Runaway Win for Irish

<i> From Associated Press</i>

Autry Denson had a career day--minus a few mistakes.

While running for a career-high 189 yards and a touchdown Saturday in 16th-ranked Notre Dame’s 27-3 victory over Baylor, Denson also had a pass intercepted and lost a fumble, tarnishing an otherwise brilliant performance.

With runs of 37, 32 and 24 yards, Denson improved his previous high of 162 yards before the first half was over, and his performance moved him within 174 yards of becoming the all-time leading rusher in Notre Dame history.

His mistakes also set up Baylor’s only points and killed an early scoring chance for the Irish (6-1).


For Baylor Coach Dave Roberts, whose team fell to 2-6, it was bittersweet watching the Irish churn out 462 yards, including 329 on the ground, its best rushing performance in two years.

He helped recruit several key players, including Denson, as the Irish offensive coordinator from 1994-96.

“I’m happy for them,” Roberts said. “You want guys to do well. You just want your guys to do better. It was just a matter of being able to execute, and we weren’t able to do that today.”

Unable to get much going on offense, the Bears were held to 38 yards rushing in 33 carries and finished with 172 yards.


That helped negate several Denson mistakes, including a halfback pass intended for quarterback Jarious Jackson that was intercepted by Gary Baxter and returned 59 yards to the Notre Dame 10. Baylor stalled at the one and Matt Bryant kicked an 18-yard field goal with 9:44 to play in the half, pulling the Bears even at 3-3.