Music City Bowl Postgame Notes
Dec. 30, 2014
- Today's game is the seventh in school history that Notre Dame has won on a field goal as time expired. It last happened when D.J. Fitzpatrick connected from 40 yards out to sink Navy, 27-24, in 2003. It is the eighth time overall in school history that Notre Dame has won a game at the end of regulation, including Joe Montana's heroics in the 1979 Cotton Bowl, guiding the Irish back from a 23-point fourth quarter deficit to beat Houston, 35-34. Joe Unis kicked an extra point to win the game after Montana's eight-yard pass to Kris Haines.
- With the victory, Notre Dame evens its all-time bowl game record at 17-17. The Irish are now 6-5 against current SEC members in bowl games.
- Notre Dame takes charge of the all-time series with LSU, 6-5. This was the third bowl game meeting between the sides and Notre Dame's first win.
- Notre Dame won the battle of turnovers today, 1-0. The Irish had not won the battle of turnovers since topping Purdue 5-1 on Sept. 13 in the Shamrock Series game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Notre Dame went 4-0 this year when winning the turnover margin category.
- Notre Dame improves to 16-0 under Brian Kelly when not turning the ball over in a game.
- The 31 points scored by Notre Dame today tie for the most against LSU by a non-conference foe since Texas scored 35 in the 2003 Cotton Bowl. During the 2014 season, only Auburn (41) and Mississippi State (34) scored more points against LSU.
- Notre Dame's 263 rushing yards today are the most since rushing for 281 against Rice on Aug. 30. Only Auburn and Mississippi State (both 268) ran for more yards against the Tigers this year.
- The three-point scoring margin marked the closest bowl game involving the Irish since a 24-21 win over Texas A&M in the 1993 Cotton Bowl.
- Notre Dame has now blocked six kicks this year. The Irish entered bowl season ranked fifth nationally with five. Notre Dame last blocked six kicks in a single season in 2006.
- Holding LSU to 14 first half points marked Notre Dame's best performance through 30 minutes since holding No. 2 Florida State to 10 on Oct. 18 in Tallahassee.
- LSU became the first team to return a kickoff against Notre Dame for a TD since Michigan's Darryl Stonum in 2009. It is the first time the Irish have yielded a kickoff return TD in a bowl game and just the second return score of any kind in a bowl game joining a 45-yard Terrell Roberts punt return of Oregon State in the 2001 Fiesta Bowl, picking up a fumble by T.J. Houshmandzadeh.
- The 7:56 time of possession on Notre Dame's opening drive is its longest scoring drive of the season while the 15 plays ties a 15-play TD march against North Carolina (Oct. 11) for the longest scoring drive of the year.
- Today marked the 10th time in 13 games this year where Notre Dame scored first. The Irish are 32-11 under head coach Brian Kelly when scoring first and 6-4 in 2014.
- With the addition of Andrew Trumbetti today. 20 different Notre Dame players started a game on defense this year. Only three defensive players (DL Isaac Rochell, LB Jaylon Smith and CB Cole Luke) started all 13 games this year.
- Notre Dame only started two players today (TE Ben Koyack and CB Cody Riggs) who have no remaining eligibility.
- LP Field is the fourth NFL stadium that the Irish have played in this year, joining Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Stadium, MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey and FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. The Irish are now 4-0 this year in pro facilities. LP Field is the 11th current NFL stadium to play host to Notre Dame.
- The Irish continued a tradition began by Ara Parseghian and added last names to their uniforms for the bowl game. The tradition lay dormant following the 1987 Cotton Bowl but was revived for the 2008 Hawai'i Bowl and has continued since.
- Will Fuller's TD grab on the opening possession of the game was his 15th of the season, tying the Notre Dame single season record set by Jeff Samardzija in 2005 and matched by Rhema McKnight in 2006 and Golden Tate in 2009.
- Fuller ended the season with 1,094 receiving yards, surpassing Golden Tate's 1,080 in 2008 for Notre Dame's sophomore record. Fuller also set sophomore benchmarks this year for receptions (82) and receiving TDs (15).
- WR C.J. Prosise's 50-yard TD run is the longest rush by a Notre Dame WR since flanker Raghib "Rockey" Ismail ran 76 yards for a TD at Pitt on Oct. 28, 1990. Prosise had a play of at least 20 yards in nine of Notre Dame's 13 games this year.
- QB Malik Zaire had his second career rushing TD, the other coming at USC (Nov. 29) in Notre Dame's last outing.
- Zaire became the first left-handed starting quarterback in Irish history. Notre Dame is 16-6 since 1985 when a quarterback makes his first career start.
- Today marked the third game-winning field goal of Kyle Brindza's career inside of the final 3:03 of play. Brindza previously had late game-winning field goals against Purdue 0:07 left in 2012) and Arizona State (3:03 left in 2013).
- Brindza's field goal extended his school record to 57 career field goals.
- Brindza completes his Notre Dame career with 288 points, third-best in school history and second among kickers, trailing just long-time Tennessee Titan Craig Hentrich's 294.
- Three offensive players made their first career starts - TE Tyler Luatua, RT Mike McGlinchey and QB Malik Zaire.
- Freshman DE Andrew Trumbetti made his first career start today.