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    Game Notes vs. Pittsburgh (Oct. 9, 2010)

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    FIGHTING IRISH

    FIGHTING IRISH

    Oct. 9, 2010

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    TODAY'S VICTORY

    • Gives the Irish a record of 3-3 for the first time since 2001.
    • Gives Notre Dame its first victory over Pittsburgh since 2005.
    • Gives the Irish their first victory over Pittsburgh at Notre Dame Stadium since 2002.
    • Snaps the Panthers two-game winning streak in the series overall and two-game winning streak at Notre Dame Stadium.
    • Improves Notre Dame to 45-20-1 (.689) in the all-time series with Pittsburgh.
    • Improves the Irish to 20-10 (.667) in the all-time series with the Panthers in Notre Dame Stadium.
    • Improves Notre Dame to 57-24-1 (.701) all-time against the BIG EAST Conference.
    • Improves the Irish to 27-12 (.692) all-time against the BIG EAST Conference in home games.
    • Improves Notre Dame to 26-12 (.684) all-time against the BIG EAST Conference in Notre Dame Stadium.
    • Improves an unranked Notre Dame squad (post 1932) to 11-8 (.579) all-time against Pittsburgh.
    • Improves an unranked Irish squad (post 1932) to 5-4 (.556) all-time against the Panthers in Notre Dame Stadium.
    • Improves an unranked Notre Dame squad (post 1932) to 7-4 (.636) all-time against an unranked Pittsburgh squad.
    • Improves an unranked Irish squad (post 1932) to 4-2 (.667) all-time against an unranked Panthers squad in Notre Dame Stadium.
    • Improves Kelly's record to 174-60-2 (.742) overall, 56-25 (.691) at the FBS level and 36-9 (.800) over the last four seasons.
    • Improves Kelly's record to 18-4 (.818) all-time against BIG EAST Conference opponents.
    • Extends Kelly's personal winning streak against BIG EAST Conference foes to 13.
    • Improves Kelly's record to 3-1 (.750) all-time against Pittsburgh.
    • Improves Notre Dame's all-time record to 840-293-42 (.733).
    • Improves the all-time home record for the Irish to 455-115-13 (.792).
    • Improves Notre Dame's all-time record at Notre Dame Stadium to 308-103-5 (.746).

    NOTRE DAME VS. BIG EAST
    • Notre Dame has won over 70 percent of its games (57-24-1) vs. teams that currently make up the BIG EAST Conference, with 66 of those 82 games coming versus former independent Pittsburgh.
    • The Irish are 27-12 (.692) all-time at home against BIG EAST teams.
    • Notre Dame is 25-14 (.641) against BIG EAST teams since 1990, including a run of eight consecutive victories from 1995-98.

    NOTRE DAME - PITTSBURGH SERIES NOTES
    • Notre Dame has won 13 of the last 17 meetings with the Panthers, including two of the last three games in Heinz Field (20-14 on Oct. 11, 2003 and 42-21 on Sept. 3, 2005; 22-27 on Nov. 14, 2009), but Pittsburgh had upended the Irish, 41-38 and 36-33 (4ot), in the last two meetings in Notre Dame Stadium prior to today's game.
    • The Irish own a 20-10 record against the Panthers at Notre Dame Stadium and a 25-10-1 mark against Pittsburgh away from Notre Dame Stadium.
    • Notre Dame has won 27 of their last 36 contests against the Panthers, dating back to 1964 (Ara Parseghian's first as Notre Dame's head coach).
    • Over the last 17 games in the series, Notre Dame has outscored the Panthers 592-310, topping the 30-point mark 11 times in that span and producing an average score of 34.8-18.2.
    • Notre Dame is 74-33-3 (.686) all-time against schools from the state of Pennsylvania, with the Pittsburgh series accounting for more than half of the games played (66) and the Irish victories (45).
    • Since 1990, the Irish are 7-1 against Pittsburgh when the Panthers finish the game with more passing yards than Notre Dame.
    • Since 1990, the Irish have scored 40 or more points a total of 51 times and six have come against Pittsburgh. That number is the second most against any opponent during that time frame, as Notre Dame has accomplished the feat seven times against Navy.
    • Since 1990, Notre Dame has committed fewer turnovers than Pittsburgh in a head-to-head matchup eight times and the Irish are 7-1 in those games (the only defeat came in 2008 when Notre Dame forced three turnovers and did not commit one).
    • Since 1990, Notre Dame is 9-0 against Pittsburgh when an Irish runner scores multiple rushing touchdowns and just 2-3 when no one scores more than one.
    • Since 1990, the Irish and Panthers have faced off in years ending with an odd number eight times, and Notre Dame is 6-2 in those contests. The Irish are 5-2 in years ending with an even number.
    • Since 1990, Notre Dame is 9-0 against Pittsburgh when at least one Irish runner reaches the century mark in terms of rushing yards and just 2-3 when none do.

    NOTRE DAME - PITTSBURGH SERIES HISTORY
    • Today's matchup was the 66th meeting between Notre Dame and Pittsburgh, with the Irish holding a 45-20-1 series lead.
    • The teams first played in 1909, '11 and '12 (all at Pittsburgh's legendary Forbes Field), with Notre Dame picking up two wins and a tie and shutting out Pittsburgh in all three contests. The series resumed from 1930-37 before taking a five-year break. It picked up again from 1943-54, took 1955 off, and then played every year in a 23 season stretch (1956-78) before taking a four-year hiatus in the series. The Irish and Panthers met in 1982 and '83, every season from 1986-92, and then 1996, '97, '99, 2001-05 and '08-'09.
    • Notre Dame and Pittsburgh have met in 56 of the last 68 seasons (including 2010), with no gaps in the series of more than three years during that 68-year period.

    MISCELLANEOUS NOTES
    • Notre Dame won the coin toss and elected to receive. The Panthers will defend the South end zone.
    • Captains for the game were senior LB Kerry Neal and junior OG Trevor Robinson.
    • Official attendance was 80,795.
    • Saturday was the 216th consecutive sellout at Notre Dame Stadium. Since 1966, every home football game for the Irish has been a sellout except one - a 1973 Thanksgiving Day game vs. Air Force. Notre Dame has now played in front of sellouts in 264 of its last 265 home games.
    • Pittsburgh became the first Notre Dame opponent to score on its opening drive of the game. In fact, the Panthers were the last team to accomplish the feat. Pittsburgh kicked a field goal on its initial drive of the 2009 contest.
    • Notre Dame was four of six on third down in the first half. In fact, the Irish were a perfect three of three on third down conversions during their 15-play, 80-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter.
    • Notre Dame led 17-3 at halftime. The Irish also led 17-3 at halftime in the last meeting with Pittsburgh in Notre Dame Stadium (2008).

    NOTRE DAME TOUCHDOWN MARCH
    • Notre Dame answered Pittsburgh's field goal in the first quarter with a 13-play, 77-yard touchdown drive to grab a 7-3 lead. The scoring drive lasted 4:50, which was the longest scoring drive of the season in terms of time of possession at the time. It topped the touchdown drive in the third quarter at Boston College last week that took 4:44 off the game clock. The 13 play scoring drive also tied for the second longest drive in terms of plays in 2009 (the aforementioned drive against Boston College took 14 plays). The Irish also had a 13-play touchdown drive to open the contest against Michigan on Sept. 11 earlier this season.
    • However, Notre Dame surpassed each total on its next touchdown drive. The Irish went 80 yards on 15 plays and used 6:23. The 15-play march was the longest for Notre Dame since they registered a 17-play drive that resulted in no points against USC on Oct. 20, 2007. It was the longest scoring drive in terms of plays since the Irish went 19 plays and kicked a field goal against UCLA on Oct. 21, 2006.
    • Notre Dame has had just one touchdown drive longer than 6:23 dating back to the start of the 2009 season. The Irish had a touchdown drive that lasted 6:40 against the Panthers in 2009.
    • Interestingly enough, Notre Dame surpassed its previous long drive in terms of time of possession on three straight touchdown drives over last week's Boston College game and today's contest with Pittsburgh.

    IRISH DEFENSE STIFFENS IN THE RED ZONE
    • Notre Dame's defense has stiffened when opposing teams have entered the red zone to this point of the season. Of 19 trips opponents have made inside the Irish 20-yard line, only seven have resulted in touchdowns. In fact, the Irish have allowed just three touchdowns on their opponents last 11 drives into the red zone.
    • Pittsburgh entered the Notre Dame red zone on three separate occasions in the opening half and managed just one field goal.

    COMMON PLACE
    • Pittsburgh (66th meeting in '10) is the fifth-most common opponent in Irish football history, trailing four other '10 foes: Navy (83), Purdue (82), USC (81) and Michigan State (74).
    • The Irish have played 137 different teams in their 121 seasons of varsity football.

    NOTRE DAME IN OCTOBER
    • Notre Dame is 372-89-8 (.802) all-time in October.
    • The Irish are 229-47-4 (.825) in October home games.
    • Notre Dame is 107-36-3 (.743) in road games during October.
    • The Irish are 36-6-1 (.849) in October neutral games.
    • Notre Dame is 25-6 (.806) overall and 13-3 (.813) at Notre Dame Stadium all-time against Pittsburgh in October.

    Armando Allen, Sr., RB
    • Allen moved past Raghib Ismail (4,187; 1988-90) into fifth-place on the all-time Notre Dame all-purpose yards list following a six-yard run early in the first quarter.

    Dayne Crist, Jr., QB
    • Crist connected with Floyd on a one-yard touchdown reception with 2:36 to go in the first quarter to give the Irish a 7-3 lead. The touchdown pass was Crist's 11th of 2009 and 12th of his career.
    • Crist has thrown a touchdown pass in all six of Notre Dame's games this season and each of his last seven games in an Irish uniform (which includes the 2009 game against Washington State).
    • Crist scampered 10 yards with 8:25 remaining in the first half to give Notre Dame a 14-3 lead. The touchdown run was Crist's third of the year and third of his career.
    • Crist recorded a career-best 12 consecutive completions. The 12 straight completions is tied for the third-longest in school history. It is the longest streak by a Notre Dame quarterback since Brady Quinn connected on 14 straight passes against Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 2, 2006.

      Consecutive Completions - Game

      1. Ron Powlus vs. Michigan State, Sept. 20, 199714
      Brady Quinn vs. Ohio St., (Fiesta Bowl), Jan. 2, 200614
      3. Dayne Crist vs. Pittsburgh, Oct. 9, 201012
      Jarious Jackson vs. Navy, Nov. 14, 199812
      Brady Quinn vs. BYU, Oct. 22, 200512
    Michael Floyd, Jr., WR
    • Floyd hooked up with Crist on a one-yard touchdown reception with 2:36 to go in the first quarter to give the Irish a 7-3 lead. The touchdown catch was Floyd's third of the season and 19th of his career. He moved into a tie for fifth place with Tom Gatewood (1969-71) on the all-time Irish receiving touchdowns list.

      Touchdown Receptions - Career

      1. Jeff Samardzija 27 (2003-06)
      2. Golden Tate 26  (2007-09)
      3. Derrick Mayes  22 (1992-95)
      Rhema McKnight  22 (2002-06)
      5. Michael Floyd  19 (2008-)
      Tom Gatewood  19 (1969-71)
    TJ Jones, Fr., WR
    • Jones hooked up with Crist for 37 yards to help set up a Notre Dame field goal in the second quarter. The 37-yard grab was the second longest of Jones' brief career. He had a 53-yard touchdown catch against Michigan on Sept. 11.

    David Ruffer, Sr., PK
    • Ruffer connected on a 32-yard field goal with 3:22 remaining in the first half to give the Irish a 17-3 lead.
    • Ruffer drilled a career-long 50-yard field goal with 12:11 to go in the third quarter to give Notre Dame a 20-3 lead.
    • Ruffer connected on a 31-yard field goal with 9:06 left in the game to extend the Irish lead to 23-10.
    • Ruffer has now converted 16 straight field goals, which the longest streak in school history. Ruffer bested sophomore Nick Tausch's previous school record of 14 consecutive field goals earlier in the game.
    • Ruffer is 16 of 16 for his career in field goals. The 16 consecutive field goals to open a career is a school record. Mike Johnston (1982) held the previous school record of 13 straight field goals to open a career.
    • Ruffer has also connected on a field goal in nine straight games, each game in which he has served as the Irish place kicker (dating back to the Pittsburgh contest in 2009). The nine consecutive games with a field goal is the longest streak by a Notre Dame kicker since Nicholas Setta set the school record with a field goal in 16 straight games (2000-02).
    • Ruffer's 50-yard field goal is tied for the sixth-longest in school history. It was the longest field goal by an Irish player since D.J. Fitzpatrick booted a 50-yarder against Syracuse on Dec. 6, 2003. Ruffer became the sixth place kicker in school history to connect on a field goal of 50 yards or longer.

      Longest Field Goals In Notre Dame History

      Player (Opponent - Year)Yards
      Dave Reeve (Pittsburgh, 1976) 53
      Nicholas Setta (Maryland, 2002) 51
      John Carney (SMU, 1984) 51
      Harry Oliver (Michigan, 1980) 51
      Dave Reeve (Michigan State, 1977) 51
      David Ruffer (Pittsburgh, 2010) 50
      D.J. Fitzpatrick (Syracuse, 2003) 50
      Harry Oliver (Georgia, 1980) 50
      Harry Oliver (Navy, 1980) 50

    Harrison Smith, Jr., S
    • Smith picked off his second pass of the season and second of his career midway through the second quarter.
    • Smith has an interception in each of Notre Dame's last two games.

    Ben Turk, So., P
    • Turk recorded a 51-yard punt following Notre Dame's opening drive of the contest. He added another 51-yarder late in the third quarter. It was his third 50+ yard punt of the season and sixth of his career.
    • Turk entered today's game ranked 85th in the FBS with a net punting average of 36.52, but the sophomore punted five times this afternoon with a net average of 47.0 yards per punt.

     

     

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