Charlie Weis said it best after the game: an ugly win is better than an ugly loss.
And after trailing 13-7 heading into the 4th quarter, Notre Dame rallied for two touchdowns in the final frame to beat lowly San Diego State 21-13 in the season opener at Notre Dame Stadium.
The turning point came in the 4th when the Aztecs could have put the game away with a touchdown. But as Brandon Sullivan was set to cross the goaline, he was hit by safeties Kyle McCarthy and David Bruton. The ball came loose and Bruton recovered it to give the Irish the ball.
On the ensuing drive Jimmy Clausen completed all five of his passes, including a 38-yard touchdown strike to Golden Tate to put the Irish up 14-13.
Clausen was 21 of 34 for 237 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Tate had 6 receptions for 93 yards and a TD.
Clausen's final touchdown pass sealed the game, a 6-yard toss to senior captain David Grimes.
Charlie Weis had said all off-season he wanted to start off fast. But the Irish did anything but.
The game was scoreless after a quarter, and turnovers plagued the Irish in the 2nd quarter.
After a Clausen Interception, Aztec quarterback Ryan Lindley connected on a 43-yard bomb to Darren Mougey to the Irish one yard line.
Lindley then rushed in the QB keeper to put SDST up 7-0.
Just before the half, Sergio Brown came up with a huge blocked punt. That allowed Clausen to find freshman Michael Floyd for a 22 yard TD to the tie game at 7 at the half.
In the 3rd, turnovers again bit the Irish, leading to Lindley again finding Mougey. This one was for 15 yards and was a touchdown to put SDST up 13-7 after a missed extra point.
Lindley was 29 of 59 for 274 yards and one interception. Mougey caught 5 passes for 97 yards.
For the game, the Irish committed four turnovers, plus allowed a field goal to be blocked.
Notre Dame is now 1-0 on the season while SDST drops to 0-2.
The Irish will host Michigan, a 16-6 winner over Miami (OH), next Saturday at the Stadium.
Newscenter 16 will have complete post-game coverage at 11pm.