Fiesta Bowl Notes
Jan. 1, 2016
- With the loss, Notre Dame fell to 17-18 all-time in bowl games since 1925, appearing in 16 different bowl games during that span.
- The Irish are now 2-4 all-time against Ohio State, with the teams scheduled to meet in a home-and-home series at Ohio Stadium in 2022 and Notre Dame Stadium in 2023.
- Will Fuller's 81-yard touchdown reception at 11:27 of the fourth quarter was the 15th Notre Dame scoring play of at least 50 yards this season, which is believed to be a school record for a single season. The Irish also finished with seven offensive plays of at least 70 yards to set the national pace, with Fuller's touchdown catch registering as the second longest receiving score in the history of the BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl.
- Notre Dame logged at least one rushing touchdown (Josh Adams 98 yards against Wake Forest, C.J. Prosise 91 yards against Georgia Tech), one passing touchdown (DeShone Kizer 81 yards to Fuller against Ohio State), and one return touchdown (C.J. Sanders 93-yard kickoff return against Stanford) in excess of 80 yards in the same season for the first time in program history in 2015.
- Fuller and Kizer connected on three touchdown passes in excess of 70 yards this season; a 75-yard touchdown strike against USC, a 73-yard hookup at Stanford and Fuller's career-long 81-yard catch and run against Ohio State.
- Notre Dame's 28 points scored on Friday against Ohio State marked the 12th time in 13 games this season that the Irish went over the 20-point plateau. The only opponent to hold Notre Dame under 20 points was Boston College during a 19-16 Irish victory in the Shamrock Series at Fenway Park in Boston.
- Notre Dame accumulated 405 yards of total offense on 70 plays from scrimmage. The Irish gained 400 or more total offensive yards in 12 of their 13 starts this season, surpassing the mark in every game except for the Senior Day contest against Wake Forest at Notre Dame Stadium.
- Notre Dame finished Friday's game a perfect 3-for-3 in offensive red zone opportunities, cashing in for a touchdown on all three chances inside the Ohio State 20-yard line. Along with the Shamrock Series game against Boston College and the regular season finale at Stanford, the Irish converted their final nine offensive red zone trips this season (five touchdowns, four field goals).
- All three Notre Dame losses this season (at Clemson, at Stanford and against Ohio State on Friday) were against teams that are probable top seven finishers in the final major national college football polls.
- With the addition of Nick Watkins against Ohio State, the Irish started 38 players this fall, including 20 on offense and 18 on defense.
- Friday's attendance of 71,123 was a sell out. Every Notre Dame game this year officially sold out.
- Of the 22 stadiums that have hosted a Super Bowl, University of Phoenix Stadium is the 14th to also host Notre Dame football. The Irish have played in 13 of the 31 current NFL stadiums, including at least one in each of the last eight years.
- DeShone Kizer's one-yard touchdown run just before halftime was his 10th of the season, breaking the school record by a quarterback of nine set by Tony Rice in 1988 and matched by Rick Mirer in 1991.
- Josh Adams eclipsed the school's freshman rushing record on the first play of the third quarter, finishing the season with 835 yards on 117 carries (7.1 AVG/C) on the ground. Darius Walker held the old benchmark with 786 yards in 2004.
- Adams ran for his sixth touchdown of the season for Notre Dame's first score, scampering in from three yards out in the second quarter.
- Will Fuller's 81-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter was the longest catch of his Notre Dame career. It was Fuller's fifth career touchdown catch of at least 72 yards, with no other Irish player believed to have more than two such scoring receptions.
- Fuller's touchdown grab was the 30th of his career, making him just the second Notre Dame player in program history to haul in 30 or more receiving touchdowns (Michael Floyd, 37, 2008-11). Fuller also notched his 11th career 100-yard receiving effort with 113 yards on six catches, finishing in solo third place with seven games over the century mark during a single season in 2015.
- Joe Schmidt made his first interception of the season and the third of his career on Ohio State's first drive of the third quarter.
- Chris Brown had his fourth touchdown catch of the season in the third quarter. He had two in his career entering 2015.
- Jaylon Smith finished his Butkus Award-winning season with 114 tackles. He was the first Irish player with consecutive 100-tackle seasons since fellow Butkus Award winner Manti Te'o from 2010-12.
- Nick Watkins made his first career start Friday at cornerback.