Daily Dish - 9.26.11

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5669346.jpeg - No. 20/24 Notre Dame put together a pair of stirring second-half comebacks to force overtime, but No. 14/15 Marquette scored the match-winner 18 seconds into the extra session, defeating the Fighting Irish, 3-2 in BIG EAST Conference cross-divisional women's soccer action on a rainy Sunday afternoon at Valley Fields in Milwaukee.

- Notre Dame stumbled out of the gate and never fully recovered during Sunday's BIG EAST Conference volleyball match with Villanova ... while hitting .094 with 11service errors, Notre Dame fell to the Wildcats, 3-1 (25-18, 15-25, 25-19, 25-19) during the nationally televised contest on ESPNU with 1,337 fans on hand to watch at Purcell Pavilion.

- Here are some of Brian Kelly's comments from Sunday's media teleconference:

"Tommy (Rees) is 6-1 as a starter. He's led two very huge drives for us late in the games against Michigan and Pittsburgh. He's obviously not a finished product yet, nobody is. He'll continue to get better and better and we'll continue to help him in terms of play-calling and getting him in the right kind of situation so he can be successful."

"We felt our recruiting efforts and everything we have done since we have been here is to put together a championship defense and then we'll catch up on offense. I think you have to start with building your defense first and the line of scrimmage. We are not there yet but we are on the right road."

- Looking for a key matchup this week in the Notre Dame-Purdue football game? It's Notre Dame's rushing defense (ranked 25th nationally and allowing 93 yards a game) against Purdue's rushing attack that's rated 11th nationally at 258.67 yards per contest.

- Michael Floyd is now eighth nationally in receptions at 8.75 per game.

- The Irish football squad has outgained all four opponents in first-period total yardage, amassing a combined 464-156 edge.

- Notre Dame's defense now has permitted only two opponent rushing scores over its last nine combined games - and both those were one-yard quarterback sneaks.

- Former baseball pitcher John Axford is the Milwaukee Brewers' all-time single-season saves leader ... with a scoreless ninth on Saturday, the second-year closer picked up his 45th save of the season in the Brewers' 6-4 victory over the Marlins at Miller Park. ... Axford's 42 straight save conversions is the fifth best mark in baseball history in that category ... just ahead of him, in fourth place, is former Notre Dame pitcher Brad Lidge, who had 47 consecutive saves during the 2007-2009 seasons.

- The men's golf team returns to action Monday and Tuesday as it plays host to the sixth annual Fighting Irish Golf Classic at the Warren Golf Course ... the tournament is set to tee off Monday at 9 a.m. (ET) with a shotgun start with the second round immediately following and the final round beginning Tuesday at 8:15 a.m. (ET) with a split tee start.

- The 14th-ranked men's soccer team opened BIG EAST play in fine fashion on Saturday evening by topping No. 3 Louisville 1-0 at Alumni Stadium ... Danny O'Leary scored the game's lone goal in the fourth minute ... Notre Dame upped its win streak to four games and its unbeaten streak to five with the victory over the Cardinals.

- Hilary Eppink posted a team-high 10 kills on a.556 clip as the Notre Dame volleyball team swept Georgetown, 3-0 (25-11, 25-21, 25-14), in what was both teams' BIG EAST Conference opener Saturday at Purcell Pavilion ... Eppink did not commit an error on 18 swings as the Irish hit .290 on the day and aced Georgetown 10 times.

- The men's tennis team displayed strong singles play for the second consecutive day at the Tom Fallon Invitational, winning 12 of 16 matches on Saturday ... picking up a pair of singles wins to remain undefeated on the weekend were Wyatt McCoy, Michael Fredericka, Ryan Bandy, Michael Moore and Spencer Talmadge.

- The women's tennis team rebounded from a tough round of matches Friday that saw the squad post three wins to record eight match victories on Saturday at the Indiana Invitational.

- Notre Dame's 15-12 football win at Pittsburgh Saturday marked the fewest points in an Irish victory since a 14-10 win at Georgia Tech to start the 2006 season.

- The latest issue of ESPN The Magazine features the oldest living Heisman Trophy winner picking the best college player he has seen ... Notre Dame's John Lujack picked Roger Staubach ... Staubach picked Tony Dorsett ... Dorsett picked Barry Sanders ... Sanders picked Jerry Rice ... Rice picked Tim Brown ("The greatest college player would have to be Tim Brown because he transcended the double threat as a receiver and returner.") ... Brown picked Sanders.

- Irish football players watched highlights from their game at Pittsburgh via ESPN just before takeoff on the flight home - and Jonas Gray's touchdown run brought the biggest response.

- Tight end Tyler Eifert had a career high in catches against Pittsburgh with eight for 75 yards and a touchdown plus a two-point conversion catch.

- Notre Dame's 154 rushing yards in the first half against Pittsburgh marked the most rushing yards in any half by the Irish in the Brian Kelly era.

- Former Irish football assistant Urban Meyer was a halftime guest Saturday of Don Criqui on Notre Dame's IMG Radio Network.

- Jonas Gray's 79-yd touchdown run against Pittsburgh marked the longest Irish run since Terrance Howard went for 80 vs. West Virginia in 2000.

- After the last four Notre Dame turnovers (Pittsburgh and Michigan State games combined), ensuing opponent drives have netted a combined 12 yards on 14 plays (that equated to two FGs).

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Event Calendar

September 4
7:30 PM
vs USF
Notre Dame, Ind. (Alumni Stadium)

September 4
4:00 PM
at Western Michigan
Kalamazoo, Mich. (WMU Soccer Complex)
September 4
4:00 PM
at Crusader Invitational
Valparaiso, Ind. (Sunset Hill Farm County Park)
September 4
7:00 PM
at Seton Hall
South Orange, N.J.

Live Video
September 5
7:30 PM
vs Texas
Notre Dame, Ind.

September 5
12:00 PM
vs Temple
South Orange, N.J.
September 5
5:30 PM
vs Hofstra
South Orange, N.J.
September 6
2:00 PM
vs UAB
Notre Dame, Ind. (Alumni Stadium)

September 6
12:00 PM
at Michigan State
East Lansing, Mich. (DeMartin Soccer Complex)

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