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Updated: Tuesday, December 28, 2004 11:18 AM EST
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Notre Dame (6-5) vs. Oregon St (6-5) Insight
NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
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OREGON ST. BEAVERS
Oregon St. Beavers
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TEMPE, Arizona (Ticker) -- Notre Dame will play its one and only game under Kent Baer when it takes on Oregon State in the Insight Bowl in a rematch of the 2001 Fiesta Bowl.

Following a 41-10 loss to top-ranked Southern California, Notre Dame's third straight defeat to the Trojans by exactly 31 points, the school fired Tyrone Willingham.

Former Utah coach Urban Meyer was thought to be Willingham's replacement, but Meyer surprised the college football world by signing a seven-year deal with Florida. A number of other coaches also turned down the Fighting Irish, including Iowa's Kirk Ferentz, Louisville's Bobby Petrino and Wisconsin's Barry Alvarez, until the school landed New England Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis.

But Baer, Notre Dame's defensive coordinator, will coach the Irish (6-5), who are looking to snap a six-game bowl losing streak. Notre Dame's last bowl win came against Texas A&M in the 1994 Cotton Bowl.

Oregon State (6-5) won its final two games against Stanford and Oregon to become bowl eligible for the fifth time in six years.

Three years ago, Notre Dame earned a BCS bid but was embarrassed by the Dennis Erickson-coached Beavers, 41-9, in the Fiesta Bowl. It was Notre Dame's worst loss since a 58-7 defeat to Miami in 1985.

The victory gave Oregon State its first 11-win season in school history.

"That was a crossroads game, a monumental game in the recent history of Oregon State football - part of that rejuvenation, for sure, of Oregon State football," said Beavers coach Mike Riley, who replaced Erickson the following season.

This season, the Fighting Irish were highly inconsistent, beating Michigan and Tennessee but losing home games to Boston College and Pittsburgh. In its final two games, Notre Dame allowed Pittsburgh's Tyler Palko and USC's Matt Leinart to throw five touchdown passes apiece.

Notre Dame's secondary could be tested again as Derek Anderson passed for 351 yards and four touchdowns in the Beavers' 50-21 win over Oregon. Anderson, who ranks third on the Pac-10 Conference's all-time list in career passing and touchdowns, passed for 3,257 yards and 25 TDs this season. However, he also threw 17 interceptions.


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