When you consider all the technology available today, it's downright amazing to think how archaic athletic communications were just a few short years ago. Need the latest University of Notre Dame football statistics? They'd be calculated and typed by hand on a manual typewriter (eventually the "big innovation" IBM Selectric typewriter came along), reproduced and mailed on Sunday nights and maybe you'd receive them via ordinary mail by Thursday. Need them quicker than that? The hit commodity in technology in the 1970s was the Xerox Telecopier (a facsimile machine) that required either four or six minutes (depending on how clear you wanted the type to read) to send a single page of copy to another Telecopier on the other end. If a media representative out of town needed your entire news release, depth chart and stats, it might take an hour or more to send it all. Breaking news happening on one of the Irish athletic fields? There was no simple way to communicate it. Pick up the telephone and dictate. Call media outlets one at a time to alert them about a hiring or press conference. Three technology advances changed everything in the sports information world everywhere - cell phones, the Internet and e-mail. For years the joke around the Notre Dame athletic offices was that the Irish quarterback on a given day might break his leg and - given that practices were closed to the media - there was some chance no one would find out until the next day. There was no texting, no Facebook - maybe no way for the word to get out other than old-fashioned word of mouth. The World Wide Web prompted the offering of athletic sites like und.com that debuted in 1995. In the beginning sites like Notre Dame's offered strictly the basics - mostly what was available via traditional press releases. There was no video in the "early days," and media members weren't yet routinely carrying computers or laptops. So, quite often, the plea to media to utilize school sites for time-sensitive items like statistics went unheeded. About that same time, cell phones changed the face of telecommunications. When current athletics staffers consider all the detailed scheduling and adjustments that go into, for example, a weeklong stay for a postseason bowl game, it's hard to imagine how those events ever occurred without cell phones. The Orange Bowl provided some new contraption-style portable phones to Notre Dame reps one year, but they looked more like walkie-talkies than the current variety and they didn't exactly fit in your pocket.
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Notre Dame will play host to Northwestern in a non-conference match tonight at Alumni Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 7:00 p.m. (ET). The Fighting Irish are 5-2-2 this season, while the Wildcats are 4-4-2. This will be the 18th meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Northwestern and the Irish lead the series, 12-3-2 Irish UNDerground will have all the angles in and around Alumni Stadium covered throughout today's game. Be sure to share your questions, comments and complaints and let your voice be heard throughout the Notre Dame nation. Want to track all the action from your mobile device? No problem. Simply click (or to be phone friendly, "touch") HERE.
- Adriana Leon celebrated a very happy birthday with a goal and an assist, while Lauren Bohaboy and Jessica Schuveiller also scored goals, leading Notre Dame to its second consecutive shutout victory, a 3-0 BIG EAST Conference women's soccer decision over Providence on Sunday afternoon at Alumni Stadium ... Melissa Henderson chipped in with her BIG EAST-leading sixth assist of the season (third of the weekend), while Molly Campbell and Sammy Scofield also added assists for the Fighting Irish - for Scofield, it was the first point of her collegiate career. - Lola Arslanbekova knocked down 28 kills on a .375 clip with 14 digs and four blocks to lift visiting Louisville over Notre Dame in BIG EAST Conference volleyball action Sunday at Purcell Pavilion ... Louisville responded after hitting .026 in the first set to post the 3-1 (17-25, 25-16, 25-22, 25-21) win while handing Notre Dame its third straight loss ... the Irish looked crisp in the opening set while hitting .237 and receiving four blocks from both Andrea McHugh and Toni Alugbue to set the tone for a great all-around team effort in the frame. - St. John's Daniel Herrera tallied the golden goal in the 110th minute as the 15th-ranked Red Storm topped No. 10 Notre Dame 2-1 in BIG EAST men's soccer action on Saturday night at Belson Stadium in Queens, N.Y. ... the loss snapped Notre Dame's four-game win streak and five-game unbeaten streak ... St. John's grabbed a 1-0 lead in the 54th minute on a goal from Andres Vargas ... that was the first goal Notre Dame had surrendered in the last 323:39 of play. - Notre Dame leads the nation in fewest rushing touchdowns surrendered in 2011 (tied with Alabama, Louisville, Michigan and Utah) with one - and that one on a one-yard run by Michigan's Denard Robinson after picking up a fumble ... but that streak figures to endure a severe test Saturday as Air Force comes to Notre Dame Stadium with the third-best rushing offense in the country (364.5 yards per game) ... the Falcons already have 15 rushing touchdowns combined in their four games to date ... over Notre Dame's last 10 football games (last five in 2010, first five in 2011), Irish opponents have scored only twice on the ground ... both those were one-yard quarterback sneaks (by Robinson and USC's Mitch Mustain) ... in fact, the previous two opponents rushing touchdowns also came from quarterbacks (Navy's Ricky Dobbs). - Notre Dame's offense already has three 500-plus-yard games in its first five outings ... how unusual is that? In 1970, when the Irish set their all-time single-season record by averaging 510.5 yards per game (behind quarterback Joe Theismann), they had only two in their first five contests and finished with five 500-yard days for the full season ... more recently, in 2009 when the Irish ranked eight nationally with 451.75 yards per contest, they finished with four 500-yard efforts (with Jimmy Clausen at the helm) ... in 1968 - the only other year the Irish averaged 500 yards a game for the full season (504.4 to rate second nationally) - Terry Hanratty and Company accounted for five 500-yard efforts. - Notre Dame defeated Air Force 11 straight times to begin the football series (1964 through the 1981 season) - and the Irish later enjoyed an eight-game series win streak (1986 through 1995) ... but the Falcons have now defeated the Irish in two of their last three visits to Notre Dame Stadium ... those Air Force victories came in 1996 (a 20-17 overtime Falcon triumph over the eighth-rated Irish) and a 41-27 win in 2007 ... meanwhile, Notre Dame hasn't lost to Air Force in Colorado Springs since 1985, Gerry Faust's final season as Notre Dame head coach (the last of four straight Falcon series wins). - The official NCAA strength-of-schedule standings (those don't include non-NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision opponents) this week list Notre Dame 20th at .641 (25-14) ... so far, only one 2011 Irish opponent has played a more difficult slate (Michigan 18th at 26-14 for .650) ... check the Sagarin ratings this week and you'll find Notre Dame's schedule rated fifth nationally, with the Irish listed 24th overall as the highest-ranked two-loss team on the chart. - The only teams in the country that won road football games each of the last two Saturdays are Notre Dame and SMU (won at Memphis and TCU). - The Irish have played three straight football games allowing 13 points or less - and that hasn't happened since 1989 when Notre Dame was ranked number one (45-7 over #7 Pittsburgh, 41-0 over Navy, 59-6 over SMU). - Here are comments from Brian Kelly's media briefing this afternoon ... "He (Cierre Wood) is one of those guys I want on our football team because he loves competition. Once he was seasoned enough I think we're seeing the results." "I'm more concerned with the individual instead of the entire scheme relative to our special teams. I'm more interested in getting (Kyle) Brindza right because he's the best we've got and getting (David) Ruffer right and getting our long snapper more consistent. Those are the three individuals that have got to play better." "Option offense requires my attention because there's things we've got to do that are not necessarily in the playbook. I'll be more involved with that in terms of decision-making and those will be in meetings. It won't be me coaching on the defensive side of the ball." "I think we've been pretty consistent in running the football and stopping the run and I think that's what I look towards more than anything else." "He (Manti Te'o) might have had his best game against Purdue. I thought this was his most disciplined game in terms of the way he played. Sometimes he tries to do too much. He was very detailed and he was outstanding against the bootleg." - The Irish hockey team opened its season Sunday night at the Joyce Center with a 4-0 exhibition win over Western Ontario ... Notre Dame got goals from Bill Maday (two), Anders Lee and Garrett Peterson ... the Irish icers will make their first-ever appearance in the new Compton Family Ice Arena on Oct. 21 against Rensselaer (RPI) Engineers in a 7:05 p.m. (ET) contest ... the Irish will play their final games at the Joyce Center the weekend of Oct. 14-15 when they play host to Ohio State in the CCHA openers for both teams.
- 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.
No. 14 Notre Dame faces No. 3 Louisville today at Alumni Stadium in men's soccer BIG EAST action. Irish UNDerground is dedicated to provide you with an inside look at all the happenings in and around today's game. Feel free to share you questions, comments and complaints with us throughout the game - let your voice be heard! Want to track all the action from your mobile device? No problem. Simply click (or to be phone friendly, "touch") HERE.
- The women's golf team started the 2011-12 campaign on Monday afternoon by shooting an opening-round mark of 14-over par 302 for 18 holes at the Golfweek Conference Challenge ... the event is being played at the par-72, 6,236-yard Tom Fazio course at the Red Sky Golf Club in Wolcott, Colo. ... Notre Dame will enter Tuesday's 18 holes tied with Minnesota and trail first-round leader UC-Davis by eight strokes as the Aggies fired a first-day mark of six-over par 294 ... individually, the Irish were led by Ashley Armstrong, who got her collegiate career off to a fast start by firing a one-over par 73 ... she is tied for 10th after 18 holes and trails three players - Natalie Gleadoll of Mississippi, Kaitlin Higginbotham of Coastal Carolina and Grace Na of Pepperdine - by four strokes as that threesome carded three-under par marks of 69. - The Joyce Athletics Grants-in-Aid program hosted former Secretary of State and 1975 Notre Dame graduate Dr. Condoleezza Rice for its annual recognition weekend Sept.17-18 ... she served as the keynote speaker for the dinner Friday evening at Jordan Hall of Science, where she spoke about the unique role Notre Dame plays in educating student-athletes and the importance of integrity in intercollegiate athletics ... one of the highlights of the evening occurred when women's basketball point guard, Skylar Diggins presented Dr. Rice with an autographed 2011 Women's Final Four jersey ... she joined the Joyce Grants-in-Aid members for their on-field recognition and thanked them for generously providing scholarship dollars for Irish student-athletes. - A pair of men's soccer players have garnered BIG EAST accolades for their roles in helping the Fighting Irish post two victories over the weekend ... Grant Van De Casteele was named the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week, while Adam Mena was selected to the league's weekly honor roll ... Mena, who also was named to the College Soccer News national team of the week, had a hand in all three Irish goals over the weekend ... Van De Casteele, a central defender, was a key part of an Irish defense that allowed just one goal in 181 minutes of play in the wins over the Wolverines and Spartans ... after giving up a goal 39 seconds into the Michigan match, Notre Dame did not allow another score in the final 180:21 of the weekend. - Look for ice to be made in Notre Dame's new Compton Family Ice Arena this week. - The New York Times featured an interesting piece Monday that measured the number of college football fans per program based on television markets ... Notre Dame ranked third in this numerical exercise, with 2,261,738 fans - behind Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State and ahead of Texas, Texas A&M, Auburn, Alabama, Florida and Clemson. The study suggested the top markets for numbers of Notre Dame fans are (in order) New York, Chicago, Boston, South Bend, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Washington, Indianapolis, St. Louis and Detroit. - Quarterback Dayne Crist was one of 22 student-athletes named to the 2011 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, Allstate and the AFCA announced Tuesday ... in its 20th year, college football's pre-eminent community service award recognizes the extra efforts made by college football players and student support staff off the field ... two 11-member teams comprise the Good Works Team ... Crist has helped organize a fundraiser on Notre Dame's campus each of the past three years to benefit St. Baldrick's Foundation, a charity that raises money for childhood cancer research ... in his three years involved with the fundraiser, he has helped the group raise approximately $100,000 for the charity ... Crist has also read to grade school children at St. Joseph's Grade School and visited with patients at St. Joseph's Medical Center ... Crist is the sixth Notre Dame football player selected to the Good Works Team since 1999 ... safety Tom Zbikowski was named to the 2007 team, offensive lineman Bob Morton was selected for the 2006 squad,linebacker Derek Curry was chosen for the 2004 team, linebacker Courtney Watson was named to the 2003 team and defensive end Grant Irons was the first Notre Dame player to be honored in 1999. - Here are Brian Kelly comments from his media teleconference today: "That's where we started this journey, to begin with recruiting on defense, and playing a tougher style of football. And to do that, you've got to be able to control the line of scrimmage. You also have to do it physically - you have to develop in the weight room." "I like the way we play the game, other than we get sloppy. The big picture looks really good for me, and the big picture starts with developing a toughness, a mentality, both on the offensive and defensive line. We're seeing that through how we defend the run, how we've been able to run the ball more effectively." "You can't come to practice now that you've won a game and feel as though, okay, you've arrived, because we certainly haven't. There are a lot of things we need to get better at if we're going to be a consistent winner." "I think we had 11 scouts in and they said that physically he (Aaron Lynch) looks like an NFL player right now. He's got a lot of work to do as it relates to all the other little things that come with being a great player. But he's extremely gifted and he's relentless when it comes to rushing the quarterback." "We demand a physical toughness from our football payers. And you get what you demand relative to physical toughness." "If you put up the stats of the first three games and said pick which game they won, I don't know that you would pick this one (Michigan State)." "We have not been infected with success yet. I'll know when that happens." "I always thought it to be a great weakness within your program when you had to play freshmen. Not when they run as fast as George Atkinson or are as physical as Aaron Lynch. This group (of freshmen) was physically ready to compete right away." - Cross country runner Jessica Rydberg has been named BIG EAST Cross Country Athlete of the Week ... Rydberg won the women's 5K at the National Catholic Championships last Friday ... her time (17:16) was the fastest since Notre Dame's JoAnna Deeter ran 16:52 in 1999 ... it was also the third-fastest time in the meet's history ... she was the ninth straight Notre Dame women's runner to win the meet ... the Pinetop, Ariz., product beat out 271 other women in the race, and helped lead the Irish to the team title over 32 other teams. - Notre Dame ranks among the top three NCAA Division I institutions in the country in combining athletic and academic achievement, according to the annual rankings released today by the National Collegiate Scouting Association in Chicago ... Notre Dame ranked third among NCAA Division I universities and fifth overall in the annual NCSA Collegiate Power Rankings, trailing only Duke and Stanford in the Division I standings ... the NCSA Collegiate Power Rankings assess the academic and athletics standards of all NCAA and NAIA athletic programs across the country ... in the 2011 ratings, Notre Dame finished 18th in athletics, 19th in academic rank and second in NCAA graduation rank, for an average 13.0 power ranking ... this marks the seventh straight year Notre Dame has finished fifth or better in the NCSA rankings ... here are Division I standings from those seven years: 2011: 1. Duke 7.0, 2. Stanford 12.0, 3. Notre Dame 13.0
2010: 1. Stanford 9.33, 2. Princeton 12.33 ... 5. Notre Dame 25.66
2009: 1. Stanford 8.66, 2. Princeton 15.0 ... 4. (tie) Notre Dame and Harvard 23.33
2008: 1. Stanford 10.66, 2. Duke 14.66 ... 5. Notre Dame 23.66
2007: 1. Duke 11.66, 2. Notre Dame 18.33
2006: 1. Duke 11.33, 2. Stanford 13.0, 3. Notre Dame 15.0
2005: 1. Duke 8.66, 2. Stanford 13.0 ... 5. Notre Dame 22.33
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