Nov. 5, 2005
2005 Notre Dame Football In-Game Notes
Notre Dame 41, Tennessee 21
Weather information: Cloudy, 64 degrees, 75% humidity, winds out of the SE at nine mph. Forecast: 70% chance of showers and thunderstorms.
NOTRE DAME TEAM NOTES:
Notre Dame's captains this afternoon were senior Brandon Hoyte (defense), junior Brady Quinn (offense) and senior D.J. Fitzpatrick (special teams). The special team's captain is selected by the Irish coaching staff week-to-week. Hoyte and Quinn were selected as season-long captains by their teammates. Tennessee won the toss and elected to receive. Notre Dame defended the south goal.
The Notre Dame - Tennessee series is now tied at 4-4 and today marked the fourth meeting between the two teams in Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame also claims its second victory over Tennessee in Notre Dame Stadium, along with a 31-14 victory in 1978.
Notre Dame's 41 points scored in today's game mark the most for a Tennessee opponent this season. The previous high was 27 by LSU and Georgia. The Irish have now scored 31 or more points in seven of eight games this season (17 in a victory at Michigan was the lone exception) and six straight, marking the first time the Irish have scored 31 or more points in six straight games since the 1993 accomplished that feat seven times to end the regular season.
Notre Dame's 94-yard drive in the first quarter marked the team's longest since a 98-yard effort in the second quarter at Purdue earlier this season. It is the third 90-plus yard drive this season for the Irish (90 vs. Purdue, 98 vs. Purdue, 94 today).
Notre Dame is 20-12 all-time against teams from the Southeastern Conference. Sixteen of those games have been played against LSU (nine) and Tennessee (seven). Tennessee is the only SEC school the Irish have faced in the last seven years.
Charlie Weis is one of 19 Division I-A coaches who are coaching at their alma mater.
NOTRE DAME PLAYER NOTES:
Junior safety Tom Zbikowski has posted at least one touchdown return in Notre Dame's last three games played. He returned a punt 60 yards against USC, an interception 83 yards against BYU, a punt 78 yards and an interception 33 yards today (63.5 yards per play). Zbikowski becomes the first Notre Dame defensive player to post four touchdown returns in a span of three games.
Zbikowski joins UCLA's Maurice Drew (three) and Wisconsin's Brandon Williams (two) as the only players in the nation to have multiple punt returns for a touchdown this season (entering today's action).
Zbikowski also becomes the first Notre Dame player to return a punt for a touchdown twice in a season since Allen Rossum (1994-97) accomplished that feat three times in 1996. Rossum returned a punt 57 yards against Air Force, then returned two against Pittsburgh (55 and 83 yards).
Zbikowski piled up 118 punt return yards this afternoon, becoming the first Notre Dame player to post 100-plus punt return yards since Carlyle Holiday had 103 against Pittsburgh last season.
Zbikowski's sack in the second quarter (for a loss of 10) was the first of his career.
Junior QB Brady Quinn has thrown a touchdown pass in his last 13 games played (and started) for the Irish, extending his own school record. The Dublin, Ohio, native has totaled 31 scoring tosses during the run. Quinn's touchdown passes over the last 13 games: 2005 - 3 vs. Tennessee, 6 vs. BYU, 1 vs. USC, 3 at Purdue, 1 at Washington, 5 vs. Michigan State, 2 at Michigan, 2 at Pittsburgh 2004 - 2 vs. Oregon State (Insight Bowl), 1 at USC, 3 vs. Pittsburgh, 1 at Tennessee, 1 vs. Boston College
Quinn tossed his 23rd touchdown pass of the season today, extending his own school record. He is second all-time for career touchdown passes at Notre Dame with 49, behind Ron Powlus (1994-97) with 52.
Junior WR Jeff Samardzija's touchdown reception in the fourth quarter was his 12th this season, breaking Derrick Mayes' school record of 11 from 1994.
Samardzija also moved his school record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass to eight with his four-yard scoring grab. He has nabbed a touchdown pass in every Notre Dame game this season.
Samardzija's 73-yard reception in the third quarter is the longest of his career, besting his 55-yard grab at Purdue this season.
Senior Maurice Stovall's 35-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter was his sixth of the season and 13th of his career, putting him fifth on the all-time list behind Ken MacAfee (15, 1974-77) Jim Seymour (16, 1966-68), Tom Gatewood (19, 1969-71) and Derrick Mayes (22, 1992-95).
Senior Anthony Fasano's 43-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter marks his longest career reception, besting a 42-yard grab against Purdue in 2004. It is the first touchdown reception of the year for Fasano.