The Date and Time: Saturday, Sept. 2, 2000, at 12:00 p.m. EST. The Site: Notre Dame Stadium (80,232/natural grass) in Notre Dame, Ind. The Tickets: They're all sold-with this game marking the 150th consecutive sellout in Notre Dame Stadium (the first 130 coming at the old 59,075 capacity). The A&M game marks the 198th home sellout in the last 199 games (back to 1964) and the 119th sellout in the last 138 games involving Notre Dame, including the first 10 games of 1998 and the first 11 in '99. The TV Plans: NBC Sports national telecast. The Radio Plans: For the 33rd consecutive season, all Notre Dame football games are broadcast nationally on radio by Mutual/Westwoood One with Tony Roberts (play by play) and Tom Pagna (game analysis) and Paul Hornung (pregame/halftime analysis). The Mutual Network includes more than 200 stations. A live broadcast from the Notre Dame student radio station, WVFI, is available through the Notre Dame athletic department web site at www.und.com. Real-Time Stats: Live in-game statistics are available during every Notre Dame home game, via the Notre Dame athletic website (www.und.com). Websites: Notre Dame (www.und.com), Texas A&M (www.AggieAthletics.com).
The Injury Update (as of Aug. 9)
Senior OG Jim Jones: Hamstring
Freshman DL Greg Pauly: Partially torn knee ligament-summer all-star game
THE KEY NOTES
Finally A Regular-Season Meeting: Notre Dame and Texas A&M will open the 2000 season with the first regular-season meeting between the schools ,with the limited series including three Cotton Bowl matchups (see pp. 3-7).
New Arrival: Texas A&M will be looking to win in its first visit to Notre Dame Stadium, something that just six previous teams have accomplished (see pp. 3).
For Openers: Notre Dame has won nearly 90 percent of its season openers, with several previous games vs. teams currently in the Big-12 Conference (see pp. 8-9).
Sellout Streak: The A&M game will mark the 150th consecutive sellout in Notre Dame Stadium while the Nebrask a game the following week represents the second-highest demanded game in the history of the ND alumni ticket lottery (see p. 13).
AWAY TICKETS AVAILABLE
Tickets for the Notre Dame-Navy football game to be played at noon on Oct. 14, 200 at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla., went on sale to the general public on June 15 ... tickets are $45 for reserved sideline seats, $35 for reserved end zone and corner seats ... tickets are available by visiting any Florida Ticketmaster outlet or by ordering on-line at www.ticketmaste.com or through the Florida Citrus Sports website at www.fcsports.com ... sideline seats also can be purchased as part of a Florida Citrus Sports Membership Package by calling (407) 423-2476.
Tickers are on sale for the Nov. 25 Notre Dame-USC game in Los Angeles through the Notre Dame ticket office ... tickets for the ND-USC game, to be played at the Los Angeles Coliseum, are $50 each ... contact the ticket office by calling (219) 631-7356 for information on purchasing tickets for both the Navy and USC games.
FRIDAY FOOTBALL KICKOFF LUNCHEONS
Tickets are available for the 2000 Notre Dame Football Kickoff Luncheons, beginning noon on Sept. 1 in the Joyce Center Fieldhouse (north dome). The luncheons will be held at the same day and time before every Irish home game this season. The 2000 football luncheons are sponsored by the Notre Dame Athletic Department and the speaking program each week includes a combination of special guests, head coach Bob Davie, members of his coaching staff and members of the Irish squad, in addition to video features. Tickets are $16 each (plus $3 handling charge per order) and are available by calling (219) 272-2870.
All 2000 pep rallies will be held in the Joyce Center Arena (south dome), with planned start times of 7:00 p.m.
HUNDREDS OF FORMER PLAYERS SET TO FORM PREGAME "TUNNEL"
Another Bob Davie-inspired tradition will continue with the season opener versus Texas A&M, as prior to the game the 2000 team will run through a tunnel comprised of former Irish football players (several hundred are expected to return). Davie wrote a letter to every former Notre Dame football player during the summer of 1997, with the University providing them with the opportunity to buy two tickets to the season opener and inviting them to be part of the tunnel ceremony. Nearly 250 Irish football alumni formed the tunnel prior to the 1997 opener versus Georgia Tech and approximately 300 former players formed the tunnel prior to the 1998 opener versus Michigan before returning again for the '99 opener vs. Kansas.
NOTRE DAME STADIUM EXPANDS AGAIN ... BY 220 SEATS
The capacity of Notre Dame Stadium will increase slightly to 80,232, beginning with the 2000 football season.
The increase of 220 represents field seats in the southwest corner of the Stadium being made available to Notre Dame alumni clubs to assists in their scholarship fund-raising efforts.
Notre Dame Stadium capacity for the 1998 and '99 seasons was 80.012-making the facility the15th largest in the country.
The 1997 first-season capacity of 80.225 was based on computerized projections made prior to the construction of the new seating areas ... prior to the 1997 expansion, the Stadium's official capacity was 59,075.
Former Notre Dame walk-on and current senior QB/TE Joe Recendez was elevated to scholarship status prior to the start of the 2000 season, as was junior CB Dwayne Francis ... current senior outside linebacker Anthony Brannan was elevated to scholarship status prior to the 1999 season.
Notre Dame's freshman practices included 18 scholarship players and two walk-ons: quarterback Matt Krueger (who will be sharing No. 8 with wide receiver Lorenzo Crawford) and tight end Brendan Hart (who is sharing No. 83 with walk-on kicker Josh Gentile).
Hart is the grandson of former Notre Dame end and 1949 Heisman Trophy winner Leon Hart while his father is Brian Hart.
Krugger prepped at South Bend's Marion High School as did his brother Ryan, a junior walk-on QB with the Irish.
The Irish have made four other number changes from the original media guide roster: senior FS Justin Smith will wear No. 4 (instead of 39), freshman TE Billy Palmer is wearing No. 85 (instead of 96), junior walk-on center John Crowther is wearing 56 (not 64) and junior walk-on TE/DE Jeffrey Campbell is wearing 64 (not 85).
Updated heights and weights for the Notre Dame freshmen also now are available in rosters from the Notre Dame SID Office.
NOTRE DAME-TEXAS A&M SERIES NOTES
Notre Dame's first 98 seasons of varsity football featured no games versus Texas A&M but the teams then met three times in a six-year stretch, at the Cotton Bowls following the '87, '92 and '93 seasons (see recaps on p. 4) ... the Aggies won that first meeting (35-10) but the Irish claimed the next two games of the series (28-3, 24-21).
Notre Dame's win in the 1993 Cotton Bowl (after the '92 season) marked the eighth time that the Irish have ended an opponent's perfect season.
The 25-point win over A&M in the 1993 Cotton Bowl is Notre Dame's second-largest margin of victory ever in a bowl game while the Aggies' 25-point win over the Irish in the '88 Cotton Bowl is ND's second-largest margin of defeat in postseason play.
The Irish are 4-0 against Big XII schools since the formation of the league and 36-15-2 all-time against schools that currently are in the Big XII.
Notre Dame owns a 28-6 all-time record against schools from the state of Texas, last playing a Texas school (Baylor) in 1998 (a 27-3 win) ... other ND series records vs. teams from the Lone Star state include 8-2 vs. Texas, 2-0 vs. Baylor, 1-0 vs. Houston, 4-0 vs. Rice, 10-3 vs. SMU and 1-0 vs. TCU.
Arizona State in 1999 became the 60th different opponent to face the Irish in Notre Dame Stadium (since its opening in 1930), with the Irish owning a 51-8-1 mark (.858) in games when the opponent was making its first visit to the Stadium ... 13 of those teams previously had played at Notre Dame (prior to 1930), with the Irish owning a mark of 40-6-1 since 1930 versus teams making their first overall visit to Notre Dame (.862) ... Texas A&M will became the 61st team to visit Notre Dame Stadium in the 2000 season opener.
The six teams that have travelled to South Bend for the first time and come away with a victory at Notre Dame Stadium include (AP poll began in '36): USC ('31), Texas ('34), Iowa ('40), Missouri ('72), #14-ranked Clemson ('79) and 20th-ranked Florida State ('81) ... Michigan ('42) and Penn State ('82) also won their first games at Notre Dame Stadium but previously had played the Irish at Cartier Field.
Since the '81 loss to Florida State, eight consecutive opponents have lost in their first trip to South Bend: Colorado ('84), Mississippi ('85), Boston College ('87), BYU ('92), Vanderbilt ('95), Rutgers ('96), West Virginia ('97) and ASU ('99).
Seven teams that were ranked at gametime in the AP top-25 poll (which began in '36) have lost in their first visit to Notre Dame, with the Irish being lower ranked in four of those games:
#9 Army (lost to top-ranked ND in '47, 27-7)
#20 North Carolina (lost to #1 ND in '50, 14-7)
#4 Oklahoma (lost to #10 ND in '52, 27-21)
#10 Syracuse (lost to unranked ND in '61, 17-15)
#7 LSU (lost to #2 ND in '70, 3-0)
#10 Alabama (lost to #18 ND in '76, 21-18),
#22 West Virginia (lost to unranked ND in '97, 21-14)
Prior to the 2000 season, the Notre Dame football program has played home games versus a total of 112 different teams, at primarily old Cartier Field (pre-1930) or Notre Dame Stadium, with an overall home record of 97-11-4 (.884) in games versus all first-time visitors to Notre Dame (regardless of the site).
RECAPPING THE PREVIOUS NOTRE DAME-TEXAS A&M MEETINGS
(see pp. 338, 343 and 344 of ND media guide for complete recaps and stats)
1988 Cotton Bowl - Texas A&M 35, Notre Dame 10
The 13th-ranked Aggies spoiled the final career game of Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown, who opened the game with a season-best 37-yard kickoff return. Terry Andrysiak returned from his collarbone injury and hit Brown with a pair of medium-range passes on the opening drive, the second coming on a 17-yard TD strike. The teams traded field goals before a one-handed interception in the end zone by Alex Morris then shifted momentum to the Aggies late in the second quarter-setting up a 24-yard halfback pass from Darrin Lewis to Tony Thompson that tied the game. The 12th-ranked Irish then fumbled two plays later and Larry Horton went on to score from two yards out for an 18-10 Aggies lead at halftime. A&M opened the third quarter by driving down the field before exchanging fumbles with the Irish, followed by a one-yard TD run by Bucky Richardson. The A&M defense went on to limit Andrysiak to two second-half completions while holding the Irish to 76 yards in the final 30 minutes. A Kip Corrington interception set up the game's final score, an eight-yard run by Richardson. The Aggies rolled up a 294-74 rushing advantage, led by Richardson (13 rushes for 96 yards), Keith Woodside (17 for 73), Matt Gurley (15 for 60) and Lewis (7 for 52).
1993 Cotton Bowl - Notre Dame 28, Texas A&M 3
In a game matching two great running games, the fifth-ranked Irish rolled up a 290-78 edge in rushing yards-as the "Thunder and Lightning" tandem of Jerome Bettis (20 rushes for 75 yards) and Reggie Brooks (22 for 115) outperformed the Aggie duo of Rodney Thomas (20 for 50) and Greg Hill (who did not play due to suspension). The only first-half points came moments before halftime, as Rick Mirer connected with Lake Dawson on a 40-yard middle screen play. The Irish ground game then took over in the second half, highlighted by 34 consecutive rushing plays. One long drive ended on a 26-yard TD pass from Mirer to Bettis while Brian Hamilton's strip and Demetrius Dubose's recovery set up a one-yard score from Bettis. The fourth-ranked-and previously unbeaten-Aggies averted the shutout on Terry Venetoulias' 41-yard FG and Bettis capped the scoring in the fourth quarter with a 4-yard TD run. Mirer completed eight of 16 passes for 119 yards while rushing 13 times for 55.
1994 Cotton Bowl - Notre Dame 24, Texas A&M 21
Defense ruled at the end of a game a that saw ND's Lee Becton turn in his seventh straight 100-yard rushing game (26 rushes for 138) while Corey Pullig's passing (17-for-31, 238 yards) sparked the A&M offense. The fourth-ranked Irish opened with a 91-yard drive, capped by Kevin McDougal's 19-yard keeper, but seventh-ranked A&M countered with a scoring drive that ended with Greg Hill's eight-yard sweep. The Aggies surged ahead shortly before halftime, converting on 4th-and-1 from the Irish 15 with a play-action TD pass to Detron Smith. The Irish opened the second half with a drive that featured 32 rushing yards by Becton and a two-yard score from Ray Zellars. But the Aggies quickly tied the game behind Pullig's passing and a one-yard plunge by Rodney Thomas. The Irish answered back with another game-tying drive, with Mirer hitting a streaking Zellars for a key 18-yard pickup before Marc Edwards scored from two yards out. With three minutes left to play, Mike Miller's 38-yard punt return placed the Irish at the A&M 22-yard line and Kevin Pendergast drilled a 31-yard FG with 2:22 left to play. After a Bobby Taylor fumble recovery and three plays by the ND offense, the Aggies mounted a final push in the closing minute-but Tony Harrison's desperation lateral was smothered by ND's Renaldo Wynn to seal the win. The Irish went on to finish a close second to Florida State in the final national polls.
Notre Dame's all-time varsity football roster includes nearly 2,500 players who have appeared in at least one career game, with 79 of those hailing from the state of Texas.
Notre Dame's all-time Texas natives include 19 offensive linemen, 13 receivers, 12 defensive backs, 10 linebackers, nine running backs, five quarterbacks, four tight ends, three kickers, two punters and two defensive linemen.
Those players include 18 from Dallas and 10 from Houston, plus four from Port Arthur, three from Austin, two each from Humble, El Paso, Missouri City, Garland, Beaumont and San Antonio and one each from 32 other cities.
The 2000 Notre Dame roster includes 18 Texas natives, with the 17 scholarship members of that group dispersed fairly evenly among each class: three seniors, six juniors, two sophomores and five freshmen ... that group is headlined by seven potential starters: junior OT Jordan Black (Rowlett/Dallas Christian HS), senior LB Anthony Denman (Rusk/Rusk HS), fifth-year OG Mike Gandy (Garland/Garland HS), junior FL David Givens (Humble/Humble HS), junior LB Tyreo Harrison (Sulphur Springs/Sulphur Springs HS), senior LB Grant Irons (The Woodlands/The Woodlands HS) and junior CB Clifford Jefferson (Dallas/Carter HS) ... other veteran Irish players who hail from Texas include junior TE Gerald Morgan (Mesquite/Poteet HS) and sophomore SS Gerome Sapp (Houston/Lamar HS) a promising sophomore who did not see time in '99-DT Cedric Hilliard (Arlington/Lamar HS) and WR Jamaar Taylor (Mission/Mission HS)-plus senior kicker and former Irish soccer player Matt McNew (Arlington/Lamar HS) ... the freshman players from Texas include RB Garron Bible (Kingwood/Kingwood HS), LB Derek Curry (Sealy/Sealy HS), RB Vontez Duff (Copperas Cove/Copperas Cove HS), QB Carlyle Holiday (San Antonio/Roosevelt HS) and WR Omar Jenkins (Dallas/Jesuit HS) ... two current Irish walk-on players also hail from Texas: sophomore QB Dan Novakov (Dallas/St. Mark's HS) and junior CB Dwayne Francis (Houston/Elkins HS), who recently was elevated to scholarship status.
Three of Notre Dame's more noteworthy all-time players from Texas include 1987 Heisman Trophy winner and flanker Tim Brown (Dallas) plus two other consensus All-Americans: center Dave Huffman (Dallas, '75-'78) and defensive back Bobby Taylor (Longview, '92-'94).
Taylor is one of several noteworthy defensive backs from Texas who joined the Irish program during the 1990s, with that group also including current players Jefferson and Sapp plus four recent starters: cornerbacks Greg Lane (Austin) and Allen Rossum (Dallas) and safeties Jarvis Edison (Bay City) and A'Jani Sanders (Houston).
Other noteworthy Texas natives who played for the Irish in the 1990s included: linebackers Bert Berry (Humble) and Jimmy Friday (Missouri City), OT Justin Hall (Dallas), DL Alton Maiden (Dallas), FL Mike Miller (Missouri City), P Hunter Smith (Sherman) and TE Leon Wallace (Bedford).
Noteworthy Texas natives who played for the Irish in the 1980s included: OG Randy Ellis (Pearland, starting LG in '81), FL Mike Haywood (Houston, started in '82 before being hampered by injury the rest of his career), OG Tim Huffman (Dallas, starting OG in '80), DT Wally Kleine (Midland, starting DT from '84-'86) and P Mike Viracola (Dallas, starting punter in '84)
Those from the 1960s and '70s included OG John Dampeer (Kermit, starting RT from '70-'72), TE Dennis Gringinger (Dallas, starting TE in '78), LB Bobby Leopold (Port Arthur, starting LB in '78 and '79), OT Rob Martinovich (Houston, starting LT in '78 and '70), C George Strohmeyer (McAllen, starting center in '46) and TE Robin Weber (Dallas, starting tight end in '74).
Some of the founding members of the Notre Dame football program were Texas natives, including: RE Joe Hepburn (El Paso, starter in second and third varsity season, 1888 and '89), RT Stafford Campbell (El Paso, starter in 1889), QB Angus McDonald (Houston, starter in 1899), LG Rob Paine (Houston, starter in 1907) and HB Christy Flanagan (Port Arthur, starter in '26 and '27).
NOTRE DAME VS. BIG 12 TEAMS
Notre Dame has played 53 previous games versus teams that currently comprise the Big 12 Conference, with a .698 winning percentage in those games (36-15-2)
Notre Dame leads or is tied in every series it has played versus Big 12 teams.
Three of Notre Dame's most recent games versus Big 12 teams were bowl games against Colorado: the 1990 Orange Bowl (a 21-6 victory for the No. 4 Irish over the #1 Buffs), the 1991 Orange Bowl (a 10-9 win for the No. 1 Buffs over the No. 5 Irish), and the 1995 Fiesta Bowl (a 41-24 win for No. 4 CU).
Other Notre Dame games versus Big 12 teams in the 1990s include the pair of Irish wins over Texas: 55-27 at home in 1994, with the Irish ranked 21st and the Longhorns 13th, and 27-24 at Texas in '95, with the Irish No. 9 and the 'Horns No. 6. The only other Notre Dame games vs. Big 12 teams in the 1990s were the 1998 win over Baylor (27-3), two Cotton Bowl wins over Texas A&M: 28-3 in 1992 (Notre Dame was ranked No. 5, A&M No. 4) and 24-21 in '93 (when the Irish were ranked No. 4 and the Aggies No. 7) and the '99 wins over Kansas (48-13) and Oklahoma (34-30).
Most of Notre Dame's all-time games versus the current Big 12 teams have been against three teams: Nebraska (7-6-1 series lead for the Irish), Texas (8-2 series) and Oklahoma (8-1 series).
Notre Dame never has played Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma State or Texas Tech, with the other series versus Big 12 teams breaking down as follows: Colorado (3-2), Missouri (2-2), Texas A&M (2-1) and Baylor (2-0).
Missouri and Notre Dame last played in 1984, a 16-14 win at Missouri by the No. 19-ranked Irish. The last Notre Dame-Nebraska game was the 1973 Orange Bowl, a 40-6 win for the No. 9 Cornhuskers over the No. 12 Irish. The last Notre Dame-Oklahoma game prior to '99 produced a 45-21 win at home for the No. 5 Irish over the No. 3 Sooners.
One of the most famous games in Notre Dame football history came on Nov. 16, 1957, when the Irish won 7-0 at Oklahoma to halt the Sooners' winning streak at 47 games (which remains the NCAA record).
The Irish renewed the series with Oklahoma in 1999 and next will face Nebraska in 2000.
Notre Dame head coach Bob Davie and two of his assistant coaches-defensive coordinator Greg Mattison and inside linebackers coach Kirk Doll-each spent several seasons on R.C. Slocum's staff at Texas A&M ... Davie coached the A&M outside linebackers during the 1985-88 seasons and served as the Aggie defensive coordinator from '89-'93 ... Mattison was the defensive line coach at A&M from '89-'91 while Doll coached the Aggie outside linebackers from '89-'93 before coming to Notre Dame along with Davie (who became the Irish defensive coordinator in '94).
The only other current member of the Aggie staff who coached alongside Davie, Mattison and Doll is current DBs coach Shawn Slocum (son of the Aggie head coach), who was a volunteer assistant at A&M during the '89 season before coaching the Aggie tight ends and special teams from '91-'93.
Current Aggie defensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz was on the staff at Western Michigan from '82-'84 and his fellow defensive coaches during that time included current third-year Irish defensive coordinator Greg Mattison (who held that same position while also coaching the LBs at WMU from '81-'86) and second-year ND secondary coach Lou West (who coached the DBs and OLBs at WMU in '84 and '85).
West also coached the DBs at Virginia Tech from 1995-98 while current Aggie offensive line coach J.B. Grimes coached the Virginia Tech line from '93-'97.
THE 1999 NCAA STATS
Final 1999 NCAA stat rankings for Notre Dame and Texas A&M (top 50 for team ranks):
Notre Dame has won nearly 90 percent of its previous season openers (94-12-5, .869), including 67-9-3 (.867) in season openers played at home ... the last time the Irish lost a season opener in Notre Dame Stadium was in '95 (Northwestern, 17-15), with Notre Dame opening the '97, '98 and '99 seasons with victories at home.
Prior to the Northwestern defeat, the Irish won eight straight openers (four at Notre Dame Stadium), dating back to Michigan's 24-23 win at Notre Dame in '86 in the first game of the Lou Holtz era.
Notre Dame's all-time record in season-opening games includes a 9-2-1 mark versus teams that currently comprise the Big 12 Conference (with another set for the 2000 opener, versus Texas A&M).
OPENERS VS. BIG 12 TEAMS
Notre Dame has opened 12 previous seasons with games versus teams that currently belong to the Big 12 Conference. The Irish own a 9-2-1 record in those games (7-2-1 at home).
The Irish also have faced current Big 12 teams in two home openers that were not the first game of the season: a 31-0 win for the No. 2 Irish over Nebraska in 1947 and a 55-14 win over Colorado in 1984 (both came in the third game of those seasons).
Three of the most noteworthy Irish openers vs. Big 12 teams featured both teams being ranked among the top six (or higher) in the AP poll. In 1953, the top-ranked Irish opened with a 28-21 win at No. 6 Oklahoma, en route to a near-national championship season (9-0-1). The next season, Notre Dame opened with a No. 2 ranking and a 21-0 win over No. 4 Texas at Notre Dame Stadium. Fourteen years later, the No. 3 Irish thumped No. 5 Oklahoma, 45-21, in the 1968 opener at home.
Notre Dame's other season-opening wins over Big 12 teams: Baylor (1925, 41-0), Oklahoma (1961, 19-6) and at Oklahoma (1962, 13-7). The Irish suffered a 7-6 opening loss to visiting Texas in 1934 and were stunned in the 1978 opener by unranked Missouri, 3-0 (the Irish were defending national champs and ranked fifth) ... the '99 Irish opened with a 48-13 home win over Kansas.
2000 Notre Dame Opponent UPDATE
Below is a look at Notre Dame opponents' upcoming games. Since 1977, when the NCAA started rating strength of schedule, Notre Dame's schedule has been rated the most difficult five times in the last 22 years (1978, 1985, 1987, 1989 and 1995).
at Notre Dame
San Jose State
at Notre Dame
at Washington State
San Jose State
at Georgia Tech
Idle (Sept. 16 vs. Maryland)
Cal State Northridge
at West Virginia
vs. Penn St. (Aug. 27)
Notre Dame 2000 Opponents' Combined Record in 1999: 73-56 (.566)
The Head Coach
Fourth-year Irish head coach Bob Davie owns a 21-16 (.568) career record at Notre Dame. Davie was one of 10 finalists for the 1998 Walter Camp Foundation/Street and Smith's Coach of the Year Award. His 1997 squad beat No. 11 LSU and No. 22 West Virginia to mark the first time a Notre Dame team beat ranked foes on consecutive weeks since November '92 while the '98 opening win over No. 5 and defending national champion Michigan gave him a 3-4 record vs. ranked opponents (now 4-5). The '99 season marked Davie's sixth year at Notre Dame overall, after serving as defensive coordinator and inside linebacker coach from 1994-96. He coached nine seasons at Texas A&M ('85-'93), two at Tulane ('83-'84), four at Pittsburgh ('77, '80-'82) and two at Arizona ('78-'79), spending both years at Tulane as defensive coordinator and the last five at Texas A&M in that role.
COACHING IN THE CLUTCH
Knute Rockne owns the best career winning pct. among ND coaches in games decided by seven or fewer points, at 21-1-5 (.870). Among Irish coaches with 14-plus "close games," the other top winning percentages in tight games belong to Elmer Layden (22-7-3, .734), Frank Leahy (17-5-8, .700), Ara Parseghian (13-6-4, .652), Dan Devine (15-9-1, .620), Bob Davie (11-7, .611) and Lou Holtz (20-18-2, .525). Holtz's first season saw the Irish go 1-5-0 in games decided by a TD or less.
Athlon Sports recently projected a National Football League "All-Decade" team for 2000-2009 and current Irish sophomore Julius Jones was one of two running backs named to the squad, joining current Indianapolis Colts star Edgerrin James.
The 26-player team included just four other current college players: tackle Michael Munoz (Tennessee), linebacker D.J. Williams (University of Miami), linebacker Saleem Rasheed (Alabama) and punt returner David Allen (Kansas State).
AUSTIN CARR CHARITY GOLF CLASSIC PLANNED
The first Austin Carr Charity Golf Classic will be held Sunday, Sept. 17, 2000, at the new Warren Golf Course at the University of Notre Dame. The event is sponsored by the Austin Carr Foundation, with proceeds to benefit a University of Notre Dame minority scholarship fund in Carr's name, the March of Dimes and the Center for the Homeless. The weekend will begin with a celebrity reception at 7:00 p.m. EST, on Friday, Sept. 15, at the Warren Golf Course clubhouse. Following the Notre Dame-Purdue football game at Notre Dame Stadium the following day, a charity dinner will be held at 6:30 p.m. EST Saturday, also at the Warren Golf Course clubhouse. Golf then will begin on Sunday with a shotgun start at 9:00 a.m. EST. Celebrities already committed to participating in the event include former Notre Dame basketball standouts Bruce Flowers, Bob Arnzen, Bill Hanzlik and Gary Brokaw, former Irish football stars Nick Eddy, Ross Browner, Creighton Miller, Tony Rice, Jim Seymour and Willie Townsend, former Irish football offensive coordinator and Westwood One color commentator Tom Pagna and former St. Louis Cardinal quarterback Jim Hart. Corporate foursomes are available for $2,000 each. Anyone interested in playing or in corporate sponsorships can contact Joel Piekarski, Advantage Golf, 1606 East Turkeyfoot Lake Road, Akron, OH 44312, or call (330) 899-9319. Carr, currently the director of business and community development for the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association, remains the all-time leading career scorer in Notre Dame basketball history. He finished with 2,560 points between 1968-71-helping him earn national player of the year honors as a senior in 1970-71 from the Associated Press and United Press International. He still ranks as the most prolific scorer in the history of the NCAA basketball tournament, thanks to his 41.3-point average in seven career NCAA games. He holds the NCAA tournament single-game record with 61 points vs. Ohio University in '70, posted three of the top five scoring performances in tournament history and still holds six NCAA tournament records. Carr is a native of Washington, D.C., where he attended Mackin High School. Currently active with the Cleveland's literacy program as a spokesman for "Stay-in-School," Carr also hosts the pre-game show on the Cavs' radio broadcasts and participates with the Cavs' Legends Team. A '71 Notre Dame graduate in economics, Carr, his wife Sharon and children Jason and Ashley reside in suburban Cleveland.
IRISH AIM TO CONTINUE QB'S FIRST-START MAGIC
Notre Dame will open the 2000 season with a quarterback who will be making his first career start on the collegiate level ... but history will be on the side of that young signalcaller ... from 1985-98, Notre Dame was victorious in nine straight games in which an Irish quarterback was making his first career start, including four that came with the added pressure of being a season opener (those games were won by Rick Mirer, Kevin McDougal, Ron Powlus and Jarious Jackson, with Mirer and McDougal both beating high-ranked Michigan squads).
Jackson's win over Michigan was all the more noteworthy, as he was just the fourth Irish signalcaller in the 24 seasons to face a ranked opponent in his first start and the first among that group to face a team ranked higher than the Irish ... he also became the first Notre Dame quarterback to make his debut start versus a defending national champion (the Irish opened the season versus a defending AP poll champ just once previously, a 19-9 win for the third-ranked 1977 squad over No. 7 Pittsburgh) ... Jackson was just the fourth Notre Dame quarterback since '75 to make his first career game with the Irish as a senior, with the most recent being McDougal in '93.
Notre Dame's nine-game, first-start streak ended in the 10-0 loss at USC on Nov. 28, 1998, when Eric Chappell started in place of the injured starter Jackson (then-freshman Arnaz Battle also played a large chunk of that game).
Stretching back to the 1975 season, Notre Dame owns a mark of 13-5 when opening the game with a first-time starter at quarterback. Other recent first-start winners have included Rick Slager (vs. Boston College, '75), Rusty Lisch (vs. Miami, '76), Blair Kiel (vs. #13 Miami, '80) and Steve Beuerlein (vs. Colorado, '83) while possibly the most well-known quarterback in Irish football history, Joe Montana, saw Notre Dame drop a 10-3 game to Michigan State in his first start ('75).
Here's a list of the last 10 starting debut games by Notre Dame quarterbacks:
Terry Andrysiak, sophomore (vs. Mississippi, 11/9/85, 8th game of season) ... win, 37-14 ... 4-of-8 passing, 60 yards, TD ... 2 rushes for -7 yards.
Tony Rice, sophomore (#11 Notre Dame at Air Force, 10/17/87, 5th game of season) ... win, 35-14 ... 1-of-5 passing, 10 yards, INT ... 9 rushes for 70 yards, 2 TD ... played due to Andrysiak's broken collarbone injury, in previous game at Pittsburgh.
Kent Graham, freshman (#9 Notre Dame vs. Boston College, 11/7/87, 8th game of season) ... win, 32-25 ... 6-of-8 passing, 11 yards, INT ... 3 rushes for 7 yards.
Rick Mirer, sophomore (#1 Notre Dame vs. #4 Michigan, 9/15/90, 1st game of season) ... win, 28-24 ... 14-of-23 passing, 165 yards, TD, INT ... 10 rushes for 12 yards, TD.
Paul Failla, freshman (#8 Notre Dame at Purdue, 9/28/91, 4th game of season) ... win, 45-20 ... 1-of-1 passing, 10 yards ... 2 rushes for 11 yards ... started in place of Mirer due to team policy of "no practice, no start" (Mirer had pulled rib cartilage during the week) ... Mirer replaced Failla beginning with the second series.
Kevin McDougal, senior (#7 Notre Dame vs. Northwestern, 9/4/93, 1st game of season) ... win, 27-12 ... 6-of-8 passing, 135 yards ... 5 rushes for -16 yards.
Ron Powlus, sophomore (#3 Notre Dame at Northwestern, 9/3/94, 1st game of season) ... win, 42-15 ... 18-of-24 passing, 291 yards, 4 TD ... 2 rushes for 6 yards.
Tom Krug, junior (#8 Notre Dame at Air Force, 11/18/95, 11th game of season) ... win, 44-14 ... 8-of-13 passing, INT ... 3 rushes for 13 yards ... started due to Powlus' collarbone injury, in previous week versus Navy.
Jarious Jackson, senior (Notre Dame vs. #5 Michigan, 9/5/98, 1st game of season) ... win, 36-20 ... 4-of-10 passing, 96 yards, 2 TDs, INT ... 16 rushes for 62 yards.
Eric Chappell, junior (#9 Notre Dame at USC, 11/28/98, 11th game of season) ... loss, 10-0 ... 0-of-3 passing, 2 INT ... 7 rushes for 33 yards.
BLUE-GOLD GAME NOTES
In 2000, a new approach was used for the 71st annual Blue-Gold game, as the offensive and defensive units faced off against each other with coaches making numerous substitutions with each play. An elaborate scoring system rewarded the units for everything from touchdowns to tackles to blocked field goals-with the defensive unit managing to hold on for a 39-31 win.
Highlights included a 39-yard interception return for a touchdown by defensive MVP Anthony Denman (good for 12 points). The defense jumped out to a 24-6 lead in the first quarter, courtesy of Denman's big play and sacks by Grant Irons, Darrell Campbell and Rocky Boiman.
TE Jabari Holloway earned offensive MVP honors, finishing with four receptions for 58 yards. Tight end Gary Godsey proved his versatility as one of the top quarterbacks alongside Arnaz Battle. Godsey completed 12 of 23 passes for 148 yards while Battle had 10 completions for 117. Joey Getherall hauled in a team-best six receptions, covering 63 yards.
DUTILE NAMED FACULTY BOARD CHAIR
Notre Dame's faculty representative to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is professor Fernand "Tex" Dutile, associate dean of the Law School. Dutile assumed his duties as the chair of the Faculty Board on Athletics in September 2000.
MONTANA ENTERS PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME
Former Notre Dame quarterback Joe Montana-who went on to star for 14 seasons in the National Football League with the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs-became the seventh Notre Dame player to be inducted into the National Professional Football Hall of Fame, as a first-ballot selection for the class of 2000.
Curly Lambeau, who lettered for the Irish in 1918, was a charter member of the Hall in 1963 as a founder, player and coach for the Green Bay Packers from 1919-1949 ... the other five former Notre Dame players in the pro Football Hall of Fame include: 1964 inductee George Trafton (C, Chicago Bears 1920-22), 1968 inductee Wayne Millner (E, Boston and Washington Redskins, 1936-41, 1945), 1975 inductee George Connor (T/LB, Chicago, 1948-55), 1986 inductee Paul Hornung (QB, Green Bay 1957-62, 1964-66) and 1988 inductee Alan Page (DT, Minnesota 1967-78, Chicago 1978-81).
The 2000 induction ceremonies were held at the Hall in Canton, Ohio, on July 28-31 and include a reunion of some 110 of the 136 living members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame-billed as the largest collection of Hall of Famers in major sports history (Connor and Hornung were expected to be on hand for the reunion) ... Montana selected former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo to be his presenter at the induction ceremony.
BOB DOVE TO ENTER COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME
Notre Dame two-time consensus football All-American Bob Dove is one of 14 individuals selected for induction to the National Football Foundation's College Hall of Fame for 2000. Dove is one of 14 players and two coaches who will be officially inducted at the National Football Foundation's 43rd annual award dinner on Dec. 12, 2000, in New York City. The class then will be enshrined at the College Hall of Fame in South Bend in August, 2001. Dove becomes the 38th former Notre Dame player inducted -- with Notre Dame boasting more representatives (including five coaches) than any other school. A three-year starter at end in 1940-42, Dove played on Frank Leahy's first two teams at Notre Dame and became the first sophomore to start for the Irish in 11 seasons. As a freshman in '39, he caught 15 passes for 187 yards from future Heisman Trophy winner Angelo Bertelli. He received the Knute Rockne Memorial Trophy in 1942 as the top collegiate lineman in the country and also played in the East-West Shrine All-Star game. He was a second-team selection on Street & Smith's All-Time Dream Team for the first 50 years of its publication from 1941-90. A third-round draft pick by the Washington Redskins, the Youngstown, Ohio, native spent three years in the Marine Corps. He played nine seasons for several pro teams, earning Pro Bowl recognition in '51. He served as an assistant coach from '69 through '86 for the Detroit Lions and Buffalo Bills and for the University of Detroit and Youngstown State. He currently resides in Canfield, Ohio. Dove is the first player chosen by the Hall of Fame's Honors Review Committee, which considers players who played more than 50 years ago. Joining Dove on the list of players to be inducted are Marcus Allen (USC), Kurt Burris (Oklahoma), Dan Dierdorf (Michigan), John Elway (Stanford), Michael Haynes (Arizona State), Terry Hoage (Georgia), Stan Jones (Maryland), Johnny Musso (Alabama), Johnny Rodgers (Nebraska), Joe Schmidt (Pittsburgh), Harley Sewell (Texas), Billy Ray Smith (Arkansas) and Eddie Talboom (Wyoming). The coaches named were Terry Donahue (UCLA) and Forest Evashevski (Hamilton, Washington State, Iowa).
GERMANY GAME GETS RAVE REVIEWS
Eight members of Notre Dame's 1988 national championship football team-including '88 tri-captain Mark Green and standout inside linebacker Wes Pritchett-helped comprise the list of 55 former Irish football players who participated in Charity Bowl 2000 ... the former Irish players traveled to Hamburg, Germany, for a July 8, 2000, game against the Hamburg Blue Devils football club, at Volkspark Stadium.
A memorable six-day trip was capped by a 14-10 victory for the Notre Dame alumni team, with the game ending on Ivory Covington's interception in the end zone after the Blue Devils had marched to the seven-yard line ... QB Steve Belles had a hand in both Irish scoring drives, hitting Clint Johnson with a 50-yard bomb to set up his own two-yard option keeper for the first TD before connecting with Johnson for a 23-yard TD pass later in the game.
The game benefited Kinder Helfen Kindern (Kids Helping Kids) and the Notre Dame Brennan-Boland Scholarship Fund, which provides need-based assistance to sons and daughters of members of the Notre Dame National Monogram Club.
Others from the '88 championship roster that headed to Hamburg included Belles, FL Pat Eilers, DL Bryan Flannery, DL Andre Jones, DL George Marshall and DB Brandy Wells. Other headliners included TBs Reggie Brooks (named the Notre Dame MVP) and Lee Becton, QBs Terry Andrysiak and Pat Steenberge and WR Kris Haines.
There were four former Notre Dame captains on the roster: Green, Becton and DL Brian Hamilton and Melvin Dansby.
Other former Irish players on the roster were: RBs Ken Barry and Dean Lytle, LBs Kurt Belisle and Dave Butler, DL Corey Bennett, Reggie Fleurima and Pat Kramer, OL Matt Brennan, Tom Freeman, Rick Kaczenski and Jim Kordas, TEs Al Bucci and Mike Denvir, WRs Cikai Champion, Mike James, Adrian Jarrell and Johnson, DBs Covington, Bill Gibbs, Ty Goode and Tim Lynch, and K Ted Gradel. Also participating were: DL Darnell Smith, LBs Karl McGill, Jeremy Nau, Jeremy Sample, and Jack Shields, DBs Mark Monahan and Stephen Pope, RBs Emmett Mosley and Chris Smith, OL Brendan O'Connor, Mike Perrino, Ron Plantz, Jon Spickelmier and Greg Stec, P Scott Palumbo, and WR Charles Stafford ... QB Tony Rice and DB John Covington also made the trip but did not play due to injury.
The coaching staff included former Notre Dame assistant coaches Brian Boulac, Mike Haywood, Skip Holtz, Peter Vaas, Brian White and Tony Yelovich which current defensive coordinator Greg Mattison served as head coach ... feature stories detailing the alumni team's experiences in Germany-including a full-game recap-are posted on the Notre Dame athletic website (www.und.com).
Four former Notre Dame football players currently are employees of the University: flanker Mike Favorite ('81-'83), defensive back D'Juan Francisco ('86-'89), quarterback Tony Rice ('87-'89) and offensive tackle Larry Williams ('81-'84).
Favorite joined Notre Dame in 1993 as assistant director of the auditing department, recently served as associate director for "Y2K" compliance and currently is a strategic consultant in the office of information technologies.
Francisco joined the Notre Dame Alumni Association in 1992 and assumed the role of director of constituency groups, alumni clubs and student programs (he now coordinates 210 domestic and 30 international alumni clubs).
Rice was appointed assistant director of regional development for Notre Dame in the Chicago area on Feb. 1, 1999, while Williams was named Notre Dame's director of licensing in November of 1999.
RECENT IRISH RUSHING HISTORY
Notre Dame's rushing attack has ranked 20th or better nationally in 11 of the last 13 years:
STILL A TOUGH TICKET
Including the 2000 lottery figures, here are the 10-highest demanded games (based on total tickets requested by contributing alumni) in Notre Dame Stadium history:
Irish Sell Out for 36th Consecutive Year in 1999
The University of Notre Dame finished 15th nationally in attendance among all NCAA Division I-A football-playing institutions in 1999. The Irish averaged 80,012 fans (the full capacity of the expanded Notre Dame Stadium) for the seven '99 home games. The '99 season marked the 35th consecutive season that every seat has been sold for every home game. Notre Dame also ranked eight nationally for 1997 season home attendance and 11th in '98, with the average increase of 21,150 fans per game in '97 compared to '96 representing the second-highest increase nationally, behind Stanford's 21,154 that was helped by the Oct. 4 crowd of 75,651 (compared to the average of 56,937) when the Irish played the Cardinal in Palo Alto. College football set an all-time attendance record in 1997, with 36.9 million fans viewing games, including a record 27.5 million in Division I-A.
BIG CROWDS EVERYWHERE
Prior to the 1999 Stanford game, Notre Dame had played in front of capacity crowds in 118 of the previous 136 games (with a near-sellout at USC in '98) ... each of the first 10 regular-season games involving Notre Dame during the '98 season-and the first 11 in '99-was played in front of a sellout crowd.