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Irish Insights

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ASSOCIATED PRESS
Notre Dame tight end Mike Ragone is upended by Washington State's Myron Beck in the first half of Saturday's game.

Special play

Notre Dame backup tight end Mike Ragone was impressive late in the first quarter as part of the Irish's extra-point unit against Washington State last weekend.

The junior, who has come back from two knee injuries, chased down Washington State's Chima Nwachukwu after the Cougars blocked a PAT and looked to be on their way to two points.

"For me that is my favorite play of the year so far," linebacker and special teams captain Scott Smith said. "You see Mike -- nd he didn't even know the kick was blocked until, I believe, it was a corner who picked it up -- was about 10 yards in front of him. You just see him, and Kyle Rudolph also, just turn around, and there is no other way to put it but Mike just hawked that guy down.

"You just see him gaining yards. It was just one of those things to watch, when we were in the meeting, you saw him picking up speed and everybody just started going nuts. That is the ultimate hustle play, saving us two points, and showing his athleticism and 'want to.' You have to give credit to Kyle too. Because if Mike didn't make the play, Kyle was right there. Two of our tight ends chasing down a corner is pretty impressive."

The play didn't just save two points and receive high praise from coach Charlie Weis and the rest of the team, it also proved a point Ragone has been trying to make to his teammates.

"I didn't know Mike was that fast. He impressed me," safety Kyle McCarthy said. "He definitely knew he was that fast. He's always been trying to tell us, but now we believe him."

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