Jimmy Clausen set Notre Dame bowl records with 406 yards passing and five touchdowns to lead the Irish to their first postseason victory in 15 years—a 49-21 shellacking of Hawaii in the Hawaii Bowl. Golden Tate had six catches for 177 yards and three touchdowns, including a 69-yarder that sparked a 28-point outburst to help the Fighting Irish (7-6) end their NCAA-record bowl losing steak at nine.
With coach Charlie Weis calling the plays from the coaches box for the first time because of knee problems that required him to use crutches, the Irish were unstoppable. The offense scored at will. The blitzing defense shutdown Hawaii's run-and-shoot. And the special teams wasn't too shabby, either. Notre Dame's victory was its first in the postseason since it beat Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl to end the 1993 season. The Irish also avoided consecutive losing seasons.