Sept. 6, 2005
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(#20 AP/23 USA Today) Notre Dame (1-0) vs.
(#3/3) Michigan (1-0)
The Date and Time:Saturday, Sept. 10, 2005, 12 noon EDT (11 a.m. in South Bend, Ind.)
The Site:Michigan Stadium (107,501), FieldTurf surface
The Tickets: The game is officially sold out over capacity. An attendance of over 111,000 is expected.
The TV Plans: ABC national telecast with Brad Nessler (play-by-play), Bob Griese (analysis), Lynn Swann (sideline), Bruce Clark (producer) and Patrick McManus (director).
The Radio Plans: For the 38th consecutive season all Notre Dame football games are to be broadcast on approximately 300 stations in 50 states by Westwood One with Tony Roberts (play-by-play) and former Irish running back Allen Pinkett (analysis). This broadcast can be heard live on SIRIUS Satellite Radio (channel 123 for the Michigan game) as well.
A live broadcast from the Notre Dame student station, WVFI, also is available via the Notre Dame official athletics website at www.und.com (subscription service). All Notre Dame home games may be heard in South Bend on U93-FM (92.9) with pre-game analysis featuring Sean Stires, Brian Noe, Vince DeDario and Colin Burns. The post-game show is hosted by Jack Nolan and features former Notre Dame players Reggie Brooks and Mirko Jurkovic. See page 17 of this notes package for more information on Irish football radio and television shows.
Real-Time Stats: Live in-game statistics will be provided through Gametracker on www.mgoblue.com.
Web Sites: Notre Dame (www.und.com), Michigan (www.mgoblue.com).
Two-Minute Drill (what you need to know about Saturday's Notre Dame - Michigan matchup) -
Michigan will enter the matchup riding a 16-game home winning streak against non-conference opponents dating back to a 38-28 loss to Syracuse on Sept. 12, 1998.
Notre Dame is looking for its first victory in Michigan Stadium since a 27-23 victory over the #3 Wolverines in 1993. The Irish entered that contest ranked 11th.
Charlie Weis is looking to become the first Notre Dame head coach to win his first two games on the opposing team's home field since Knute Rockne in 1918 (26-6 at Case Tech, 67-7 at Wabash).
Weis' crew provided the Irish coach with the highest scoring debut at Pittsburgh last weekend (42-21) since Jesse Harper's first team defeated Ohio Northern 87-0 in the 1913 opener. Frank Leahy's first team in 1941 opened with a 38-7 victory over Arizona on Sept. 27, 1941.
Against Pittsburgh last weekend, 15 Irish players saw their first playing time at Notre Dame, including seven true freshmen.
Notre Dame's captains for Saturday's game will be senior Brandon Hoyte (defense), junior Brady Quinn (offense) and junior Casey Cullen (special teams). The special teams captain is selected by the Irish coaching staff on a week-to-week basis.
Sophomore Darius Walker saw his first collegiate action against Michigan last year in Notre Dame's 28-20 victory. He rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns in his Irish debut.
Notre Dame head coaches are 1-3 against Michigan in their first matchup with the Wolverines. Tyrone Willingham won his first game against Michigan in 2002 (25-23) in Notre Dame Stadium. Gerry Faust (L, 25-7) and Bob Davie (L, 21-14) both faced Michigan for the first time in Michigan Stadium.
Notre Dame has defeated Michigan 11 times while the Wolverines were ranked in the top 10. The Irish were the lower-ranked team in eight of those contests.
Notre Dame and Michigan met in ND's first-ever collegiate football game in 1887 - an 8-0 victory for the Wolverines. The Irish earned their first victory in the series in 1909.
Notre Dame has faced teams from the Big Ten Conference 330 times in its history. The Irish have won 211 of those meetings (211-104-15, .662). The games played and win totals are by far the most for any conference the Irish have faced.
Notre Dame's penchant for playing the best teams in the country is well known. Since 1987, the Irish have played 87 games against ranked opponents, an average of nearly five games per season. Notre Dame has posted a record of 46-39-2 (.540) in those games, including a 23-13-1 (.635) mark against ranked teams at home. Michigan (ranked fourth in both national polls) is the second ranked team the Irish will face this season, having defeated #23/25 Pittsburgh 42-21 last weekend. Should the rankings hold, Notre Dame also will face #15/16 Purdue, #1/1 USC and #3/3 Tennessee this season as well.
2005: The Charlie Weis Era Begins
The 117th season of Notre Dame football is the first in the tenure of head coach Charlie Weis, who began his career with the Irish last weekend with a 42-21 victory at Pittsburgh.
Weis was named the 28th head football coach in Notre Dame history on Sunday, Dec. 12, 2004. A 1978 Notre Dame graduate, Weis takes the reins of the Irish program after a highly-successful career as an assistant coach in the National Football League.
The owner of four Super Bowl champion rings as products of a stellar 15-season career as an NFL assistant, Weis is a widely-respected disciple of professional coaching standouts Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick. He came to Notre Dame after excelling as offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots, where he played an integral role in New England's victories in three of the last four Super Bowls.
Weis is the first Notre Dame graduate to hold the football head coaching position at his alma mater since Hugh Devore (a '34 graduate) served as interim coach in 1963 and is the first Notre Dame graduate to serve as the Irish football coach on a full-fledged basis since Joe Kuharich (a '38 graduate who coached at Notre Dame from 1959 through '62).
A veteran of 26 seasons in coaching, Weis coached nine seasons with the Patriots, including five as offensive coordinator. He helped produce four Super Bowl championships (New York Giants following the 1990 season, Patriots following '01, '03 and '04 seasons), five conference titles and seven division crowns.
Notre Dame's season-opening victory at Pittsburgh last weekend provided a number of superlatives that should be mentioned.
... points scored in the second quarter (28) since the team put up 28 against Navy on Oct. 23, 1994.
... points scored in the first half (35) since the team compiled 35 against Rutgers in 1996.
... points scored in an opener (42) since the team compiled 48 against Kansas in 1998.
... points scored in an opener (42) on the road since the team compiled 52 against Purdue in 1983.
... points scored in the debut of a non-interim coach since 1913 (Jesse Harper defeated Ohio Northern 87-0).
... rushing first downs (20) since the 1996 Washington game (54-20 victory) when the Irish had 21 rushing first downs.
... first downs (33) since the Irish posted 34 against Georgia Tech (34) in 1977.
... rushing yards (275) since the Irish posted 352 against Pittsburgh in 2003.
... rushing yards (275) in an opener since the Irish compiled 363 against Kansas in 1999.
During Notre Dame's victory at Pittsburgh last weekend, several Irish players produced a bevy of career firsts or career highs.
... playing time for 15 players (including seven freshmen) - James Bent, Justin Brown, David Bruton*, Maurice Crum, Jr., Casey Cullen, Paul Duncan*, Leo Ferrine, David Grimes*, LaBrose Hedgemon III, Joey Hiben*, Pat Kuntz*, Terrail Lambert, Asaph Schwapp*, Ronald Talley and Michael Turkovich*. * - indicates freshman
... tackles for Crum, Jr., (five), Brown (two), Talley (two) and Cullen (one).
... punt return for junior Tom Zbikowski (23-yard return in the second quarter).
... touchdown reception for junior Jeff Samardzija (19-yard reception in the second quarter).
... kickoff return for senior Brandon Harris (11-yard return in the first quarter).
... rushing attempt for freshman Asaph Schwapp in the second quarter (four-yard run for a first down).
... three-touchdown game by senior Rashon Powers-Neal (three rushing touchdowns).
... touchdown reception for sophomore Darius Walker (51-yard reception in the first quarter).
... start for sophomore Maurice Crum, Jr. (at LB), senior Chris Frome (DL) , junior Trevor Laws (DL), junior Chinedum Ndukwe (S) and junior Ambrose Wooden (DB).
... total yards for sophomore Darius Walker (152 on 20 rushes and two receptions)
... rushing yards for junior Travis Thomas (40 yards on eight carries)
... rushing yards for junior Brady Quinn (49 yards on eight carries)
... tackles for junior Ambrose Wooden (12, including 10 solo)
Notre Dame's marathon 20-play, 7:07 time-elapsed touchdown drive in the third quarter of last Saturday's victory over Pittsburgh was one for the record books. It was the longest drive, in terms of time elapsed, since the 2002 opener against Maryland at the Kickoff Classic (ended with a field goal). As for play length, scoring drive statistics are not available before 1980 and the Irish have not had a 20-play scoring drive since the 1980 season. The 2003 team posted a 19-play drive against Purdue which ended on downs.
Spreading the Wealth
Junior Brady Quinn completed passes to 20 different receivers in 2004 and is on his way to that number again this season. Against Pittsburgh, seven players nabbed a combined 18 passes in the 42-21 victory, led by senior tight end Anthony Fasano with four catches.
Irish First-Year Head Coaches
As Charlie Weis continues his first season at the helm of the Irish, here are a few notes on Notre Dame's head coaches in their inaugural years (see page 13 for a recap of each coaching debut season in ND history).
First-year non-interim Notre Dame coaches are 1-3 against Michigan in their initial campaigns. The victory came in 2002 when Tyrone Willingham's first squad (ranked #20) defeated #7 Michigan in Notre Dame Stadium 25-23. Other games - Gerry Faust, 1981 vs. #11 Michigan (ND ranked #1), L, 25-7; Lou Holtz, 1986 vs. #3 Michigan, L, 24-23; Bob Davie, 1997 vs. #6 Michigan, L, 21-41.
The 27 previous head football coaches in Notre Dame history have combined to amass a 168-60-12 (.700) record in their first years at the helm.
Since Notre Dame Stadium was opened in 1930, six Notre Dame coaches - Hunk Anderson, Ed McKeever, Ara Parseghian, Dan Devine, Tyrone Willingham and Charlie Weis - have opened away from home in their first seasons - going 6-0 in those games.
Weis will be the first coach to begin his Notre Dame tenure with the first two games on the road and on the opponent's home field since Knute Rockne in 1918 (at Case Tech, at Wabash - both wins). Anderson faced his first two games away from Notre Dame in `31 (at Indiana, vs. Northwestern at Soldier Field - a win and a tie, respectively) and Devine also started with two games away from South Bend in `75 (vs. Boston College at Foxboro, at Purdue - both wins).
The two most recent Irish head coaches (Bob Davie; 7-6 in 1997, Tyrone Willingham; 10-3 in 2002) posted winning records in their first seasons. The last Irish coach to turn in a sub - .500 season in his first year is Lou Holtz, whose `86 team finished 5-6.
The longest winning streak for a Notre Dame head coach to begin his career with the Irish is nine games, by Harper (1913-14) and Parseghian (`64).
Since 1913, four Notre Dame coaches - Layden, Parseghian, Holtz and Willingham - have taken over the program the year after their predecessors were either .500 or below. All but Holtz, who went 5-6 in `86, posted winning records in their first seasons and the quartet had a combined 30-13 record in such seasons. The `04 Irish went 6-6 under Willingham.
Notre Dame - Michigan Series Notes
Michigan leads the all-time series with Notre Dame by an 18-13-1 count. Notre Dame is 6-10 at Michigan Stadium and has not won on UM's home field since a 27-23 victory in 1993 (0-3 since). Notre Dame has won three of the last five meetings in the series - all in Notre Dame Stadium.
Michigan and Notre Dame are the two most successful college football programs in the nation in terms of winning percentage and total wins. Michigan is first on both lists (.746 overall winning percentage, 842 wins) with the Irish right behind at .744 winning percentage and 803 wins. Michigan has been playing football for 126 years, the Irish 117.
Notre Dame is 8-5-1 in its last 14 meetings with the Wolverines, and the Irish have won two of the last three meetings. In the past 13 series games (excluding a 17-17 tie in 1992), eight have been decided by a touchdown or less.
At least one of the two combatants has been ranked in every Notre Dame-Michigan matchup since the inception of the Associated Press poll in 1936. In addition, one of the teams has been ranked in the AP Top 10 for 16 consecutive meetings (including this season).
The lower-ranked team in the series holds a 12-10-1 edge dating back to 1942, including wins in five of the last eight matchups.
Since 1990, the average margin of victory in a Notre Dame-Michigan showdown is 8.7 points, but drops to 5.7 points when the 38-0 game in 2003 is excluded.
The Wolverines have been the second opponent on the Notre Dame schedule seven times since 1990, and the Irish are just 2-4-1 on those occasions.
Gerry Faust was the first Notre Dame coach to face Michigan in his first season at the helm. Irish coaches are a combined 1-3 against UM in their inaugural year.
Since 1990, the Irish are 5-2-1 against the Wolverines when they attempt fewer passes than does Michigan.
The 2002 season marked the last time Notre Dame faced Michigan on the heels of a non-winning season; the Irish earned a 25-23 victory at Notre Dame Stadium that year. The Irish finished 6-6 in 2004.
The home team in this series holds an 19-12-1 edge, but is 4-0 in the four games played since 1999.
Notre Dame and Michigan are considered strong rivals, but have only played 32 times. After several meetings in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the teams did not meet until 1942. After two meetings in 1942-43, the teams did not meet again until 1978. Since `78, the series has been contested on a regular basis, taking a few two-year breaks along the way (see page 14 for a complete series history listing).
Notre Dame Versus the Big Ten Conference
Notre Dame has played almost three times as many games against Big Ten Conference opponents (330) than any other league. The Pac-10 (112) is the only other conference against whom the Irish have played at least 100 games.
Notre Dame has won more than 66 percent of its games versus Big Ten Conference opponents, with a record of .500 or better against 10 of the 11 Big Ten teams (Michigan is the lone exception). The Irish have an overall mark of 211-104-15 (.662) in 330 games against Big Ten schools, with more than 52 percent of those games (170) coming versus Michigan (13-18-1), Michigan State (43-24-1) and Purdue (49-25-2), all of whom are on Notre Dame's 2005 schedule.
For the third consecutive season, Notre Dame is playing three Big Ten schools (Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue). Last year, the Irish ended up 2-1 against those same three Big Ten opponents (victories over Michigan and Michigan State, loss to Purdue).
Last Time In Michigan Stadium
Notre Dame's last visit to Michigan Stadium is one the Irish would rather forget. The Wolverines defeated the Irish 38-0 behind 133 yards rushing and four touchdowns from Chris Perry. It was Michigan's most lopsided win in the series. In the last matchup between the two teams at Notre Dame Stadium (see page 14 for a complete recap), the Irish defeated Michigan 28-20.
Remember These Names?
Here are just a few of the memorable names and performances from the Notre Dame - Michigan series in Notre Dame Stadium:
1980 - Harry Oliver's legendary 51-yard field goal at the gun pushes Notre Dame to a 29-27 victory.
1986 - Unranked Notre Dame takes #3 Michigan to the brink, piling up 455 yards of offense behind Tim Brown (65 yards, touchdown run). John Carney misses possible game-winning field goal with 18 seconds remaining.
1988 - Reggio Ho kicks four field goals to lead Notre Dame to victory, 19-17. Mike Gillette misses a 49-yard attempt as time expires. Ricky Watters scores Notre Dame's lone touchdown on an 81-yard punt return.
1990 - Rick Mirer connects with Adrian Jarrell for an 18-yard touchdown pass with 1:40 remaining to give Notre Dame a 28-24 victory. Michael Stonebreaker and Reggie Brooks (then a cornerback) post crucial second half interceptions of Elvis Grbac. Desmond Howard explodes for 133 yards receiving and two touchdowns for the Wolverines.
1994 - Remy Hamilton drills a 42-yard field goal to provide Michigan with its most recent victory in Notre Dame Stadium, 26-24. Hamilton's kick erases a Ron Powlus - Derrick Mayes possible game-winning touchdown pass.
1998 - Autry Denson rushes for 163 yards and two touchdowns as Notre Dame scores 30 points in the second half en route to a 36-20 victory over #5 Michigan.
(notes continue on page six)
2002 - Ryan Grant rushes for a (then) career-high 132 yards and two touchdowns to help Notre Dame defeat Michigan 25-23. Shane Walton posts an interception on the Wolverines' final offensive play to seal the victory.
2004 - Darius Walker bursts on the scene in his first collegiate game with 115 yards rushing and two touchdowns to lead unranked Notre Dame to a 28-20 upset over the seventh-ranked Wolverines.
Notre Dame - Michigan Series Produces Exciting Moments
Eight of the last 14 Notre Dame-Michigan games have been decided by five points or less while only four of the last 20 games have been won by more than 10 points: Michigan's 25-7 home win in 1981, Notre Dame's 26-7 victory at Michigan in 1987, Notre Dame's 36-20 triumph at home in 1998 and Michigan's 38-0 victory in the last meeting in Ann Arbor (2003).
Since the Notre Dame-Michigan series resumed in 1978, the average margin has been just 8.2 points over the span of 21 games, with the Irish holding a slim 11-9-1 edge. Subtract the 2003 meeting and the average margin of victory is 6.4. From 1993-2002 (six meetings), the average final scoring margin was 5.8.
Five of the last 19 games in the series have seen the winning points come in the final two minutes (1980, '88, '90, '94 and '99), including two that were decided in the final seconds ('80 and '94).
"Katrina Stadium Collection" Set for Michigan State Home Opener
The University of Notre Dame will collect funds for relief of the victims of Hurricane Katrina at its first home football game Sept. 17, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., the University's president announced.
Notre Dame Stadium, with a capacity of 80,795, is sold out for the 2.30 p.m. (EST) game against Michigan State.
"My hope is that the collective generosity of 80,000 fans will raise as much as possible in support of relief for this disaster, the full magnitude of which is still being determined with each passing hour," Father Jenkins said.
The "Katrina Stadium Collection" will be taken between quarters or at halftime during the contest which, as with all home games at Notre Dame, will be televised nationally by NBC.
Father Jenkins will lead the crowd in prayer and a moment of silence during pre-game ceremonies.
The University also took up a collection for hurricane relief during all Masses last weekend in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart and in the University's 27 residence halls.
Funds received in both collections will be distributed as follows: 50 percent to Catholic Charities USA, 25 percent to Congregation of Holy Cross ministries in Louisiana, and 25 percent to Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) staff in affected areas.
The Holy Cross ministries include Our Lady of Holy Cross College, Sacred Heart Parish and the Holy Cross School, all in the greater New Orleans area. ACE, a program founded at Notre Dame 10 years ago, trains teachers to serve Catholic schools in areas of poverty throughout the U.S. There are an estimated 25 ACE teachers in hard-hit areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
Father Jenkins said Notre Dame continues to examine other options for aiding those most affected by Hurricane Katrina.
"Of course we are monitoring the well-being of our students who have families in the area, and we will be attentive to their needs, both emotionally and financially," Father Jenkins said.
Notre Dame has 60 students from the areas where the storm hit.
"In addition, we are mobilizing all of the pertinent units on our campus to determine how we can best assist the academic and scholarly needs of students and faculty from colleges and universities that have been affected," Father Jenkins said.
Notre Dame's service learning enterprise, the Center for Social Concerns, also is organizing a number of activities to support the relief effort.
Further details on the "Katrina Stadium Collection," including how those unable to attend the game might give, will be announced in the near future.
Don't Forget the Anniversary
The 2005 football season marks the 75th anniversary of the opening of fabled Notre Dame Stadium. The Irish have played 379 games in that facility to date and own a 287-87-5 (.757) record in the "House that Rockne Built."
The Irish were 3-3 in Notre Dame Stadium in `04, running their home record to 91-28 (.765) over the last 20 years.
The most wins in a season by the Irish at home is seven by the `88 national championship team and the longest home winning streak in Notre Dame football history is 28 games (from 11/21/42 through 9/30/50).
In `55, the stadium's 25th anniversary, Notre Dame went 8-2 on the season for coach Terry Brennan, including a 4-0 home record; the Irish turned in a 9-2-1 overall record and a 5-0 home mark, to commemorate Notre Dame Stadium's 50th anniversary in `80.
Irish Face Another Loaded Schedule
With the release of the AP and USA Today/Coaches Poll, Notre Dame found out just how tough the preseason prognosticators think the 2005 slate will be (rankings are AP/USA Today):
Notre Dame is the only team that will play three games against top-four teams - #1/1 USC, #3/3 Tennessee and #4/4 Michigan in the poll.
Only one other school - Ohio State - has multiple games against the top four teams in the poll (vs. #2/2 Texas and #4/4 Michigan).
Notre Dame is the only school that will face three teams that are in the top 10 of both polls this season.
Notre Dame will face five games against teams currently in the top 25 this season. The Irish have already defeated #23/25 Pittsburgh 42-21 and also will face #4/4 Michigan, #15/16 Purdue, #1/1 USC and #3/3 Tennessee.
In Front of the Nation
In 2004, the Notre Dame football team once again received more network television exposure and played in more highly-rated games than any other program in college football.
The Irish played in the highest-rated network game of the `04 regular season (and the highest-rated regular-season game overall in two seasons) in its `04 regular-season finale at USC. That game, televised by ABC Sports, received a 6.3 Nielsen rating and was seen in 6.898 million households.
Overall, Notre Dame played in six games that ranked among the top 25 highest-rated network telecasts, and no other school played in more than five (Tennessee and Georgia each played in five).
Including last weekend's victory at Pittsburgh, Notre Dame now has a remarkable streak of 149 consecutive games (more than 12 full seasons) that have been carried by either NBC (80), ABC (42), CBS (14) or ESPN (12). You have to go all the way back to the `92 season to find a Notre Dame game that wasn't on one of those four networks.
The streak will continue throughout the 2005 season as well. All 10 remaining games this season are scheduled to be broadcast on NBC, ABC and ESPN.
Home Series History a Plus
Notre Dame's series record in Notre Dame Stadium against their six home opponents in 2005 (Michigan State, USC, BYU, Tennessee, Navy and Syracuse) is a combined 67-27-1 (.705). Their best mark over one of those opponents is the 25-3 advantage they own at home against Navy, and they have a losing record on their own field against only Tennessee (1-2).
The Sky Is Falling (on opposing defenses)
The Notre Dame offense produced an average of 218.1 yards per game via the pass in 2004, ranking as the third-best per-game average in Notre Dame history (according to records kept since `46). Only two other Irish teams averaged more passing yards: the `70 squad led by Joe Theismann averaged 252.7 yards per game and the `99 unit led by Jarious Jackson passed at a clip of 238.2 yards. That success in the air contributed to Notre Dame's total offense average of 357 yards per contest in `04, the most by the Irish since `99 (419.7 ypg).
Notre Dame posted an efficient 227 passing yards at Pittsburgh last weekend, averaging 8.4 yards per attempt and 12.6 per completion.
Handling the Pill
The Irish completed 2004 with an impressive streak of six consecutive games without losing a fumble and continued that run in the season opener at Pittsburgh last weekend. Overall, Notre Dame has not lost a fumble in eight of 13 games and lost more than one only once all last season (two at Michigan State). Since a fumble lost against Stanford on Oct. 9, 2004, the Irish have gone 28 quarters and 234 rushing attempts without losing a fumble. Over that span, Notre Dame only fumbled three times, recovering all three (vs. Navy and USC in `04, vs. Pitt last weekend).
Taking it `To the House'
Continuing a trend from the 2004 season, Notre Dame was efficient in the red zone in the season opener against Pittsburgh last weekend. The Irish were five for six in scoring chances - and arguably were five for five (they ran out the clock in the red zone at the end of the 42-21 victory). Notre Dame also scored six touchdowns on its first seven possessions at Pitt.
Notre Dame was solid on both sides of the ball in the red zone (inside the 20-yard line) in 2004. On offense, the Irish made 36 trips to the red zone, coming away with 25 touchdowns (a 69.4% TD percentage). Opponents visited the red zone 38 times, managing 19 touchdowns (a 50% TD percentage).
(notes continue on page nine)
In Front of a Full House
Notre Dame has played in front of sellout crowds in 172 of its previous 197 games, including 36 of its last 38 games dating back to the end of the 2001 season (the `03 game at Stanford and last year's game vs. Navy at the Meadowlands were not sellouts). At Michigan in `03, the Irish and Wolverines attracted the largest crowd in NCAA history (111,726), marking the third time in the history of the series that an NCAA attendance record has been set. It also represented the sixth time in the last three seasons that Notre Dame has been part of establishing a new stadium attendance record (at Nebraska and Texas A&M in `01; at Air Force and Florida State, home vs. Boston College in `02).
In 2005, junior quarterback Brady Quinn is poised to become just the 13th signal caller in Notre Dame history to start under center for three years. The following is a list of Quinn's predecessors, along with their stats (when available) from their third starting season. In the 12 seasons played by three-year starting Irish quarterbacks, prior to Quinn's `05 season, the group amassed a 90-30-4 combined record.
Player Year Att.-Comp. Yards TD-Int. Record
Nate Silver 1905 5-4
Gus Dorais 1912 7-0
Jim Phelan 1917 6-1-1
Ralph Guglielmi 1954 127-68 1160 6-7 9-1
Daryl Lamonica 1962 128-64 821 6-7 5-5
Terry Hanratty 1968 197-116 1466 10-9 7-2-1
Tom Clements 1974 215-122 1549 8-11 10-2
Blair Kiel 1982 219-118 1273 3-10 6-4-1
Steve Beuerlein 1985 214-107 1335 3-13 5-6
Tony Rice 1989 138-70 1176 8-7 12-1
Rick Mirer 1992 234-120 1876 15-6 10-1-1
Ron Powlus 1996 232-133 1942 12-4 8-3
Brady Quinn 2 005 18-27 227 2-1 1-0
Jinx?, What Jinx?
Sophomore running back Darius Walker set a Notre Dame freshman rushing record in 2004 with 786 yards, eclipsing the mark of 756 Jerome Heavens set in 1975, en route to earning third-team Freshman All-America honors from The Sporting News. If Walker stays on the pace he set in his first season with the Irish, he will be primed to turn in one of the finest statistical seasons ever by an Irish sophomore. Here's a look at how the top 10 rushers in Notre Dame history, plus a few other notables, fared in their sophomore year.
Player Year Carries-Yards Avg. TD
Autry Denson 1996 202-1179 5.8 8
Allen Pinkett 1983 252-1394 5.5 16
Vagas Ferguson 1977 80-493 6.2 6
Julius Jones 2000 162-657 4.1 7
Jerome Heavens 1976 54-204 3.8 0
Phil Carter 1980 186-882 4.4 6
George Gipp 1918 98-541 5.5 1
Randy Kinder 1994 119-702 5.9 4
Tony Brooks 1988 117-667 5.7 2
Emil Sitko 1947 60-426 7.1 5
Jerome Bettis 1991 168-972 5.8 16
Ryan Grant 2002 261-1085 4.2 9
Darius Walker 2005 20-100 5.0 1
Walker's Freshman Totals:
2004 185-786 4.2 7
Older and Wiser...
The 2005 Notre Dame offensive line is one of the most experienced units in school history. With the entire starting group from a year ago still in the fold, the Irish offense boasts almost 100 combined career starts on the line. Entering the 2005 season, senior tackle Mark LeVoir started the last 24 Notre Dame games and leads the veteran group in starting assignments. Seniors Bob Morton and Dan Stevenson are a close second with 22 starts each, while junior Ryan Harris has 19 starts to his credit and junior John Sullivan is the junior man of the group with 12. Here is a look at the 10 most experienced offensive line units to wear the blue and gold since `85, with the `05 group added in for comparison.
Year Starts Heading Into Season
On the `Fas' Track to Success
Senior tight end Anthony Fasano turned in a breakout 2004 season for the Irish, catching 27 balls for 367 yards and four touchdowns. Against Purdue, the 6-4, 257-pound Fasano hauled in a career-high eight passes for a career-high and Notre Dame tight end-record 155 yards and was named John Mackey National Tight End of the Week. His 27 catches in '04 tied him with former Irish standout Pete Chryplewicz for the fifth-highest single-season total by a tight end.
Barring injury, Fasano will move onto Notre Dame's top five all-time tight end receiving list this season. Here's a look at where he stands heading into the weekend:
Fasano's signature game - the eight-reception, 155-yard outburst versus Purdue in '04 - placed him at the top of the record books in terms of yards for a single game. The following is a list of how he stacks up against Notre Dame's top five tight end in terms of career yards.
What makes Fasano's totals even more impressive is the fact that he has tallied them in only two years of action, after not playing his freshman year in 2002. Here's a breakdown of what Notre Dame's other prolific pass-catching tight ends did in their third seasons in the blue and gold.
Already in the Books
Notre Dame senior wide receiver Matt Shelton cemented his name in the lore of Notre Dame football last season by setting a single-season record for average yards per reception. Shelton's average of 25.8 yards per catch eclipsed Tony Hunter's mark of 25.6 from the 1979 campaign. Here's a look at the top five single seasons in school history in terms of yards per reception.
Player Avg. Year
1. Matt Shelton 25.8 2004
2. Tony Hunter 25.6 1979
3. Jim Morse 22.1 1956
4. Raghib Ismail 21.8 1990
4. Kris Haines 21.8 1978
The record for most receptions by a pair of classmates at Notre Dame is 210, achieved by the 1966-68 combination of Jim Seymour (138) and Bob Gladieux (72). A prolific 2005 season by seniors Rhema McKnight and Maurice Stovall could eclipse that standard. Entering this weekend's contest, McKnight has 101 career catches and Stovall 63 for 164 total - needing 46 catches combined to reach the record. It should be pointed out, however, that both McKnight and Stovall played as freshmen - Seymour and Gladieux piled up 210 catches in just three years of varsity action.
One of the hallmarks of Notre Dame's 2004 season was its penchant for playing close games. The Irish were 4-3 in games decided by eight points or less, defeating No. 7 Michigan (28-20), Michigan State (31-24), Stanford (23-15) and No. 9 Tennessee (17-13), while losing to BYU (20-17), Boston College (24-23) and Pittsburgh (41-38).
The 2004 team had Notre Dame's third-most wins by eight points or less in a season. The record of six victories was set in `39, when the Irish had a 6-2 record in games decided by eight points or less, and equaled when the `02 squad went 6-1 in such games. The `37 and `74 teams both had five eight-point wins, while the `04 team joined the `29, `40, `84, `90, `97 and `98 Irish with four eight-point victories.
National Award Watch Lists
Maxwell award -
In June, Irish junior quarterback Brady Quinn was one of 53 players named to the 2005 Maxwell Award Watch List. The award, presented by the Maxwell Football Club, is given annually to the college football player of the year.
Quinn was an extremely efficient 18 of 27 for 227 yards against Pittsburgh last weekend, throwing for two touchdowns with one interception. He completed 11 consecutive passes at one point in the game and rushed for a career-high 49 yards (on five carries).
Quinn threw for 2,586 yards in `04, his second as the starting quarterback for Notre Dame. His sophomore season ended up as the best second-year campaign ever for an Irish quarterback, finishing second in ND history on the single-season passing list behind Jarious Jackson's 2,753 yards in `99. Quinn's attempts (353) and completions (191) last season stand atop the single-season lists at Notre Dame. He accounted for 20 touchdowns (17 passing, three rushing) in `04.
Starting the last 21 consecutive games at quarterback for Notre Dame, Quinn already has posted the top freshman and sophomore statistical seasons in school history. He currently ranks fifth all-time on the Notre Dame passing list, just 403 yards behind Jackson for fourth place.
The Maxwell Award is named after Robert W. "Tiny" Maxwell, a Philadelphia native and former All-American guard at Swarthmore and Chicago who went on to a career that included professional football, coaching and sportswriting.
Notre Dame has seen four different players earn the Maxwell Award a total of five times in the football program's history. Tight end Leon Hart was the initial recipient in 1949, followed by HB John Lattner (1952 and `53), LB Jim Lynch (1966) and DE Ross Browner (1977).
MACKEY AWARD -
On Aug. 1, Anthony Fasano was named to the 2005 John Mackey Award Watch List which is given annually to the nation's best collegiate tight end.
Fasano led the Irish with four receptions for 42 yards (long of 18) against Pittsburgh last weekend.
Fasano is coming off his most productive season in 2004. As a junior, he finished second on the team with 27 catches for 367 yards and four touchdowns. Proficient in pass catching, route running and blocking, Fasano is poised for a breakout year in Notre Dame's new offense under the direction of head coach Charlie Weis and offensive coordinator Michael Haywood.
Fasano caught four passes for 60 yards in the '04 season opener against BYU and continued to be a reliable force in the Irish offense throughout the campaign. He exploded for career highs in catches and yards against Purdue, nabbing eight receptions for a Notre Dame tight end-record 155 receiving yards.
He was named the John Mackey National Tight End of the Week for his performance against Purdue.
The Verona, N.J., native, one of 20 players on the watch list, also caught two touchdown passes against
Washington and added scoring receptions at Tennessee and against Oregon State in the Insight Bowl.
Fasano also was a key contributor in 2003. As a sophomore, he caught 18 passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns. He did not play during his freshman season in 2002.
NFL Hall of Famer John Mackey is considered to be the best to have played the tight end position. The award honors his leadership and career of excellence.
The John Mackey Award has been presented since 2000, with four NFL players as alumni: Dallas Clark of Iowa ('01), Daniel Graham of Colorado ('02), Kellen Winslow, Jr. of Miami (FL) ('03) and Heath Miller of Virginia ('04).
The Nassau County Sports Commmission, a non-profit organization to enhance quality of life by "Improving Life through Sports" and promote "Healthy Sports for Healthy Kids," presents this national football award as a tribute to Nassau County sports legend and native John Mackey.
GROZA AWARD -
D.J. Fitzpatrick has been named to the Lou Groza Award Preseason Watch List as one of 30 preliminary candidates for the annual award recognizing college football's finest placekicker.
Fitzpatrick was a perfect six for six in PATs last weekend at Pittsburgh and also punted three times for a 45.7 average - pinning one punt inside the Pitt 20-yard line and posting a long punt of 54 yards.
Fitzpatrick is entering his third season as the primary placekicker and punter for the Fighting Irish and is coming off an excellent season in 2004 in which he connected on 11 of 15 field goal attempts (73.3 percent), including a long of 47 yards. He scored 64 points on the season while making 34 of 35 conversion attempts. A proven performer in pressure situations, Fitzpatrick has made 22 of 28 attempts inside 50 yards for his career. He already ranks eighth in Notre Dame history for career field goals made with 23.
Kickers on the Lou Groza Award Preseason Watch List were chosen based on statistics from the 2004 season and 2005 preseason expectations. However, all Division I-A kickers are eligible for consideration for the award. A panel of more than 300 experts votes on the award, including Division I-A head coaches, sportswriters and sportscasters, conference representatives, professional kickers and all previous Groza Award finalists.
The 20 semi-finalists for the Lou Groza Award will be announced on Monday, Oct. 31, 2005, with the naming of the three finalists two weeks later on Monday, Nov. 14, 2005. The three finalists are recognized during the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award Banquet and Silent Auction on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2005, at the Palm Beach Gardens Marriott and the winner is announced on Thursday, December 8, 2005, during the ESPN Home Depot College Football Award Show in Orlando, Fla.
The award, now in its 14th year, is named for National Football League (NFL) Hall-of-Fame kicker Lou Groza, who played 21 seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Groza won four NFL championships with Cleveland and was named NFL Player of the Year in 1954. Nicknamed "The Toe," Groza helped usher in the idea that a player could be used exclusively for kicking.
BUTKUS AWARD -
Senior linebacker and defensive team captain Brandon Hoyte has been named one of 65 candidates on the 2005 Butkus Award watch list. The award honors the nation's top collegiate linebacker.
Hoyte was a terror on defense at Pittsburgh last weekend, chalking up nine tackles (six solos), 4.5 tackles for loss (loss of 17 yards), a forced fumble and two sacks.
A fifth-year senior in 2005, Hoyte is a two-time academic all-district honoree with 205 career tackles, six career sacks and four forced fumbles (including three in 2004). A native of Parlin, N.J., Hoyte is a leader both on and off the field for the Irish.
Voted defensive team captain by his teammates, Hoyte has seen action in 37 career games, making 15 starts and piling up 19.5 tackles for loss. He also is active in several community service projects including Notre Dame's "Tackle The Arts."
Hoyte finished second on the team in tackles last season, making 74 stops (38 solo) along with eight tackles for loss and three sacks. Projected as a starter on the outside for the Irish this season, Hoyte is poised to end his Irish career with an outstanding senior campaign.
Named a freshman All-American by The Sporting News in 2002, Hoyte has collected more than 50 tackles in each season (57 in '02, 74 in '03, 74 in '04).
Making the Grade
The last four seasons of Notre Dame football have produced some impressive semesters in the classroom for the Notre Dame football team. In fact, the Irish had a 2004 spring semester in which the team's 104 players combined for a 2.96 grade-point average that ranks as the program's best semester GPA on record (dating back to 1992). The Notre Dame football program's top six semester GPAs since `92 were all posted in the seven semesters prior to the fall of `04, including the three semesters from fall of `02 to fall of `03 (2.84 in fall of `02, 2.79 in spring of `03 and 2.82 in fall of `03). The football program's second-best semester GPA of the past 12 years came in the spring of `02 (2.90), followed by a 2.80 in the spring of `01 and a 2.69 in the fall of `01. Upon closer examination, the 2004 spring semester saw 11 Irish football players post a Dean's List GPA (sliding scale, based on major), while 21 turned in a semester GPA of 3.4-plus and more than half (53) had a GPA of 3.0 or better. In addition, two players - former DE Kyle Businscak and senior LB Brandon Hoyte - received Academic All-District V honors in `03, marking Budinscak's third selection and Hoyte's second to the prestigious squad. Budinscak followed up with another All-District V honor in `04.
Taking Care of Business Off the Field, Too
The American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) annually honors the school with the highest graduation rate based on a particular entering freshman football class, and Notre Dame has won the award six times, most recently in 2001 with its 100-percent graduation rate (22 of 22 entering freshmen from `96 earned their degrees within five years). The `01 award followed Notre Dame's previous honors in `82, `83, `84, `88 and `91. Notre Dame also holds the distinction of producing the first 100-percent rate in a single year when 24 of 24 student-athletes from the entering class of `82 earned their degrees within a five-year period (and 16 of those 24 did so within four years). Only eight other times has a school registered a 100-percent graduation rate. The `88 award had special meaning, as it was the first time a school won the national championship on the football field - as Notre Dame did, finishing 12-0 after a Fiesta Bowl win over unbeaten West Virginia - and in the classroom. Including the special mention category, the Irish have received some sort of recognition in 23 of the 24 years the award has been presented, with Duke next at 21.
All 2005 pep rallies will be held in the Joyce Center Arena (south dome) on Fridays before Saturday home games, beginning at 6:00 p.m. (EST). The football team enters the arena at 6:30 p.m.
"Notre Dame Experience" Returns for 2005 Season
For years, the Joyce Center has been the "pregame meeting place" for several thousand Notre Dame alumni. In an effort to add to this tradition, the Notre Dame athletics department is providing an interactive fan experience for each of the 2005 home football games in the Joyce Center Fieldhouse (north dome). For the fourth consecutive season, the "Notre Dame Experience" will combine with the Notre Dame Alumni Association Hospitality Center with interactive inflatables, photo booths, autograph sessions, football trivia and stage activities. Gates open three hours prior to kickoff and admission is free.
Tickets Available for 2005 Football Kickoff Luncheons
Tickets are now on sale for all the 2005 Notre Dame Kickoff Luncheons, held in the Joyce Center Fieldhouse (north dome) on the Friday prior to home football games. The luncheons feature head coach Charlie Weis and Irish players and assistant coaches, plus special guests and other attractions.
Tickets are $18 each, with a handling fee of $3 - there are 10 seats per table - and if you wish to sit as a group at the same table with other guests, please return all reservations in one envelope. Checks should be made payable to "University of Notre Dame" and maided to: Athletics Business Office, 112 Joyce Center, Notre Dame, IN, 46556. Telephone and credit card reservations are not accepted. A printed reservation form is available on Notre Dame's athletics web site - www.und.com.
Notre Dame Athletics Continues Relationship with SIRIUS Satellite Radio
After a successful debut season in 2004, SIRIUS Satellite Radio will continue to offer Notre Dame football, and selected men's/women's basketball, games on its nationwide service.
Go to www.sirius.com for more information on the service. Notre Dame's September football games can be heard on the following SIRIUS channels -
Sept. 10 vs. Michigan 123
Sept. 17 vs. Michigan State 125
Sept. 24 vs Washington 123
Inside the Irish Huddle DVD
Legendary Notre Dame Quarterbacks, a project dedicated to the lore and history of University of Notre Dame football and its rich quarterbacking tradition, is beginning its existence with the release of a DVD, Inside the Irish Huddle, Stories from the Legendary Notre Dame Quarterbacks.
The DVD is now available and can ordered on NDQB1.com, the official website of the Legendary Notre Dame Quarterbacks.
Inside the Irish Huddle, made in association with Indianapolis and Chicago based Pathway Productions, includes interviews with and collegiate highlights of some of the most high-profile players and coaches in Notre Dame and college football history. Joe Montana, Joe Theismann, Paul Hornung, Johnny Lujack, Tom Clements and Terry Hanratty are just a few of former players featured on Inside the Irish Huddle.
The project is spearheaded by former Irish quarterback Blair Kiel (1980-83).
Notre Dame Stadium Update
Thanks to funding by the Notre Dame Monogram Club, Notre Dame Stadium will feature a new look for its 75th anniversary this season.
Positioned in the 195 portals of the original Stadium walls (now visible in the lower bowl concourse), there now are individual, four-by-10-foot, mesh banners with old-school, black-and-white photos highlighting Notre Dame's 11 consensus national-championship seasons, its 139 first-team football All-Americans, its seven Heisman Trophy winners, its five national-championship coaches and its eight representatives in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Hanging from the ceiling around the lower concourse are 15 full-color, 12-by-15-foot banners - 10 of them featuring action shots of members of the 2005 Irish squad, and five featuring the 75th anniversary logo for Notre Dame Stadium. In addition, there will be four other five-by-eight-foot representations of the logo within the Stadium.
One addition visible from inside the Stadium is a sign on the facing of the wall just above the tunnel - it reads "Irish" and includes the Monogram Club logo.
Attached to light polls on Moose Krause Circle surrounding the Stadium and in the Stadium and Joyce North and South parking lots are 100 two-by-four foot pole banners, all of them featuring various Notre Dame marks and phrases - including combinations of Irish, We Are ND, a shamrock, the leprechaun, University of Notre Dame, Here Come the Irish, Fighting Irish, a gold helmet and the 75th anniversary Stadium logo.
In addition, there are plans over the next few years to theme the entry gates at the Stadium - with the intention of creating specific recognition of Notre Dame's national championships, its All-Americans, its Heisman Trophy winners and its national championship coaches. The first gate to be completed will be Gate B. It will recognize the Irish Heisman winners and will be completed later this fall.
Most of the signage and design work is being handled by Sport Graphics, Inc., in Indianapolis, Ind. Additional work for the gate designs is by the Rockwell Group in New York, N.Y.
(notes continue on page 19)
Irish Football on the Printed Page
This fall, three new books about Fighting Irish football have debuted. The Spirit of Notre Dame, by Jim Langford and Jeremy Langford, officially went on sale during the last week of August. Detailing both athletic and student/alumni stories from the University, the book is said to be "the absolute essential title for the millions of people who have a place in their heart for the Fighting Irish." The book is a production of The Doubleday Broadway Publishing Group and can be bought on www.randomhouse.com.
South Bend Tribune and Notre Dame football beat writer Eric Hansen has seen the release of his new book, Notre Dame, Where Have You Gone?. Hansen catches up with former Fighting Irish football players, from the All-Americans to the walk-ons to the one-play wonders to the once-tragic figures. The book is available for order at www.sportspublishinginc.com.
The third offering comes from Senior Associate Athletic Director for Media Relations at Notre Dame - John Heisler. Echoes of Notre Dame Football, The Greatest Stories Ever Told, was edited by the former long-time sports information director. A member of the CoSIDA Hall of Fame, Heisler's book stitches together the best columns from the best columnists. It not only recounts the greatest moments in Notre Dame lore, it also tracks the chronological progression sportswriting styles from the esoteric to the ultra-modern. The book is available by calling 800-335-5323 or by sending an e-mail to WebOrders@triumphbooks.com. The book also features a foreword by Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis.
Kevin White Radio Show
Look for the Kevin White Show for the next 30 weeks on ESPN 1000 AM radio in Chicago.
The hour-long program debuted Sept. 4 in its sixth season - with first-night guests including former Irish football-walk-on Dan "Rudy" Ruettiger (subject of the 1993 movie "Rudy"), former Irish placekicker Harry Oliver (he kicked a 51-yard field goal 25 years ago this week to help Notre Dame beat Michigan 29-27 in 1980), and current Irish hockey coach Jeff Jackson (he's hosting a hockey kickoff dinner Tuesday night featuring former NHL standout coach Scotty Bowman).
Guests regularly will include familiar names from all facets of college athletics.
The show features White, Notre Dame's director of athletics, and ESPN 1000's Dave Juday. It can be heard regularly at 11:00 p.m. Central time on Sunday.
Sponsors of the show include Gatorade, Xerox, adidas, Comcast, McDonald's, Chase, Coca-Cola, Sirius Satellite Radio, Jordan Industries and Sayers Computer Source.
The show can be heard in more than 30 states around the country on ESPN 1000 in Chicago.
Notre Dame will utilize the Big Ten Conference instant replay system during home games this season. The opposing team is given the option of agreeing to use the system as well, and it will only be implemented if both teams decide to utilize the system.
The Big Ten instant replay model and the NFL instant replay system are different. In the Big Ten model, only the Big Ten Technical Advisor, working in the press box, can stop a game to review a play. Unlike the NFL model, in the Big Ten neither the coaches nor the game officials on the field may ask for a review.
In order for a play to be changed the Technical Advisor must have indisputable video evidence that an error occurred. Television broadcast of the game will be the sole source of whether there is indisputable video evidence.
The replay system will not guarantee that all officiating mistakes are identified and corrected.
The types of plays that are reviewable include plays that are governed by the sideline, goal line, end zone and end line, passing plays, and other detectable infractions, such as forward progress with respect to first down.