It isn't often that a 33-7 score sounds closer than the game actually was, but that might have been the case here.
The Huskies didn't make it across midfield until six minutes were left in the game. And they came within three minutes of suffering their first shutout since 2004 and their first shutout at home since 1976.
And while they avoided that indignity, there were others.
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The loss officially doomed them to their fifth straight losing season and mathematically eliminated them from bowl consideration.
They remain chained to North Texas -- who lost to Troy -- sharing the nation's longest losing streak and the distinction of being the only winless schools in the NCAA Bowl Subdivision.
The loss dropped Washington to 0-7 all-time against Notre Dame, and it dropped coach Tyrone Willingham to 0-2 in his pair of chances against the school that fired him in 2004.
All of this played out before an ESPN2 national television audience.
The postgame mood and reaction wasn't that much different from the six losses that came before. No one's happy. No one's pitching a fit ... at least not in public. No one is saying anything but that they'll keep trying their best and believe they can win.
Willingham: "Right now the thing we've got to draw on is just basic pride. We've got to step up; coaches and players and all of us have to step up and do better than what we did (Saturday), because this was not a good performance."
Offensive coordinator Tim Lappano: "It's not that they didn't try or anything. We got beat physically at times up front and in the backfield with all the pressures, and there were times when we dropped balls that took us out of drives and field position. I don't think that was from lack of trying or anything like that. We just didn't execute very well. That comes down on me and that comes down to making plays."
QB Ronnie Fouch: "I had 5 passing yards most of the game. My last series we went out there and threw the ball around and had fun. We moved the ball well and guys made plays – the young guys like Cody Bruns and Charles Hawkins and D'Andre Goodwin made some big-time plays."
Receiver D'Andre Goodwin, who had UW's lone touchdown: "If you're going to lose you want to lose at least putting up points on the board. We weren't going to stop fighting until we drove the ball down field and scored."
Nate Williams on if the defense was frustrated with the offense: "We're all frustrated. The offense is frustrated, the defense is frustrated the special teams is frustrated. … It's a team game. I think we gave up a lot of big plays and (33) points so it's our fault just as much as the offense's fault. It's a team game. We're not pointing fingers, we're not blaming anybody."
More from Williams:
"I just think everyone came out a little too pumped because we're on ESPN2 and Notre Dame and everyone has been making a huge deal of it all throughout the week and everything."
Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis:
"We talked before the game. … I think the media keeps (talk of a feud) going because there was no feeling of that on our team, and I don't think there was any feeling of it on their team."
Player of the gameNotre Dame receiver Michael Floyd caught four passes for 107 yards. That represents more than half of Notre Dame's 207 passing yards. And 51 of those yards came on a touchdown reception on the games third play that gave the Irish a lead they would never surrender.
Husky of the gameGoodwin had a game-high seven catches, including UW's lone touchdown. Goodwin was the only UW receiver to have more than one catch. He has led the team in receiving every game this season except for the Arizona game.
Washington's first possession was a three-and-out. Then Notre Dame needed only three plays to get its first touchdown, a short pass to the sideline that Floyd turned up the sidelines for 51 yards. By the time the third quarter came to an end, the Huskies had exactly 51 yards of total offense.
Bad good play
When things are going wrong, they just go wrong. In the second quarter, UW's Nate Williams notched the Huskies' first interception since the second game of the season. Unfortunately, it came at the UW 1 yard line on a fourth-down play from the UW 32 … meaning the interception cost the Huskies 31 yards of field possession.
"I expected everyone to criticize me for leaving my offense on the one," Williams said. "But the way that a player is taught: When the ball is in the air you're supposed to grab it. In the heat of the battle I didn't know that I was on the one. I just saw the ball in the air and I grabbed it, and that's what I'm supposed to do."
Coach Tyrone Willingham confirmed that, although he acknowledged that he would have preferred the defender to understand the situation well enough to make his own decision to simply bat the ball down.
UW starting defensive tackle Senio Kelemete injured his left knee during pregame warm-ups and was carted off the field. His prognosis isn't yet known. Tailback David Freeman suffered an ankle injury of undetermined severity. … Safety Victor Ayiewa suffered a groin injury. … True freshman receiver Cody Bruns played and recorded his first career catch for 21 yards. … Washington started the game in a nickel defense, resulting in linebacker Chris Stevens and cornerback Vonzell McDowell being credited for their first starts of the season.
The Huskies are now 0-7 all-time against the Irish. The schools are scheduled to meet again Oct. 3, 2009, in South Bend, Ind. … In the third quarter, linebacker Donald Butler and defensive end Everrette Thompson recorded the Huskies' fourth and fifth sacks of the season. The first three – all at Arizona -- had been recorded by end Daniel Te'o-Nesheim. … UW game captains were Garcia, Teo'Nesheim, Paul Homer and Chris Stevens.
3:30 p.m. Saturday, at Southern California; Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum; FSN.
And yes, the Huskies all said they believe they can beat the Trojans ... or at least go down there and try their best.