Back to Home
A Season in Photos
Click an Image to View Gallery.

Game by Game
  • Defense Tops Offense 42-31 in Blue-Gold Game

    Everett Golson

    April 21, 2012

    Earning points from stops and turnovers, the Defense topped the Offense by a score of 42-31 in the 83rd annual Blue-Gold game on Saturday afternoon at Notre Dame Stadium.

    Junior linebacker Kendall Moore led the Defense (gold squad) with eight tackles, cornerback Lo Wood added seven and sophomore Anthony Rabasa had six. Senior Chris Salvi, sophomore Matthias Farley and sophomore Ishaq Williams intercepted passes for the Defense.

    Sophomore quarterback Everett Golson led the Offense (blue squad), completing 11 of 15 passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore running back George Atkinson III piled up 124 yards on 15 carries and senior running back Theo Riddick caught eight passes for 63 yards.

    RECAP | STATS | PHOTO GALLERY | HIGHLIGHTS | IRISH CONNECTION

  • Brindza Kicks No. 22 Irish Past Purdue 20-17

    Everett Golson

    September 8, 2012

    Tommy Rees spent most of Saturday watching Notre Dame struggle with Purdue. Then he rescued the 22nd-ranked Irish.

    Returning from a one-game suspension as a second stringer, the former starting quarterback got one chance and produced a last-minute drive that led to a 20-17 victory over the Boilermakers.

    A starter for the final 12 games of 2011, he didn't have time to ponder what his performance might mean for the future.

    "I was just thinking we've got to win this game," he said to NBC's Alex Flanagan after the game.

    With first-year starter Everett Golson a bit shaken up and having trouble gripping the ball, Rees came in and moved the Irish into position for Kyle Brindza's 27-yard field goal with seven seconds to go.

    RECAP | STATS | PHOTO GALLERY | HIGHLIGHTS | IRISH CONNECTION

  • Irish Upset #10 Michigan State On The Road, 20-3

    Everett Golson

    September 15, 2012

    Everett Golson threw a touchdown pass and ran for a score in the first half to help No. 20 Notre Dame beat No. 10 Michigan State 20-3 Saturday night.

    The Fighting Irish (3-0) snapped a six-game losing streak against ranked teams and beat a top-10 opponent for the first time in seven years.

    The Spartans (2-1) had won 15 straight at home. The streak included a win over the Irish in 2010 on a fake field goal in overtime.

    Notre Dame is off to its best start since 2002 when Tyrone Willingham won his first eight games as its coach. The Irish opened 0-2 last year and 1-3 the season before in Kelly's debut before bouncing back to finish with eight wins.

    RECAP | STATS | PHOTO GALLERY | HIGHLIGHTS | IRISH CONNECTION

  • Te'o Leads No. 11 Irish to Long-Awaited Victory Over No. 18 Wolverines, 13-6

    Tommy Rees & Robby Toma

    September 22, 2012

    No crazy comebacks this year by Michigan against Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish didn't even let Denard Robinson and the Wolverines get into the end zone this year.

    Manti Te'o had two interceptions as the 11th-ranked Fighting Irish picked off five Michigan passes and forced a fumble, and backup quarterback Tommy Rees sparked the Notre Dame offense in a 13-6 win over the Wolverines Saturday night.

    "A great team win for our guys," Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said. "Defensively what can I say? Six turnovers. Limited who we feel is one of the most dynamic offensive players in the country to no touchdowns. Just an incredible performance by our defense."

    RECAP | STATS | PHOTO GALLERY | HIGHLIGHTS | IRISH CONNECTION

  • No. 9 Irish Overpower Miami 41-3 at Soldier Field

    Cierre Wood & George Atkinson III

    October 6, 2012

    Cierre Wood and George Atkinson III gave Notre Dame its first 100-yard rushing duo in a decade, and Everett Golson came off the bench to lead the No. 9 Irish to a 41-3 victory over Miami on Saturday night.

    The Irish improved to 5-0 for the first time since 2002. Their 587 yards of offense was a season high, and their 376 yards rushing was their most since Nov. 11, 2000. Wood had 118 yards rushing and two touchdowns, and Atkinson added 123 yards and another score.

    "We felt like we found a way to run the football today," Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said. "Our game plan was situated on running the football, which equals time of possession for us. We felt like if we could keep them from getting the big plays, and we could run the football, that was going on our recipe for success

    RECAP | STATS | PHOTO GALLERY | HIGHLIGHTS | IRISH CONNECTION

  • #7 Irish Stop #17 Stanford 20-13 in OT

    Matthias Farley

    October 13, 2012

    Notre Dame knew what was coming. Stanford doesn't get cute inches from the goal line.

    And after three years of getting pushed around by the Cardinal, the Fighting Irish pushed back, winning the most important shoving match they've had all season.

    Or did they?

    A wall of Notre Dame defenders stopped Stepfan Taylor inches from the end zone on fourth down in overtime and the seventh-ranked Irish remained unbeaten with a 20-13 victory against the No. 17 Cardinal on a soggy Saturday at Notre Dame.

    Taylor finished with 102 yards on 28 carries. He needed 103.

    RECAP | STATS | PHOTO GALLERY | HIGHLIGHTS | IRISH CONNECTION

  • No. 5 Notre Dame Tops BYU 17-14

    Tyler Eifert

    October 20, 2012

    Theo Riddick is Notre Dame's smallest running back but Brigham Young learned he has no shortage of power.

    The 5-11, 200-pound Riddick ran for a career-high 143 yards against a Cougars defense that entered the game third in the nation against the rush. More importantly, Riddick sparked a ground game that ground out 270 yards, with his housemate, Cierre Wood, getting 114 yards and George Atkinson III scoring the go-ahead touchdown as the fifth-ranked Irish rallied for a 17-14 win Saturday.

    "As a team, this was special," Riddick said. "We showed that we can run the ball."

    He got no argument from Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly.

    RECAP | STATS | PHOTO GALLERY | HIGHLIGHTS | IRISH CONNECTION

  • No. 5 Irish Defeat No. 8 Oklahoma, 30-13

    Everett Golson

    October 27, 2012

    Manti Te'o and No. 5 Notre Dame don't care whether people believe in them or not. They're just out to keep winning.

    Everett Golson threw for 177 yards and plunged in for the decisive 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, Te'o bolstered his Heisman Trophy candidacy with a late interception and No. 5 Notre Dame beat No. 8 Oklahoma 30-13 on Saturday night to remain undefeated.

    Despite winning their first seven games for the first time in a decade, the Fighting Irish came in as the underdogs but certainly didn't play like it.

    "What we'd been hearing was a lot of people didn't think we could win this game. That kind of just added that fuel to my fire that was already burning," said Golson, who returned after sitting out last week's win against BYU because of a concussion.

    RECAP | STATS | PHOTO GALLERY | HIGHLIGHTS | IRISH CONNECTION

  • No. 4 Irish Fight Back to Beat Pitt 29-26 in 3OTs

    Everett Golson

    November 3, 2012

    Down 20-6 in the fourth quarter, Notre Dame was going to need some big plays and a little luck to stay undefeated and keep its national title hopes alive. It got just enough of both.

    Everett Golson scored on a quarterback sneak in the third overtime and the fourth-ranked Fighting Irish came back from a 14-point deficit Saturday to beat Pittsburgh 29-26.

    "We overcame a lot tonight. We overcame some uncharacteristic mistakes," coach Brian Kelly said. "Last year that would have been a loss. But our team kept fighting, kept playing."

    Notre Dame (9-0) is off to its best start since 1993, when it finished the season ranked No. 2. Pitt (4-5) missed a potential game-winning field goal in the second overtime.

    RECAP | STATS | PHOTO GALLERY | HIGHLIGHTS | IRISH CONNECTION

  • No. 4 Irish Fly Past Eagles, 21-6, to Reach 10-0

    Everett Golson

    November 10, 2012

    Alabama's loss cleared out one of the teams in the way of Notre Dame's 2012 title hopes. An hour later, the fourth-ranked Fighting Irish avoided one of their peskiest obstacles of years past.

    Everett Golson ran for a touchdown and threw for two more on Saturday night to help Notre Dame beat Boston College 21-6, giving the Irish a workmanlike victory over a rival that had twice before ended their drive to a national championship.

    "You can't come out and worry about another team that lost. You have to be focused on the task at hand," Notre Dame cornerback Bennett Jackson said. "Wins don't come easy. Boston College plays us hard every year."

    RECAP | STATS | PHOTO GALLERY | HIGHLIGHTS | IRISH CONNECTION

  • No. 3 Irish Overpower Wake Forest, 38-0

    TJ Jones & Robby Toma

    November 17, 2012

    Notre Dame got one first-place vote in the coaches' poll last Sunday - head coach Brian Kelly's.

    He won't be the only one voting the Fighting Irish No. 1 this week.

    Against Wake Forest, the Fighting Irish reinforced Kelly's faith in his team, then third-ranked Notre Dame got some help later Saturday night.

    Oregon and Kansas State, the two teams ahead of the Irish in the AP and BCS rankings, each lost. Now Notre Dame will control its own fate as it tries to capture its first national title in 24 years.

    Earlier in the day, Everett Golson threw three touchdown passes, and Cierre Wood scored on a 68-yard run, as the Irish beat Wake Forest 38-0 to finish the season undefeated at home for the first time since 1998.

    RECAP | STATS | PHOTO GALLERY | HIGHLIGHTS | IRISH CONNECTION

  • No. 1 Irish Top USC 22-13 to Finish Perfect Regular Season

    Kyle Brindza

    November 24, 2012

    For four straight plays in the waning minutes, Notre Dame's defense was backed up to its 1 with its perfect season in peril.

    And on four straight plays, USC got nothing.

    "We're going to fight," linebacker Manti Te'o said. "That's our name. It doesn't matter where we are."

    The Fighting Irish will be in Miami next. With another hard-nosed victory, they punched their ticket to the BCS championship game.

    Theo Riddick rushed for 146 yards and a touchdown, Kyle Brindza kicked five field goals, and No. 1 Notre Dame secured the chance to play for the national title with a 22-13 victory over USC.

    RECAP | STATS | PHOTO GALLERY | HIGHLIGHTS | IRISH CONNECTION

  • Irish Title Hopes Halted By Crimson Tide, 42-14

    Everett Golson

    January 7, 2013

    Unbeaten and top-rated Notre Dame's first crack at a Bowl Championship Series title game didn't exactly end the way the Irish (12-1) hoped. But credit second-ranked and once-beaten Alabama, a veteran at these kinds of games, for making all the right moves in a 42-14 victory at Sun Life Stadium that handed the Tide its third BCS crown in four seasons.

    It started on a tough note for the Irish, as Alabama (13-1) roared out of the gate to a 28-0 halftime lead after scoring on its first three possessions and rolling up 202 yards in the first period.

    Notre Dame, meanwhile, struggled early on both sides of the ball. By halftime the Irish had already given up more points than they had in any game this season. The most yards Notre Dame gave up this season was 379; Alabama cracked the 500 mark early in the fourth quarter.

    RECAP | STATS | PHOTO GALLERY

Honors & Awards
Kyle Brindza, So., K
  • 2012 Notre Dame Special Teams Player of the Year
  • FBS Independent Special Teams Player of the Week (12.10)
  • College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention
  • Placekicker (11.25)
  • FBS Independent Special Teams Player of the Week (10.29)
Braxston Cave, Sr., C
  • 2012 CBSSports.com Second Team All-American
  • 2012 Athlon Sports Second Team All-American
  • 2012 AP Third Team All-American
  • 2012 Sporting News Third Team All-American
  • 2012 Notre Dame Father Lang Irish Cross Award
  • Rimington Trophy Finalist
  • Lombardi Award Watch List
  • Outland Trophy Watch List
Bob Diaco, Assistant Coach
  • 2012 Frank Broyles Award
Tyler Eifert, Sr., TE
  • 2012 Mackey Award
  • 2012 Pro Football Weekly First Team All-American
  • 2012 AP Second Team All-American
  • 2012 Walter Camp Second Team All-American
  • 2012 Sporting News Second Team All-American
  • 2012 Sports Illustrated Second Team All-American
  • 2012 CBSSports.com Second Team All-American
  • 2012 Notre Dame Offensive Player of the Year
  • Lombardi Award Watch List
  • Maxwell Award Watch List
  • Walter Camp Award Watch List
  • College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention TE (11.25)
  • College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention TE (11.18)
  • College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention TE (11.11)
  • College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention TE (10.22)
  • College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention TE (10.14)
  • College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention TE (9.9)
Matthias Farley, So., S
  • College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention Defensive Back (10.14)
Nick Fitzpatrick, Sr., WR
  • 2012 Notre Dame Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year
Mike Golic Jr., Sr., OL
  • 2012 First Team Capital One Academic All-America
  • 2012 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team
  • 2012 Notre Dame Irish Around The Bend Award
Everett Golson, So., QB
  • 2012 Notre Dame Offense Newcomer of the Year
  • FBS Independent Offensive Player of the Week (11.19)
  • FBS Independent Offensive Player of the Week (11.5)
  • FBS Independent Offensive Player of the Week 10.29)
  • FBS Independent Offensive Player of the Week (9.10)
John Goodman, Sr., WR
  • 2012 Notre Dame Nick Pietrosante Award
Bennett Jackson, Jr., CB
  • College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention Defensive Back (9.9)
  • FBS Independent Defensive Player of the Week (9.10)
Kapron Lewis-Moore, Sr., DE
  • 2012 Notre Dame A-Team Award
  • Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List
TJ Jones, Jr., WR
  • Biletnikoff Watch List
Brian Kelly, Head Coach
  • 2012 Walter Camp Coach of the Year
  • 2012 Home Depot Coach of the Year
  • 2012 Sporting News Coach of the Year
  • 2012 FWAA/Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year
Zack Martin, Sr., LT
  • 2012 Walter Camp Second Team All-American
  • 2012 Notre Dame Offensive Lineman of the Year
  • Lombardi Award Watch List
  • Outland Trophy Watch List
Zeke Motta, Sr., S
  • 2012 Sports Illustrated Honorable All-American
  • 2012 Pro Football Weekly Honorable Mention All-American
  • 2012 Notre Dame Defensive Player of the Year
  • Thorpe Award Semifinalist
Louis Nix III, Jr., NG
  • 2012 CBSSports.com Third Team All-American
  • 2012 Notre Dame Moose Krause Defensive Lineman of the Year
Tommy Rees, Jr., QB
  • 2012 Notre Dame Next Man In Award
Theo Riddick, Sr., RB
  • 2012 Notre Dame Count On Me Award
  • Hornung Award Watch List
  • FBS Independent Offensive Player of the Week (12.10)
  • College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention (11.25)
  • FBS Independent Offensive Player of the Week (10.22)
KeiVarae Russell, Fr., CB
  • FoxSportsNext.com Freshman Second Team All-American
  • 2012 Notre Dame Defense Newcomer of the Year
Prince Shembo, Jr., LB
  • College Football Performance Awards National Defensive Performer of the Week (11.11)
  • College Football Performance Awards National Defensive Lineman of the Week (11.11)
  • FBS Independent Defensive Player of the Week (11.11)
Tyler Stockton, Sr., DT
  • 2012 Notre Dame Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year
Danny Spond, Jr., OLB
  • 2012 Notre Dame Rockne Student-Athlete Award
Manti Te'o, Sr., LB
  • 2012 Walter Camp Player of the Year
  • 2012 Nagurski Award
  • 2012 Bednarik Award
  • 2012 Butkus Award
  • 2012 Lott Trophy
  • 2012 Maxwell Award
  • 2012 Lombardi Award
  • 2012 Heisman Trophy Runner-up
  • 2012 AP First Team All-American
  • 2012 AFCA First Team All-American
  • 2012 Walter Camp First Team All-American
  • 2012 Sporting News First Team All-American
  • 2012 CBSSports.com First Team All-American
  • 2012 ESPN.com First Team All-American
  • 2012 Sports Illustrated First Team All-American
  • 2012 Pro Football Weekly First Team All-American
  • 2012 Athlon Sports First Team All-American
  • 2012 Notre Dame Monogram Club MVP
  • 2012 First Team Capital One Academic All-America
  • 2012 National Scholar-Athlete by the National Football Foundation
  • Lott IMPACT Player of the Week (10.29)
  • College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention LB (10.28)
  • FBS Independent Defensive Player of the Week (10.22)
  • College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention LB (10.22)
  • Lott IMPACT Player of the Week (10.22)
  • Lott IMPACT Player of the Week (10.15)
  • FWAA/Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week (9.25)
  • Bednarik Player Of The Week (9.25)
  • Lott IMPACT Player of the Week (9.24)
  • FBS Independent Defensive Player of the Week (9.23)
  • Lott IMPACT Player of the Week (9.17)
  • FBS Independent Defensive Player of the Week (9.17)
  • Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week (9.16)
  • College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention LB (9.16)
  • FBS Independent Defensive Player of the Week (9.2)
Robby Toma, Sr., WR
  • 2012 Notre Dame Nick Pietrosante Award
Stephon Tuitt, So., DE
  • 2012 CBSSports.com First Team All-American
  • 2012 AP Second Team All-American
  • 2012 Walter Camp Second Team All-American
  • 2012 Sporting News Second Team All-American
  • 2012 ESPN.com First Team All-American
  • 2012 Sports Illustrated First Team All-American
  • 2012 Athlon Sports Second Team All-American
  • 2012 Pro Football Weekly Honorable Mention All-American
  • 2012 Notre Dame Moose Krause Defensive Lineman of the Year
  • Bednarik Award Watch List
  • Ted Hendricks Award Watch List
Ben Turk, Sr., P
  • FBS Independent Special Teams Player of the Week (9.17)
Cierre Wood, Sr., RB
  • Maxwell Award Watch List
  • Doak Walker Award Watch List
  • College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention Running Back (11.18)
  • Nominated for Capital One Cup Impact Performance of the Week (10.8)
Building an Undefeated Team
Feb. 6, 2008
Signing Day 2008
This season's fifth-year seniors - including current starters Cave, Golic, Goodman and Lewis-Moore - commit to join the Irish.
Feb. 4, 2009
Signing Day 2009
This year's seniors - including current starters Eifert, Fox, Martin, Motta, Riddick, Te'o, Toma, Turk and Watt - commit to join the Irish.
Dec. 10, 2009
Brian Kelly Hired
Brian Kelly, a veteran of 19 seasons as a collegiate head coach, was named the 29th head football coach at Notre Dame.
Jan. 7, 2010
Diaco Named D.C.
Bob Diaco, who filled the same role previously at Cincinnati, was announced as the new defensive coordinator on Brian Kelly's staff.
Feb. 3, 2010
Signing Day 2010
This year's juniors - including current starters Jackson, Jones, Lombard, Nix, Shembo and Spond - commit to join the Irish.
Feb. 2, 2011
Signing Day 2011
This year's sophomores - including current starters Brindza, Golson, Farley and Tuitt - commit to join the Irish.
Dec. 11, 2011
Te'o Announces Return
All-America linebacker Manti Te'o announces that he will return to Notre Dame for his senior season.
Jan. 2, 2012
Martin Named O.C.
Chuck Martin, previously the head coach at Grand Valley State for six seasons, is named the Irish offensive coordinator.
Jan. 6, 2012
Eifert Announces Return
Tyler Eifert, a finalist for the Mackey Award, announces he will return for his senior season.
Feb. 1, 2012
Signing Day 2012
This year's freshmen - including current starting cornerback KeiVarae Russell - commit to join the Irish.