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    FIGHTING IRISH

    FIGHTING IRISH

    Nov. 30, 2008

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    TURNOVERS, AGAIN

    • Notre Dame's turnover difficulties continued in today's opening half against USC. The Irish turned it over twice (two interceptions).
    • The Irish turned it over a third time late in the fourth quarter, but added a third forced turnover.
    • The Irish now have a minus-17 turnover margin in their six games away from Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame has forced five turnovers (Michigan State, Navy and three against USC), while the Irish have committed 22 turnovers along the way, including a pair of five turnover games (Boston College and North Carolina).
    • Notre Dame did force three USC turnovers tonight. The Irish had forced just two turnovers on the road all season prior to tonight.
    • The Irish were minus-five in turnover margin against Boston College, which was the identical spread Notre Dame found itself against North Carolina earlier this season. Notre Dame has registered a minus-five effort in the turnover department just three times since the start of the 2002 season and two have come in the last four games.

    IRISH DEFENSE GETTING OFF TO A FAST START

    • USC's first quarter touchdown was the first allowed by the Notre Dame defense in the opening quarter since Sept. 27 against Purdue.
    • In fact, Notre Dame has allowed just 16 points in the first quarter over its last seven games.
    • The Trojans' two second-quarter touchdowns were the fourth and fifth offensive scores allowed by the Notre Dame defense in the opening half over its last eight games. The Irish defense has surrendered just 44 total first half points over the past six games.

    JUST FOR STARTERS

    YOUNG PUPS

    • Notre Dame started eight different players on offense that will have at least two years of eligibility remaining after this season.
    • The Irish started five different players on defense that will have at least two years of eligibility remaining after this season.
    • That does not include both freshman WR Michael Floyd and sophomore LB Brian Smith (regular starters) who each missed the game with injury.
    • Notre Dame was led in tackles by a freshman (DB Robert Blanton). The Irish had another freshman (DE Ethan Johnson) was third with five stops. Sophomore DB Gary Gray (did not play last year as a rookie) also had five tackles and his second career interception.
    • The Irish scored 32 touchdowns this season and 26 have come from either freshmen or sophomores. The only touchdowns scored this season by upper classmen were junior RB James Aldridge (3), senior WR David Grimes (2) and junior Toryan Smith (1).
    • The 26 of 32 touchdowns by underclassmen does not include sophomore QB Jimmy Clausen, who has tossed 20 touchdown passes this season.

    NOTRE DAME'S RECORD WHEN...

     2008Weis Era 2008Weis Era
    On The Road 1-411-8Coming off a loss2-28-11
    Opponent is ranked higher0-23-10In November1-411-7
    On Television6-6 28-21On ESPN0-22-4
    Night Games 1-26-5Opponent Scores First2-39-14
    Trailing At Halftime0-3 4-16Trailing After 3 Qtrs.1-35-16
    Scoring 0-19 Points0-32-12 Allowing 30+ Points0-22-15
    Getting Outrushed2-6 14-21Passing For Fewer Yds3-17-9
    Getting Outgained2-2 9-13Losing Time of Poss.1-47-15
    Fewer Penalty Yards2-412-13Winning Turnover Battle3-319-8
    Opponent 200-yard passer3-2 12-11

    TODAY'S LOSS...

    • Makes Notre Dame 6-6 on the season.
    • Denies the Irish their first victory over a top 10 opponent since No. 3 Michigan (17-10) on Sept. 10, 2005
    • Denies Notre Dame its first victory over a top 10 opponent away from Notre Dame Stadium since No. 3 Michigan (17-10) on Sept. 10, 2005.
    • Gives the Irish a six-game losing streak against top 10 foes.
    • Drops Notre Dame's all-time record to 39-54-5 (.423) all-time against teams ranked in the top five.
    • Drops the Irish to 11-23-1 (.329) all-time on the road against teams ranked in the top five.
    • Extends USC's winning streak to seven games in the all-time series.
    • Extends the Trojans winning streak to four games at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
    • Drops Notre Dame to 42-33-5 (.556) in the all-time series with the Trojans.
    • Drops the Irish to 17-21-4 (.452) in the all-time series with USC in Los Angeles.
    • Drops Weis' Notre Dame record to 28-21 (.571) overall, 0-4 against USC and 8-4 against Pac-10 foes.
    • Drops Weis' record to 4-10 (.286) against teams ranked in the top 25.
    • Drops Weis' Notre Dame road record to 11-8 (.579).
    • Drops Weis' Notre Dame record to 11-7 (.611) in November games.
    • Drops Weis' Notre Dame record to 8-11 (.421) following a defeat.
    • Drops an unranked Notre Dame squad to 11-10-1 (.523) all-time against USC.
    • Drops an unranked Notre Dame squad to 5-7-1 (.423) all-time against the Trojans in Los Angeles.
    • Drops an unranked Notre Dame squad to 5-8-1 (.393) all-time against a ranked USC team.
    • Drops an unranked Notre Dame squad to 3-6-1 (.350) all-time against a ranked Trojans team in Los Angeles.
    • Drops Weis' record to 6-5 (.545) in night games.
    • Drops Notre Dame's all-time record to 830-282-42 (.737).
    • Drops Notre Dame's all-time record on the road to 290-141-22 (.687).
    • Drops Notre Dame's all-time record against the Pac-10 to 80-42-6 (.648).
    • Drops Notre Dame's all-time road record against the Pac-10 to 32-25-1 (.560).
    • Drops Notre Dame's all-time record in the regular season finale to 64-44-12 (.583)

    IRISH ITEMS James Aldridge, Jr., RB

    • Registered all 51 yards of Notre Dame's scoring drive early in the fourth quarter.
    • The 51 yards all came via the ground.
    • Finished the evening with 58 yards on 12 carries.

    Mike Anello, Sr., DB

    • Registered his team-best 23rd special teams tackle on Notre Dame's first punt.
    • He is tied for 10th on the Irish in tackles with 23, including 15 solo stops, remarkable when you consider he plays exclusively on special teams.
    • Anello left the field on a cart after the tackle with an apparent injury.
    • Prior to the injury, Notre Dame's opponents had a total of 72 punt (22) or kickoff (50) returns in 2008 and Anello has registered a tackle on 23 of those 72 opportunities

    Robert Blanton, Fr., DB

    • Registered his second career interception early in the first quarter.
    • Recorded a career-high seven tackles.

    David Bruton, Sr., FS

    • Finished the evening with five tackles which gives him 93 for the season. That ranks third best in single-season Notre Dame defensive backs history.
    • He also moved into fourth place on the all-time tackles list by an Irish defensive back with 210.

    Jimmy Clausen, So., QB

    • He closes the regular season with 246 completions, 414 pass attempts, 2,771 yards and 20 touchdowns. He ranks third in single-season Notre Dame history in all three categories.
    • He also now stands fifth in career completions with 374, fifth in career attempts with 659, ninth in career passing yards with 4,025 and seventh in career passing touchdowns with 27.

    Maurice Crum, Jr., Sr., LB

    • His 47 career starts are the second most on record in Notre Dame history. Former SS Tom Zbikowski (2004-07) heads the list with 48 career starts.
    • He now ranks eighth all-time in Irish history with 304 career tackles.

    Ethan Johnson, Fr., DE

    • Picked up his third sack of the season.
    • Finished with a career-best five tackles.

    Eric Maust, Jr., P

    • Registered a season-long and career-long tying 54-yard punt early in the second quarter.
    • He then added a 50-yard boot midway through the second quarter.
    • It was his seventh punt of over 50 yards this season and ninth of his career.
    • Punted eight times on the night for 323 yards (good for a 40.4 per kick average).

    Kyle McCarthy, Sr., LB

    • Became the first Notre Dame defensive back to ever reach 100 tackles in a single season.
    • The previous school record for tackles by an Irish defensive back was 98 by Chinedum Ndukwe (2006).
    • Registered his second interception of the season and third of his career midway through the third quarter.
    • He now has 103 tackles on the season.

    Golden Tate, So., WR

    • Finished the evening with two catches for 15 yards.
    • His 52 receptions this season rank 11th-best in Notre Dame single-season history.
    • His 903 receiving yards this season rank eight-best in single-season Irish history.

    Brandon Walker, So., PK

    • Connected on a 41-yard field goal with 11:45 to go in the fourth quarter.
    • The field goal is his 14th of the season, which is tied for the fifth-most in single-season school history (Nicholas Setta, 2002).
    • Since opening the season 1-of-7 on field goals, Walker has since made 13-of-17 on the year.

     

     

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