November 25, 2007

Attitude adjustment

PALO ALTO, Calif. - The final pass of Jimmy Clausen's season went to nobody in particular.

As the closing seconds fell away in Notre Dame's 21-14 victory over Stanford, Clausen flung the ball skyward in celebration then soaked up an on-field party fit for a bowl win. He found classmates Robert Hughes and Duval Kamara for an embrace, then offered the same appreciation to Charlie Weis.

When Notre Dame exited end zone right, Clausen stayed for a family photo op alongside brothers Rick and Casey. The Notre Dame quarterback basked in a few more moments of adulation from there, retreating to the locker room only after a school official fetched him.

The moments underscored a theme that's run quietly throughout this season of struggle, that Clausen is sometimes an individual entity in team-friendly game. His singular braggadocio seems to make Clausen the anti-Brady Quinn, that polished touchdown machine to which this program had become so accustomed.

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