Saturday, April 24, 2010 1:35 p.m. EST
Notre Dame, Ind. Notre Dame Stadium (80,795)
Available through the Notre Dame athletics ticket office (574-631-7356). The cost is $12 for adults, $8 for youths (18 and under). Tickets purchased on gameday will cost $15 for adults, $10 for youths (18 and under).
The UND.com exclusive live stream will begin before kickoff, set for 1:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, with commentary provided by und.com's Jack Nolan and former Irish All-Americans Reggie Brooks and Mirko Jurkovic.
The live stream will also feature the debut of Actioncam at Notre Dame Stadium, an aerial camera performing a test-run for NBC Sports on Saturday for possible inclusion in Irish football coverage during the fall of 2010.
NewsTalk 960 WSBT-AM will air the game live with Darin Pritchett (play-by-play) and Rick Carter (analysis) calling the action.
This is the 81st annual Blue-Gold spring football event, Notre Dame's final controlled scrimmage of the 2010 spring season.
Much of the Blue-Gold crowd typically has been of the walk-up variety on gameday. The attendance when the game has been played at Notre Dame Stadium has been routinely at least 20,000 fans. Three of the five largest crowds have occurred in the last three years. Here are the five largest crowds in Blue-Gold game history:
PROCEEDS OF THE GAME
Proceeds from the Blue-Gold scrimmage benefit the scholarship fund of the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley, which is sponsoring Saturday's game.
RULES OF THE GAME
The Blue-Gold Game features a matchup of teams selected by the Fighting Irish coaching staff. Some players may play for both teams based on low numbers at certain positions and those players are mentioned on today's flip card. Both the Blue and the Gold teams will share the traditional home team sideline on the west side of Notre Dame Stadium.
The game will feature two 15-minute quarters in the first half and be played with normal clock rules. During the 15-minute halftime, the format for the second half will be decided by Notre Dame's coaching staff. Officials may stop the clock at their discretion at any time for injuries, measurements, etc. Prior to the game, a coin toss with captains from both teams will determine who starts with the ball and which end zone the defense will defend. During the 2010 season, Notre Dame will feature captains on a game-by-game basis and not have captains set for the entire year. Each team will be allowed three timeouts per half (clock will stop at each timeout).
At the start of each half and following a score by either team, kickoffs will not occur and the next series will begin on the 30-yard line. Punts will occur but will not be rushed and the receiving team will fair catch each punt. Field goals and point after touchdown attempts will be conducted but will not be rushed. Quarterbacks will wear a red jersey signifying they should not be touched and other players such as outside linebacker Darius Fleming, wide receiver Theo Riddick and tight end Kyle Rudolph might also be protected.
A special VIP Brunch ticket offers fans a full day of activities with the Irish, including joining the squad for its pregame meal. The brunch will be held at 9:00 a.m. EST in the Joyce Center Fieldhouse (doors open at 8:15 a.m.). All those attending the brunch also will have exclusive access to an autograph session with the current players from 9:45-10:30 a.m. in the north dome.
There will be approximately 100 seats available in the Notre Dame Stadium press box where fans can have the same view as media covering Irish football. Fans seated in the press box receive a game program as well as the same press box lunch fare served to media (hot dogs, soup, popcorn, soft drinks). The press box is available any time after 11:00 a.m.
Finish on the 50 - a 5K fun run sponsored by Alumni Hall to benefit Hannah and Friends begins at 8:00 a.m. The race is open to students from Notre Dame, Saint Mary's and Holy Cross and finishes on the 50-yard line of Notre Dame Stadium.
A free-to-all interactive fan fest will take place from 10:00 a.m. 1:30 p.m. in the Joyce Center South parking lot.
Former Notre Dame football players will take part in a flag football game in Notre Dame Stadium at 11:30 a.m. prior to the Blue-Gold contest.
OTHER WEEKEND EVENTS AT NOTRE DAME Friday, April 23
Men's and Women's Tennis in BIG EAST Championships - Courtney Tennis Center (Tickets Required)
Women's Soccer vs. Mexican National Team - Alumni Stadium, 5:00 p.m. (Tickets Required)
Baseball vs. Cincinnati - Frank Eck Stadium, 6:05 p.m. (Tickets Required)
Men's Soccer vs. Mexican National Team - Alumni Stadium, approximately 7:15 p.m. (Tickets Required)
Saturday, April 24
Finish on the 50 - a 5K Fun Run sponsored by Alumni Hall to benefit Hannah and Friends - 8:00 a.m. (interested donors can contact Hannah and Friends at 574-273-9824 or firstname.lastname@example.org to sponsor students running in the race) - Race will finish inside Notre Dame Stadium
Fan Fest opens on Irish Green - 10:00 a.m.
Stadium Gates open at 11:00 a.m.
Football Alumni Flag Football Game - 11:30 a.m. (Blue-Gold Game ticket is required to attend)
Men's and Women's Tennis in BIG EAST Championships - Courtney Tennis Center (Tickets Required)
Softball vs. Villanova - Melissa Cook Stadium, 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. (Free with Blue-Gold Game ticket stub)
Baseball vs. Cincinnati - Frank Eck Stadium, 3:30 p.m. (Free with Blue-Gold Game ticket stub)
Sunday, April 25
Men's and Women's Tennis in BIG EAST Championships - Courtney Tennis Center (Tickets Required)
Softball vs. Villanova - Melissa Cook Stadium, 11:00 a.m. (Free with Blue-Gold Game ticket stub)
Baseball vs. Cincinnati - Frank Eck Stadium, 1:05 p.m. (Free with Blue-Gold Game ticket stub)
KELLY'S WINNING WAYS
Since 2007, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly has compiled the fourth-most wins of any active NCAA FBS coach. In the past three seasons alone, Kelly has gone on to win 33 contests (33-6 overall) to tie him with Nick Saban over that span. The only coaches ahead of Kelly in that time frame are Chris Peterson of Boise State (36), Mack Brown of Texas (35) and Urban Meyer of Florida (35).
Along with being near the top in outright wins, Kelly also sits alone in fourth place in win percentage amongst FBS coaches. With his 33-6 mark, he holds a .846 winning percentage over the past three years. Peterson (.900), Brown (.897) and Meyer (.854) rank one, two and three respectively.
2010 NOTRE DAME OPPONENT UPDATE
Notre Dame once again played one of the nation's toughest schedules in 2009, as it faced eight teams that appeared in bowl games (Nevada, Michigan State, USC, Boston College, Navy, Pittsburgh, UConn and Stanford).
This season could prove to be just as tough as the Irish face seven teams that went to bowl games in 2009, including 2008 undefeated, Sugar Bowl champions and second-ranked Utah. Notre Dame also will play three teams that finished in the AP Top 25 (#15 Pittsburgh, #18 Utah, #22 USC).
THREE FOOTBALL STUDENT-ATHLETES APPROVED FOR FIFTH YEAR
Three seniors on the University of Notre Dame football team have been approved to return for a fifth year by the school's Faculty Board on Athletics.
Offensive center Dan Wenger, offensive guard Chris Stewart and wide receiver Barry Gallup have either already graduated or will graduate this May. Wenger and Gallup will be enrolled in the graduate studies program, while Stewart will be a first-year law student at Notre Dame.
RECRUITING CLASS OF 2010 FINISHES AT 22
Twenty-two high school seniors will have their names added to the University of Notre Dame's football roster and begin playing for the Irish in 2010.
The 22 student-athletes represent 12 different states - California (two), Colorado, Florida (four), Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois (two), Indiana, Kentucky (two), New Jersey, North Carolina (two), Ohio (four) and Utah.
As listed by position, Notre Dame adds four defensive backs (Chris Badger, Spencer Boyd, Austin Collinsworth, Lo Wood), three wide receivers (TJ Jones, Bennett Jackson, Daniel Smith), three defensive linemen (Louis Nix, Kona Schwenke, Justin Utupo), three offensive linemen (Christian Lombard, Tate Nichols, Bruce Heggie), three quarterbacks (Andrew Hendrix, Luke Massa, Tommy Rees), two athletes (Danny Spond, Derek Roback), two linebackers (Kendall Moore, Prince Shembo), one running back (Cameron Roberson) and one tight end (Alex Welch).
Two returning veterans have changed jersey numbers for the 2010 spring season. Junior defensive tackle Ethan Johnson has donned No. 90, while sophomore wide receiver Robby Toma will sport No. 19.
Notre Dame sophomore offensive tackle Zack Martin and Toma each had their first names incorrectly listed in 2009. Martin's first name is correctly spelled Zack (not Zach) and Toma's first name is correctly spelled Robby (not Roby).
A trio of Irish players underwent position changes during spring practice. Sophomore wide receiver Theo Riddick moved from running back and senior linebacker Steve Paskorz returned to the position after two years at fullback. Senior offensive tackle Lane Clelland opened spring practice at defensive end, but has since returned to his original position.
IRISH RETURN 42 MONOGRAM WINNERS, 15 STARTERS
Notre Dame opened spring practice with 42 returning monogram winners from 2009 - 21 on offense, 18 on defense and three on special teams.
The Irish return six offensive starters and nine defensive starters. According to Phil Steele, only Boise State, Idaho and Syracuse have more returning starters than Notre Dame's nine.
THE EARLY BIRD GETS THE WORM
Five members of the 2010 Irish recruiting class (22 total players) were granted early enrollee status and began training and practicing with the team at the beginning of the spring semester.
The five early enrollees is the largest group that Notre Dame has admitted since it first allowed mid-year enrollees in 2006.
WALK-ON PLAYERS JOIN THE IRISH SQUAD THIS SPRING
Three walk-on Irish players also have been added to the 2010 spring roster. Junior punter Pat Kramer (Akron, Ohio/Archbishop Hoban HS) is wearing No. 36, while junior safety Chris Salvi (Lake Forest, Ill./Carmel Catholic HS) is sporting No. 33. Senior linebacker Evan Wray (Kettering, Ohio/Fairmount HS) has been issued No. 65.
FLOYD IN THE NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT
While junior WR Michael Floyd did not play in enough games in 2009 to be eligible for the NCAA season rankings, he is listed on the active career charts in receiving yards per game and receptions per game. Floyd's 84.1 yards receiving per game leads the nation amongst returning starters for the 2010 football season, while his 5.1 catches per game ranks him fourth-best of returning FBS receivers, behind only Tyron Carrier (6.3) and Patrick Edwards (6.0), both of Houston, along with Ryan Broyles (5.4) of Oklahoma. With eight more receptions, Floyd will also qualify for the average yards per catch category where currently he also sits in fourth place at 16.5 yds/catch.
Had Floyd met the NCAA requirement of playing in 75 percent of the team's games in 2009 his 113.6 yards per game would have ranked sixth nationally. Floyd and Golden Tate would have been the only receiving tandem to rank top 10 nationally in that statistic. His 18.1 yards per catch would have also earned him 12th place on the NCAA season leader list as well.
Floyd led all FBS wideouts in the nation with a 29.09 yards per catch average and was tied for the nation's lead in receiving touchdowns with four (among NCAA qualifying receivers) before suffering a broken collarbone in the second quarter of Notre Dame's 33-30 victory over Michigan State.
Floyd has played in 18 career games, and in two of them (at Navy in 2008 and vs. Michigan State in 2009), he missed most of the action following an injury. Yet, Floyd has nine career 100-yard receiving games over the other 16 games played.
Floyd has 16 career receiving touchdowns in just 18 games for Notre Dame. He is tied with Jim Seymour (1966-68) for seventh on the all-time Notre Dame receiving touchdowns list. His nine receiving touchdowns in 2009 rank tied for eighth-best in single-season Irish history.
Floyd recorded four catches for 189 yards and three touchdowns in the 35-0 rout of Nevada. He averaged 47.3 yards per reception, which broke the previous school record of 41.6 yards per catch by Jim Morse against USC on Nov. 26, 1955. Floyd was named College Football Performance Awards Performer of the Week.
Floyd became the fourth Irish wideout to ever post two career receptions of over 70 yards and the first to ever accomplish the feat in the same game. Nick Eddy had 74 and 91 yard catches during the 1964 season, Tim Brown had 84 and 77 yard receptions in 1986 and Jeff Samardzija had 73 and 80 yard grabs during 2005.
At the time, his 189 yards receiving were the most for an Irish player since Jeff Samardzija totaled 191 against Stanford on Nov. 26, 2005 and ninth most in single-game school history.
Floyd set a new career-high for longest reception when he raced 88 yards for a touchdown with 10:12 left in the third quarter against Nevada. The 88-yard reception was the third longest in Notre Dame football history and longest since Nov. 7, 1981 when Blair Kiel found Joe Howard for a school record 96 yards.
Floyd not only became the first Irish freshman to register a touchdown catch in a season opener (2008), but also became the first freshman to register Notre Dame's first points of a season by TD. Floyd had 48 receptions for 719 yards last year. He established new school records for receptions (48), receiving yards (719) and receiving touchdowns (7) by an Irish freshman. He also set a freshman record with 10 receptions against Pittsburgh on Nov. 1, 2008.
Floyd was the fourth different rookie in the last 20 years whose first career catch was a TD. The others were Raghib "Rocket" Ismail and Derek Brown in 1988 and Derrick Mayes in 1992 - mighty impressive company for Floyd to join.
RETURN OF THE MACK (EY) AWARD SEMIFINALIST
TE Kyle Rudolph's return for the 2010 season makes him the only member of the eight announced semifinalist's for the 2009 Mackey Award to come back for another year. Last season, Rudolph had racked up 364 yards and three touchdowns on 33 receptions before suffering a shoulder injury against Navy and not recording a catch in the team's final three games (only one of which he suited up for). He posted his breakout game, to date, in an Irish uniform against Michigan State when he hauled in six catches for 95 yards, which were both career highs.
Rudolph is also working his way into the record books among Irish tight ends. His 62 career receptions places him in a tie for fifth place along with Derek Brown and Dean Masztak, while his 704 reception yards puts him just behind seventh place Mark Bavaro's 771 yards.
The Irish defensive line struggled mightily over the first four games of the season. The group managed just 52 tackles (13.0 per game) and three sacks against Nevada, Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue. In their last eight outings against Washington, USC, Boston College, Washington State, Navy, Pittsburgh, UConn and Stanford, the group has amassed 147 tackles (18.4 per game) and 12 sacks.
In the matchup with the Trojans, the Irish defensive line totaled 18 tackles, 3.0 sacks, 5.0 TFL, three quarterback hurries and one pass breakup. The linebackers collected 16 tackles, 1.0 sack, 1.0 TFL, and two QB hurries.
Against Boston College, the Irish defensive line totaled 20 tackles, 1.5 TFL, eight quarterback hurries and one fumble recovery. The linebackers collected 19 tackles, 3.5 TFL, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, one interception, one pass breakup and two QB hurries.
In the victory over the Eagles, Notre Dame's top four tacklers --all linebackers and linemen, not safeties - registered 28 tackles. Freshman LB Manti Te'o led the charge with nine, junior NT Ian Williams had seven, and sophomore DE Kapron Lewis-Moore and junior LB Brian Smith made six apiece.
In the rout of Washington State, the front four totaled 18 tackles, four sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss. Lewis-Moore led the Irish defense in stops with five.
The front four totaled 31 tackles, 2.0 for loss and one sack against Navy.
NOTRE DAME'S FRONT SEVEN FOLLOWED ALONG
Notre Dame's defensive backs totaled 51.6% (141 of 273) of the tackles on the opposition's offensive plays over the first five games of the season. Over the last seven games, Notre Dame's front seven has totaled 60.6% (251 of 414) of the tackles, while the secondary has totaled 39.4% (163 of 414).
Notre Dame senior running back Armando Allen enters his final collegiate career as one of the most versatile running backs in Irish history. Allen has not only rushed for 1,630 yards in his career, but hauled in 102 receptions for 695 yards, added 1,247 yards on kickoff returns and added another 66 yards on punt returns. In all, Allen has totaled 3,638 all-purpose yards in his career.
Allen did not participate in enough games to qualify (missed the Purdue, Washington State, Navy and Stanford games due to an ankle injury), but would have ranked among the top FBS running backs in the nation in rushing yards per game (87.1, 41st) and yards per rush (4.91, t-66th). He would have also ranked 70th in the nation in all-purpose yards per game (114.1).
Allen needs just 644 yards rushing to move into the top 10 all-time at Notre Dame.
Allen became the second running back in Notre Dame history to eclipse 100 career receptions. His 102 career receptions rank second-best in career history for Notre Dame running backs. He trails Darius Walker (109, 2004-06) for the school record. Allen also ranks seventh all-time in career receiving yards by an Irish running back.
Allen was the 11th player in Irish history to ever record 3,000 career all-purpose yards. He now stands in ninth place on the Notre Dame career list.
The kicking tandem of sophomore Nick Tausch and senior David Ruffer put together one of the most accurate kicking seasons in Notre Dame history in 2009. Tausch connected on 14 consecutive field goals - a Notre Dame school record. The previous school record was held by Mike Johnston, who made 13 straight during the 1982 season. He not only equaled the scholl record for field goals in a game with five against Washington, but became the first place kicker to register five field goals in a game without a miss.
Tausch finished the season 14-of-17 on field goals. He finished in a tie for fifth in single-season history for field goals made.
Ruffer served as the Irish place kicker over the final three games of the 2009 season and converted all five of his attempts, including a pair of career-long 42-yard kicks at Pittsburgh and Stanford.
The two combined to hit 19-of-22 field goals on the season.
IRISH IN THE BRIGHT LIGHTS AND BIG CITY, TWICE
Notre Dame will play a pair of games in the greater New York City metropolitan area in 2010. The Irish will travel to the $1.3 billion dollar New Meadowlands Stadium on Oct. 23 to face Navy. Notre Dame and the Midshipmen met five times in the previous Meadowlands Stadium, including 2004. The Irish will also participate in the first football game inside the New Yankee Stadium on Nov. 20 against Army. Notre Dame and the Cadets have a long history of playing in New York. They met 22 times at old Yankee Stadium, facing each other annually from 1925-46, except for 1930, and again in 1969 in the 100th anniversary of college football. They also played at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn (1923), the Polo Grounds in Manhattan (1924) and Shea Stadium in Queens (1965).
Notre Dame has never played multiple games in the NYC area in the same season.
LOCAL YOUTHS EARN SCHOLARSHIPS
The Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley annually distrubtes scholarship money to area seniors that will attend the University of Notre Dame. The following list is of those students who will receive scholarship aid from the club: Jarrod Buchanan, Clay; Conor Dorgan, Penn; Phillip Dudeck, Marian; Lara Golebiewski, Northridge; Gabriel Griggs, Trinity; Patrick Grimmer, La Lumiere; Adam Harshbarger, Lakeshore; Sydney Hofferth, St.Joseph's; Charles Logue, St. Joseph's; Donnie MacDonnell, St. Joseph's; JoHanna Manningham, Penn; Elizabeth Nuter, Lake Michigan Catholic; Katherine Schmitt, St. Joseph's; Justin Yoder, Northridge.
ROBOTIC BLUE-GOLD GAME SCHEDULED FOR FRIDAY
Instead of three yards and a cloud of dust, it will be more like five feet and the soft whir of sophisticated robotic machinery when the University of Notre Dame's second annual Robotic Football Blue-Gold game takes place Friday (April 23) at 7 p.m. in Stepan Center.
The "game" serves as the final requirement for "Mechanical Engineering Senior Design," a capstone course that is the culmination of the mechanical engineering curriculum in a design, build and test experience.
A total of 67 senior mechanical engineering design students were divided into blue and gold squads that designed and constructed about 10 robots per team. The "players" include linemen, running backs, wide receivers, quarterbacks and, new this year, kickers. The robots are roughly the size of printers and are equipped with sensors that flash different colors when players are hit, tackled or injured.
The game consists of two 15-minute halves and one 10-minute halftime. The rules of the game are those for 8-man football, modified for mechanical play. The players are semi-autonomous and controlled by student designers with remote controllers.
The winning team in the game will receive the Brian Hederman Memorial Robotic Competition Award. Hederman was a Notre Dame student who suffered an untimely death after his freshman year in 1995. The award plaque is inspired by a drawing he left behind.