Recently in Football Category

Kelly Does His Little Turn On the Catwalk

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Order "The Shirt" here.

"1...2...3...Go Irish!"

"...doesn't want to embarrass anybody yet..."

ND Youth Sports TV: Irish Experience League

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"I just have one thing to say to Tim - 'You're huge!'"

"Kenneth - King of the Front Handspring"

Through the Irish Experience League the Notre Dame community takes the fun, spirit and values inherent in Notre Dame Sports to the community. Volunteers include varsity student-athletes, faculty, staff and students as the Notre Dame family grows stronger through community building in South Bend.

Learn more about the Irish Experience League at

Planes and Trains

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And that's how the headline
"Notre Dame Team Wiped Out With With Hesburgh at the Helm"
was avoided.

My New Haircut

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Over 30 football players and many more student-athletes participated in 'The Bald and the Beautiful' event on campus in mid-April, helping the St. Baldrick's Foundation in its effort to find a cure for childhood cancer.

This Saturday, April 21 at 1:30 pm ET, the Notre Dame football team wraps up a month of spring practice with the 83rd annual Blue-Gold game. Notre Dame director of football media relations Brian Hardin (@NDHardin) compiled an A to (almost) Z Fan Guide and a Game Format and Scoring Guide detailing everything you might need in preparation for Saturday.

I would encourage you to check those out, but if you're short on time, here's a quick summary of the basics:

Alumni Flag Football Game: 11 a.m. at Notre Dame Stadium. Former Irish players Sergio Brown ('10) and Golden Tate will serve as honorary coaches. Use your Blue-Gold ticket to enter beginning at 10:30 a.m. (weather permitting).

Broadcast: The game will air live nationally on NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus). The NBCSN broadcast wil also be available streaming at For radio listeners, the game will be available locally on Sports Radio 960 AM and 96.1 FM.

Game Clock: Traditional 4-quarter, 60-minute game, except the second half will utilize a running clock.

Halftime: The 15-minute break will feature a rugby match between Notre Dame's club team and a national team featuring former Irish running back James Aldridge ('10).

Jerseys: The Irish coaching staff has elected to split the teams Offense vs. Defense, rather than Blue vs. Gold. The offense will wear blue and the defense will be in white.

Parking: Tailgate lots are free to the public and open at 8 a.m. on Saturday.

Rule Changes: There will be no kickoffs and each possession will start at the 35-yard line. All punts will be fair caught. All players are live, including quarterbacks. The defense can bring pressure on third down and snaps inside the 20-yard line.

Scoring: The offense will earn points the same way it does in all football games. The defensive scoring is as follows: stop before 50-yard line (4 points), stop after 50-yard line (2 pts), turnover forced before 50-yard line (7 pts), turnover forced after 50-yard line (3 pts), forced field goal attempt (1 pt).

Tickets: Box office opens at 9 a.m. - $15 for adults, $10 for youth (18 and under).

Coach Kelly Explains Blue-Gold Format

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We're less than 72 hours from the 83rd annual Blue-Gold game...

This morning after practice, head coach Brian Kelly announced some changes to the game's format, explaining that the teams will be broken up as Offense against Defense, rather than simply Blue versus Gold.

Coach Kelly explains in the video above that this format is designed to prevent any of the Irish players from having to play for nearly the entire contest, a problem that would have occurred had the Irish taken a traditional spring game approach.

As such, there will be a different scoring system designed so that both the offensive and defensive squads can score points. Offensively, the Irish will stick to traditional scoring (six points for a touchdown, three for a field goal, etc.).

On the other side, the defensive scoring will focus on turnovers. Led by Coach Diaco, the defense will earn seven points for a turnover forced before the 50-yard line, and three points for a takeaway after midfield.

Similarly, it will earn four points for a turnover before the 50, and two for a stop beyond it. The defense can also earn one point by forcing a field goal attempt.

For more on the spring game format, check out the release on

Smith Has Tools If Packers Go Safety First

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11.19.11 Game Day 2188.JPG
Photo by Barbara Johnston/University of Notre Dame.

We're just eight days away from the 2012 NFL Draft, with nine former Notre Dame football players hoping to get the call that will change their lives. One of the those NFL hopefuls is safety Harrison Smith, the 2011 Irish captain. Smith is expected by many to be a second round pick, but some draft pundits also believe he could be a late first rounder.

The Green Bay Packers, who have the 28th pick, may be one of the teams interested in the Knoxville, Tenn. native. Their former Pro Bowl safety Nick Collins underwent neck surgery during the 2011 season, and is still waiting to hear from doctors before he decides on his playing future.

The Packers finished the regular season with a 15-1 record, but fell to the New York Giants in the divisional playoffs. Smith is one player who may be able to help a secondary that struggled for much of the 2011 campaign.

Tyler Dunne has more in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

At a sturdy 6 feet 2 inches and 213 pounds, Smith is intelligent, long and fast. He's one player who may be capable of covering today's athletic tight end. Throughout his meetings with teams, that has been the hot topic.

"There's a big tight end in every division that dominated last year," Smith said. "Nobody found a great way to stop it without leaving other things open. So that's something people are definitely focused on.

"How do you stop these big, athletic guys? I think the best way to stop them is with bigger, athletic safeties that match up better with them. It's hard to put a corner on them. It's hard to put a linebacker on them. A bigger safety who can run with them and make plays on the ball is something teams put a lot of value on."

Visit for the full article, and tune in to next weekend's draft to see where Smith and his Irish teammates wind up.

Thanks, Bill.

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Yesterday afternoon, Notre Dame deputy director of athletics Bill Scholl was introduced as the director of intercollegiate athletics at Ball State in Muncie, Ind.

A 1979 Notre Dame graduate, Bill has served the athletic department at his alma mater for more than two decades, most recently responsible for senior-level administration, including fundraising and donor relations, divisional budget construction and growing external revenue.

Bill was also the sport administrator for football team, working with head coach Brian Kelly and the Irish program on a daily basis.

As seen in the photo above from last October's game against USC, Bill presented a plaque at halftime to 1987 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown, commemorating the Irish great's selection as one of six recipients for the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award.

Having only worked in the department since August, I cannot speak much of Bill's contributions to Notre Dame, but I know his numerous accomplishments have been instrumental in developing our university's athletic programs. Several Notre Dame colleagues also expressed their well wishes on Twitter, including director of football media relations Brian Hardin and's Jack Nolan.

In the short time that I have known Bill, his door has always been open and he has had the best interest of the university community and student-athletes at heart - two characteristics that will undoubtedly contribute to his success when he begins at Ball State at the end of the month.

For more on Bill's new opportunity, check out the official press release on

Thanks, Bill. Good luck leading the Cardinals.

Inside Leprechaun Tryouts

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It's only mid-April, but on Friday evening, the Notre Dame cheerleading squad hosted a football pep rally in The Pit at the Joyce Center. Actually, there were several mini rallies as seven Notre Dame students tried out to be the shillelagh-holding, green-clad face of the Fighting Irish.


Hundreds of students (and even a few Notre Dame Coaches Clinic participants) came out to the basketball practice facility in support of their friends and classmates trying out to be the next Notre Dame leprechaun.

Events like this that remind you of the passionate spirit of the Notre Dame student body. Homemade t-shirts, thunderstix, but mostly good, old-fashioned cheering made for a great atmosphere, and had everyone thinking about football season (which by the way, is 137 days away).


The tryouts began with each of the seven leprechaun hopefuls leading the crowd through a mock pep rally for the Purdue game, the first home football contest on the 2012 schedule (Sept. 8, 3:30 pm ET, Notre Dame Stadium - mark your calendar).

Outgoing senior, or perhaps leprechaun emeritus Mike George emceed the event, putting the competitors on the spot and asking them to 'introduce' famous Notre Dame personalities as guest speakers - everyone from two-time Super Bowl champion Justin Tuck ('05) to women's basketball head coach Muffet McGraw.

George also presented each of the leprechauns with a scenario - the band has finished playing, the fans are waiting, the team has yet to arrive and the pep rally is broadcast nationally on NBC. How are you going to keep everyone entertained?

Afterwards, WNDU sports reporter Angelo Di Carlo grilled each student in a mock live interview, asking if the Irish can return to football dominance and why he or she should be selected as the 2012-13 leprechaun.

The Fighting Irish expect to light up the scoreboard this fall, so of course, the tryouts concluded with a push-up contest.

After the team of judges deliberated for a couple hours on Friday evening, junior Bryce Burton was selected as the new Gold Squad leprechaun for football and men's basketball. Burton was the Blue Squad leprechaun this past year, cheering for soccer and women's hoops.

Sophomore Johnny Romano will take Burton's place on the Blue Squad and junior Louis Ganser will cheer for the new Green Squad.

All in all, a great evening at The Pit, and a nice promotion for the leprechaun who helped cheer Coach McGraw's squad all the way to the national championship game in Denver. Check out an interview with Burton on WNDU.

- Josh Flynt ('11)

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Event Calendar

November 23
8:00 PM
Valparaiso, Ind. (Athletics-Recreation Center)

Pulse FM (96.9/92.1)/WatchND
Live Stats
November 25
7:00 PM
Syracuse, N.Y.

Live Stats
November 26
6:30 PM
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

November 27
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

November 27
3:15 PM
Freeport, Bahamas (St. Georges High School)

Pulse FM (96.9/92.1)/WatchND
November 27
1:00 PM
Boston College
Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Live Stats
November 27
7:35 PM
Notre Dame, Ind. (Compton Family Ice Arena)

November 28
4:30 PM
Stanford, Calif.

Game Week Central
November 28
Louisiana Tech or UCLA
Freeport, Bahamas (St. Georges High School)

Pulse FM (96.9/92.1)/WatchND
November 28
7:35 PM
Notre Dame, Ind. (Compton Family Ice Arena)

November 29
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

November 29
2:00 PM
Maryland Round of 16
Notre Dame, Ind. (Alumni Stadium)

St. Joseph Health System Medifast Delta Canon Visit South Bend Mishawaka