Nov. 4, 2008
Full Notes Package in PDF Format (recommended for easy reading and enhanced statistical data)
GAME 9: NOTRE DAME (5-3) vs. BOSTON COLLEGE (5-3)
DATE: Saturday, November 8, 2008
TIME: 8:00 p.m. ET
SITE (CAPACITY): Alumni Stadium (44,500); Chestnut Hill, Mass.
TICKETS: The game is sold out. It is the 69th sellout in the last 76 road games for the Irish. The only non-sellouts include the 2001-07 games at Stanford, the 2004 game vs. Navy (The Meadowlands), the 2005 game at Washington and the 2006 game at Air Force.
TV: ESPN national telecast with Mike Patrick (play-by-play), Todd Blackledge (analysis), Holly Rowe (sideline), Bo Garrett (producer) and Scott Johnson (director).
RADIO: ISP Sports is the exclusive national rights-holder for Irish football radio broadcasts. The Notre Dame-ISP relationship begins with the 2008 season -- with ISP managing, producing and syndicating the Irish national football radio network. Notre Dame games will be broadcast by Don Criqui (play-by-play), former Irish great Allen Pinkett (analysis) and Jeff Jeffers providing pre-game, sideline and post-game reports. This broadcast can be heard live on SIRIUS Satellite Radio (channel 159). All Notre Dame home games may be heard in South Bend on Sunny 101.5 FM and NewsTalk 960 WSBT-AM. See page 12 of this notes package for more information on Irish football radio and television shows.
WEB SITES: Notre Dame (und.com), Boston College (bceagles.com).
REAL-TIME STATS: Live in-game statistics will be provided through CBS College Sports Gametracker via each school's respective official athletic websites.
POLLS: Neither Notre Dame or Boston College are receiving votes in either the Associated Press poll or USA Today coaches polls.
SERIES INFO: This meeting will be the 18th all-time meeting between the two schools and first matchup in Chestnut Hill since 2003. Boston College has won five of the last six meetings, including each of the last four matchups. The Eagles have also won two straight and three of the last four inside Notre Dame Stadium. (see All-Time Series Results on page 26 of the PDF version of this notes package).
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Notre Dame has dropped five consecutive meetings with Boston College. The Irish will look to prevent the Eagles from becoming the fourth school to ever register a winning streak of six games or more against Notre Dame.
NOTRE DAME HEAD COACH Charlie Weis: A record combined win total for the first two seasons of any Notre Dame head football coach, consecutive Bowl Championship Series appearances for the first time in Irish history, and the two most accomplished passing seasons in Notre Dame football annals - those are the most notable by-products of the first three seasons of the Charlie Weis era in South Bend.
Weis, a 1978 Notre Dame graduate and owner of four Super Bowl-champion rings as products of a stellar 15-season career as a National Football League assistant coach, wasted no time putting his signature stamp on his alma mater's program in his first two years as Irish head coach in 2005 and 2006.
Weis and his Irish followed up a 9-3 record in '05 and BCS appearance in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl with a 10-3 overall mark in '06 and a second consecutive BCS invitation, this time to the Allstate Sugar Bowl. Those 19 combined wins (including eight straight in the middle of the '06 regular season) qualified as most in a two-year period by the Irish since they collected 21 in 1992-93. It was also the first time Notre Dame played in BCS games in successive years and the most prominent two-season bowl qualification since the Irish played in the Fiesta and Orange Bowls after the 1994 and '95 campaigns. The only schools to play in BCS games after both the '05 and '06 seasons were Notre Dame, Ohio State and USC.
Notre Dame's 10 regular-season wins in '06 marked the ninth time that figure had been achieved in Irish history. Weis' 19 combined wins in his first two seasons were the most by a ND head coach in his first two years (the previous high was 17 by both Terry Brennan in 1954-55 and Dan Devine in 1975-76). For the second straight year in '06 Weis was one of three finalists for the George Munger Award presented by the Maxwell Football Club (of Philadelphia) to the college coach of the year.
The architect in '05 and '06 of the two most prolific passing seasons in Irish football history, Weis effectively transformed the ND offense into one of the most productive in the nation, as the Irish scored more points in `05 (440) than in any previous season in school history - and also qualified as the most improved offensive attack in the nation, jumping its total offense production (477.33 yards per game) a national-best 131.8 yards per game better than in '04. The Irish followed that up with another strong passing attack in '06, with Notre Dame's average of 264.1 passing yards per contest ranking 13th nationally and second all-time in the Notre Dame record book (behind only the 330.3 mark from '05). The Irish protected the football nearly as well as any team in the country in '06, with their 14 overall turnovers in 13 games ranking tied for fourth of the 119 NCAA I-A teams.
On a combined basis in 2005 and '06 under Weis, Notre Dame led the nation in interception avoidance with only 1.6 percent of Irish passes picked off over those two years. The Irish, thanks in large part to the play of quarterback Brady Quinn, finished third in TD passes with 69 and sixth in passing yards per game (295.8) and passing rating (151.7). In '05 and '06 combined, compared to the previous two seasons, the Irish improved their points per game by 11.5, and their total yards per game by 90.9.
A WIN THIS WEEK WOULD...Improve Notre Dame to 6-3 on the season.
Improve Notre Dame to 2-0 (1.000) this season and 8-9 (.471) under Weis coming off a defeat.
Give the Irish a victory over Boston College for the first time since 2000 and their first victory over the Eagles in Chestnut Hill since 1998.
Snap Boston College's five-game winning streak in the all-time series.
Even the Irish to 2-2 (.500) this season away from Notre Dame Stadium.
Improve Notre Dame to 10-8-0 (.556) in the all-time series with Boston College.
Improve the Irish to 3-3 (.500) in the all-time series with the Eagles in Alumni Stadium.
Improve an unranked Irish squad (post 1932) to 3-4 (.429) all-time against Boston College (snap their losing streak at four games in such meetings).
Improve an unranked Notre Dame squad to 1-2 (.333) all-time against the Eagles in Alumni Stadium.
Improve Notre Dame to 2-2 (.500) all-time against the Eagles when both teams are unranked.
Improve Notre Dame to 1-2 (.333) all-time against Boston College in Alumni Stadium when both teams are unranked.
Improve Notre Dame to 76-30-2 (.713) all-time against the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Improve Notre Dame's all-time road record against the ACC to 27-14-2 (.651).
Improve Notre Dame's all-time road record against teams that were members of the ACC at the time of the game to 19-5-1 (.750).
Improve Weis' record to 28-18 overall (.609), 1-1 (.500) against Boston College and 4-3 (.571) against the ACC.
Improve Weis' overall road record to 12-6 (.667) and his road record against the ACC to 2-1 (.667).
Improve Weis' record to 11-4 (.733) in November games.
Improve Weis' record to 7-3 (.700) in night games.
Improve Notre Dame's all-time record to 830-281-42 (.738).
Improve Notre Dame's all-time record on the road to 290-139-22 (.667).
A LOSS THIS WEEK WOULD...Drop Notre Dame to 5-4 on the season.
Drop Notre Dame to 1-1 (.500) this season and 7-10 (.412) under Weis coming off a defeat.
Deny the Irish a victory over Boston College for the first time since 2000 and their first victory over the Eagles in Chestnut Hill since 1998.
Extend Boston College's winning streak to six games in the all-time series.
Make Boston College the fourth school to ever register a winning streak of six games or more against Notre Dame. The other schools include Michigan (eight, 1887-1908), Michigan State (1955-63) and USC (six, 2002-07).
Drop the Irish to 1-3 (.250) this season away from Notre Dame Stadium.
Drop Notre Dame to 9-9 (.500) in the all-time series with Boston College.
Drop the Irish to 2-4 (.333) in the all-time series with the Eagles in Alumni Stadium.
Drop an unranked Irish squad (post 1932) to 2-5 (.400) all-time against Boston College (extend their losing streak to five games in such meetings).
Drop an unranked Notre Dame squad to 0-3 (.000) all-time against the Eagles in Alumni Stadium.
Drop Notre Dame to 1-3 (.250) all-time against the Eagles when both teams are unranked.
Drop Notre Dame to 0-3 (.000) all-time against Boston College in Alumni Stadium when both teams are unranked.
Drop Notre Dame to 75-31-2 (.704) all-time against the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Drop Notre Dame's all-time road record against the ACC to 26-15-2 (.628).
Drop Notre Dame's all-time road record against teams that were members of the ACC at the time of the game to 18-6-1 (.740).
Drop Weis' record to 27-19 overall (.587), 0-2 (.000) against Boston College and 3-4 (.429) against the ACC.
Drop Weis' overall road record to 11-7 (.611) and his road record against the ACC to 1-2 (.333).
Drop Weis' record to 10-5 (.667) in November games.
Drop Weis' record to 6-4 (.600) in night games.
Drop Notre Dame's all-time record to 829-282-42 (.738).
Drop Notre Dame's all-time record on the road to 289-140-22 (.667).
IRISH TEAM NOTES
LONG DAY AT THE STADIUMNotre Dame and Pittsburgh played the longest game in Irish history last Saturday. Notre Dame had never seen a game enter the fourth overtime. The Irish dropped a three-overtime game to Navy in 2007. In fact, the Irish have dropped their last three games that have entered overtime.
The game lasted 4:01, which is longest in terms of time since the Michigan State game in 2005. In fact, no other game has ever gone longer since 2002 (when length of time was included on box scores).
Notre Dame and Pittsburgh combined for 160 total plays in the game (the Panthers ran 77, while the Irish ran 83).
The 83 plays for Notre Dame are the most this season and most since the Irish ran 90 last year against Navy.
IRISH GETTING OFF TO A FAST STARTNotre Dame has now opened each of its last four games with a scoring drive on its opening possession of the game (three touchdowns and last Saturday's field goal). In fact, the Irish have scored on their opening drive five times this season.
The Irish have surrendered just three total first half points over the past two games. Notre Dame shutout Washington in the opening 30 minutes before limiting Pittsburgh to only a first half field goal. In fact, the Irish have not allowed a first half touchdown since the Stanford game on Oct. 4.
Notre Dame has completely dominated both Washington and Pittsburgh in the opening half the past two weeks. The Irish outgained the Huskies, 238-38, in the first 30 minutes. Notre Dame also had 13 first downs, compared to Washington's three. The Irish outgained the Panthers, 240-71, in the first half. Notre Dame recorded 12 first downs to Pittsburgh's five.
The Irish forced the Panthers into three first half punts, including three three-and-out drives. Washington's longest drive of the first half went for just 48 yards.
The Irish forced the Huskies into six first half punts, including four three and out drives. Washington's longest drive of the first half went for just 14 yards.
Notre Dame exploded out of the gates with a pair of touchdowns to grab a 14-0 first quarter lead against Washington. It took the Irish just three offensive plays to score their first touchdown (drive was three plays for 61 yards). Notre Dame added another seven-play, 70-yard scoring drive. The 14 first quarter points mark the second time this season the Irish have scored at least 14 points in the opening quarter (ND scored 21 against Michigan earlier this season).
The Irish ran 18 plays in the opening 15 minutes and racked up 154 total yards, good for an average of 8.6 yards per play against the Huskies. On the other hand, Notre Dame limited Washington to 16 total yards on 15 plays or 1.1 yards per play in the first quarter.
The Irish also picked up a pair of sacks, both by sophomore DS Harrison Smith. Notre Dame entered the contest with Washington with only seven sacks over its first six games of the season, which ranked 100th in the NCAA FBS (Irish finished the game with four).
Washington's starting quarterback Ronnie Fouch went 17-of-32 for 276 yards in his previous start against Oregon State, but the Irish limited the signal caller to complete just 1-of-9 for five yards in the opening half.
The Irish opened the first quarter against North Carolina in no-huddle (as it has the last four games) and racked up 158 total yards on 23 plays (good for a 6.9 yard average per play). Notre Dame totaled 11 first downs, compared to just four for the Tar Heels in the opening 15 minutes. North Carolina recorded 73 yards on 14 plays in the first quarter.
CHARLIE AND THE IRISH OFFENSIVE FACTORYFourth-year head coach Charlie Weis came to Notre Dame with a tremendous reputation as one of the premier offensive minds in all of the NFL. The Irish saw immediate results in 2005, setting 11 school records, including passing yards (3,963), touchdown passes (32, bested in 2007), total offense yards (5,728) and total points (440). Notre Dame has surpassed the 40-point barrier on 11 different occasions in Weis' 45 games as head coach. Prior to his arrival, Notre Dame had eclipsed 40 points just nine times in its previous 97 contests. In addition, the Irish had 83 separate 100-yard receiving games over its first 116 seasons of football, but Notre Dame has had 27 the past four years under Weis. To put those numbers in perspective, Notre Dame averaged a 100-yard receiving effort every 13 games. Under Weis, the Irish is recording a 100-yard receiving effort every other game.
Freshman WR Michael Floyd and sophomore WR Golden Tate each surpassed 100 yards receiving against Pittsburgh. They are the first Irish tandem to eclipse 100 yards receiving in the same game since Jeff Samardzija and John Carlson both eclipsed the century mark against Michigan State in 2006.
Floyd's 10 receptions are the most for a Notre Dame player this season and most since Rhema McKnight had 10 catches against Army in 2006.
IRISH ON THE DEFENSEOver the entire Washington game and last Saturday's opening quarter against Pittsburgh, Notre Dame's first team defense allowed 61 total yards on 47 plays - good for an average of 1.3 yard per play. In fact, the Irish forced eight three-and-outs on defense in 12 opponent drives.
Pittsburgh did not convert a first down until the 11:50 of the second quarter.
The Panthers had 11 possessions in regulation. Notre Dame forced Pittsburgh into a trio of three-and-outs before overtime. The Irish have now forced nine three-and-outs in their opponents last 20 drives in regulation.
Simply put, Notre Dame registered its top defensive game in recent memory at Washington. The Irish limited the Huskies to just 124 total yards on 48 offensive plays (only 2.6 yards per play) -- all Notre Dame bests since head coach Charlie Weis arrived in South Bend in 2005. In fact, the 124 total yards were the fewest for an Irish opponent since Rutgers managed only 43 in a 62-0 Notre Dame victory on Nov. 23, 1996.
The Irish forced the Huskies to punt on each of their first nine possessions. Washington's longest drive of the game (prior its final drive of the game) went for 14 yards. The Huskies did have a nine play drive that managed just nine yards.
Notre Dame forced Washington into six three and outs over its first nine drives.
Prior to that final Huskies' drive, in which they marched 69 yards on 10 plays against Notre Dame's third-team defense to avoid their first home shutout since 1976, Washington had only 55 total yards on 38 plays. The Huskies had not been held below 100 yards of total offense in nearly 60 years.
Notre Dame held Washington to plays of two yards or less 30 times over its 48 plays. Notre Dame did not allow a play of longer than eight yards prior to that final drive. Washington finished the game with eight plays of over eight yards and five came on that final meaningless drive.
While the Irish did not force a turnover, they did register four sacks against Washington. Notre Dame managed just one sack over its first four games, but the Irish have totaled 12 in their last four games.
Notre Dame also limited the Huskies to just nine first downs, but five game on that final drive. The nine first downs allowed are the fewest under Weis and fewest by an Irish opponent since Pittsburgh managed just nine in a Notre Dame 20-14 victory on Oct. 11, 2003.
Washington could only muster 26 yards rushing on 23 carries, just 1.1 yards per carry. The 26 yards rushing are the fewest for an Irish foe since UCLA had 26 in last season's meeting. Notre Dame did not allow a rush of longer than eight yards all game.
IRISH MOVING THE BALL UP AND DOWN THE FIELDNotre Dame's offense has grown up so-to-speak over the last five games. The Irish have eclipsed 430 yards of total offense four times and have averaged 444.6 yards per game in the stretch.
Notre Dame gained 459 yards of total offense against Washington. The Irish have surpassed the 450-yard barrier in total yards in three of the last five weeks. In fact, Notre Dame had 430+ total yards over four consecutive games (Purdue, Stanford, North Carolina and Washington).
Notre Dame had not surpassed 430 yards of total offense in four straight games since 1995 when the Irish had 502 (Sept. 9 at Purdue), 493 (Sept. 16 vs. Vanderbilt), 511 (Sept. 23 vs. Texas) and 447 (Sept. 30 at Ohio State).
Notre Dame totaled 472 yards in the loss against North Carolina. It was the second-most total yards for the Irish this season and most since the Irish racked up 476 against Purdue earlier in the year.
-- ND --