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Irish Set to Take on Navy at New Meadowlands Stadium

Oct. 18, 2010

Weekly Game Notes | Gameweek | Rivalry Page

DATE

  • Saturday, October 23, 2010
TIME
  • 12:11 p.m. ET

SITE (CAPACITY)

  • New Meadowlands Stadium (82,500); East Rutherford, N.J.

TICKETS

  • Notre Dame has played before a sellout in 75 of its last 86 games road games. In fact, the Irish have played in front of sellout crowds in 224 of their previous 258 games, including 99 of their last 110 dating back to the 2001 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

REAL-TIME STATS

  • Live in-game statistics will be provided through CBS College Sports Gametracker via und.com.

WEB SITES

  • Notre Dame (und.com), Navy (navysports.com)

POLLS

  • Notre Dame and Navy each enter this weekend's matchup unranked, but the Midshipmen did receive one vote in this week's USA Today Coaches Poll.

TELEVISION

  • CBS national telecast with Craig Bolerjack (play-by-play), Randy Cross (analysis), Sam Ryan (sideline), Steve Scheer (producer) and Jim Cornell (director).

RADIO

  • ISP Sports is the exclusive national rights-holder for Irish football radio broadcasts. ISP manages, produces and syndicates the Irish national football radio network. Notre Dame games will be broadcast by Don Criqui (play-by-play) and former Irish great Allen Pinkett (analysis). This broadcast can be heard live on SIRIUS Satellite Radio (channel 159) and XM Satellite Radio (channel 117).
  • All Notre Dame home games may be heard in South Bend on Sunny 101.5 FM and NewsTalk 960 WSBT-AM.

SERIES INFO

  • Notre Dame and Navy will play one another for the 84th consecutive year on Saturday, making it the longest continuous intersectional rivalry in the country. The Irish hold a 71-11-1 (.861) edge in the series. The Midshipmen upended Notre Dame, 23-21, in last year's meeting at Notre Dame Stadium. Navy captured the 2007 meeting to break a 43-game Irish winning streak in the series (NCAA record for longest streak against one opponent). Notre Dame and Navy have met every year since 1927, playing 52 times at neutral sites and 31 times at Notre Dame Stadium (more on the series history on pages 33-39).

WHAT TO WATCH FOR SATURDAY

  • Notre Dame enters the Navy game with a 14-0 all-time record in New Jersey, including an 11-0 mark at Giants Stadium.

ON THIS DATE

HOW DO THEY STACK UP?

HOME AWAY FROM HOME

  • Notre Dame and Navy will be the second college football game to be played in the new Meadowlands Stadium. The Irish last played in the old Meadowlands Stadium in 2004, when Notre Dame downed Navy, 27-9.
  • The Irish posted a perfect 11-0 record in the previous facility that served as the home of the NFL's New York Giants and Jets. Notre Dame's victories in the facility included six over Navy (1980, 1982, 1984, 1990, 1992 and 2004), three over Army (1977, 1983 and 1995) and one each over Virginia (1989) and Maryland (2002).
  • Notre Dame is 14-4-2 (.750) when playing in a current NFL stadium (Soldier Field 9-0-2, Gator Bowl/Alltel Stadium 1-2, Superdome 1-2, Jack Kent Cooke Stadium/FedEx Field 1-0, Ravens/M&T Bank Stadium 2-0.
  • Overall, the Irish are 66-18-3 (.767) when playing in a NFL Stadium (Baltimore Municipal Stadium 18-4-0, Briggs Stadium 1-0-0, Cotton Bowl 1-1, Cleveland 9-1-1, Foxboro 1-0-0, Sun Devil Stadium 1-3-0, Meadowlands 11-0-0, Soldier Field 9-0-2, Gator Bowl/Alltel Stadium 1-2, Superdome 1-2, Jack Kent Cooke Stadium/FedEx Field 1-0, Hoosier/RCA Dome 0-1, Orange Bowl 2-3, JFK/Veterans Stadium 10-1-0).

NEW JERSEY AND U(ND): PERFECT TOGETHER

  • Notre Dame enters the Navy game with a 14-0 all-time record in New Jersey, including an 11-0 mark in the old Meadowlands Stadium. Of the other three Irish wins in the Garden State, two came at Princeton's Palmer Stadium in 1923 (25-2) and 1924 (12-0), and the third was a 45-17 triumph at Rutgers Stadium in 2000.

KEEP AN EYE ON THE UNUSUAL AGAINST NAVY

  • If history is any indication, expect the unexpected when Notre Dame takes on Navy. In seven of the past 14 meetings between the Irish and Midshipmen, one of the two teams has scored at least one touchdown on defense or special teams. This recent trend began with the 1996 game in Dublin, Ireland, when Notre Dame DE Renaldo Wynn scored on a 24-yard fumble return.
  • In 1999, Navy scored twice in an unorthodox manner, as Chris Oliver recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for a TD and David Alexander scored on a 20-yard interception return. In 2000, Irish FS Tony Driver tied an NCAA record with two fumble returns for touchdowns, both coming less than seven minutes apart in the first quarter at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando. In 2001, Notre Dame SS Gerome Sapp got his team going with a 39-yard fumble return for a touchdown early in the first quarter. In 2002, Irish CB Vontez Duff ran back a third-quarter kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown to help the Irish defeat the Midshipmen in Baltimore. In 2007, Navy LB Chris Kuhar-Pitters scooped up a fumble and rumbled 16 yards for a touchdown to give the Midshipmen a 28-21 lead. In 2008, Notre Dame senior LB Toryan Smith returned a blocked punt 14 yards for a touchdown.

    For an accompanying chart, please see the pdf version of these notes

WHO NEEDS A PUNTER?

  • Notre Dame has had little difficulty mounting up points (172) and yards (2,203) in its meetings with Navy the past five seasons. The Irish were not forced to punt against the Midshipmen in either of the 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009 games. Notre Dame ran 71 plays over 11 drives in 2009, 90 plays over nine drives in 2007, 62 plays over 10 drives in the 2006 and 70 plays over nine drives in 2005.
  • Notre Dame did punt three times in its 2008 victory over the Midshipmen. The Irish actually went 230 offensive plays against Navy between punts.

IRISH IN THE BRIGHT LIGHTS AND BIG CITY, TWICE

  • Notre Dame will play a pair of games in the greater New York City metropolitan area in 2010. The Irish will travel to the $1.3 billion dollar New Meadowlands Stadium on Oct. 23 to face Navy. Notre Dame and the Midshipmen met five times in the previous Meadowlands Stadium, including 2004. The Irish will also participate in the first football game inside the New Yankee Stadium on Nov. 20 against Army. Notre Dame and the Cadets have a long history of playing in New York. They met 22 times at old Yankee Stadium, facing each other annually from 1925-46, except for 1930, and again in 1969 in the 100th anniversary of college football. They also played at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn (1923), the Polo Grounds in Manhattan (1924) and Shea Stadium in Queens (1965).
  • Notre Dame has never played multiple games in the NYC area in the same season.

NOTRE DAME IN OCTOBER

  • Notre Dame is 373-89-8 (.802) all-time in October.
  • The Irish are 230-47-4 (.826) in October home games.
  • Notre Dame is 107-36-3 (.743) in road games during October.
  • The Irish are 36-6-1 (.849) in October neutral games.
  • Notre Dame is 34-1-0 (.971) against Navy in the month of October.
  • Notre Dame is 21-1-0 (.955) against Navy in the month of October on a neutral field.

A WIN THIS WEEK WOULD...

  • Give the Irish a record of 5-3 for the first time since 2008.
  • Give Notre Dame a four-game winning streak, which would be its longest since winning eight consecutive games from Sept. 23-Nov. 18, 2006.
  • Give the Irish victories in 45 of the last 47 meetings with the Midshipmen, including each of the last 24 meetings away from Notre Dame Stadium.
  • Extend Notre Dame's winning streak in regular season neutral site games to 11, which began following a 23-16 defeat against Florida State in Orlando on Nov. 12, 1994.
  • Improve the Irish to 72-11-1 (.863) in the all-time series with Navy.
  • Improve Notre Dame to 46-6-1 (.877) in the all-time series with Navy on a neutral field.
  • Improve the Irish to 7-0-0 (1.000) in the all-time series with the Midshipmen in East Rutherford.
  • Improve an unranked Notre Dame squad to 18-5-0 (.783) all-time against Navy.
  • Improve an unranked Irish squad to 9-2 (.818) all-time against the Midshipmen on a neutral field.
  • Improve an unranked Notre Dame squad to 17-3-0 (.850) all-time against an unranked Navy squad.
  • Improve an unranked Irish squad to 8-1 (.889) all-time against the Midshipmen when also unranked on a neutral field.
  • Improve Notre Dame to 131-25-5 (.892) all-time against the Service Academies (Army, Air Force and Navy).
  • Improve the Irish to 68-11-4 (.843) all-time against the Service Academies on a neutral field.
  • Improve Notre Dame to 87-15-5 (.836) all-time against the Service Academies away from South Bend, Ind.
  • Improve Kelly's record to 176-60-2 (.744) overall, 58-25 (.699) at the FBS level and 38-9 (.809) over the last four seasons.
  • Improve Notre Dame's all-time record to 842-293-42 (.733).
  • Improve the all-time record for the Irish in East Rutherford, N.J. to 12-0-0 (1.000).
  • Improve Notre Dame's all-time neutral record to 109-35-6 (.747).

A LOSS THIS WEEK WOULD...

  • Give the Irish a record of 4-4 for the first time since 1986.
  • Deny Notre Dame a four-game winning streak, which would have been its longest since winning eight consecutive games from Sept. 23-Nov. 18, 2006.
  • Snap a 23-game winning streak for the Irish against Navy in meetings away from Notre Dame Stadium.
  • Snap Notre Dame's 10-game winning streak in regular season neutral site games, which began following a 23-16 defeat against Florida State in Orlando on Nov. 12, 1994.
  • Snap a 11-game winning streak for the Irish in games played in East Rutherford, N.J.
  • Drop Notre Dame to 71-12-1 (.851) in the all-time series with Navy.
  • Drop the Irish to 45-7-1 (.859) in the all-time series with Navy on a neutral field.
  • Drop Notre Dame to 6-1-0 (.857) in the all-time series with the Midshipmen in East Rutherford.
  • Drop an unranked Irish squad to 17-6-0 (.739) all-time against Navy.
  • Drop an unranked Notre Dame squad to 8-3-0 (.727) all-time against the Midshipmen on a neutral field.
  • Drop an unranked Irish squad to 16-4-0 (.800) all-time against an unranked Navy squad.
  • Drop an unranked Notre Dame squad to 7-2-0 (.778) all-time against the Midshipmen when also unranked on a neutral field.
  • Drop the Irish to 130-26-5 (.823) all-time against the Service Academies (Army, Air Force and Navy).
  • Drop Notre Dame to 67-12-4 (.831) all-time against the Service Academies on a neutral field.
  • Drop the Irish to 86-16-5 (.827) all-time against the Service Academies away from South Bend, Ind.
  • Drop Kelly's record to 175-61-2 (.740) overall, 57-26 (.687) at the FBS level and 37-10 (.787) over the last four seasons.
  • Drop Notre Dame's all-time record to 841-294-42 (.732).
  • Drop the all-time record for the Irish in East Rutherford, N.J. to 11-1-0 (.917).
  • Drop Notre Dame's all-time neutral record to 108-36-6 (.740).

LOOKING BACK TO WESTERN MICHIGAN

  • Brian Kelly improved to 175-60-2 (.743) overall, 57-25 (.695) at the FBS level and 37-9 (.804) over the last four seasons.
  • Brian Kelly improved to 20-9 (.690) all-time against Mid-American Conference opponents.
  • Brian Kelly extended his personal winning streak against Mid-American Conference foes to eight.
  • Brian Kelly improved to 4-1 (.800) all-time against Western Michigan.
  • The Irish improved their all-time home record to 456-115-13 (.792).
  • Notre Dame improved its all-time record at Notre Dame Stadium to 309-103-5 (.747).
  • Captains for the game were senior CB Gary Gray and junior QB Dayne Crist.
  • Last Saturday was the 217th consecutive sellout at Notre Dame Stadium. Since 1966, every home football game for the Irish has been a sellout except one - a 1973 Thanksgiving Day game vs. Air Force. Notre Dame has now played in front of sellouts in 265 of its last 266 home games.
  • Notre Dame scored a touchdown on its opening drive for the third time this season (the Irish opened the games against Michigan and Boston College with touchdown drives).
  • Notre Dame forced three Western Michigan turnovers in the first half. It was the most turnovers forced by the Irish in a half since Oct. 24, 2009 against Boston College. Notre Dame forced four turnovers in the second half against the Eagles.
  • Notre Dame scored 14 points off Western Michigan turnovers in the first half. Entering last Saturday's game, the Irish had managed just 13 points on their opponents 10 turnovers this season.
  • Notre Dame finished the game with 44 points. It was the most points in a single game by the Irish since they scored 49 in the 2008 Hawai'I Bowl victory over Hawai'i. The 44 points were the most by Notre Dame in a regular season contest since posting 44 on Nov. 3, 2007 against Navy.
  • Notre Dame's defense allowed 17 points, 212 total yards, including 173 in the air, and 13 first downs in the first half against Western Michigan, but rebounded in the second half with a dominant effort. The Irish defense allowed only three points, 102 total yards, including 104 in the air, and three first downs in the second half.
  • Notre Dame's first team defense allowed 32 total yards in the second half on 16 plays over the course of Western Michigan's first five series after halftime. The Irish also forced a trio of three-and-outs over those five series to open the second half.
  • Notre Dame continued its recent trend of stopping the run. The Irish limited the Broncos to 37 yards rushing on 26 carries (only 1.4 yards per rush). Notre Dame was even better in the second half against the run. The Irish allowed minus-two yards on eight carries after halftime.
  • Notre Dame junior QB Dayne Crist found junior WR Michael Floyd open for an 80-yard touchdown pass with 14:48 remaining in the first quarter. The touchdown, just 12 seconds into the contest, was the fastest touchdown by an Irish team since Pete Bercich recorded a 21-yard interception return for a touchdown at the 14:52 mark of the first quarter against Northwestern on Sept. 4, 1993 (only eight seconds into the game).
  • The score was the quickest offensive touchdown since Allan Pinkett scored from two yards out just 10 seconds into the first quarter against USC on Oct. 26, 1985. USC fumbled the opening kickoff to help setup the Notre Dame touchdown.
  • Notre Dame totaled 27 points in the first half. It was the most points by the Irish in any half since Oct. 31, 2009 against Washington State when Notre Dame scored 30 points in the opening 30 minutes.
  • Notre Dame surpassed its previous long drive in terms of time of possession on three straight touchdown drives over the Boston College and Pittsburgh games. Each touchdown drive surpassed 4:44 on the game clock. In fact, each of Notre Dame's last three touchdowns entering last Saturday's game were the longest in terms of time of possession all season.
  • Notre Dame's four touchdown drives in the first half against the Broncos accounted for a total of 2:48 in time of possession. The touchdown drives for the Irish lasted 0:12, 0:08, 1:36 and 0:52.
  • The Irish entered the game with Western Michigan with three touchdown drives of less than 1:30. Notre Dame equaled that total in the first half alone.
  • Notre Dame recorded four of its six fastest touchdown drives of the season against the Broncos.

    For an accompanying chart, please see the pdf version of these notes

  • Notre Dame entered the game against Western Michigan without a fourth down conversion in its two attempts in 2010. The Irish converted two against the Broncos and each resulted in a touchdown (sophomore TE Tyler Eifert's 39-yard TD reception and junior WR Michael Floyd's two-yard TD reception).
  • Western Michigan was the 66th different team to visit Notre Dame Stadium (since its opening in 1930). Notre Dame owns a 56-9-1 mark (.856) 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 43-6-1 (.870) since 1930 versus teams making their first overall visit to Notre Dame.
  • The Notre Dame football program has played home games versus a total of 117 different teams, at primarily old Cartier Field (pre-1930) or Notre Dame Stadium, with an overall home record of 101-12-4 (.880) in games versus all first-time visitors to Notre Dame (regardless of the site).
  • Western Michigan had six possessions in the second half and four failed to gain a single first down. Those four drives for the Broncos gained a total of 11 yards. Western Michigan gained a total of 32 yards on its first five drives of the second half.
  • Notre Dame limited Western Michigan to a total of 26 yards on 14 plays in the third quarter.
  • The Broncos managed just three first downs after halftime.
  • Notre Dame rushed for minus-four yards on 10 carries in the opening half against Western Michigan (the fewest total of any half this season). The Irish responded with a dominant ground attack after halftime. Notre Dame galloped for 153 yards on 24 carries in the second half, which was the most yards rushing in any half this season.
  • Junior QB Dayne Crist has thrown a touchdown pass in all seven of Notre Dame's games this season and each of his last eight games in an Irish uniform (which includes the 2009 game against Washington State). He has registered at least two touchdown passes in four of Notre Dame's seven games this season. Crist has also thrown three or more touchdown passes in two games this season.
  • Crist connected with junior WR Michael Floyd on an 80-yard touchdown reception on Notre Dame's first offensive play from scrimmage. The 80-yard touchdown pass was the second-longest of Crist's career. He hooked up with junior TE Kyle Rudolph for 95 yards against Michigan earlier this season.
  • Crist scampered in from nine yards out for a touchdown with 9:16 remaining in the second quarter to give the Irish a 20-7 lead. The touchdown run was Crist's fourth of the season and career. In fact, the four touchdown runs are the most by an Irish quarterback in a single season since Jarious Jackson had seven in 1999.
  • Crist hooked up with sophomore TE Tyler Eifert on a 39-yard touchdown pass with 2:19 remaining before halftime to extend Notre Dame's lead to 27-10. He then spotted Floyd for a two-yard touchdown pass with 6:34 remaining in the third quarter to extend Notre Dame's lead to 41-17. The final touchdown pass was Crist's 14th of the season and 15th of his career.
  • Sophomore TE Tyler Eifert hauled in a 39-yard touchdown pass from junior QB Dayne Crist with 2:19 remaining before halftime to extend Notre Dame's lead to 27-10. The reception was the longest of his career and also resulted in his first career touchdown.
  • Eifert established career-highs in receptions (four), receiving yards (72) and receiving touchdowns (one). He had recorded one career catch for 17 yards over his first five career games in an Irish uniform.
  • Junior WR Michael Floyd recorded nine receptions for 157 yards and three touchdowns in the victory over Western Michigan. He eclipsed the 100-yard receiving mark for second time this season and 11th time in his career (which ranks third all-time).
  • Floyd continued his climb up the Irish all-time receiving lists. He moved past Maurice Stovall (130; 2002-05), Derrick Mayes (129; 1992-95) and Ken MacAfee (128; 1974-77) into seventh place all-time in career receptions with 136. Floyd also became the ninth Notre Dame wideout to ever register 2,000 career receiving yards. He moved past Jim Seymour (2113; 1966-68) into eighth place all-time in career receiving yards.
  • Floyd recorded three touchdown receptions for the second time in his career. He had three touchdown catches against Nevada on Sept. 5, 2009. Floyd has caught two or more touchdown passes in two games this season and five times in his career.
  • Floyd hauled in an 80-yard touchdown reception on Notre Dame's first offensive play from scrimmage. He was the first player in school history to register a touchdown catch of at least 80 yards more than once in his career. Floyd also had an 88-yard scoring catch on Sept. 5, 2009 against Nevada. He has actually recorded three touchdown catches of at least 70 yards. Floyd also registered a 70-yard touchdown reception in that game against the Wolf Pack .
  • Floyd hooked up with junior WR John Goodman for a 32-yard touchdown reception to give the Irish a 14-7 lead with 14:41 to go in the second quarter. He added his third touchdown reception of the game to give Notre Dame a 41-17 lead with 6:34 to go in the third quarter. The touchdown reception was Floyd's sixth of the season and 22nd of his career. He is tied with Rhema McKnight (2003-06) and Derrick Mayes (1992-95) for third on the Notre Dame all-time list.
  • Junior WR John Goodman tossed a 32-yard touchdown pass to junior WR Michael Floyd to give the Irish a 14-7 lead with 14:41 to go in the second quarter. The touchdown pass was Goodman's first of the season and career. The touchdown pass was the first by an Irish non-quarterback since Armando Allen tossed a five-yard touchdown pass to Robby Parris against Michigan State on Sept. 19, 2009.
  • Senior PK David Ruffer connected on a 33-yard field goal with 7:46 remaining in the fourth quarter to give the Irish a 44-17 lead. He has converted 17 straight field goals, which is the longest streak in school history. Ruffer is 17 of 17 for his career in field goals. The 17 consecutive field goals to open a career is also a school record.
  • Ruffer's 17 straight field goals is tied with Joe Phillips of Utah for the longest active streak in the FBS. The NCAA record for consecutive field goals converted is 26 by Brian Mitchell of Northern Iowa in 1990-91.
  • Ruffer has also connected on a field goal in 10 straight games, each game in which he has served as the Irish place kicker (dating back to the Pittsburgh contest in 2009). The 10 consecutive games with a field goal is the longest streak by a Notre Dame kicker since Nicholas Setta set the school record with a field goal in 16 straight games (2000-02).
  • Sophomore RB Cierre Wood set career-high in carries (11), yards rushing (94) and rushing touchdowns (one). He was the first player other than senior RB Armando Allen to lead the Irish in rushing this season.
  • Wood galloped 39 yards for a touchdown to give the Irish a 34-17 lead with 12:17 to go in the third quarter. The touchdown scamper was Wood's first of the season and career. The 39-yard run was the longest by an Irish running back since Robert Hughes rumbled 45 yards at Stanford on Nov. 24, 2007. It was also the longest touchdown run by a Notre Dame running back since Ryan Grant registered a 46-yard touchdown run at Stanford on Nov. 29, 2003.

RED-ZONE REPORT

  • Notre Dame's defense has stiffened when opposing teams have entered the red zone to this point of the season. Of 23 trips opponents have made inside the Irish 20-yard line, only nine have resulted in touchdowns. In fact, the Irish have allowed just five touchdowns on their opponents last 16 drives into the red zone.
  • Pittsburgh entered the Notre Dame red zone on three separate occasions in the opening half and managed just one field goal.

THE NUMBERS DON'T LIE WHEN IT COMES TO WINNING & LOSING

  • Here is an interesting comparison between Notre Dame's team statistics from its three-game losing streak versus its three-game winning streak.

NOTRE DAME RUN DEFENSE MAKING SERIOUS STRIDES

  • Notre Dame's run defense was victimized over its first three games against Purdue, Michigan and Michigan State. The trio averaged 197.7 yards per game and 5.1 yards per rush, but the Irish have improved drastically over their last four games against Stanford, Boston College, Pittsburgh and Western Michigan. Notre Dame limited the quartet to 318 total yards on the ground or 79.5 rushing yards per game and 2.6 yards per carry.

    For an accompanying chart, please see the pdf version of these notes

  • The Irish rush defense has been even better over the last three games. Notre Dame limited Boston College, Pittsburgh and Western Michigan to five, 110 and 37 yards on the ground respectively. It is the fewest rushing yards allowed by an Irish defense over a three-game span since surrendering only 97 yards on the ground in three consecutive games during the 1982 season (Sept. 25 vs. Purdue, 11; Oct. 2 vs. Michigan State, 19; Oct. 9 vs. Miami, Fla., 67).

    For an accompanying chart, please see the pdf version of these notes

  • Notre Dame has actually limited its last five opponents (Michigan State, Stanford, Boston College, Pittsburgh and Western Michigan) to 104.2 yards per game and 3.1 yards per rush. The Cardinal (23rd), Spartans (26th) and Boilermakers (27th) each average over 200 yards rushing per game and rank among the top 30 rushing offenses in the FBS.
  • Pittsburgh entered the game with the Irish ranked 52nd in the FBS in rushing yards per game (169.8). Pittsburgh also averaged 5.0 yards per rush. Ray Graham was ranked third in the FBS in yards per game at 164.0. Notre Dame limited the Panthers to a total of 110 yards on 31 carries, just 3.5 per carry. Graham collected only 44 yards on eight carries. Dion Lewis, who ran for 1,799 yards as a freshman in 2009, including 154 on 21 carries against the Irish, posted 64 yards on 13 rushes in this year's meeting.
  • Notre Dame has limited Purdue, Michigan State, Stanford, Boston College, Pittsburgh and Western Michigan on the ground to significant worst numbers than those teams average against everyone else on the 2010 schedule.

    For an accompanying chart, please see the pdf version of these notes

IRISH DEFENSE REAPING IMMEDIATE REWARDS FROM NEW SYSTEM

  • Notre Dame registered only 20.0 sacks in the entire 2009 season, which ranked 89th in the FBS.
  • The Irish have already recorded 19.0 sacks over their first seven games of 2010, which ranks 27th in the FBS. Notre Dame is on pace for 32.5 sacks this season (based on a 12-game regular season). It would be the most sacks for an Irish defense since 2003 when Notre Dame had 37.0 on the year.
  • Sacks became official by the NCAA prior to the 1982 season. Here are Notre Dame's top 10 single-season sack totals and where the 2010 defense might project.

    For an accompanying chart, please see the pdf version of these notes

  • Notre Dame has registered at least 4.0 sacks in four of its seven games in 2010. The Irish have not posted four games with 4.0 or more sacks in the same season since 2003. In fact, a Notre Dame defense has not had more 4.0+ sack game in a single season since 2002 when the Irish had five.
  • Notre Dame sacked Boston College five times in its 31-13 victory on Oct. 2. It was the most sacks by the Irish since they picked up 5.0 against Washington State on Oct. 31, 2009. In fact, a Notre Dame defense has not had more sacks in a single game season since Dec. 24, 2008 when the Irish had eight against Hawai'i.
  • Notre Dame registered 4.0 sacks in the season-opening victory over Purdue. The 4.0 sacks ranked eighth-best by an NCAA FBS school in the opening week. In fact, only three of the seven schools that finished with more sacks than Notre Dame in its opener faced an FBS opponent and only two played a BCS conference foe.
  • Notre Dame blanked Boston College in the second half. The last time the Irish shutout an opponent in second half was the 2009 season opener against Nevada (W, 35-0).
  • The Irish held the Eagles to five yards rushing on 23 carries (0.2 yards per rush). It was the fewest yards rushing allowed by Notre Dame since the Irish held Stanford to minus-11 yards on the ground on Nov. 26, 2005. In fact, it was the fewest yards rushing allowed by Notre Dame on the road since the same game. It was also the third fewest yards rushing by an Irish foe since the start of the 1996 season. Notre Dame limited Vanderbilt (Sept. 5) and Rutgers (Nov. 23) to two yards and minus-six yards rushing, respectively, that year.

    For an accompanying chart, please see the pdf version of these notes

  • Notre Dame limited Boston College to 13 first downs in the game and only two first downs on the ground. It was the fewest rushing first downs by an Irish opponent since UCLA managed only two on Oct. 26, 2006. In fact, a Notre Dame defense has not allowed fewer rushing first downs in a single game since Vanderbilt registered just one rushing first down on Sept. 5, 1996.
  • The Irish limited Boston College to minus-21 yards rushing in the second half.
  • Boston College had 17 possessions in the game and 11 went for 10 yards or less, including six drives for five yards or less.
  • Notre Dame forced the Eagles into nine drives that were three plays and out. The Irish also forced Boston College into 11 punts. Notre Dame has not forced an opponent into as many punts since Rutgers punted 11 times on Nov. 23, 1996. In fact, the Irish have not forced an opponent into more punts since Oct. 20, 1973 against Army when the Cadets punted 12 times in a 62-3 Notre Dame rout.
  • Notre Dame registered 5.0 sacks and 11.0 tackles for loss. The 11.0 tackles for loss were the most by Notre Dame since Nov. 19, 2005 when the Irish had 12.0 against Syracuse.

    For an accompanying chart, please see the pdf version of these notes

  • Notre Dame limited Boston College to a total of one yard on 14 plays in the third quarter.
  • Boston College finished the game with 270 total yards, 93 yards came on the Eagles final two drives which predominantly came against the Irish second-team defense. The Eagles averaged 3.9 yards per play for the game. Ironically, it was the fewest yards per play allowed by Notre Dame since posting the same exact number in its last trip to Boston College. The Irish defense has not posted a better yard per play average since Washington managed only 2.6 yards against the Irish on Oct. 25, 2008.
  • If you take away the 58-yard touchdown pass play, Boston College managed 212 yards on its other 69 plays or 3.1 yards per play.
  • The 13 points allowed by the Irish were the fewest against Boston College since 1995 when Notre Dame was victorious 20-10.
  • Notre Dame registered 4.0 sacks against Michigan State, the second time in the first three games that the Irish recorded 4.0 or more sacks. Notre Dame also picked up 8.0 tackles for loss against the Spartans. It was the highest single-game total for the Irish against Michigan State since they registered 9.0 in the 2005 meeting. Notre Dame also forced the Spartans into four three-and-outs.
  • The Irish won the battle on third down in each of their first three contests against Purdue, Michigan and Michigan State. Notre Dame limited the Spartans to 6 of 17 on third down, including denying Michigan State on each of its final five third-down plays. Even more impressive, the Spartans average length on its 17 third down plays was nine yards.
  • The Irish limited their first three opponents (Purdue, Michigan and Michigan State) to just 28% on third down (14 for 50). In fact, Notre Dame's third down defense held the Spartans and Wolverines to a combined 27% (9 of 23).
  • Notre Dame limited Purdue's offense to only 10 points and allowed just 3.2 yards per carry. The Irish forced Purdue into a trio of three-and-outs. The Boilermakers completed 31 passes on the afternoon, but the longest went for just 16 yards. Purdue averaged just 5.2 yards passing per attempt and 7.1 yards per completion. Notre Dame also limited the Boilermakers to 4.4 yards of total offense (322 yards on 74 plays) per play.
  • Notre Dame held Purdue to three points in the opening half. It was the fewest points allowed by the Irish against Purdue in a half since the opening 30 minutes of the 2005 contest (Notre Dame led 28-0 at intermission). The 23 points by Notre Dame were the fewest by the winning team in the Irish-Boilermaker series since 2003 when Notre Dame beat Purdue, 20-14.
  • Purdue finished with 12 points, which is the fewest for the Boilermakers in the series with Notre Dame since 1996 when the Irish blanked Purdue, 35-0.

NOTRE DAME RUN DEFENSE MAKING SERIOUS STRIDES

  • Notre Dame rushed for minus-four yards on 10 carries in the opening half against Western Michigan (the fewest total of any half this season). The Irish responded with a dominant ground attack after halftime. Notre Dame galloped for 153 yards on 24 carries in the second half, which was the most yards rushing in any half this season.
  • Here is a interesting look at quarter-by-quarter breakdown of rushing, passing and total yards allowed and gained.

    For an accompanying chart, please see the pdf version of these notes

KELLY'S WINNING WAYS

  • Since 2007, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly has compiled the eighth-most wins of any active NCAA FBS coach. Kelly has gone on to win 37 contests (37-9 overall). The only coaches ahead of Kelly in that time frame are Chris Peterson of Boise State (42), Urban Meyer of Florida (39), Mack Brown of Texas (39), Nick Saban of Alabama (39), Jim Tressel of Ohio State (38), Kyle Whittingham of Utah (38) and Gary Patterson of TCU (38).
  • Along with being near the top in outright wins, Kelly also sits in eighth place in win percentage amongst FBS coaches. With his 37-9 mark, he holds a .804 winning percentage over the past four years. Peterson (.913), Brown (.867) and Whittingham (.841) rank one, two and three respectively. Tressel (.826), Patterson (.826), Meyer (.813) and Saban (.813) sit just ahead of Kelly.
  • Here is a look at the top-10 winningest active coaches since 2007:

    For an accompanying chart, please see the pdf version of these notes

2010: YEAR ONE FOR HEAD COACH Brian Kelly

  • As Brian Kelly continues his first season with the Irish, here are a few notes on Notre Dame's head coaches in their inaugural year.
  • The previous 28 head football coaches in Notre Dame history have combined to amass a 177-63-12 (.726) record in their first year at the helm. Since 1913, Jesse Harper's first season, Irish coaches have compiled a 112-44-5 (.711) in their initial campaign, including interim coaches Hugh Devore and Ed McKeever.
  • Since Notre Dame Stadium was opened in 1930, six Notre Dame coaches - Hunk Anderson, McKeever, Ara Parseghian, Dan Devine, Tyrone Willingham and Charlie Weis - have opened away from home in their first season - going 6-0 in those games.
  • Since 1913, five Notre Dame coaches - Layden, Parseghian, Holtz, Willingham and Weis - have taken over a program the year after his predecessor turned in a .500 or worse record. All but Holtz, who went 5-6 in 1986, posted a winning record in his first season and the quintet had a combined 39-16 (.709) record in such seasons. The 2009 Irish went 6-6 under Weis.
  • Kelly was the first Irish coach to begin his Notre Dame tenure with the first two games inside Notre Dame Stadium since Terry Brennan in 1954 (21-0 victory vs. No. 4 Texas, 27-14 loss vs. No. 19 Purdue). Elmer Layden (1934) and Frank Leahy (1941) also opened their respective Notre Dame coaching careers with back-to-back home games. Layden split contests against Texas and Purdue, while Leahy upended Arizona and Indiana. Jesse Harper (1913) also opened his career with consecutive home games (87-0 rout vs. Ohio Northern, 20-7 victory over South Dakota).
  • The last Notre Dame coach to post a winning record in his first season with the Irish was Weis, who went 9-3 in 2005. The last Irish coach to turn in a sub - .500 season in his first year was Lou Holtz, whose 1986 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 (1964).
  • Kelly was the first Notre Dame coach to face Purdue at home in his first game with the Irish.

2010 NOTRE DAME OPPONENT UPDATE

  • Notre Dame once again played one of the nation's toughest schedules in 2009, as it faced eight teams that appeared in bowl games (Nevada, Michigan State, USC, Boston College, Navy, Pittsburgh, UConn and Stanford).
  • This season could prove to be just as tough as the Irish face seven teams that went to bowl games in 2009, including 2008 undefeated, Sugar Bowl champions and second-ranked Utah. Notre Dame also will play three teams that finished in the AP Top 25 (No. 15 Pittsburgh, No. 18 Utah, No. 22 USC). The following is a list of 2010 Notre Dame opponents and how they fared last week:

    For an accompanying chart, please see the pdf version of these notes

  • Notre Dame was one of only two Football Bowl Subdivision schools to have played teams from a BCS conference in each of the first six weeks (LSU was the other).
  • The Irish hope to see continued dividends from playing one of the more difficult football schedules in the country to date. Notre Dame's past opposition is rated 32nd nationally by NCAA in degree of difficulty with a combined 18-12 record for a .600 percentage (rating includes opponent's record against only FBS schools and excludes result in meeting with the Irish). The three teams that have beaten Notre Dame to date are a combined 17-3 - with No. 8 Michigan State 7-0, No. 12 Stanford's only loss coming on the road against an unbeaten and now top-ranked Oregon team and Michigan's only two losses coming against Michigan State and Iowa (both of whom rank among the top-20).
  • Notre Dame's football schedule ranks 12th this week in degree of difficulty by the NCAA, with Irish opponents at 39-22 (.639).
  • Being left out of the preseason poll is not always a bad indicator for Notre Dame or first-year head coach Brian Kelly, especially in recent years. Three times in the last 10 years (2000, 2002 and 2005) the Irish have been ranked in the final top 25 after not being ranked in the preseason poll. Only Boise State (five), Clemson (four), Boston College (four) and Oregon State (four) have had more final top 25 rankings without a preseason top 25 in the last 10 years.
  • Interestingly enough, Cincinnati has also been ranked in the final top 25 after not being ranked in the preseason poll on three separate occasions and each came under Kelly's guidance (2007, 2008 and 2009).

    For an accompanying chart, please see the pdf version of these notes

NO TURNOVERS = VICTORY (USUALLY)

  • Notre Dame is 55-4-1 since 1985 when it does not commit a turnover. The Irish had an amazing 41-game unbeaten streak (40-0-1) in games without a turnover snapped in 2004 against USC. Prior to that game, the last time a Notre Dame team lost a game without committing a turnover was a 34-30 loss at Penn State on Nov. 12, 1983.
  • Notre Dame failed to commit a turnover for the first time this season against Pittsburgh. It was the first turnover-free contest for the Irish in 10 games, dating back to the 40-14 victory against Washington State on Oct. 31, 2009.
  • Two of Notre Dame's six victories in 2009 were keynoted by errorless outings in the turnover department as the Irish collected wins over Nevada (35-0) and Boston College (20-16) while not losing the ball via a turnover.

IRISH GO DOWN TO THE WIRE

  • Since the start of the 2008 season, Notre Dame has played 18 games that have been decided by seven points or fewer. The Irish are 7-11 in those games including a 23-17 victory over Pittsburgh.
  • Ten of Notre Dame's 12 games in 2009 were decided in the fourth quarter. The Irish won four games decided by a TD or less and lost six times by seven or less.
  • Notre Dame has already played three games in 2010 decided by seven points or less. In fact, seven of the last 10 and 13 of the last 17 games for the Irish have been decided by a touchdown or less.
  • The Irish snapped a six-game losing streak in games decided by a touchdown or less. The 23-17 victory over Pittsburgh was the first since defeating Boston College (20-16) on Oct. 24, 2009. The Irish concluded last year by losing to Navy (23-21), Pitt (27-22), Connecticut (33-30 in overtime) and Stanford (45-38), and fell to Michigan (28-24) and Michigan State (34-31 in overtime) this season.

NEARLY PENALTY FREE, AGAIN!

  • Notre Dame was called for only two penalties in the victory over Boston College. It marked the second team already this season that the Irish have been whistled for two penalties (vs. Purdue, Sept. 4). The Irish have not completed a game with fewer than two penalties since Nov. 26, 2005. In a 38-31 victory at Stanford, Notre Dame was called for one penalty.

ONLY THE BIG BOYS

    Notre Dame is one of just four NCAA FBS programs to have not faced a non-FBS opponent since the current setup was established in 1978. The three other remaining schools that have yet to play a non-FBS opponent are USC, UCLA and Washington.

FIRST-YEAR HEAD COACHES OPEN STRONG

  • When Notre Dame defeated Purdue in its season opener Sept. 4, head coach Brian Kelly continued a long trend of success among Irish mentors. Dating back to 1896, Irish skippers are 26-3 (.897) in their debut contests. Only Frank E. Hering in 1896 (4-0 loss to Chicago Physicians & Surgeons), Elmer Layden in 1934 (7-6 loss to Texas) and Lou Holtz in 1986 (24-23 loss to Michigan) failed to win their first game at Notre Dame. This record includes two wins by interim head coaches -- Ed McKeever in 1944 (58-0 win at Pittsburgh) and Hugh Devore in 1945 (7-0 win over Illinois) spelled Frank Leahy while he was off serving his country in World War II.

IRISH DEFENSE FULL OF YOUTHFUL ENERGY

  • Notre Dame first-year defensive coordinator Bob Diaco entered the 2010 season as one of the youngest coordinators in FBS football. Diaco, who was born Feb. 19, 1973, opened the campaign at 37. He ranks as the 24th-youngest coordinator in all of the FBS and eighth-youngest coordinator from a BCS conference institution.
  • There are only six defensive coordinators in the FBS that are younger than Diaco. Of those six, only one (Kirby Smart, Alabama) coaches at a BCS conference school.

IRISH DEFENSE SWITCHES TO 3-4

  • Brian Kelly and defensive coordinator Bob Diaco have 18 returning monogram winners on defense to work with in their first season and, of those 18, 13 players have starting experience for the Irish. Ten returning players started at least seven games in 2009 -- and nine players have started at least 10 games in their Notre Dame careers.
  • The Irish switch back to a 3-4 defense, featuring three down linemen, in 2010. That means players who made the transition to a 4-3 last year will resort back to the defensive front used in 2007 and 2008. Notre Dame will start a nose guard sandwiched between two defensive ends, but it won't be uncommon to see at least one outside linebacker walk up to the line of scrimmage, giving the Irish four or five players along the line.

David Ruffer 17 AND COUNTING

  • Senior walk-on PK David Ruffer has converted 17 consecutive field goals. The 17 straight field goals is the longest streak in school history, but even more amazing is the fact that the streak has opened Ruffer's collegiate kicking career. He is a perfect 17 of 17 on field goals since attempting his first career field goal against Pittsburgh last season.
  • The 17 consecutive field goals to open a career is also a school record. Mike Johnston made the first 13 field goal attempts in his career (was the school record for consecutive field goals until sophomore PK Nick Tausch broke in 2009) during the 1982 season.
  • Ironically enough, Johnston was also a senior walk-on.
  • Ruffer is one of only three kickers in the Football Bowl Subdivision still perfect through at least 12 field goal attempts.

    For an accompanying chart, please see the pdf version of these notes

  • Ruffer connected on a 33-yard field goal with 7:46 remaining in the fourth quarter to give the Irish a 44-17 lead.
  • Ruffer's 17 straight field goals is tied with Joe Phillips of Utah for the longest active streak in the FBS. The NCAA record for consecutive field goals converted is 30 by Chuck Nelson of Washington in 1981-82. He also holds the NCAA record for consecutive field goals made in a single season (25, 1982).
  • Ruffer has also connected on a field goal in 10 straight games, each game in which he has served as the Irish place kicker (dating back to the Pittsburgh contest in 2009). The 10 consecutive games with a field goal is the longest streak by a Notre Dame kicker since Nicholas Setta set the school record with a field goal in 16 straight games (2000-02).
  • Ruffer connected on a 32-yard field goal with 3:22 remaining in the first half to give the Irish a 17-3 lead. He drilled a career-long 50-yard field goal with 12:11 to go in the third quarter to give Notre Dame a 20-3 lead. Ruffer connected on a 31-yard field goal with 9:06 left in the game to extend the Irish lead to 23-10.
  • Ruffer's 50-yard field goal is tied for the sixth-longest in school history. It was the longest field goal by an Irish player since D.J. Fitzpatrick booted a 50-yarder against Syracuse on Dec. 6, 2003. Ruffer became the sixth place kicker in school history to connect on a field goal of 50 yards or longer.

    For an accompanying chart, please see the pdf version of these notes

  • Ruffer has also connected on a field goal in 10 straight games, each game in which he has served as the Irish place kicker (dating back to the Pittsburgh contest in 2009). The 10 consecutive games with a field goal is the longest streak by a Notre Dame kicker since Nicholas Setta set the school record with a field goal in 16 straight games (2000-02).
  • Ruffer connected on a 37-yard field goal with 5:22 remaining in the first half to give the Irish a 24-13 lead over Boston College.
  • Ruffer connected on all three field goal attempts in the victory over Purdue, including a career-long kick of 46 yards. He added a 24-yard field goal in the loss to Michigan.
  • Ruffer converted a 22-yard field goal with 8:11 to go in the first quarter against Stanford to give the Irish a 3-0 lead. He added a 40-yard field with 13:22 remaining in the second quarter to cut the Cardinal lead to 10-6.
  • Ruffer was true from 33 yards in overtime against Michigan State.

CRIST QUICKLY MAKING A NAME FOR HIMSELF

  • Junior QB Dayne Crist has made only seven career starts, all this season, and he entered the year following reconstructive knee surgery. The signal caller has completed 59.4% of his passes (155 of 261) for 1,855 yards and 14 touchdowns. Crist has registered a passing efficiency of 133.0. He is ranked among the top 21 FBS quarterbacks in total passing yards (t-9th, 1,855), passing (20th, 22.14 completions/game) and passing yards per game (t-21st, 265.00/game).
  • Here is a comparison between Crist and the more notable quarterbacks in Notre Dame history over their first seven career starts.

    For an accompanying chart, please see the pdf version of these notes

  • Only one quarterback in the FBS (Brandon Weeden of Oklahoma State) is ranked ahead of Crist in total passing yards that has started fewer career games. Weeden has thrown for 1,966 yards and started six career games.
  • There are only four quarterbacks (Brandon Weeden of Oklahoma State, Corey Robinson of Troy, Dan Persa of Northwestern and Sean Renfree of Duke) in the FBS ranked ahead of Crist in passing yards per game that have started fewer contests.
  • There are only five quarterbacks (Alex Carder of Western Michigan, Weeden, Renfree, Robinson and Persa) in the FBS ranked ahead of Crist in passing that have started fewer games.
  • There are only seven quarterbacks in the FBS ranked ahead of Crist in passing efficiency that have started fewer games than the Notre Dame junior (Robinson, Persa, Weeden, Tino Sunseri of Pittsburgh, Chas Dodd of Rutgers, Darron Thomas of Oregon and Geno Smith of West Virginia).
  • Crist connected with junior WR Michael Floyd on a one-yard touchdown reception with 2:36 to go in the first quarter to give the Irish a 7-3 lead against Pittsburgh. He scampered 10 yards with 8:25 remaining in the first half to give Notre Dame a 14-3 lead.
  • Crist recorded a career-best 12 consecutive completions against the Panthers. The 12 straight completions was tied for the third-longest in school history. It was the longest streak by a Notre Dame quarterback since Brady Quinn connected on 14 straight passes against Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 2, 2006.

    For an accompanying chart, please see the pdf version of these notes

  • Crist raced seven yards for a rushing touchdown to give the Irish a 7-0 lead with 13:12 remaining in the first quarter against Boston College. He added a two-yard touchdown pass to junior TE Kyle Rudolph with 6:26 remaining in the first quarter to push the Irish lead to 14-0 over the Eagles. Crist connected with sophomore WR Theo Riddick for a 20-yard touchdown pass with 2:19 remaining in the first quarter to give Notre Dame a 21-0 lead.
  • Crist accounted for three touchdowns in the 31-13 victory over Boston College. He rushed for one score and threw two more.
  • Crist surpassed the 300-yard passing barrier in consecutive weeks against Michigan State and Stanford. He completed for 25 of 44 passes for 304 yards and one touchdown against the Cardinal.
  • Crist set career-highs in completions (32), attempts (55), passing yards (369) and touchdown passes (four) against Michigan State. No Irish quarterback has ever thrown for more touchdown passes in his first career start on the road. Crist's 32 completions, 55 attempts and four touchdown passes rank tied for fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively, in Notre Dame single-game history.
  • Crist registered a 24-yard touchdown pass to junior WR Michael Floyd with 13:20 to go in the fourth quarter to give the Irish a 28-21 lead over Michigan State. The touchdown pass was Crist's fourth of the game.
  • Crist eclipsed 300 yards passing for the first time in his career against the Spartans. He went 12 for 14 for 149 yards and two touchdowns in the third quarter alone. Crist registered a 15-yard touchdown pass to sophomore WR Theo Riddick with 1:29 to go in the third quarter to tie the score, 21-21. He was 7 of 8 for 75 yards on the scoring drive.
  • Crist connected on a 10-yard TD pass to junior TE Kyle Rudolph with 12:25 to go in the third quarter to tie the score, 14-14. He was 5 for 6 for 74 yards and a touchdown on the opening scoring drive of the first half. Crist connected on a seven-yard TD pass to Floyd with 5:28 left in the first quarter to give Notre Dame a 7-0 lead. He completed 11 of 18 passes for 116 yards and one touchdown in the opening 15 minutes.
  • Crist hooked up with freshman WR TJ Jones for 53 yards with 12:42 to go in the third quarter against Michigan to bring the Irish with seven points, 21-14.
  • The 53-yard completion was the longest of the season for Notre Dame until junior TE Kyle Rudolph's 95-yard grab late in the fourth quarter.
  • Crist served as the quarterback for nine of Notre Dame's 17 possessions in the game against Michigan. The Irish offense totaled 363 of their 535 yards in those series. Notre Dame also scored all 24 points of the contest in those series and averaged 8.9 yards per play compared to zero points and 4.8 yards per play in other eight series without Crist.
  • Crist passed for 277 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in slightly more than one half of football against the Wolverines.

CRIST'S REKINDLES QUARTERBACK FIRST-START MAGIC AGAINST PURDUE

  • Junior QB Dayne Crist snapped Notre Dame's four-game losing streak with a first-time starting quarterback under center.
  • Since 1975, the Irish are now 18-10 under a first-time starting quarterback. Interestingly enough, Notre Dame is 12-4 under a first-time starting quarterback when playing in Notre Dame Stadium (also since 1975).
  • Crist's completion percentage of 73.1% was the highest of any first-time starting quarterback with more than eight pass attempts since 1975.
  • Crist's 19 completions are the second-most by a first-time starting Irish quarterback since 1975. Brady Quinn completed 29 passes against Purdue on Sept. 23, 2003. His 205 yards passing are the third-most by a first-time starting signal caller since 1985. Quinn threw for 297 yards against Purdue on Sept. 27, 2003 and Ron Powlus had 291 yards against Northwestern on Sept. 3, 1994.
  • Crist was the first junior quarterback to make his starting debut since Arnaz Battle in 2000.
  • 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 (No. 1 Notre Dame def. No. 4 Michigan 28-24 in '90), Kevin McDougal (No. 7 Notre Dame def. Northwestern 27-12 in '93), Ron Powlus (No. 3 Notre Dame def. Northwestern 42-12 in '95) and Jarious Jackson (No. 22 Notre Dame def. No. 5 Michigan 36-20 in '98).
  • Notre Dame's nine-game, first-start winning 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).
  • Following the snap of the nine-game winning streak under first-time starters, the Irish won three consecutive games under first-time signal callers. In fact, all three came during the same season, 2000, and occurred over the year's first five contests. Arnaz Battle (Notre Dame def. No. 24 Texas A&M, 24-10), Gary Godsey (Notre Dame def. Purdue, 23-21) and Matt LoVecchio (No. 25 Notre Dame def. Stanford, 20-14).
  • Carlyle Holiday dropped his first career start on Sept. 29, 2001 against Texas A&M, but senior walk-on Pat Dillingham was victorious against Stanford on Oct. 5, 2002.
  • Notre Dame used a trio of first-time signal callers in 2007, including one in each of the first two games of the season. Demetrius Jones (Georgia Tech def. Notre Dame, 33-3), Jimmy Clausen (No. 14 Penn State def. Notre Dame, 31-10) and Evan Sharpley (No. 13 USC def. Notre Dame, 38-0) all failed to walk away with a victory.

    Last 28 starting debut games by Irish QBs (Notre Dame is 18-10 in those contests).

  • Dayne Crist, junior (Notre Dame vs. Purdue, Sept. 4, 2010, first game of season) ... win, 23-12 ... 19 of 26 passing, 205 yards, 1 TD.
  • Evan Sharpley, sophomore (Notre Dame vs. No. 13 USC, Oct. 20, 2007, eighth game of season) ... loss, 38-0 ... 17 of 33 passing, 117 yards, 1 INT.
  • Jimmy Clausen, freshman (Notre Dame at No. 14 Penn State, Sept. 8, 2007, second game of season) ... loss, 31-10 ... 17 of 32 passing, 144 yards, 1 INT.
  • Demetrius Jones, sophomore (Notre Dame vs. Georgia Tech, Sept. 1, 2007, first game of season) ... loss, 33-3 ... 1 of 3 passing, 4 yards, 2 fumbles ... 12 rushes for 28 yards.
  • Brady Quinn, freshman (Notre Dame at No. 22 Purdue, Sept. 27, 2003, fourth game of season) ... loss, 23-10 ... 29 of 59 passing, 297 yards, 4 INT, TD ... 8 rushes for 25 yards.
  • Pat Dillingham, sophomore (Notre Dame vs. Stanford, Oct. 5, 2002, fifth game of season) ... win, 31-7 ... 14 of 27 passing, 129 yards, 2 TDs.
  • Carlyle Holiday, sophomore (Notre Dame at Texas A&M, Sept. 29, 2001, third game of season) ... loss, 24-3 ... 6 of 13 passing, 73 yards, 2 INT ... 12 rushes for 23 yards.
  • Matt LoVecchio, freshman (No. 25 Notre Dame vs. Stanford, Oct. 7, 2000, fifth game of season) ... win, 20-14 ... 10 of 18 passing, 100 yards, 2 TDs ... 13 rushes for 36 yards, TD.
  • Gary Godsey, sophomore (Notre Dame vs. Purdue, Sept. 16, 2000, 3rd game of season) ... win, 23-21 ... 14 of 25 passing, 158 yards, INT ... 7 rushes for 3 yards, TD.
  • Arnaz Battle, junior (Notre Dame vs. No. 24 Texas A&M, Sept. 2, 2000, 1st game of season) ... win, 24-10 ... 10 of 16 passing, 133 yards ... 12 rushes for 50 yards.
  • Eric Chappell, junior (No. 9 Notre Dame at USC, Nov. 28, 1998, 11th game of season) ... loss, 10-0 ... 0 of 3 passing, 2 INT ... 7 rushes for 33 yards.
  • Jarious Jackson, senior (Notre Dame vs. No. 5 Michigan, Sept. 5, 1998, 1st game of season) ... win, 36-20 ... 4 of 10 passing, 96 yards, 2 TDs, INT ... 16 rushes for 62 yards.
  • Tom Krug, junior (No. 8 Notre Dame at Air Force, Nov. 18, 1995, 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.
  • Ron Powlus, sophomore (No. 3 Notre Dame at Northwestern, Sept. 3, 1994, 1st game of season) ... win, 42-15 ... 18 of 24 passing, 291 yards, 4 TD ... 2 rushes for 6 yards.
  • Kevin McDougal, senior (No. 7 Notre Dame vs. Northwestern, Sept. 4, 1993, 1st game of season) ... win, 27-12 ... 6 of 8 passing, 135 yards ... 5 rushes for -16 yards.
  • Paul Failla, freshman (No. 8 Notre Dame at Purdue, Sept. 28, 1991, 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.
  • Rick Mirer, sophomore (No. 1 Notre Dame vs. No. 4 Michigan, Sept. 15, 1990, 1st game of season) ... win, 28-24 ... 14 of 23 passing, 165 yards, TD, INT ... 10 rushes for 12 yards, TD.
  • Kent Graham, freshman (No. 9 Notre Dame vs. Boston College, Nov. 7, 1987, 8th game of season) ... win, 32-25 ... 6 of 8 passing, 11 yards, INT ... 3 rushes for 7 yards.
  • Tony Rice, sophomore (No. 11 Notre Dame at Air Force, Oct. 17, 1987, 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.
  • Terry Andrysiak, sophomore (Notre Dame vs. Mississippi, Nov. 9, 1985, 8th game of season) ... win, 37-14 ... 4 of 8 passing, 60 yards, TD ... 2 rushes for -7 yards.
  • Rick Slager, senior (#9 Notre Dame vs. Boston College, @Foxboro, Sept. 15, 1975, 1st game of season) ... win, 17-3 ... 7 of 12 passing, 72 yards.
  • Joe Montana, sophomore (#8 Notre Dame vs. Michigan State, Oct. 4, 1975, 4th game of season) ... loss, 10-3 ... 2 of 5 passing, 19 yards, 1 INT.
  • Rusty Lisch, sophomore (#3 Notre Dame vs. Miami, Nov. 20, 1976, 10th game of season) ... win, 40-27 ... 5 of 11 passing, 102 yards, 1 TD ... 15 rushes for 9 yards, 3 TD.
  • Tim Koegel, sophomore (#5 Notre Dame at #17 Purdue, Sept. 22, 1979, 2nd game of season) ... loss, 28-22 ... 6 of 18 passing, 81 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT ... four rushes for 0 yards.
  • Blair Kiel, freshman (#7 Notre Dame vs. #13 Miami, Oct. 11, 1980, 4th game of season) ... win, 32-14 ... 4 of 17 passing, 35 yards ... 11 rushes for 28 yards, 1 TD.
  • Ken Karcher, sophomore ... (Notre Dame at #1 Pittsburgh, Nov. 6, 1982, 8th game of season) ... loss, 31-16 ... 2 of 4 passing, 21 yards, 1 INT ... 1 rush for -10 yards ... replaced by senior Jim O'Hara in second quarter.
  • Steve Beurelein, freshman (Notre Dame vs. Colorado, Oct. 1, 1983, 4th game of season) ... win, 27-3 ... 8 of 12 passing, 133 yards.
  • Scott Grooms, senior (Notre Dame vs. Air Force, Oct. 13, 1984, 6th game of season) ... loss, 21-7 ... 12 of 35 passing, 117 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT ... 12 rushes for -9 yards.

TE'O MAKING IRISH OPPONENTS SAYING UH-OH

  • Notre Dame sophomore LB Manti Te'o leads the Irish total tackles (79), tackles on running plays (52), tackles on passing plays (25), solo tackles (38) and assisted tackles (41). He also ranks tied for second in tackles for loss (5.0).
  • Te'o ranks fifth in the FBS in total tackles (79) and 10th in tackles per game (11.3).

    For an accompanying chart, please see the pdf version of these notes

  • Te'o has registered 10 or more tackles in five of the last six games. He has only failed to reach double digits in tackles in two games this season (vs. Purdue in the season opener and Pittsburgh last week). Te'o finished with nine tackles against the Boilermakers. He has recorded 10 or more tackles in a game seven times over his brief career.
  • Te'o established a career-high in tackles with 21 against Stanford. He was the first player in the FBS this season to eclipse the 20-tackle barrier. In fact, no player in the FBS has had more tackles in one game against a BCS conference foe since Durell Mapp of North Carolina had 23 stops against North Carolina State on Nov. 10, 2007. In fact, it is the most tackles by a sophomore against a BCS opponent since Austin Thomas of Indiana had 22 against Michigan State on Oct. 13, 2007.

    For an accompanying chart, please see the pdf version of these notes

  • It was the most tackles by a Notre Dame player since Chinedum Ndukwe had 22 in a victory over Air Force on Nov. 11, 2006. Te'o's 21 tackles against Stanford not only rank as the sixth-most in single-game school history, but also the second-most ever by an Irish sophomore. Bob Crable was a sophomore when he tied the school record with 26 stops against Clemson on Nov. 17, 1979. His previous career-high for tackles in a game was 13 set earlier this year against Michigan.

    For an accompanying chart, please see the pdf version of these notes

  • While Notre Dame has played just over half of its season, Te'o may be headed towards one of the best seasons in Irish history. He is on pace for 135 total tackles, which would rank just outside the top 10 all-time and most since Tony Furjanic had 147 in 1985. The total would also rank as the third most ever by a Notre Dame sophomore. Crable's school record total of 187 in 1979 and Furjanic's total of 142 in 1983 came during each of their second year in an Irish uniform.

    For an accompanying chart, please see the pdf version of these notes

  • Te'o has already accounted for 142 career tackles in just 19 games in an Irish uniform, good for an average of 7.5 tackles per game.
  • Since becoming a full-time starter in the fifth game of the 2009 season, Te'o has started 16 consecutive games. In that time, he has totaled 137 tackles (8.6 tackles per game).
  • Te'o registered 63 tackles in 2009, the third most tackles ever by a Notre Dame freshman. The only two players to register more tackles in their rookie campaign were future All-Americans Bob Golic (82, 1975) and Ross Browner (68, 1973).

Chris Stewart MAN OF THE LAW

  • Senior OG Chris Stewart will attempt the rarest of double duties this fall by playing college football while also undertaking the rigors of life as a law school student. He is believed to be the first football player in Irish history to suit-up for games on Saturday and attend graduate law classes during the week. According to a survey of FBS sports information directors, Stewart, who graduated cum laude in December '09 with a degree in history and two internships in immigration and labor law, is the only football player who will be enrolled in law school this fall.
  • Stewart is enrolled in Contracts, Criminal Law, Legal Research and Legal Writing I.

FLOYD IN THE NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT

  • Junior WR Michael Floyd is listed on the NCAA FBS active career charts in receiving yards, receiving yards per game, receiving yards per catch, receptions per game and receiving touchdowns. Floyd's 85.5 yards receiving per game ranks third in the nation among active players, while his 5.4 catches per game ranks tied for sixth. He also ranks ninth on the active career chart for receiving touchdowns with 22, 13th in career receiving yards per catch among active players at 15.7 yards per grab and tied for 16th in career receiving yards with 2,138.

    For an accompanying chart, please see the pdf version of these notes

  • Floyd recorded nine receptions for 157 yards and three touchdowns in the victory over Western Michigan. He eclipsed the 100-yard receiving mark for second time this season and 11th time in his career (which ranks third all-time). He trails only Golden Tate (15, 2007-09) and Tom Gatewood (13, 1969-71).
  • Floyd has played in 25 career games, and in two of them (at Navy in 2008 and vs. Michigan State in 2009), he missed most of the action following an injury. Yet, Floyd has 11 career 100-yard receiving games over the other 23 games played.

    For an accompanying chart, please see the pdf version of these notes

  • Floyd continued his climb up the Irish all-time receiving lists. He moved past Maurice Stovall (130; 2002-05), Derrick Mayes (129; 1992-95) and Ken MacAfee (128; 1974-77) into seventh place all-time in career receptions with 136. Floyd also became the ninth Notre Dame wideout to ever register 2,000 career receiving yards. He moved past Jim Seymour (2113; 1966-68) into eighth place all-time in career receiving yards.

    For an accompanying chart, please see the pdf version of these notes

  • Floyd recorded three touchdown receptions for the second time in his career. He had three touchdown catches against Nevada on Sept. 5, 2009. Floyd has caught two or more touchdown passes in two games this season and five times in his career. He is the third Notre Dame wideout to have three or more touchdown receptions in multiple games (Maurice Stovall, 2005; Golden Tate, 2009).

    For an accompanying chart, please see the pdf version of these notes

  • Floyd has 22 career receiving touchdowns in just 25 games for Notre Dame. He is tied with Rhema McKnight (2003-06) and Derrick Mayes (1992-95) for third on the all-time Notre Dame receiving touchdowns list. His nine receiving touchdowns in 2009 rank tied for eighth-best in single-season Irish history.

    For an accompanying chart, please see the pdf version of these notes

  • Floyd hauled in an 80-yard touchdown reception on Notre Dame's first offensive play from scrimmage against Western Michigan. He was the first player in school history to register a touchdown catch of at least 80 yards more than once in his career. Floyd also had an 88-yard scoring catch on Sept. 5, 2009 against Nevada. He has actually recorded three touchdown catches of at least 70 yards. Floyd also registered a 70-yard touchdown reception in that game against the Wolf Pack .
  • Floyd hooked up with junior QB Dayne Crist on a one-yard touchdown reception with 2:36 to go in the first quarter to give the Irish a 7-3 lead against Pittsburgh.
  • Floyd has now recorded a reception in 15 straight games (excluding games he missed due to injury). Floyd has a reception in 24 of the 25 games he has suited up for the Irish. The only game he failed to make a reception came against Navy in 2008 when he was injured early in the first quarter blocking down field.
  • Floyd finished the game against Stanford with eight catches for 110 yards.
  • Floyd has registered a touchdown pass against Michigan State in each of the last three years. He registered a 24-yard touchdown reception with 13:20 to go in the fourth quarter to give the Irish a 28-21 lead. He hauled in a seven-yard touchdown reception from Crist with 5:28 left in first quarter to give Irish a 7-0 lead.
  • Floyd had five catches for 66 yards in the loss to Michigan.
  • Floyd had five receptions for 82 yards in the victory over Purdue.
  • Had Floyd met the NCAA requirement of playing in 75 percent of the team's games in 2009 his 113.6 yards per game would have ranked sixth nationally. Floyd and Golden Tate would have been the only receiving tandem to rank top 10 nationally in that statistic. His 18.1 yards per catch would have also earned him 12th place on the NCAA season leader list as well.
  • Floyd led all FBS wideouts in the nation with a 29.09 yards per catch average and was tied for the nation's lead in receiving touchdowns with four (among NCAA qualifying receivers) before suffering a broken collarbone in the second quarter of Notre Dame's 33-30 victory over Michigan State in 2009.
  • Floyd recorded four catches for 189 yards and three touchdowns in the 35-0 rout of Nevada in last season's opener. He averaged 47.3 yards per reception, which broke the previous school record of 41.6 yards per catch by Jim Morse against USC on Nov. 26, 1955.

    For an accompanying chart, please see the pdf version of these notes

  • Floyd set a career-high for longest reception when he raced 88 yards for a touchdown with 10:12 left in the third quarter against Nevada in 2009. The 88-yard reception is the fourth-longest in Notre Dame football history and was the longest since Nov. 7, 1981 when Blair Kiel found Joe Howard for a school record 96 yards.

    For an accompanying chart, please see the pdf version of these notes

  • Floyd not only became the first Irish freshman to register a touchdown catch in a season opener (2008), but also became the first freshman to register Notre Dame's first points of a season by TD. Floyd had 48 receptions for 719 yards last year. He established new school records for receptions (48), receiving yards (719) and receiving touchdowns (7) by an Irish freshman. He also set a freshman record with 10 receptions against Pittsburgh on Nov. 1, 2008.
  • Floyd was the fourth different rookie in the last 20 years whose first career catch was a TD. The others were Raghib "Rocket" Ismail and Derek Brown in 1988 and Derrick Mayes in 1992 - mighty impressive company for Floyd to join.

CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK

  • Sophomore WR Theo Riddick started out his Irish career as a running back. He rushed for 160 yards on 29 attempts as a rookie in 2009, but first-year head coach Brian Kelly liked the idea of moving Riddick to the slot in his spread offense. Riddick was somewhat slow in his progression at wideout over Notre Dame's first two games of 2010. He managed just four catches for 52 yards against Purdue and Michigan, but the wide receiver found his form over a four-game stretch against Michigan State, Stanford, Boston College and Pittsburgh. Riddick totaled 33 receptions for 343 yards and three touchdowns (all team-highs over the four-game stretch). He managed just one catch against Western Michigan before he was sidelined by an injury.
  • Riddick hauled in a 20-yard touchdown pass from junior QB Dayne Crist with 2:19 remaining in the first quarter to give the Irish a 21-0 lead over Boston College. The touchdown reception was Riddick's third of the season and career. Riddick registered a touchdown catch in three consecutive weeks (Michigan State, Stanford and Boston College).
  • Riddick had nine catches for 69 yards against the Eagles.
  • Riddick picked up a touchdown reception against Stanford.
  • Riddick entered the Michigan State game with four receptions for 52 yards, but finished the contest with a career-high 10 catches for 128 yards and one touchdown. He registered his first career 100-yard receiving game. Riddick posted two grabs for 42 yards on Notre Dame's opening scoring drive of the second half (an 18- and 24-yard grab). He hauled in a 15-yard touchdown pass from Crist with 1:29 to go in the third quarter to tie the score, 21-21.
  • Riddick's 10 receptions against Michigan State are tied for the eighth-most in single-game school history. In fact, his output is tied for the third-most ever by an Irish sophomore wideout. Notre Dame junior WR Michael Floyd also hauled in 10 catches against Navy on Nov. 7, 2009. Jim Seymour, who was a first-year player, but a sophomore elgibility wise, has the two highest outputs. He had games with 13 and 11 catches in 1966.

    For an accompanying chart, please see the pdf version of these notes

RETURN OF THE MACK (EY) AWARD SEMIFINALIST

  • Junior TE Kyle Rudolph's return for the 2010 season makes him the only member of the eight announced semifinalist's for the 2009 Mackey Award to come back for another year. Rudolph was named John Mackey Tight End of the Week on Sept. 15 following his record-setting performance against Michigan.
  • Rudolph underwent surgery on a torn hamstring on Oct. 15. He will miss the rest of the season.
  • Prior to the injury, Rudolph had 28 receptions for 328 yards and three touchdowns this season.
  • Rudolph was on pace to break Ken MacAfee's single-season school record for receptions by a tight end. Rudolph had 28 catches over Notre Dame's first six games in 2010 and was on pace for 56. MacAfee recorded 54 receptions in 1977. Rudolph also had 328 yards receiving through the halfway point of the season. He was on pace for 656 yards receiving, which would have been the second-most in school history for a tight end.
  • Rudolph became the fourth Irish tight end to ever eclipse the 1,000-yard receiving barrier following a nine-yard catch in the first quarter against Pittsburgh.

    For an accompanying chart, please see the pdf version of these notes

  • Rudolph hauled in a two-yard touchdown pass from junior QB Dayne Crist with 6:26 remaining in the first quarter against Boston College to push the Irish lead to 14-0. The touchdown catch was Rudolph's third of the season and eighth of his career.
  • Rudolph backed up his record setting day against Michigan with another top-notch effort at Michigan State. He matched his career-high of eight catches (established the week prior) for 80 yards and one touchdown.
  • Rudolph ranked among the top five tight ends in the FBS in overall receptions, receiving yards, yards per reception, receiving yards per game and receptions per game before being sidelined for the rest of the 2010 season.

    For an accompanying chart, please see the pdf version of these notes

  • Rudolph hooked up with junior QB Dayne Crist for a 17-yard reception in the first quarter against Michigan State. He moved past Dean Masztak (1978-81) into fourth place on the all-time receiving list for Irish tight ends on the grab. Rudolph hauled in a 10-yard touchdown pass from Crist with 12:25 to go in the third quarter to tie the game, 14-14.
  • Rudolph's 95-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter against Michigan was the second-longest reception in Notre Dame history. The school record pass play was a Blair Kiel to Joe Howard connection against Georgia Tech in 1981. It also was the longest by a Notre Dame tight end, breaking the previous mark of 78 by Mike Creaney versus Pitt in 1970.
  • Rudolph equaled his career single-game high in receptions with eight and receiving yards with 164 against the Wolverines. He set a single-game school record for receiving yards by a tight end and fell one catch shy of the tight end record for catches in a game. Rudolph's total surpassed Anthony Fasano's previous mark of 155 yards in a 41-16 loss to Purdue in 2004. Ken MacAfee's nine catches (114 yards) in a 1977 victory at Purdue is still the Irish single-game record among tight ends.

    For an accompanying chart, please see the pdf version of these notes

  • Rudolph recorded three receptions on Notre Dame's opening scoring drive against Michigan alone and two resulted in first downs. In fact, both first down grabs came on critical third down conversions.
  • Rudolph hauled in five catches for 43 yards in the victory over Purdue. Three of his receptions gave Notre Dame a first down.
  • Last season, Rudolph had racked up 364 yards and three touchdowns on 33 receptions before suffering a shoulder injury against Navy and not recording a catch in the team's final three games (only one of which he suited up for).

Armando Allen JR., JACK OF ALL TRADES

  • Notre Dame senior RB Armando Allen Jr. has been one of the most versatile running backs in Irish history. Allen Jr. has not only rushed for 2,078 yards in his career, but hauled in 117 receptions for 809 yards, added 1,247 yards on kickoff returns and another 113 yards on punt returns. In all, Allen Jr. has totaled 4,247 all-purpose yards in his career.
  • Allen Jr. also ranks in the top 15 among all active players in all-purpose running plays (10th, 638), all-purpose running yards per play (15th, 6.66) and all-purpose running yards (15th, 4,247). He also ranks tied for 13th in two-point conversions made with two.
  • Allen Jr. moved past Raghib Ismail (4,187; 1988-90) into fifth-place on the all-time Notre Dame all-purpose yards list following a six-yard run early in the first quarter against Pittsburgh. He only trails Julius Jones (5,462; 1999-2003), Autry Denson (5,327; 1995-98), Allen Pinkett (5,259; 1982-85) and Tim Brown (5,024; 1984-87).

    For an accompanying chart, please see the pdf version of these notes

  • Allen Jr. led the Irish in rushing in each of their first six games, but failed to do so last week against Western Michigan (an injury limited him to no yards rushing on three carries).
  • Allen Jr. now ranks tied for 10th all-time in Notre Dame history in career carries (458). He also needs just 196 yards rushing to move into the top 10 all-time at Notre Dame in career rushing.

    For an accompanying chart, please see the pdf version of these notes

  • Allen Jr. registered a career-long 30-yard run on Notre Dame's opening touchdown drive against Boston College.
  • Allen Jr. registered a six-yard rush before fumbling, but the yards moved him past Golden Tate (2007-09) on the all-time Notre Dame all-purpose yards list.
  • Allen Jr. scored from two yards out to give Notre Dame a 31-13 lead with 4:39 remaining in the third quarter. The touchdown rush was Allen's second of the season and eighth of his career.
  • Allen Jr. totaled 141 all-purpose yards against Michigan State. He rushed 13 times for 71 yards (5.5/carry) and collected six catches for 70 yards. Allen became the eighth player in the history of Notre Dame football to eclipse 4,000 career all-purpose yards.
  • With his sixth reception against Michigan State, Allen moved into first place all-time on the Irish receptions list for running backs with 110 career catches. He bested the previous school record of 109 held by Darius Walker (2004-06). Allen's 18-yard reception in the first quarter was also his longest of the season.
  • Allen Jr. recorded a then career-best 29-yard run in the third quarter against Michigan. It bested his previous career-long rush of 26 yards against Connecticut on Nov. 21, 2009.
  • Allen Jr. rushed for a team-high 89 yards on 15 carries in the loss to Michigan. He added a nine-yard reception and nine-yard punt return.
  • Allen Jr. rushed for a game-high 93 yards on 18 carries in the victory over Purdue. He also added a career-best 38-yard punt return.
  • Allen Jr. did not participate in enough games in 2009 to qualify (missed the Purdue, Washington State, Navy and Stanford games due to an ankle injury), but would have ranked among the top FBS running backs in the nation in rushing yards per game (87.1, 41st) and yards per rush (4.91, t-66th). He would have also ranked 70th in the nation in all-purpose yards per game (114.1).
  • Allen Jr. became the second running back in Notre Dame history to eclipse 100 career receptions. His 117 career receptions rank atop the all-time list for Notre Dame running backs. He eclipsed Darius Walker's (109, 2004-06) previous school record. Allen Jr. also ranks tied for fifth all-time in career receiving yards by an Irish running back.

    For an accompanying chart, please see the pdf version of these notes

WILLIAMS, NEAL IN INK

  • Senior NG Ian Williams and senior LB Kerry Neal each played in their 44th career game last week. They are the only two Irish players to see action in every game since 2007.

THE JACKSON FIVE

  • Freshman WR Bennett Jackson has registered seven tackles on special teams, including five on kickoff return. The seven total special teams tackles ranks second-best on the team (only Steve Filer with eight has more). Jackson's five kickoff return tackles also ranks second to Filer's total of seven.
  • He recorded four solo stops in his Irish debut against Purdue and added another tackle against Michigan.
  • Jackson raced 43 yards on his first career kickoff return, the longest return of the season for Notre Dame, against Boston College. He finished the game with 111 yards on four kickoff returns, good for a 27.8 yard average.

TJ Jones MAKING AN IMMEDIATE IMPACT

  • Freshman WR TJ Jones was the first Irish freshman wideout in school history to catch touchdown passes in each of his first two career games.
  • Jones hooked up with junior QB Dayne Crist for 37 yards to help set up a Notre Dame field goal in the second quarter against Pittsburgh. The 37-yard grab was the second longest of Jones' brief career. He had a 53-yard touchdown catch against Michigan on Sept. 11.
  • Jones hauled in a 53-yard touchdown pass from Crist with 12:42 to go in the third quarter against Michigan to bring the Irish with seven points, 21-14. He recorded a five-yard touchdown reception with 10:20 left in the third quarter against Purdue to give Notre Dame a 20-3 lead.
  • Jones had already became the second freshman wideout in Notre Dame history to register a touchdown in the Irish season opener.

WALLS QUITE STURDY

Prince Shembo STARTING TO MAKE A ROYAL IMPRESSON

  • Freshman LB Prince Shembo had just three tackles, including half a tackle for loss, in Notre Dame's first four games of the season. The rookie linebacker then recorded 2.5 sacks, a forced fumble and quarterback hurry in the two games against Boston College and Pittsburgh.
  • Shembo picked up his first career sack and forced fumble on the same play late in the third quarter against Boston College. He added a second sack in the fourth quarter.
  • Shembo registered a quarterback hurry and half sack in the victory over Pittsburgh.

DON'T FORGET THE ANNIVERSARY

  • The 2010 football season marks the 80th anniversary of the opening of fabled Notre Dame Stadium. The Irish have played 417 games in that facility to date and own a 309-103-5 (.747) record in the "House that Rockne Built."
  • The Irish are 3-2 in Notre Dame Stadium in 2010, running their home record to 113-44-1 (.718) over the last 25 years.
  • The most wins in a season by the Irish at home is seven by the 1988 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 1955, 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 1980. In 2005, the stadium's 75th anniversary, the Irish went 9-3 overall, participated in the Fiesta Bowl and went 4-2 at home.

OPENERS AN INDICATOR?

  • Notre Dame is 102-15-5 in season openers, but have they been foretelling of the season ahead? Take a look:
  • The 101 seasons Notre Dame has won its opener, the Irish went on to post winning records 92 times (91.1%), with four losing seasons and five .500 records.
  • The 15 seasons the Irish lost their opener, the Irish posted winning records six times and a losing mark eight times (with one .500 season).
  • The five seasons Notre Dame registered a tie in its opener, the Irish had four winning records and one losing record.

WE'VE BEEN HERE BEFORE

  • The meeting earlier this season between Notre Dame and Michigan State marked the 21st time in school history the Irish have faced the Spartans the week following the Michigan game.
  • Notre Dame is 8-3 against the Spartans following a victory over the Wolverines, 5-4 following a defeat and 1-0 following a tie.
  • The Irish have knocked off Michigan and Michigan State in consecutive weeks eight different times (1980, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993, 2002 and 2004).
  • Notre Dame has dropped both rivalry games four times (1986, 2003, 2007 and 2010).
  • Overall, the Irish are 14-7 against the Spartans the week after playing Michigan.
  • Notre Dame has faced Michigan 38 times in the series history and 15 of the meetings have come during the second week of the regular season. The Irish are 6-8-1 all-time when playing the Wolverines in week two.
  • Notre Dame has opened its season with Purdue on eight occasions. The Irish hold a 7-1 record in those season-opening meetings with the Boilermakers. Only two other programs, Michigan and Northwestern, have opened against Notre Dame more often that Purdue.
  • Here are the top five programs in terms of season-opening opponents for the Irish.

    For an accompanying chart, please see the pdf version of these notes

  • This year's opener with Purdue was the first opener with the Boilermakers since 1984. Notre Dame agreed to move the contest from Notre Dame Stadium to the newly opened Hoosier Dome. Future Heisman Trophy winner and College Football Hall of Fame honoree Tim Brown, then just a freshman, fumbled the opening kickoff to setup a Purdue touchdown. The Boilermakers would upset the No. 8 Irish, 23-21.
  • The most famous season opener with Purdue came during the 1966 season. Both teams were ranked in the top 10, Notre Dame at No. 6 and the Boilermakers at No. 8. Purdue was led by All-American Bob Griese, but quarterback Terry Hanratty and wide receiver Jim Seymour stole the show. The duo hooked up 13 times for 276 yards, including touchdowns of 39, 84 and seven yards, en route to a 26-14 Irish victory. Seymour's total of 276 receiving yards remains a single-game Notre Dame record. Notre Dame went on to capture the national title, while the Boilermakers captured their first and still only Rose Bowl title in school history.

WALK-ON PLAYERS JOIN THE IRISH SQUAD THIS FALL

  • Eight walk-ons were added to the 2010 fall roster: junior P Mike Grieco (Glen Ellyn, Ill./St. Ignatius HS), junior S Chris Salvi (Lake Forest, Ill./Carmel Catholic HS), senior LS/DL John Belcher (Cheyenne, Wy./Cheyenne Central HS), sophomore DE Joe Marek (St. Paul, Minn./Cretin-Derham HS), sophomore OL Matt Tansey (Berkely Heights, N.J./Governor Livingston HS), junior LB Jonathan Frantz (Avon Lake, Ohio/St. Ignatius HS), sophomore WR Nick Fitzpatrick (Mishawaka, Ind./Marian HS) and freshman DB Joe Romano (River Forest, Ill./Fenwick HS).

ROSTER CHANGES

  • Eight returning veterans have changed jersey numbers for the 2010 season. Junior DE Ethan Johnson will don No. 90, sophomore WR Robby Toma will sport No. 19, junior DE Hafis Williams will wear No. 94, sophomore WR Theo Riddick will don No. 6, senior TE/FB Bobby Burger will sport No. 41 and senior K Brandon Walker will wear No. 96.
  • Junior S Chris Salvi changed to the No. 24 prior to the Pittsburgh game. He had worn No. 33 over Notre Dame's first five games of the season.
  • Junior C Mike Golic Jr. did wear No. 49 on occasion in the victory over Western Michigan to be considered an eligible receiver. Golic also wore his standard No. 57 jersey.
  • Senior K David Ruffer changed to the No. 97 two weeks into fall camp after wearing No. 48 during the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
  • Notre Dame sophomore OT Zack Martin and sophomore WR Robby Toma each had their first names incorrectly listed in 2009. Martin's first name is correctly spelled Zack (not Zach) and Toma's first name is correctly spelled Robby (not Roby).
  • Notre Dame freshman WR Tai-ler Jones will be listed as TJ Jones.
  • A trio of Irish players underwent position changes during spring practice. Sophomore WR Theo Riddick moved from running back and senior LB Steve Paskorz returned to the position after two years at fullback. Senior OT Lane Clelland opened spring practice at defensive end, but has since returned to his original position.

THREE STUDENT-ATHLETES APPROVED FOR FIFTH YEAR

  • Three seniors on the University of Notre Dame football team were approved to return for a fifth year by the school's Faculty Board on Athletics.
  • C Dan Wenger, OG Chris Stewart and CB Barry Gallup Jr. have already graduated. Wenger and Gallup are enrolled in the graduate studies program, while Stewart is a first-year law student at Notre Dame.

RECRUITING CLASS OF 2010 FINISHES AT 20

NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL-A FAMILY AFFAIR

  • The Golic family is one of just several father-son combinations who have played for Notre Dame represented on the 2010 Irish roster. Mike Sr. earned four monograms at Notre Dame from 1981-84, while Mike Jr. is a junior OL and Jake is a sophomore TE. In addition to their father, Mike and Jake's two uncles also played for the Irish. Bob was not only a four-year monogram winner from 1975-78, but he was a two-time All-American and helped the Irish to the 1977 National Title. Greg earned a pair of monograms in 1981 and 1983.
  • Irish junior QB Nate Montana is the son of NFL Hall of Famer and four-time Super Bowl Champion Joe (1975, 1977-78). The elder Montana helped Notre Dame to the 1977 National Championship.
  • Other current Notre Dame players whose fathers also played for the Irish include senior TE Bobby Burger (Bob, 1978-80), senior LB Brian Smith (Chris, 1981-84) and freshman WR TJ Jones (Andre, 1987-90).

NFL HAS LARGE INFLUENCE ON NOTRE DAME ROSTER

  • Several players also have family connections with the National Football League.
  • Junior QB Nate Montana's father Joe is widely considered the greatest quarterback in NFL history. Joe helped the San Francisco 49ers to four Super Bowls (he was named MVP in three). Joe was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection and inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2000. Joe played in the NFL for the San Francisco 49ers (1979-92) and Kansas City Chiefs (1993-94)
  • Junior OL Mike Jr. and sophomore TE Jake Golic's father Mike Sr. played in the NFL forthe Houston Oilers (1986-87), Philadelphia Eagles (1987-92) and Miami Dolphins (1993). Their uncle, Bob, also played in the NFL for the New England Patriots (1979-81), Cleveland Browns (1982-88) and Los Angeles Raiders (1989-92).
  • Other players whose fathers played in the NFL include sophomore OG Alex Bullard (Louis, Seattle Seahawks, 1978-80), freshman WR Austin Collinsworth (Chris, Cincinnati Bengals, 1981-88) and junior ILB Anthony McDonald (Mike, Los Angeles Rams, Detroit Lions, 1983-92) and sophomore K Nick Tausch (Terry, Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco, 1982-89).
  • Junior ILB David Posluszny's brother Paul has played in the NFL for the Buffalo Bills since 2007.
  • Sophomore P Ben Turk has two uncles that have played in the NFL. Matt is currently the punter for the Houston Texans (2007-10), but has also suited up for the St. Louis Rams (1996), Miami Dolphins (2000-01, 2003-05), New York Jets (2002) and Washington Redskins (1995-99). Dan played 15 years in the NFL for the Pittsburgh Steelers (1985-86), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1987-88), Los Angeles Raiders (1989-94), Oakland Raiders (1995-96) and Washington Redskins (1997-99).

NOTRE DAME EXCELS IN THE CLASSROOM

  • The University of Notre Dame and University of Miami shared the American Football Coaches Association's 2009 Academic Achievement Award, which is presented by the Touchdown Club of Memphis. Notre Dame and Miami recorded a 100 percent graduation rate for members of its freshman football student-athlete class of 2002. This is the eighth honor for Notre Dame.
  • Notre Dame has been recognized 28 of 29 years the award has been presented, the most of any school in the nation. Notre Dame has won the overall award eight times with the most recent coming in 2007. Notre Dame also won the overall award in 1982, 1983, 1984, 1988, 1991, 2001 and 2007. In 1988, Notre Dame became the only school to win the Academic Achievement Award and the National Championship in the same year.

OFFICIAL Brian Kelly RADIO SHOW

  • The Brian Kelly Radio Show began Sept. 2 - and University of Notre Dame football fans can watch the show live on the Notre
     

     

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