Daily Dish - 11.2.11

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- Linebacker Manti Te'o was named one of 16 semifinalists for the Chuck Bednarik Award, the Maxwell Football Club announced Tuesday ... the Bednarik Award is presented to college football's best defensive player ... Te'o leads the Irish with 82 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and four and a half sacks ... he has already set career highs this year in tackles for loss and sacks ... Te'o has recorded at least 10 tackles in six of eight games this year and he leads the Irish in solo tackles, assisted tackles and tackles on running plays ... among all middle or inside linebackers in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, Te'o ranks tied for first in solo tackles for loss, tied for first in solo sacks, second in total sacks,second in total tackles for loss, second in tackles for loss per game and third in sacks per game.

- The LSU-Alabama game this weekend has prompted lots of revisiting of previous No. 1 vs. No. 2 college games ...'s Richard Rothschild rated the best previous regular-season collisions based on quality of the game, impact on the season and long-term ramifications - and he put 1946 Notre Dame-Army 10th on his list, 1966 Notre Dame-Michigan State sixth and 1993 Notre Dame-Florida State fifth.

- Through eight games, Notre Dame's Tommy Rees has completed 179 passes for an average of 22.375 per game ... if Rees continues that pace and the Irish play 13 games, Rees would finish with 291 completions - one short of Brady Quinn's Notre Dame single-season record of 292 from 2005 ... Rees has played only about the equivalent of one full season, but his career .641 pass completion percentage is the best in Notre Dame history ... he needs one more TD pass to match (1943 Heisman Trophy winner) Angelo Bertelli's career total and four more to catch Joe Theismann at 31.

- Michael Floyd ranks second nationally among active players in career pass receptions and career reception yards ... through eight games he has caught 63 balls - for an average of 7.875 per game ... if he continues that pace and the Irish play 13 games he would finish with 102 catches (which would easily eclipse Golden Tate's Irish single-season record of 93 from 2009) ... Floyd currently has 1,025 receiving yards (128.125 per game) - which would project to 1,665 over 13 games (better than Tate's single-season Notre Dame record of 1,496 from 2009).

- Saturday is the seventh annual National College Football Day, originally created by the Cotton Bowl Classic.

- Anders Lee has been selected as the RBC Financial Group CCHA Player of the Month for October ... the 6-3, 227-pound left wing has helped the fourth-ranked Irish get off to a strong 5-2 start this season as he has scored at least one goal in all seven games, with a two-goal effort and a hat trick thrown in for good measure ... after seven contests, Lee leads both the conference and the nation with 10 goals and has added three assists for 13 points.

- There are reports of 600 media credentials issued for the LSU-Alabama game this weekend, but that number pales in comparison with the more than 800 issued in 1993 at the Notre Dame-Florida State game at Notre Dame Stadium ... the main press box included 218 seats, including 15 that were in aisles or featured restricted views (and still were used that day) ... there were 46 credentials issued good for chair seats in the top rows of the stands (then those individuals were offered access to the postgame interviews) ... there were 40 press box seats allocated to the print media alone from the state of Florida covering the Seminoles ... since that was another 1-vs.-2 game, there were dozens of media who spent the week in South Bend - and they were surprised on the Thursday before the game when Irish head coach Lou Holtz invited all the media to his home for a BBQ dinner.

- On the strength of 28 points and nine rebounds from Tim Abromaitis and a double-double from Jack Cooley, the men's basketball team opened its 2011-12 season with a 90-72 exhibition victory over Saint Xavier (Ill.) on Tuesday night at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center ... the Irish, who led by 12 (51-39) at halftime, held steady with their double-digit lead for the entire second half, eventually boosting it to 20 (76-56) with eight minutes left in the game ... along with Abromaitis' near double-double, Cooley produced 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Eric Atkins showed a steady hand, scoring 19 points and dishing out six assists with just one turnover ... on the game, the Irish shot just over 48 percent from the field and held an 11-rebound margin at 45-34.

- The 19th-ranked men's soccer team wrapped up regular-season play on Tuesday afternoon with a 4-0 victory over BIG EAST foe Seton Hall at Alumni Stadium ... Ryan Finley matched a season-high total with two goals for the Fighting Irish ... Notre Dame also received goals from Grant Van De Casteele and senior midfielder Michael Rose, who also had an assist ... the four goals matched the highest offensive output of the season for the Irish, while the margin of victory was their largest of the campaign.

- The men's golf team concluded its fall schedule with an 11th place finish at the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate after firing a final round 289 (+5) Tuesday at the Royal Oaks Country Club in Dallas, Texas ... overall, the Irish finished with a 54-hole total of 865 (+13) ... Texas A&M claimed the team title for the third time in the tournament's four-year existence, finishing at 22 under par (830), while Duke finished only one shot back at 831 (-21) ... for the Irish, Niall Platt earned a top-25 finish after concluding his tournament at one under par (212) and earning a share of 19th.

- The women's basketball team, ranked second on a preseason by both AP and ESPN/USA Today, plays its first preseason game Wednesday night at Purcell Pavilion against Windsor (Ontario).

- Notre Dame ranks only 46th nationally in rushing offense through eight games, but it's worth noting that the 173.38 average per game, if it holds up, would be Notre Dame's best average in that rushing category in 10 years - since a 188.8 average in 2001 (Bob Davie's final season) that ranked 30th nationally.

- Notre Dame's offensive line has played a huge role in the Irish ranking sixth nationally in sacks allowed at 0.63 per game ... Notre Dame did not give up a sack in the month of October (games against Purdue, Air Force, USC and Navy) in 2011 and has not allowed one in 158 straight pass attempts.

- The NCAA Toughest Schedule ratings this week have the Irish 47th at 41-36 (.532) and Wake Forest 42nd at 39-34 (.534).

- It's also worth noting that a Brian Kelly-coached football team has not lost a football game in the month of November since 2007 (28-23 to #5 West Virginia, when Kelly was in his first season at Cincinnati) ... a year ago Kelly's Irish dispatched Utah, Army and USC in November.

- Both Jonas Gray (he's averaging 8.0 rushing yards per carry) and Cierre Wood have scored eight rushing TDs so far in 2011 for Notre Dame - and no other FBS schools has two backs that have scored eight or more times on the ground.

- Notre Dame football has given up only six third-period points in 2011 to opponent offenses ... the Irish have allowed only four rushing TDs in eight games - and only Alabama has given up fewer TDs on the ground.

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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.

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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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