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    Fighting Irish
    Football Opens 2000 Campaign Against Texas A&M This Saturday

    FIGHTING IRISH Tight end Jabari Holloway and the Irish offense looks to dominate the Aggie defense on Saturday.
    FIGHTING IRISH
    Tight end Jabari Holloway and the Irish offense looks to dominate the Aggie defense on Saturday.
    FIGHTING IRISH

    Aug. 27, 2000

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    Notre Dame Fighting Irish (0-0) vs. Texas A&M Aggies (0-0)

    The Date and Time: Saturday, Sept. 2, 2000, at Noon 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 with Tom Hammond (play-by-play), Pat Haden (analysis), Jim Gray (sideline) and Kevin Smollon (producer).

    The Radio Plans: For the 33rd consecutive season, all Notre Dame football games are broadcast nationally on radio by Mutual/Westwood 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 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 2000 season marks Davie's seventh 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.

    The Injury Update (as of Aug. 27)
    Out -- Freshman DL Greg Pauly: Partially torn knee ligament, underwent surgery on Aug. 13

    NOTRE DAME-TEXAS A&M SERIES NOTES
    Saturday's season opener marks the fourth meeting between the Irish and Aggies but the first in the regular season. The teams previously played in the Cotton Bowl following the '87, '92 and '93 seasons. Texas A&M won that first meeting 35-10, while the Irish claimed the next two games of the series by 28-3 and 24-21 margins.

    • 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 12 schools since the formation of the league in 1996 and 36-15-2 all-time against current members of the Big 12.

    For more Notre Dame-Texas A&M series notes, see pages 11-13 in the PDF document.

    Notre Dame's Probable Starting OFFENSE

    Pos.No.PlayerNotes
    SE21Javin HunterMoves into starting role after playing all 12 games in '99
    LT78Jordan BlackShined in first collegiate action in nine starts at LT in '99
    LG55Jim JonesFifth-year player started all but one game last year
    C52Jeff FaineOnly OL rookie who makes collegiate debut against A&M
    RG69Mike GandySecond-year starter at RG has most career minutes on OL
    RT75Kurt VollersMoves in RT role after starting final three '99 games at LT
    TE87Jabari HollowayAll-star candidate heads into third straight season as starter
    FL18Joey GetherallTop returning receiver from '99 in terms of receptions
    or6David GivensPlayed more minutes last year than any other returning WR
    QB3Arnaz BattleReady to make first career start against Texas A&M
    FB36Tom LopienskiTakes over starting role after playing all 12 games in '99
    TB12Tony FisherAll-star candidate returns as top rusher from '99
    or22Julius JonesElusive back should be major contributor after stellar first year
    or32Terrance HowardSlashing runner completes three-pronged tailback attack

    Notre Dame's Probable Starting DEFENSE

    Pos. No.PlayerNotes
    LE98Anthony WeaverAll-star candidate begins third year as Irish defensive regular
    DT94Andy WisneAssumes starting role after playing in all but two games in '99
    or60Darrell CampbellReady to impact defense after not seeing action last year
    NG90Lance LegreeMost consistent Irish defender has played 31 career games
    RE44Grant IronsAll-star candidate among most experienced on Irish defense
    ILB51Tyreo HarrisonImproved player earns starting spot after serving reserve role
    ILB39Anthony DenmanMost experienced player on defense with 34 games played
    OLB30Rocky BoimanSet to take over starting role fulltime after sharing in '99
    LCB1Brock WilliamsBig strength is experience he brings to Irish secondary
    FS25Tony DriverAll-star candidate back in secondary for first time since '98
    SS5Ron IsraelEarns starting spot after playing in 21 games in reserve role
    RCB42Shane WaltonSurprise of Irish defense shines one year after joining team

    Notre Dame's Probable SPECIALISTS

    Pos. No.PlayerNotes
    KO93Matt McNewFormer Irish soccer star ready to display booming kickoffs
    PK35David MillerOnly returning placekicker with game experience
    or13Nick SettaHas shown promise in preseason after not playing in '99
    P17Joey HildboldHandled majority of punting duties in '99 with 39.0-yard avg.
    or13Nick SettaCould become first Irish PK/P since Craig Hentrich ('89-92)
    HLD18Joey GetherallTakes over for departed James Caputo
    SNP86Dan O'LearyTalented TE also contributes on special teams
    PR/KR22Julius JonesAlready challenged Tim Brown's return records in first year

    IF NOTRE DAME WINS ...

    • The Irish will win their fifth-straight season opener and the 13th in the last 14 years.
    • The Irish will win their fifth-straight home opener and the 11th in the last 14 years.
    • The Irish will improve to 5-0 vs. Big 12 teams since the birth of the conference.
    • The Irish will end a current four-game losing streak dating to the end of the '99 season.

    IF TEXAS A&M WINS ...

    • The Aggies will have won their season opener in 10 of the last 12 years.
    • The Aggies will become the first team since 1981 to win in their first trip to Notre Dame Stadium and just the ninth of the 61 opponents the Irish have played at Notre Dame Stadium.

    SCOUTING THE IRISH OFFENSE

    Line -- The Irish return four starters to a veteran offensive line in '00 with the only untested position being at center. Senior guards Jim Jones (left guard) and Mike Gandy (right guard) combined to start 21 games at their respective positions last year. Junior Jordan Black is back at the left tackle position where he started the first nine games in '99, with senior Kurt Vollers takes over the starting role at right tackle following backup action at left tackle in '99. Sophomore Jeff Faine moves into center after seeing no game action as a freshman. Senior John Teasdale started 10 games in '99 at mostly right tackle and will be an experienced backup to Vollers. The other reserves are sophomore Brennan Curtin at tackle, juniors Sean Mahan and Ryan Scarola at guard and at center senior JW Jordan.

    Backs -- Junior Arnaz Battle takes over as the Irish starting quarterback after playing in seven games in '99 and four in '98 behind Jarious Jackson. As a sophomore he was seven for 15 for 84 yards with a 30-yard completion to Jay Johnson in the first quarter against Stanford. Also a threat carrying the ball, Battle rushed for 100 yards on 19 carries last year, most of which came on a 74-yard touchdown run against Kansas on the Notre Dame's longest play from scrimmage in '99. Standing 6-7, sophomore Gary Godsey brings a physical presence as backup quarterback. Godsey did not see varsity action as a freshman but a solid spring effort earned him the backup role heading into '00.

    A trio of tailbacks -- juniors Tony Fisher and Terrance Howard and sophomore Julius Jones -- give the Irish a talented and diversified running attack. Fisher started all 12 games last year and returns as the team's top rusher from '99. Howard adds a combination of quickness and power, while the elusive Jones showed more and more of his potential as the weeks went by in '99.

    Junior Tom Lopienski moves into the starting fullback spot after carrying the ball 25 times for 76 yards in all 12 games last year. Junior Mike McNair also should help out at fullback after recovering from an injury-plagued '99 in which he played only in the opener against Kansas. Senior Jason Murray (back in '00 after missing all of '99 with injury) and sophomore Chris Yura could see time at fullback.

    Receivers -- One of the most competitive spots on the Irish depth chart comes from the receiving corps. Senior Joey Getherall's 35 catches in '99 make him the top returning receiver, while junior David Givens (nine catches for 139 yards) will share time with Getherall at flanker. Junior Javin Hunter moves into the starting position at split end after playing in every game last year (13 for 224 yards). Senior Jay Johnson played in the final 11 games of '99 and will see time behind Hunter. Freshmen receivers Jerome Collins, Lorenzo Crawford, Omar Jenkins, Ronnie Rodamer and Jovan Witherspoon also could contribute. Another strength for the Irish will be at tight end where senior All-America candidate Jabari Holloway (12 for 189 yards, 3 TDs) and fifth-year and '99 honorable mention All-American Dan O'Leary (13 for 183, 2 TDs) return.

    SCOUTING THE IRISH DEFENSE

    Line -- The Irish make a slight adjustment on the defensive line in '00 -- going from a two end-two tackle alignment to one featuring two ends, a tackle and a nose guard. Senior Grant Irons (34 tackles, 4 sacks in '99) moves to right end after starting the first 10 games of '99 at left end and should once again be one of the leaders. Junior and two-year starter Anthony Weaver (24 tackles) takes on a starting role at left end. Senior Andy Wisne (reserve in 10 games with 12 tackles) and sophomore Darrell Campbell (did not see action in '99) head up the defensive tackle position. Senior Lance Legree (20 tackles) enters '00 the starter at nose guard after starting the final seven games of '99 there. The reserves are sophomore Ryan Roberts at left end, senior B.J. Scott at nose guard and junior John Owens at right end.

    Linebackers -- Two of three starters return among the Irish linebackers, senior Anthony Denman (top returning tackler from '99 with 89, plus nine for losses) and junior Rocky Boiman (39 tackles). Denman will start at inside linebacker for the second straight year, while Boiman will anchor the outside spot. Junior Tyreo Harrison (34 tackles) moves into a starting spot at inside linebacker after playing all 12 games in '99 with two starts. Junior Carlos Pierre-Antoine will fill in at inside linebacker. Fifth-year Anthony Brannan will back up Boiman on the outside, while sophomore Courtney Watson will play behind Denman.

    Backs -- Old faces and new faces make up the Irish secondary starters. Seniors Tony Driver and Brock Williams return to starting roles, while senior Ron Israel and junior Shane Walton move into starting spots. Driver will play at free safety for the first time since '98 after playing seven games in '99 at tailback. Williams is back at left cornerback where he started eight of the last 10 games in '98. Israel moves from top reserve in '99 to starter at strong safety in '00. Walton has won the starting spot at right cornerback after playing in nine games in '99 following a freshman season in which he starred on the Irish men's soccer team. The reserves are sophomore Jason Beckstrom at left cornerback, junior Clifford Jefferson at right cornerback, sophomores Gerome Sapp and Glenn Earl at strong safety and junior Donald Dykes at free safety.

    SCOUTING THE IRISH KICKING GAME
    The Irish kicking derby has gone done to the wire with junior David Miller, sophomore Nick Setta and senior newcomer Matt McNew battling for placekicking spots. Sophomore Joey Hildbold (39.0 yards/punt in '99) and Setta should vie for the punting duties. Julius Jones -- whose 603 kickoff return yards in '99 rank behind only Heisman winner Tim Brown -- will provide the Irish with a major return threat on both punts and kickoffs. Joey Getherall will be the holder, with Dan O'Leary doing the snapping.

    COACHING CONNECTIONS

  • 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 (bold = 2000 returning player)

    Final 1999 NCAA stat rankings for Notre Dame and Texas A&M (top 50 for team ranks):

    Team RankingsNotre DameTexas A&M
    Rushing Offense26th at 181.5 ypg145.6
    Passing Offense34th at 238.2 ypg43rd at 228.5
    Total Offense19th at 419.7 ypg374.1
    Scoring Offense35th at 29.0 ppg39th at 28.9
    Rushing Defense, yards50th at 142.2 ypg25th at 114.3
    Passing Efficiency Def. 128.9 rating pts (241.5 ypg) 14th, 105.0 rat. pts
    Total Defense383.7 ypg13th at 300.9
    Scoring Defense27.6 ppgT-19th at 18.9
    Net Punting35.2 ypp1st at 42.7
    Punt Returns17th at 12.5 ypr 8.8
    Kickoff Returns21st at 23.1 ypr18.1
    Turnover Margin-0.33/gm (-4 overall)T-30th at +0.36

    Individual RankingsNotre DameTexas A&M
    Passing EfficiencyJarious Jackson Randy McCown
    14th at 140.3 rating pts43rd at 128.0
    Total OffenseJarious Jackson
    19th at 268.08 ypg
    Scoring Terence Kitchens
    T-38th at 7.50
    Kickoff ReturnsJulius Jones
    36th at 23.2 ypr
    Punting Shane Lechler
    3rd at 46.45
    Field Goals Terrence Kitchens
    18th at 1.50

    DENMAN, DRIVER, FISHER EARN TROPHY CONSIDERATION
    Three Irish players have been selected for considerations for the annual position-specific trophies. Senior linebacker Anthony Denman joins the preliminary list of 70 candidates for the Butkus Award -- presented annually to the best linebacker in college football by the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando. The list will be trimmed to 10 semifinalists on Oct. 19, and three finalists will be announced on Nov. 9. Senior free safety Tony Driver has been picked one of 40 players on the "watch list" for the Jim Thorpe Award -- presented annually to the best defensive back in college football by the Jim Thorpe Association in Oklahoma City, Okla. Junior tailback Tony Fisher has been selected one of 35 candidates for the Doak Walker Award presented by Vectrix -- given annually to the nation's top college running back by the Southwestern Bell-SMU Athletic Forum in Dallas. The Southwestern Bell Athletic Forum Board of Directors will select eight semifinalists on Nov. 8, and the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will vote on the winner in late November. The National Selection Committee consists of former All-Pro and All-America running backs, media members and selected special representatives.

    JULIUS JONES TAPPED FUTURE STAR
    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).

    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. Representing the College Football Hall of Fame, executive director Bernie Kish will be present to honor Dove during halftime ceremonies of the Texas A&M game.

    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. 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. 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. 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). The Youngstown, Ohio native currently resides in Canfield, Ohio.

    GEORGE CONNOR PRESENTED OUTLAND TROPHY
    A ceremony to present former Irish great George Connor with an Outland Trophy will be held during pregame ceremonies of the Texas A&M game. He will be presented with an Outland Trophy in recognition of the award he received in 1946. The Outland Trophy recognizes the nation's top interior lineman and ranks as college football's third-oldest award, behind only the Heisman Trophy and the Maxwell Award -- both of which honor the nation's top overall player. Connor was the first recipient of the Outland, but permanent trophies were not presented to the winners until 1989. Prior to 1989, the winner of the Outland was presented with a plaque and the original trophy, which then was passed on to the following year's winner. The Football Writers Association of America -- which sponsors the voting and presentation of the Outland Trophy -- recently decided to begin presenting Outland trophies to pre-1989 winners. The Downtown Rotary Club of Omaha and the Omaha Sports Committee also came on board with this project and began presenting the trophies to former winners at the annual Outland Award Dinner in Omaha. Participating in the Notre Dame ceremonies are FWAA president Tom Shatel of the Omaha World Herald, president of the FWAA, Bob Mancuso, representing the Downtown Rotary Club of Omaha and Jay Baum of the Omaha Sports Committee.

    Connor, who earned All-America honors at Holy Cross before transferring to Notre Dame, was the leader of a dominating group of Notre Dame offensive linemen in the late 1940s. He was a key component of the 1946 and '47 Irish national championship teams and won consensus All-America honors both seasons. Connor's success continued on the professional level while playing for his hometown team, the Chicago Bears. A five-time all-NFL selection who excelled on both sides of the ball, Connor was considered one of pro football's first linebackers who combined size and mobility while his iron-man endurance saw him on the field for nearly every play (including special teams). Connor went on to earn induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame -- he is the only player ever presented for induction by legendary coach George Halas -- and he is one of just seven Outland winners to enter the pro hall of fame, including Notre Dame's third recipient Ross Browner ('76).

    IRISH AIM TO CONTINUE QB'S FIRST-START MAGIC

  • Notre Dame will open the 2000 season with quarterback Arnaz Battle, 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 coming in a season opener. Those openers were won by Rick Mirer (#1 ND def. #4 Michigan 28-24 in '90), Kevin McDougal (#7ND def. Northwestern 27-12 in '93), Ron Powlus (#3 ND def. Northwestern 42-12 in '95) and Jarious Jackson (#22 ND def. #5 Michigan 36-20 in '98).

  • 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).

  • Battle will be looking to become the 10th consecutive QB making his first start in a season opener to lead the Irish to victory. Dating back to 1965, Notre Dame has won nine straight season-opening games with a new quarterback: Bill Zloch (vs. Cal, '65), Terry Hanratty (vs. Purdue, '66), Pat Steenberge (vs. Northwestern, '71), Tom Clements (vs. Northwestern, '72), Rick Slager (vs. Boston College, '75), Rick Mirer (vs. Michigan, '90), Kevin McDougal (vs. Northwestern, '93), Ron Powlus (vs. Northwestern, '94) and Jarious Jackson (vs. Michigan, '98).

    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.

    TWO-SPORT STANDOUTS
    Junior cornerback Shane Walton -- less than two years removed from earning all-BIG EAST honors as a freshman forward on the '98 Irish men's soccer team -- enters the 2000 season as Notre Dame's starter at right cornerback. Walton joined the Irish football squad in the spring of '99 and saw action in three games in the secondary during the '99 season. He played in nine games overall with 61 appearances on special teams, earning his second monogram at Notre Dame in as many years and in as many sports.

    While Walton underwent a less traditional soccer-to-football transition, fifth-year Matt McNew made the more natural switch from soccer player to placekicker. After exhausting his four years of eligibility with the Irish men's soccer team, McNew tried out in the '00 spring season and was invited to join the team in the fall. He now enters the '00 season battling for the kickoff duties.

    NEW SCHOLARSHIPS
    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.

    NUMBER CHANGES
    The Irish have made four 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).

    FRESHMAN WALK-ONS
    Notre Dame's freshman class includes 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 and the son of former Irish tight end Kevin Hart. Krueger prepped at South Bend's Marian High School as did his brother Ryan, a junior walk-on QB with the Irish.

    COACHING IN THE CLUTCH
    Knute Rockne owns the best career winning pct. among Notre Dame 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).

    NOTRE DAME STADIUM EXPANDS AGAIN ... BY 220 SEATS
    The capacity of Notre Dame Stadium has increased slightly to 80,232 for the 2000 football season. The increase of 220 represents field seats in the southwest section of the Stadium being made available to Notre Dame alumni clubs to assist in their scholarship development efforts. Notre Dame Stadium's capacity for the 1998 and '99 seasons was 80,012 -- making the facility the 15th 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.

    FIRST-TIME VISITORS

  • Texas A&M becomes the 61st team to visit Notre Dame Stadium when the Aggies face the Irish in the 2000 season opener. 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. Thirteen 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).
  • 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 had 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).

    FRIDAY FOOTBALL KICKOFF LUNCHEONS
    Tickets are available for the 2000 Notre Dame Football Kickoff Luncheons, beginning at 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.

    PEP RALLIES
    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. Another such group is expected Saturday versus Texas A&M

    FOR OPENERS
    Notre Dame has won nearly 90 percent of its previous season openers (94-12-5, .869), including 67-9-3 (.867) mark 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. Notre Dame's all-time record in season-opening games includes a 9-2-1 (7-2-1 at home) mark versus teams that currently comprise the Big 12 Conference (with another set for Saturday versus Texas A&M).

    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.

    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).

    Opponent'99 RecordSept. 2Sept. 9
    Texas A&M8-4 at Notre DameWyoming
    Nebraska11-1 San Jose State at Notre Dame
    Purdue7-5 Central MichiganKent State
    Michigan State 10-2IdleMarshall
    Stanford 8-4at Washington StateSan Jose State
    Navy4-8Templeat Georgia Tech
    West Virginia4-7 Boston CollegeIdle (Sept. 16 vs. Maryland)
    Air Force6-5 Cal State NorthridgeBrigham Young
    Boston College8-4 at West Virginiaat Army
    Rutgers1-10 VillanovaBuffalo
    USC6-6def. Penn St. 29-5 (8/27)Colorado

    Notre Dame 2000 Opponents' Combined Record in 1999: 73-56 (.566)

    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 pregame 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.

    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 Dave Butler, 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, Skip Holtz, Peter Vaas, Brian White and Tony Yelovich and former Irish player Mike Haywood while 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).

    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.

    GIVING BACK

  • 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.

    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
    With the first three games of the Irish 2000 season sold out at home, the Irish will have played in front of capacity crowds in 121 of 140 games. 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.

    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 owns a 28-6 all-time record against schools from the state of Texas, last playing a Texas school (Baylor) in '98 (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.

  • 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 17 Texas natives, with the 16 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 sophomores SS Gerome Sapp (Houston/Lamar HS) and DT Cedric Hilliard (Arlington/Lamar 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), DB 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)

    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.

    TOUGHEST 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:

    Rk.OpponentSeasonRequest
    1. USC199757,048
    2. Nebraska200047,865
    3.Michigan State199747,681
    4.Michigan199847,233
    5.USC199946,658
    6.Army199846,547
    7.Boston College200046,312
    8. West Virginia199746,093
    9. Ohio State199645,225
    10. Boston College199743,442

    RECENT IRISH RUSHING HISTORY
    Notre Dame's rushing attack has ranked 20th or better nationally in 11 of the last 13 years:

    YearRushing AverageNCAA RankRushing TDs
    1987252.114th33
    1988258.011th30
    1989287.78th42
    1990250.312th33
    1991268.05th31
    1992280.93rd34
    1993260.76th36
    1994215.620th18
    1995233.56th29
    1996269.58th34
    1997174.936th22
    1998212.516th22
    1999181.526th25

    DAVIE INTERVIEWS
    Outside his regular Tuesday teleconference, the best time for Bob Davie interviews is between noon and 1:00 p.m. (EST) during the week. Please contact the Notre Dame SID office to make specific arrangements.

    Kevin White Radio Show
    First-year Notre Dame athletics director Kevin White will be the host of a radio show each Sunday night beginning Aug. 27 from 10:00-10:30 p.m. on ESPN radio (1000 AM in Chicago). The show can be heard in 35 states. White will welcome to the show a series of guests and prominent figures associated with college athletics, including administrators, coaches and media members.

    Releases Available Via Email
    Media members interested in receiving Notre Dame football releases via email should send requests to Sports Information Assistant Eric Wachter at wachter.1@nd.edu.

    PRESEASON HONORS

    LT Jordan BlackThe Sporting News preseason all-independent team
    DT Darrell CampbellThe Sporting News preseason all-independent team
    ILB Anthony DenmanThe Sporting News, ranked 13th nationally among ILB
    Butkus Award preliminary list
    The Sporting News and Football News preseason all-independent team
    FS Tony DriverThe Sporting News, ranked 3rd nationally among FS
    The Sporting News second team preseason All-American
    Jim Thorpe Award watch list
    The Sporting News preseason all-independent team
    TB Tony FisherDoak Walker Award candidate
    The Sporting News and Football News preseason all-independent team
    RG Mike GandyThe Sporting News and Football News preseason all-independent team
    TE Jabari HollowayThe Sporting News and Lindy's, ranked 3rd nationally among TE
    The Sporting News and Football News preseason all-independent team
    RE Grant IronsThe Sporting News and Lindy's, ranked 15th nationally among DE
    Lindy's, ranked 16th nationally among DE
    The Sporting News and Football News preseason all-independent team
    LG Jim JonesThe Sporting News preseason all-independent team
    TB Julius JonesThe Sporting News, ranked 19th nationally among RB
    Athlon NFL all-decade team for 2000-2009
    The Sporting News preseason all-independent team
    RT John TeasdaleFootball News preseason all-independent team
    LE Anthony WeaverThe Sporting News, ranked 10th nationally among DT
    The Sporting News preseason all-independent team
    LCB Brock WilliamsLindy's, ranked 23rd nationally among CB
    The Sporting News preseason all-independent team

    Friend Or Foe?

    Notre Dame's 2000 roster includes 19 Texas natives and players from 27 other states (plus Nigeria) while Texas A&M's preseason roster featured 92 Texas natives, plus four from Louisiana, three from California and one each from Mississippi and Oklahoma. Several Notre Dame and A&M players are products of the same Texas high schools, among them:

  • ND fifth-year OG Mike Gandy prepped at Garland HS, as did two A&M freshmen: DB Keelan Jackson and PK Chris Sims

  • Each team features multiple Lamar HS alums: ND sophomore SS Gerome Sapp, sophomore DT Cedric Hilliard and senior K Matt McNew and two A&M freshmen: RB Keith Joseph and LB Toron Woolridge

  • Irish junior FL David Givens and A&M sophomore DB Sammy Davis (Humble HS)

  • ND senior LB Grant Irons and A&M junior TE Lonnie Madison (The Woodlands HS).

  • Irish junior walk-on CB Dwayne Francis and A&M senior LB Cornelius Anthony (Houston/Elkins HS).

    The TEXAS A&M Series

    Notre Dame leads 2-1-0

    SiteYearRankW/L/TNDA&M
    CB198712-13L1035
    CB19925-4W283
    CB19934-7W2421
    Each of the above played in Dallas at Cotton Bowl.

    ND's LARGEST BOWL MARGINS

    Biggest bowl victory margins for ND

    28 points -- 1978 Cotton BowlNotre Dame 38, Texas 10
    25 points -- 1993 Cotton Bowl Notre Dame 28, Texas A&M 3
    17 points -- 1925 Rose BowlNotre Dame 27, Stanford 10
    15 points -- 1990 Orange Bowl Notre Dame 21, Colorado 6

    Biggest bowl loss margins for ND

    34 points -- 1973 Orange Bowl Nebraska 40, Notre Dame 6
    25 points -- 1988 Cotton Bowl Texas A&M 35, Notre Dame 10
    18 points -- 1997 Independence Bowl LSU 27, Notre Dame 9
    17 points -- 1995 Fiesta Bowl Colorado 41, Notre Dame 24

    Notre Dame vs. BIG 12 TEAMS

    SchoolWonLostTiedPct.
    Baylor2001.000
    Colorado320.400
    Iowa State000------
    Kansas411.750
    Kansas State000------
    Missouri220.500
    Nebraska761.536
    Oklahoma State000------
    Oklahoma810.89
    Texas820.800
    Texas A&M210.667
    Texas Tech000------
    TOTALS 36152.698

    CONFERENCE CALL

  • Notre Dame faced teams from eight different conferences/affiliations in 1998 and from six different leagues in 1999, including three each from the Big 10 (Michigan, Purdue, Michigan State) and Pacific-10 (Arizona State, USC, Stanford), two each from the Big 12 (Kansas, Oklahoma) and the BIG EAST (Pittsburgh, Boston College), plus Tennessee (Southeastern) and Navy (independent).

  • In 1998, the Irish played the above Pac-10 and Big-10 teams, in addition to Boston College, Navy, Army (Conference USA), Baylor (Big 12), LSU (Southeastern) and Georgia Tech (Atlantic Coast).

  • Notre Dame's 2000 schedule will feature teams from six affiliations: two each from the Big 10 (Purdue, Michigan State), the Big 12 (Texas A&M, Nebraska) and the Pac-10 (Stanford, USC) and three from the BIG EAST (West Virginia, Boston College, Rutgers), plus independent Navy and Air Force (Mountain West).
     

     

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