What we learned from Notre Dame, Week 9

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

What we learned from Notre Dame in its 40-14 win over Washington State:

1. Notre Dame can win a blowout: After a 35-0 win in the opener, it seemed like the Fighting Irish had forgotten how to play anything but a down-to-the-wire thriller. There was no excuse for anything but in an absolute rout against a very poor Cougars team. And to its credit, Notre Dame stayed focused and put this out of reach in the first half.

2. Golden Tate deserves Heisman consideration, too: Jimmy Clausen has gotten most of the Heisman Trophy talk from Notre Dame this season, and he's having a tremendous year. But Tate has been every bit as good and was spectacular against Washington State. His Hail Mary catch at the end of the first half between three defenders was one for the ages. He has been every bit as important to this offense since Michael Floyd went down as Clausen has.