Sept. 2, 2006
ATLANTA (AP) -Notre Dame actually won a defensive struggle, scoring just enough points to avoid a major upset at the start of its most anticipated season in years.
Brady Quinn and hometown favorite Darius Walker each ran for a touchdown Saturday night as the No. 2 Fighting Irish, with their highest preseason ranking since 1994, rallied for a 14-10 victory over Georgia Tech.
Notre Dame fell behind 10-0 and was on the verge of going scoreless in the opening half for the first time in nearly two years. But Quinn ran it in from the 5 on a gutsy call by coach Charlie Weis with just 11 seconds remaining.
Then, taking advantage of a personal foul against the Yellow Jackets, Walker raced to the corner for a 13-yard touchdown with 6 1/2 minutes to go in the third period. There were a smattering of cheers in the crowd for the former high school star from suburban Atlanta, who finished with 99 yards rushing and caught four passes.
Quinn, who finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy balloting while breaking nearly every Notre Dame passing record last season, completed 23-of-38 for 246 yards and converted a fourth-and-1 sneak near midfield with 1:07 remaining that sealed the victory.
But it was the Notre Dame defense that preserved this one, holding Georgia Tech to 259 yards and removing some of the sting from its last performance. In the Fiesta Bowl, the Fighting Irish gave up a school-record 617 yards in a loss to Ohio State.