 78-yard fourth quarter run. 

Coach Brian Kelly called keepers on the next two plays but Hendrix couldn't score from the 2 before freshman George Atkinson III burst over from the 1 to score Notre Dame's final touchdown.

"We gave him a hard time about that but he did a great job running today," starting quarterback Tommy Rees said. "We'll mess around with him a little bit."

Hendrix didn't appear during mopup time but on the second drive of the game. He played intermittently throughout, which Kelly said will continue to be the case because his running ability gives opposing defenses that much more to prepare for.

Kelly said senior Dayne Crist remains entrenched as the backup to Rees, however.

"We're going to continue to utilize him to strengthen Tommy's hand," Kelly said. "With both of those guys, and Tommy obviously being in 85 to 90 percent of the game, it just gives you another dimension of our offense that if you're not prepared for it, you can see what happens."

Records fall

The 42 points Notre Dame scored in the first half is the most the Irish have scored since they 42 in the second half against Navy in 1990. The school record for points scored in a half is 49 in he second half against Pittsburgh in 1968. The record for points scored in the first half is 48 against Georgia Tech in 1977.

Injury update

Ethan Johnson did not play against Air Force. The senior defensive end who twisted his ankle against Purdue last week remained on the sideline in a walking boot.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on October 8, 2011 8:20 PM.

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