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    Notre Dame And Navy Set To Meet For The 79th Consecutive Time

    FIGHTING IRISH Junior QB Brady Quinn needs just 107 yards passing against Navy this weekend to break Notre Dame's single-season passing record.
    FIGHTING IRISH
    Junior QB Brady Quinn needs just 107 yards passing against Navy this weekend to break Notre Dame's single-season passing record.
    FIGHTING IRISH

    Nov. 8, 2005

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    GAME 9

    Notre Dame (6-2) vs. Navy (5-3)

    The Rankings: Notre Dame - 7th AP, 7th USA Today, 7th Harris, 11th BCS

    The Date and Time: Saturday, Nov. 12, 2005, 1:00 p.m. EST (12:00 p.m. CST in Chicago)

    The Site: Notre Dame Stadium (80,795), Natural Grass

    The Tickets: They're all sold and it is the 184th consecutive sellout at Notre Dame Stadium (the first 130 coming at the old 59,075 capacity). The Navy game marks the 232nd home sellout in the last 233 games (dating back to 1964). It also is the 178th sellout in the last 203 Irish games and the 53rd in the last 57 games involving Notre Dame, dating back to the end of the 2000 season.

    The TV Plans: NBC national telecast with Tom Hammond (play-by-play), Pat Haden (analysis), Lewis Johnson (sideline), Tom Roy and David Gibson (producers) and John Gonzalez (director).

    The Radio Plans: For the 38th consecutive season all Notre Dame football games are broadcast on approximately 300 stations in 50 states by Westwood One with Tony Roberts (play by play), former Irish running back Allen Pinkett (analysis) and Al Smith (producer). This broadcast can be heard live on SIRIUS Satellite Radio (channel 126 for the Navy game) as well.

    A live broadcast from the Notre Dame student station, WVFI, also is available via the Notre Dame official athletics website at www.und.com (subscription service). All Notre Dame home games may be heard in South Bend on U93-FM (92.9) with pre-game analysis featuring Sean Stires, Brian Noe, Vince DeDario and Colin Burns. The post-game show is hosted by Jack Nolan and features former Notre Dame players Reggie Brooks and Mirko Jurkovic. See page 17 of this notes package for more information on Irish football radio and television shows.

    Websites: Notre Dame - www.und.com; Navy - www.navysports.com

    Two-Minute Drill (what you need to know about this weekend's Notre Dame - Navy matchup) -

    • Notre Dame and Navy are meeting for the 79th consecutive year, making the series the longest continuous intersectional rivarly in the country. The Irish have won 41 games in a row over Navy (an NCAA record for consecutive wins against one opponent) and hold an overall edge of 68-9-1 (.878) in the series.

    • Junior Brady Quinn needs just 107 yards against Navy on Saturday to break Jarious Jackson's single-season passing yardage record from 1999. Currently Quinn has 2,647 passing yards this season, trailing Jackson's total of 2,753. The Dublin, Ohio, native also is just 538 yards away from the career passing yardage mark of 7,064 by Ron Powlus.

    • Quinn has already established himself as the top third-year starting quarterback in Notre Dame history. See page 10 of this notes package for a statistical breakdown.

    • Notre Dame is looking to earn its seventh victory of the season for just the fourth time since 1997 (1997 - 7-6, 1998 - 9-3, 2000 - 9-3, 2002 - 10-3).

    • The Irish, averaging 38.25 points per game, on on pace to set the Notre Dame single-season points-per-game record.

    • Notre Dame has scored over 30 points seven times this season, accomplishing that feat for just the seventh time since 1913. During that span, the record for 30-point games in a season is nine by the 1991 team.

    • Notre Dame's 128.5 yards-per-game improvement in total offense this season is rated second in the country this season behind No. 1 USC.

    • Notre Dame is ranked in the NCAA Divsion I-A statistical top 10, as a team or individually, in 12 different categories, led by Quinn who is fourth in the nation in total offensive yards per game (339.9 average). See page 23 of this notes package for a complete list.

    • The Irish have moved up to 11th in the latest Bowl Championship Series standings (Nov. 7). For Notre Dame to qualify for an at-large berth in the BCS, it must have nine wins and be ranked in the top 12 of the BCS standings. The BCS standings are available on page 24 of this notes package.

    • Against Tennessee last weekend, junior Tom Zbikowski became the first Irish player since Nick Rassas in 1965 to return both a punt and interception in a single game. Rassas performed his feat against Northwestern in a 38-7 victory.

    • Notre Dame has won 11 consecutive games against the service academies and is 125-22-5 against Navy, Army and Air Force.

    • Notre Dame has broken or tied 17 offensive records this season, with many more records in reach. See page 26 of this notes package for a complete list.

    • Streaks on the line this weekend - consecutive games with a touchdown pass (Brady Quinn, 13), consecutive games with a touchdown reception (Jeff Samardzija, eight), Notre Dame wins vs. service academies (11), Notre Dame wins vs. Navy (41).

    • Notre Dame has moved up to seventh in all three national polls (Associated Press, USA Today and Harris Interactive, which are listed on page 27), marking the highest ranking for the team since they entered a matchup with USC on Nov. 30, 2002, ranked seventh.

    2005: The Charlie Weis Era Begins

    The 117th season of Notre Dame football is the first in the tenure of head coach Charlie Weis, who has started his career with a 6-2 record, including wins over three ranked opponents.

    Weis was named the 28th head football coach in Notre Dame history on Sunday, Dec. 12, 2004. A 1978 Notre Dame graduate, Weis takes the reins of the Irish program after a highly-successful career as an assistant coach in the National Football League.

    The owner of four Super Bowl champion rings as products of a stellar 15-season career as an NFL assistant, Weis is a widely-respected disciple of professional coaching standouts Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick. He came to Notre Dame after excelling as offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots, where he played an integral role in New England's victories in three of the last four Super Bowls.

    Weis is the first Notre Dame graduate to hold the football head coaching position at his alma mater since Hugh Devore (a '34 graduate) served as interim coach in 1963 and is the first Notre Dame graduate to serve as the Irish football coach on a full-fledged basis since Joe Kuharich (a '38 graduate who coached at Notre Dame from 1959 through '62).

    A veteran of 26 seasons in coaching, Weis coached nine seasons with the Patriots, including five as offensive coordinator. He helped produce four Super Bowl championships (New York Giants following the 1990 season, Patriots following '01, '03 and '04 seasons), five conference titles and seven division crowns.

    Notre Dame - Navy Series History and Notes

    • Notre Dame and Navy will play one another for the 79th consecutive year on Saturday, making it the longest continuous intersectional rivalry in the country. The Irish hold a 68-9-1 (.878) edge in the series with the Midshipmen, including a current 41-game winning streak that is the longest against one opponent in NCAA history. Notre Dame and Navy have met every year since 1927, playing 50 times at neutral sites and 28 times at Notre Dame Stadium.

    • Notre Dame has had tremendous success against the U.S. service academies over the years, posting a 124-22-5 (.838) combined record against Army, Navy and Air Force. The Irish also are 31-1 (.969) against the service academies since 1986, with the only loss being a 20-17 overtime setback against Air Force in 1996 at Notre Dame Stadium.

    • Notre Dame, Navy, Army and Temple are the only four independents playing Division I-A football this season.

    • Navy and Notre Dame are meeting for the 79th time this season, the longest series in Notre Dame football history. This year's Notre Dame-Purdue and Notre Dame-USC games were the 77th in those series (tied for second-longest in school history).

    • Notre Dame has won 41 consecutive games in the series. Navy's last win came in '63, when Heisman Trophy winner Roger Staubach helped Navy claim a 35-14 victory at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame's 41 straight wins rank as the longest winning streak by one team over another in NCAA history (note: Nebraska's streak of 36 wins in a row over Kansas which began in 1969 was second on this list before the Jayhawks' 40-15 victory on Nov. 5, Tennessee's 22-game streak over Vanderbilt is now the second-best current winning streak over one opponent).

    • In addition to the 28 series games at Notre Dame, the schools have met in seven other American cities (Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, East Rutherford (N.J.), Orlando, Philadelphia and Raljon, Md.), as well as Dublin, Ireland. Notre Dame is 43-6-1 (.870) against Navy at neutral sites, including an active 21-game winning streak that began with a 20-12 Irish win at Philadelphia's Municipal (John F. Kennedy) Stadium in 1962.

    • The Irish have scored 30 or more points in 15 of the past 20 meetings with Navy. Dating back to the 1985 contest, Notre Dame has averaged 38.4 points per game in the series, including five 50-point eruptions and back-to-back 58-point outbursts in 1993 and '94. And, the Irish have scored more points against the Midshipmen (2,098) than any of the other 134 opponents in school history. Notre Dame topped the 2,000-point mark against Navy in 2001 on an eight-yard touchdown run by Terrance Howard in the third quarter of a 34-16 Irish victory.

    Notre Dame Versus the Service Academies

    • Notre Dame has won almost 84 percent of its games (125-22-5) vs. teams from the three service academies (Army, Navy and Air Force).

    • The Irish have won 11 consecutive games against the service academies, and they are 32-1 (.969) against these schools since 1986 (including a 16-1 mark at home). The only defeat in that time was a 20-17 overtime loss to Air Force in 1996 at Notre Dame Stadium.

    • More than half (78) of Notre Dame's 152 games against service academies, and more than half of its victories (68) have come against Navy, part of the longest continuous intersectional rivalry in the country.

    • Notre Dame and Army met every season from 1913-47, with the exception of 1918. During an 11-season span from 1937-47, one or both teams were ranked, including six meetings when either side was first or second in the nation, and back-to-back "No. 1 vs. No. 2" matchups in 1945 and 1946. However, the Irish and Black Knights have played just 14 times since 1947, with Notre Dame winning 13 of those encounters. Their last meeting came in 1998, with the Irish pulling out a 20-17 win at home. Notre Dame leads the all-time series with Army, 36-8-4 (.792). The series with Army will be renewed for at least one game in Notre Dame Stadium next season on Nov. 18, 2006.

    Last Time at Notre Dame Stadium vs. Navy

    Placekicker D.J. Fitzpatrick booted a 40-yard field goal as time expired to give Notre Dame a 27-24 victory over Navy before another capacity crowd of 80,795 fans at Notre Dame Stadium. The kick extended an NCAA-record 40-game winning streak for the Irish over the Mids, beginning in 1964.

    Fitzpatrick wasn't the only hero for Notre Dame, as running back Julius Jones had another dominating performance on the ground. The Big Stone Gap, Va., native rushed a career-high 33 times for 221 yards and two touchdowns, becoming the fourth player in school history to post multiple 200-yard games in a single season.

    Quarterback Brady Quinn also showed remarkable poise in the closing moments, leading the Irish on an 11-play, 62-yard drive in the final two minutes to set up Fitzpatrick's winning kick. Quinn wound up connecting on 14 of 27 passes for 137 yards with one touchdown.

    It was evident from the outset that this game would be decided on the offensive side of the ball. Both teams drove into opposing territory on their first possessions, but came away empty. Notre Dame was the first to crack the scoreboard, as Jones bounced off a pair of would-be tacklers and scurried 48 yards off the left side for the score with 5:06 left in the first quarter.

    That lead lasted all of 12 seconds, as Navy's Tony Lane knotted the game with a 65-yard TD run on the Mids' first play after the Jones score. From there, the game was a battle for field position, with Navy holding an edge for much of the first half, pinning the Irish inside their 20-yard line twice.

    The Midshipmen took a 10-7 lead when Eric Rolfs kicked a 35-yard field goal early in the second quarter and it appeared that margin would hold up going into halftime, but Quinn had other ideas. He piloted the Irish offense 58 yards in 10 plays before lofting a two-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Rhema McKnight with 14 seconds left in the half.

    Navy countered and regained the lead early in the third quarter. Thanks to a short punt by Fitzpatrick, the Mids were set up at the Irish 40-yard line and they needed just six plays to find the end zone. Fullback Kyle Eckel scored from five yards out to give his team a three-point lead with 5:50 left in the third quarter. Again, that edge didn't last, as the Irish went right back downfield, taking just over three minutes to move in front. Jones did the honors with his second TD of the day from 12 yards away.

    For a third time, Navy tried to deliver the knockout punch, using another short field to set up a one-yard plunge by Eckel with 9:53 to play. However, the Irish wouldn't falter, as Fitzpatrick kicked a 30-yard field goal four minutes later to tie the game and set the stage for his last-second heroics.

    On the Field Saturday

    During Saturday's game Dr. John B. "Jack" Matthews, USMC, (ret.), of the Notre Dame Class of 1963, will be presented the Rev. William Corby, CSC, Award in recognition of his distinguished military service. Lt. Col. Matthews will also present the colors before the game to the Irish Guard. The colors will be carried out to Lt. Col. Matthews by representatives of Notre Dame's Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC) branches - Rachel Walters (Army), Caitlin Diffley (Air Force), Tanner Fleck (Army) and Bryan Kreller (Navy).

    Irish First-Year Head Coaches

    As Charlie Weis continues his first season at the helm of the Irish, here are a few notes on Notre Dame's head coaches in their inaugural years (see page 25 for a recap of each coaching debut season in ND history).

    • The 27 previous head football coaches in Notre Dame history have combined to amass a 168-60-12 (.700) record in their first years at the helm.

    • Weis is the first coach to begin his Irish career by beating two ranked opponents in his first two games. The only other attempt was by Terry Brennan in 1954 (won 21-0 vs. #4 Texas, lost 27-14 vs. #19 Purdue).

    • Weis is the first coach to begin his Notre Dame tenure with two victories on the road and on the opponent's home field since Knute Rockne in 1918 (at Case Tech, at Wabash). Hunk Anderson faced his first two games away from Notre Dame in `31 (at Indiana, vs. Northwestern at Soldier Field - a win and a tie, respectively) and Dan Devine also started with two games away from South Bend in `75 (vs. Boston College at Foxboro, at Purdue - both wins).

    • The two most recent Irish head coaches (Bob Davie; 7-6 in 1997, Tyrone Willingham; 10-3 in 2002) posted winning records in their first seasons. The last Irish coach to turn in a sub - .500 season in his first year is Lou Holtz, whose `86 team finished 5-6. Even with a projected bowl game this season, Notre Dame has assured itself of at least a .500 record in 2005.

    • The longest winning streak for a Notre Dame head coach to begin his career with the Irish is nine games, by Harper (1913-14) and Parseghian (`64).

    • Since 1913, four Notre Dame coaches - Layden, Parseghian, Holtz and Willingham - have taken over the program the year after their predecessors were either .500 or below. All but Holtz, who went 5-6 in `86, posted winning records in their first seasons and the quartet had a combined 30-13 record in such seasons. The `04 Irish went 6-6 under Willingham.

    Notre Dame Scoring At A Rapid Pace

    Notre Dame is currently seventh in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 38.25 points per game. If the 38.25 average holds up, it would set a Notre Dame single-season record. The Irish have totalled 306 points this season and have scored over 30 points in seven of eight games played this season (a 17-10 victory at Michigan was the lone exeption). From 2002-04, the Irish posted 30 or more points in a game a total of seven times.

    The Irish also have scored 30 or more points in six straight games, becoming the first Notre Dame team to accomplish that feat since the 1993 edition of the Fighting Irish finished the regular season with seven consecutive games scoring over 30 points.

    For a historic perspective, Notre Dame has only scored over 30 points in seven games or more just seven times since 1913 (Jesse Harper's first season). During that span, the record for 30-point games in a season is nine by the 1991 Irish team (which included a 30-point performance in a bowl game). The 1966, 1992 and 1993 teams all posted eight 30-point performances (the `93 team total includes a bowl game as well).

    For consecutive 30-point games, the Notre Dame record is seven by the `66 squad. That streak was ended by the famous 10-10 tie at Michigan State.

    With three regular-seson games remaining, Charlie Weis' first Notre Dame team has already piled up 306 points - the most in a debut season for a non-interim Irish head coach.

    Notre Dame's Offensive Improvement Among the National Leaders

    Entering this weekend's action, Notre Dame's 128.5 yards-per-game improvement for the Irish offense this season is rated second in the nation behind No. 1 USC's 144.5 mark. Here is a look at this year's top 10 most improved offenses:

    Most Improved Teams in Total Offense

    Rank School 2004 2005 Improvement

    1. USC 449.1 593.6 +144.5

    2. NOTRE DAME 345.1 474.0 +128.5

    3. Penn State 310.7 437.4 +126.7

    4. Washington State 368.6 491.1 +122.5

    5. Central Florida 280.0 401.2 +121.2

    6. New Mexico 298.0 410.8 +112.8

    7. Iowa 312.7 419.6 +106.9

    8. Clemson 295.6 394.3 +98.7

    9. Northwestern 409.5 508.1 +98.6

    10. Maryland 298.0 383.9 +85.9

    Offense Piling Up Yardage

    The offense has been the highlight of the 2005 Notre Dame football season thus far. The Irish are currently 10th in the country in total offense (474.00) and are on pace for the most prolific offensive season since the team ended the 1996 season ranked 10th in total offense. Currently, the Irish are averaging 334.38 passing yards per game and are on pace to break the Notre Dame record of 252.7 set in 1970 (Notre Dame finished that season ranked eighth in the country in passing offense and second overall with a school-record 510.5 total yards per game).

    One measuring stick for offensive production is games in which the team compiles over 500 yards of total offense. Notre Dame has accomplished that feat five times this season (502 at Pittsburgh, 594 vs. Michigan State, 560 at Washington, 621 at Purdue, 511 vs. BYU) - marking the first time the Irish have posted five 500-yard performances since the 1992 season (the Irish posted six 500-yard games in 1970).

    Here is a breakdown of Notre Dame's 500-plus games in two comparable seasons (1970, 1992) -

    1970 (six): 633 vs. Purdue, 513 vs. Michigan State, 600 vs. Navy, 574 vs. Army, 606 vs. Pittsburgh, 557 vs. USC

    1992 (five): 561 vs. Northwestern, 509 vs. Michigan State, 580 vs. Purdue, 521 vs. Pittsburgh, 576 vs. Boston College

    Keep an Eye on Third Down

    Notre Dame, Auburn, Texas and Ohio State are the only teams ranked in the top 18 nationally for both offensive third down percentage and defensive third down percentage. Notre Dame is ranked 10th in the nation and is averaging a solid 48 percent on third down this season (59 of 123), while holding its opponents to 32.7 percent (37 of 113), which is ranked 18th in the nation. Auburn is ranked (offense/defense) 5/16, Texas 6/11 and Ohio State 14/4.

    Irish Rule The Red Zone

    Notre Dame has forced its opponent into seven turnovers during 31 red zone visits this season. The Irish have caused three fumbles and intercepted four passes inside their own 20-yard line this season. Overall, Notre Dame's opponents are 23 for 31 (.741) in red zone chances with 18 touchdowns and five field goals. The Irish are 30 for 34 (.882) with 25 touchdowns and five field goals.

    First-Year Players Seeing Significant Time

    Through the first seven games of the 2005 season, Notre Dame has seen 25 players make their Irish playing debut. Included in the 25 players are 11 true freshmen from Notre Dame's 15-player class signed last year. The complete list of players that have played for the first time this season: James Bent, Justin Brown, David Bruton*, Maurice Crum, Jr., Casey Cullen, Paul Duncan*, Leo Ferrine, David Fitzgerald, David Grimes*, LaBrose Hedgemon III, Ray Herring*, Joey Hiben*, D.J. Hord*, Pat Kuntz*, Terrail Lambert, Ashley McConnell, Marty Mooney, Steve Quinn * Asaph Schwapp*, Dwight Stephenson, Jr., Scott Smith*, Ronald Talley and Michael Turkovich*, Anthony Vernaglia.

    * - indicates true freshman

    Four Ranked Teams in Six Games

    Including the Oct. 15 matchup with No. 1 USC, Notre Dame faced four ranked teams (according to the AP ranking) in a season's first six games for the fifth time in the program's history this year. Notre Dame won three of the games this year, taking down #23 Pittsburgh, #3 Michigan and #22 Purdue - all on the road.

    Notre Dame faced a similar challenge in 2003, 2000, 1979 and 1953. The 1953 team (W, 28-21 at #6 Oklahoma; W, 24-14 vs. #15 Pittsburgh; W, 27-14 vs. #4 Georgia Tech; W, 38-7 vs. Navy) is the only Irish squad to win all four games.

    Notre Dame's Solid Start in 2005

    Notre Dame's three victories over ranked opponents have all occurred on the road this season - and all on the opponent's home field. That marks the first time Notre Dame has defeated three ranked teams on the road since 2002 (vs. #21 Maryland, at #18 Air Force, at #11 Florida State), but the first time since 1990 that feat has been achieved on the opponents' home fields (at #24 Michigan State, at #9 Tennessee, at #18 USC).

    The three ranked victories also occurred in the first five games of the year. The 2005 season marks the 11th time Notre Dame has faced three ranked opponents in its first five games of the season - and the '05 season is the first time since 1980 (vs. #13 Miami, vs. #14 Michigan and vs. #9 Purdue) that the team has won all three such games in five attempts (1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003).

    Notre Dame Winning Time-of-Possession Battle

    While Notre Dame's offense has been piling up the yardage this season (averaging 489.7 yards per game), it also has won the time of possession battle in six of seven games this season. Only BYU (33:39) has been able to hold the ball for more than 30 minutes against Notre Dame. Overall, Notre Dame averages 33:56 minutes per game with the ball, compared to 26:04 for its opponents. Here is a game-by-game breakdown:

    Game Notre Dame Opponent

    at Pitt 32:46 27:14

    at Mich 30:56 29:04

    MSU 35:49 24:11

    Wash 36:56 23:04

    Purdue 36:03 23:57

    USC 38:40 21:20

    BYU 26:21 33:39

    Tennessee 32:12 27:48

    Zbikowski Returns

    Junior Tom Zbikowski, who has seen action in just 19 games for the Irish, has already made a name for himself in the Notre Dame record books. He has returned a punt or interception for a touchdown four times in the last three games for Notre Dame - the first Irish defensive player to accomplish such a feat.

    Here is a look at Zbikowski's returns this season -

    • vs. USC - punt return 60 yards

    • vs. BYU - interception return 83 yards

    • vs. Tennessee - punt return 78 yards, interception return 33 yards

    In addition, Zbikowski returned a punt 75 yards against Michigan State in 2004.

    With his interception and punt return for a touchdown against Tennessee on Nov. 5, Zbikowski becomes the first Irish player to accomplish that feat since Nick Rassas against Northwestern in 1965. Rassas returned an interception 92 yards for a touchdown and a punt 72 yards for a score in Notre Dame's 38-7 victory.

    With his five career returns (two interceptions, two punts, one fumble), Zbikowski has already established himself among the best big-play return specialists in Notre Dame history. Here is a look at some of Notre Dame's return standouts -

    Tom Zbikowski - two interceptions, two punts, one fumble

    Vontez Duff - Notre Dame's all-time leading kick returner (yards) was the first Irish player to return a kickoff, punt and interception for a touchdown in the same season during the 2002 season. He also joins Zbikowski as the only Irish defensive players to post touchdown returns in three consecutive games played. Duff returned a kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown against Purdue in 2001, then missed the rest of the season with an injury. He returned in 2002 to return a punt 76 yards against Maryland and an interception 33 yards versus Purdue.

    Allen Rossum - Possibly the best returns specialist in Notre Dame history, Rossum seemingly scored each time he touched the ball. Currently an all-pro return specialist for the Atlanta Falcons, Rossum posted a total of nine scoring returns during his career to set an NCAA record. Rossum return three kickoffs, three punts (all in the 1996 season, including two vs. Pittsburgh) and three interceptions from 1994-97.

    Raghib "Rocket" Ismail - One of the most electrifying athletes to wear the Notre Dame uniform, Rocket Ismail returned six kicks for a touchdown in his career - specializing in kickoff returns with five. Possibly his greatest single performance was a punt return against Colorado in the 1991 Orange Bowl that did not even count. With 43 seconds remaining in Notre Dame's eventual 10-9 loss to Colorado, Ismail returned a punt 91 yards for an apparent game-winning touchdown. The spectacular run was for naught, however, as a controversial clipping call against Notre Dame's Greg Davis nullified the play.

    Tim Brown - The 1987 Heisman Trophy winner (the most recent of Notre Dame's seven Heisman award winners), Brown returned three punts for a touchdown during his Heisman campaign in 1987, including two against Michigan State in Notre Dame Stadium. Throughout his career, Brown compiled a total of six return touchdowns (three punt returns, three kick returns).

    Zbikowski Third Nationally in Punt Returns

    Junior S Tom Zbikowski's emergence as a playmaker on special teams is reflected in the most recent NCAA statistical rankings. Zbikowski is third in the nation in punt return average (19.69), trailing UCLA's Maurice Drew (29.07) and Nebraska's Terrence Nunn (20.69). With two punt returns for a touchdown, Zbikowski joins Drew and Wisconsin's Brandon Williams as the only players in the nation to have multiple scoring punt returns (Drew has three, Williams two).

    Quinn and the Notre Dame Record Book

    Junior QB Brady Quinn, in his third full year as the Irish starter, already has made a lasting mark on the Irish football record book. Here is a quick overview of some of his accomplishments and rankings all-time at Notre Dame:

    Touchdown Passes, Single Game - 6 - vs. BYU, the school record, breaking his previous mark of five posted earlier this season against Michigan State.

    Touchdown Passes, Career - 49 - second on the all-time list behind Ron Powlus (52).

    Touchdown Passes, Season - 23 - the Notre Dame single-season record, breaking Powlus' mark of 19 from 1994.

    Completions, Single Game - 33 - vs. Michigan State, matched Joe Theismann's school record from the 1970 game at USC. Quinn completed 32 passes against BYU on Oct. 22.

    Consecutive Completions - 12 - vs. BYU, second on the all-time list (matching Jarious Jackson) behind Ron Powlus' 14 straight against Michigan State in 1997. Quinn has posted three consecutive completion streaks over 10 this season (11 at Pittsburgh and at Purdue, 12 vs. BYU).

    Passing Yards, Single Game - 487 - vs. Michigan State, second all-time behind Theismann's 526 at USC in `70.

    Passing Yards, First Half - 287 - vs. BYU, breaking his own record of 283 against Purdue earlier this season.

    Passing Yards, Single Season - 2,647 - second on the Notre Dame single-season list and just 106 yards behind Jarious Jackson's school record 2,753 from 1999. Quinn has already surpassed his previous career-best single-season total of 2,586 from last season.

    Yards, Career - 7,064 - becoming just the second Irish quarterback to throw for better than 7,000 yards, Quinn stands 538 yards behind Ron Powlus as the career yardage leader with 7,602.

    Avg. Passing Yards Per Game, Career - 220.75 - currently first on the all-time list ahead of Powlus (172.7).

    Quinn also is well ahead of the pace to set the single-season passing yardage record for the Irish. At his current pace (330.9 yards per game, three scheduled games remaining), he would total 3,640 yards. The single-season record is held by Jarious Jackson, who threw for 2,753 yards in 1999. Averaging 250 yards per game for the rest of the season he would end up with 3,397 yards. The Dublin, Ohio, native is on track to becoming Notre Dame's first 3,000-yard single-season passer.

    Quinn 300

    Since 1950, a Notre Dame quarterback has thrown for 300 yards or more 15 times. Junior QB Brady Quinn is responsible for six of those performances - the most for any single Notre Dame quarterback. Quinn has thrown for 350 (vs. Boston College, 2003), 432 (vs. Purdue, 2004), 487 (vs. Michigan State, 2005), 327 (at Washington, 2005), 440 (at Purdue, 2005) and 467 (vs. BYU, 2005).

    Quinn is the only Notre Dame quarterback to throw for over 400 yards four times in a career (in fact, he is the only one to do it twice) - and in Notre Dame's last road game at Purdue he became the first Irish signalcaller to throw for more than 300 yards in three consecutive games. He also is the first Irish quarterback to throw for 300 or more yards four times in a season.

    SEE PDF FOR A BREAKDOWN OF QUINN'S STATS GAME-BY-GAME THIS SEASON

    Quinn On A Streak

    Junior QB Brady Quinn has thrown at least one touchdown pass in his last 13 games played (and started) for the Irish, breaking John Huarte's record of 10 set in 1964. The Dublin, Ohio, native has totaled 31 scoring tosses during the run (2.3 per game).

    Quinn's touchdown passes over the last 13 games:

    2005 - 3 vs. Tennessee, 6 vs. BYU, 1 vs. USC, 3 at Purdue, 1 at Washington, 5 vs. Michigan State, 2 at Michigan, 2 at Pittsburgh

    2004 - 2 vs. Oregon State (Insight Bowl), 1 at USC, 3 vs. Pittsburgh, 1 at Tennessee, 1 vs. Boston College

    Quinn Throws Six

    Junior QB Brady Quinn became the first Notre Dame quarterback to throw six touchdown passes in a single game against BYU on Oct. 22. Quinn finished the game 32 of 41 for 467 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions. It ranks as possibly the greatest single-game performance by a Notre Dame quarterback and earned Quinn the ABC Sports/Cingular All-American Player of the Week award for the second time in 2005 (he also earned the award after his stellar performance at Purdue).

    Quinn broke his own school record of five touchdown passes set earlier this season against Michigan State.

    Quinn's touchdown passes vs. BYU:

    10 yards to Maurice Stovall, first quarter, 7:12

    14 yards to Jeff Samardzija, second quarter, 10:33

    15 yards to Stovall, second quarter, 4:18

    21 yards to Samardzija, third quarter, 12:50

    36 yards to Stovall, third quarter, 4:47

    24 yards to Stovall, third quarter, 2:16

    Quinn Now The Best Third-Year Starting Quarteback

    In 2005, junior quarterback Brady Quinn has become just the 13th signal-caller in Notre Dame history to start under center for three years. The following is a list of Quinn's predecessors, along with their stats (when available) from their third starting season. In the 12 seasons played by three-year starting Irish quarterbacks, prior to Quinn's `05 season, the group amassed a 90-30-4 combined record.

    Quinn has already compiled the greatest season by any third-year starting quarterback in Notre Dame history. He has surpassed his predecessors in every key statistical category this season.

    SEE PDF FOR A STAT COMPARISON OF QUINN VS. OTHER THIRD-YEAR STARTING QBs

    Jinx?, What Jinx?

    Sophomore running back Darius Walker set a Notre Dame freshman rushing record in 2004 with 786 yards, eclipsing the mark of 756 Jerome Heavens set in 1975, en route to earning third-team Freshman All-America honors from The Sporting News. If Walker stays on the pace he set in his first season with the Irish, he will be primed to turn in one of the finest statistical seasons ever by an Irish sophomore. Here's a look at how the top 10 rushers in Notre Dame history, plus a few other notables, fared in their sophomore year.

    SEE PDF FOR STAT BREAKDOWN

    Travis Thomas Steps Up

    Looking for a change-of-pace back against No. 1 USC on Oct. 15, Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis turned to junior RB Travis Thomas. Thomas, who has shined in reserve duty this season, stepped up to rush for a career-high 52 yards, including a 16-yard run to record Notre Dame's first touchdown of the day against the Trojans.

    Thomas' production this season already surpasses his totals from 2004, his first season of action for the Irish:

    SEE PDF FOR STAT BREAKDOWN

    Samardzija Eight for Eight

    Junior WR Jeff Samardzija entered the 2005 campaign without a touchdown catch, but has since caught at least one scoring toss in each of this season's first eight games. The two-sport athlete (who was a top-line starting pitcher for the Irish baseball team last season) becomes the first Irish receiver to begin the season with eight consecutive games with a touchdown catch - which also give him the Notre Dame record for consecutive games with a touchdown reception. He surpassed Malcolm Johnson's six-game run from 1998 against BYU. Johnson caught a scoring toss in six straight midseason contests (Arizona State, Army, Baylor, Boston College, Navy and LSU) from Oct. 10 through Nov. 11, during the `98 season.

    Samardzija, who also serves as the team's holder on field-goal attempts, tied a Notre Dame record with three touchdown receptions versus Michigan State (since broken by teammate Maurice Stovall, who posted four touchdown receptions against BYU). Samardzija was the seventh player to catch three touchdown passes in a game and the first since Tom Gatewood versus Purdue in 1970.

    Samardzija, Statistically Speaking

    Junior WR Jeff Samardzija has started the season off in impressive fashion, leading the team with 51 catches for 877 yards and 12 touchdowns. He is ranked fourth in the country in receiving yards per game (109.63) and could become Notre Dame's first 1,000-yard receiver since 1970 (Tom Gatewood, 1,123 yards, the ND single-season record). Samardzija is currently on pace for 1,205 receiving yards this season, which would break Gatewood's record.

    He has already surpassed the single-season touchdown total. His 12 scoring receptions have bested Derrick Mayes' previous record of 11 from 1994

    Touchdown Receptions in a Season -

    Rank Name Total Season

    1. Jeff Samardzija 12 2005

    2. Derrick Mayes 11 1994

    3. Jack Snow 9 1964

    4. Jim Seymour 8 1966

    5. Tom Gatewood 7 1970

    Walker's Great Start

    Sophomore RB Darius Walker started the 2005 season with four consecutive 100-yard performances. He ran for an even 100 yards at #23/25 Pittsburgh (42-21 Irish victory), posted 104 yards in a 17-10 victory at #3/3 Michigan, rushed for 116 yards against Michigan State (44-41 OT loss) and had a career-high 128 yards at Washington on Sept. 24. Purdue ended Walker's streak of 100-yard games at four by holding him to 80 yards on 23 carries.

    The effort against Washington made Walker the first Irish running back to start the season with four consecutive 100-yard rushing performances. The last Notre Dame running back to rush for over 100 yards in four straight games was Randy Kinder, who rushed for 100 yards against Purdue (142), Vanderbilt (110), Texas (129) and Ohio State (143) in 1995.

    SEE PDF FOR STAT BREAKDOWN

    Walker Expanding His Game

    While sophomore Darius Walker set the Notre Dame freshman rushing record last season (786 yards in `04), he was limited in his role in the Irish passing game (10 catches, 74 yards). He has already eclipsed those numbers in 2005, posting 26 catches (fourth on the team) for 230 yards and two touchdowns.

    He is currently fifth on the all-time single season receptions by a back list at Notre Dame. He trails record holder Bob Gladieux (37 in 1968) by 11 entering this weekend's game.

    Receptions by a Running Back - Season

    1. Bob Gladieux 37 1968

    2. Autry Denson 30 1997

    3. Joe Heap 29 1952

    4. Allen Pinkett 28 1983

    5. Darius Walker 26 2005

    6. Marc Edwards 25 1995

    Mark Green 25 1986

    Older and Wiser

    The 2005 Notre Dame offensive line is one of the most experienced units in school history. With the entire starting group from a year ago still in the fold, the Irish offense boasts almost 100 combined career starts on the line. Entering the `05 campaign, senior tackle Mark LeVoir started the last 24 Notre Dame games and led the veteran group in starting assignments. Seniors Bob Morton and Dan Stevenson were a close second with 22 starts each, while junior Ryan Harris had 19 starts to his credit and junior John Sullivan was the junior man of the group with 12. Here is a look at the 10 most experienced offensive line units to wear the blue and gold since `85, with the `05 group added in for comparison.

    Year Starts Heading Into Season

    2005 99

    1997 84

    2002 76

    1985 56

    1996 56

    1998 52

    1987 50

    1995 49

    1993 46

    1989 45

    1990 43

    Ndukwe a Turnover Machine

    Junior saftey Chinedum Ndukwe (pronounced Chin-eh-DOOM en-DUKE-way), seeing the most playing time of his career this season, has turned into a playmaker in Notre Dame's defensive backfield and on special teams. Ndukwe has played a part in seven of Notre Dame's 19 forced turnovers this season.

    He recovered a fumble in the first four games of the season for the Irish, forced a fumble at Washington and intercepted passes against Michigan State and USC at home.

    So far this season, Ndukwe has 45 tackles, two TFL, and two PBU in addition to his turnover creations.

    Don't Forget the Anniversary

    The 2005 football season marks the 75th anniversary of the opening of fabled Notre Dame Stadium. The Irish have played 384 games in the facility to date and own a 289-90-5 (.759) record in the "House that Rockne Built."

    The Irish were 3-3 in Notre Dame Stadium in `04, running their home record to 91-30 (.752) over the last 20 years.

    The most wins in a season by the Irish at home is seven by the `88 national championship team and the longest home winning streak in Notre Dame football history is 28 games (from 11/21/42 through 9/30/50).

    In `55, the Stadium's 25th anniversary, Notre Dame went 8-2 on the season for coach Terry Brennan, including a 4-0 home record; the Irish turned in a 9-2-1 overall record and a 5-0 home mark to commemorate Notre Dame Stadium's 50th anniversary in `80.

    Irish Face Another Loaded Schedule

    With the updates of the AP and USA Today/Coaches Poll, Notre Dame will continue to face one of the toughest schedules in the nation (rankings are AP/USA Today and Harris Interactive):

    • Notre Dame is the only team that played three games against top four teams from the preseason polls - #1/1 USC (L, 31-34), #5/4 Tennessee (W, 41-21) and #3/3 Michigan (W, 17-10).

    • Notre Dame is the only school that will face three teams that were in the top 10 of both preseason polls this season.

    • Notre Dame will play games against six teams ranked in the top 25 this season at least once this season. The Irish have already defeated #23/25 Pittsburgh 42-21, #3/3 Michigan 17-10 and #22/20/22 Purdue.

    The Irish also faced #1/1/1 USC, Tennessee (who was ranked as high as third this season) and Michigan State (who have been in and out of the top 25 this year).

    In Front of the Nation

    In 2004, the Notre Dame football team once again received more network television exposure and played in more highly-rated games than any other program in college football.

    The Irish played in the highest-rated network game of the `04 regular season (and the highest-rated regular-season game overall in two seasons) in its `04 regular-season finale at USC. That game, televised by ABC Sports, received a 6.3 Nielsen rating and was seen in 6.898 million households.

    Overall, Notre Dame played in six games that ranked among the top 25 highest-rated network telecasts and no other school played in more than five (Tennessee and Georgia each played in five).

    Including Notre Dame's last game against Tennessee, the Irish have a remarkable streak of 156 consecutive games (more than 12 full seasons) that have been carried by either NBC (84), ABC (44), CBS (14) or ESPN (13). You have to go all the way back to the `92 season to find a Notre Dame game that wasn't on one of those four networks.

    The streak will continue throughout the 2005 season as well. All three remaining games this season are scheduled to be broadcast on NBC or ABC.

    In Front of a Full House

    Notre Dame has played in front of sellout crowds in 178 of its previous 203 games, including 53 of its last 57 games dating back to the end of the Fiesta Bowl at the end of the 2000 season (the `01 and `03 games at Stanford, last year's game vs. Navy at the Meadowlands and this season's game at Washington were not sellouts). At Michigan in `03, the Irish and Wolverines attracted the largest crowd in NCAA history (111,726), marking the third time in the history of the series that an NCAA attendance record has been set. It also represented the seventh time in the last four seasons that Notre Dame has been part of establishing a new stadium attendance record (at Nebraska and Texas A&M in `01; at Air Force and Florida State, home vs. Boston College in `02, vs. Oregon State in the Insight Bowl in `04 - the game set a Bank One Ballpark record for football configuration). Notre Dame and Michigan played before an over-capacity 111,386 at Michigan Stadium in September of this season. This season's Washington was played before less than a capacity crowd as 71,473 witnessed the Irish defeat the Huskies, 36-17, at Husky Stadium (capacity: 72,500) in Seattle.

    At Purdue, the Irish and Boilermakers played before 60,491 football fans, a Ross-Ade Stadium record (since the renovation of the facility in 2003).

    Making the Grade

    The last four seasons of Notre Dame football have produced some impressive semesters in the classroom for the Notre Dame football team. In fact, the Irish had a 2004 spring semester in which the team's 104 players combined for a 2.96 grade-point average that ranks as the program's best semester GPA on record (dating back to 1992). The Notre Dame football program's top six semester GPAs since `92 were all posted in the seven semesters prior to the fall of `04, including the three semesters from fall of `02 to fall of `03 (2.84 in fall of `02, 2.79 in spring of `03 and 2.82 in fall of `03). The football program's second-best semester GPA of the past 12 years came in the spring of `02 (2.90), followed by a 2.80 in the spring of `01 and a 2.69 in the fall of `01. Upon closer examination, the 2004 spring semester saw 11 Irish football players post a Dean's List GPA (sliding scale, based on major), while 21 turned in a semester GPA of 3.4-plus and more than half (53) had a GPA of 3.0 or better. In addition, two players - former DE Kyle Businscak and senior LB Brandon Hoyte - received Academic All-District V honors in `03, marking Budinscak's third selection and Hoyte's second to the prestigious squad. Budinscak followed up with another All-District V honor in `04.

    Taking Care of Business Off the Field, Too

    The American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) annually honors the school with the highest graduation rate based on a particular entering freshman football class, and Notre Dame has won the award six times, most recently in 2001 with its 100-percent graduation rate (22 of 22 entering freshmen from `96 earned their degrees within five years). The `01 award followed Notre Dame's previous honors in `82, `83, `84, `88 and `91. Notre Dame also holds the distinction of producing the first 100-percent rate in a single year when 24 of 24 student-athletes from the entering class of `82 earned their degrees within a five-year period (and 16 of those 24 did so within four years). Only eight other times has a school registered a 100-percent graduation rate. The `88 award had special meaning, as it was the first time a school won the national championship on the football field - as Notre Dame did, finishing 12-0 after a Fiesta Bowl win over unbeaten West Virginia - and in the classroom. Including the special mention category, the Irish have received some sort of recognition in 23 of the 24 years the award has been presented, with Duke next at 21.

    Pep Rallies

    All 2005 pep rallies will be held in the Joyce Center Arena (south dome) on Fridays before Saturday home games, beginning at 6:00 p.m. (EST). The football team enters the arena at 6:30 p.m.

    For the USC game, the pep rally was moved into Notre Dame Stadium to accomodate the expected overflow crowd. An estimated crowd of over 45,000 fans attended the USC pep rally, which was also broadcast live by ESPNews.

    Beginning this season, all of Notre Dame's pep rallies will be broadcast live (video and audio) on www.und.com for subscribers to "Fighting Irish All-Access." Free tickets for the general public (limit of two per person) are available early Friday at 3:00 p.m. at Gate 10 of the Joyce Center. Lines are not allowed to form before 2:00 p.m. and Notre Dame students do not require tickets for admission.

    Notre Dame Experience Returns for 2005 Season

    For years, the Joyce Center has been the "pregame meeting place" for several thousand Notre Dame alumni. In an effort to add to this tradition, the Notre Dame athletics department is providing an interactive fan experience for each of the 2005 home football games in the Joyce Center Fieldhouse (north dome). For the fourth consecutive season, the "Notre Dame Experience" will combine with the Notre Dame Alumni Association Hospitality Center with interactive inflatables, photo booths, autograph sessions, football trivia and stage activities. Gates open three hours prior to kickoff and admission is free.

    Tickets Available for 2005 Football Kickoff Luncheons

    Tickets are now on sale for all the 2005 Notre Dame Kickoff Luncheons, held in the Joyce Center Fieldhouse (north dome) on the Friday prior to home football games. The luncheons feature head coach Charlie Weis and Irish players and assistant coaches, plus special guests and other attractions.

    Tickets are $18 each, with a handling fee of $3 - there are 10 seats per table - and if you wish to sit as a group at the same table with other guests, please return all reservations in one envelope. Checks should be made payable to "University of Notre Dame" and mailed to: Athletics Business Office, 112 Joyce Center, Notre Dame, IN, 46556. Telephone and credit card reservations are not accepted. A printed reservation form is available on Notre Dame's athletics web site - www.und.com.

    Notre Dame Athletics Continues Relationship with SIRIUS Satellite Radio

    After a successful debut season in 2004, SIRIUS Satellite Radio will continue to offer Notre Dame football, and selected men's/women's basketball, games on its nationwide service.

    Go to www.sirius.com for more information on the service. The Notre Dame - Navy match up can be heard on the following SIRIUS channels - Oct. 22 vs. Tennessee 125 (visiting team broadcast) 126 (home team)

    Inside the Irish Huddle DVD

    Legendary Notre Dame Quarterbacks, a project dedicated to the lore and history of University of Notre Dame football and its rich quarterbacking tradition, is beginning its existence with the release of a DVD, Inside the Irish Huddle, Stories from the Legendary Notre Dame Quarterbacks.

    The DVD is now available and can ordered on NDQB1.com, the official website of the Legendary Notre Dame Quarterbacks.

    Inside the Irish Huddle, made in association with Indianapolis and Chicago based Pathway Productions, includes interviews with and collegiate highlights of some of the most high-profile players and coaches in Notre Dame and college football history. Joe Montana, Joe Theismann, Paul Hornung, Johnny Lujack, Tom Clements and Terry Hanratty are just a few of former players featured on Inside the Irish Huddle.

    The project is spearheaded by former Irish quarterback Blair Kiel (1980-83).

    Notre Dame Stadium Update

    Thanks to funding by the Notre Dame Monogram Club, Notre Dame Stadium features a new look for its 75th anniversary this season.

    • Positioned in the 195 portals of the original Stadium walls (now visible in the lower bowl concourse), there now are individual, four-by-10-foot, mesh banners with old-school, black-and-white photos highlighting Notre Dame's 11 consensus national-championship seasons, its 139 first-team football All-Americans, its seven Heisman Trophy winners, its five national-championship coaches and its eight representatives in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    • Hanging from the ceiling around the lower concourse are 15 full-color, 12-by-15-foot banners - 10 of them featuring action shots of members of the 2005 Irish squad, and five featuring the 75th anniversary logo for Notre Dame Stadium. In addition, there will be four other five-by-eight-foot representations of the logo within the Stadium.

    • One addition visible from inside the Stadium is a sign on the facing of the wall just above the tunnel - it reads "Irish" and includes the Monogram Club logo.

    • Attached to light polls on Moose Krause Circle surrounding the Stadium and in the Stadium and Joyce North and South parking lots are 100 two-by-four foot pole banners, all of them featuring various Notre Dame marks and phrases - including combinations of Irish, We Are ND, a shamrock, the leprechaun, University of Notre Dame, Here Come the Irish, Fighting Irish, a gold helmet and the 75th anniversary Stadium logo.

    • In addition, there are plans over the next few years to theme the entry gates at the Stadium - with the intention of creating specific recognition of Notre Dame's national championships, its All-Americans, its Heisman Trophy winners and its national championship coaches. The gate completed was Gate B. It recognizes the Irish Heisman winners with three-foot by eight-foot replicas of the Heisman Trophy. The displays were designed by Rockwell Group of New York and fabricated by Show Motion Inc. of Connecticut. The work was accomplished with the cooperation of the Downtown Athletic Club and the Heisman Trophy Trust.

    Most of the signage and design work is being handled by Sport Graphics, Inc., in Indianapolis, Ind. Additional work for the gate designs is by the Rockwell Group in New York, N.Y.

    Football Banquet Tickets On Sale Now

    Former University of Notre Dame head football coach Lou Holtz will serve as the guest speaker for the 84th University of Notre Dame Football Banquet.

    The banquet, sponsored by the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley, will be held Friday, Dec. 2, 2005, in the north dome of the Joyce Center on the Notre Dame campus. A reception on the concourse and a silent auction in the Monogram Room both begin at 5:45 p.m. EST and the dinner begins at 7:00 p.m.

    The program will include a special tribute to senior members of the 2005 Irish squad - as well as a series of awards honoring members of the Notre Dame team.

    Tickets are now on sale at $40 each (a table for eight is $320) and can be ordered at the Joyce Center second-floor ticket window, by phone (VISA, MasterCard or American Express) by calling 574-631-7356 (fax to 574-631-0854), or by writing to Ticket Office, 113 Joyce Center, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Order forms also can be printed next week from Notre Dame's athletic web site, www.und.com. Checks should be made payable to University of Notre Dame Football Banquet. Requests must be received by Friday, Nov. 18, 2005.

    Proceeds benefit the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley Scholarship Fund.

    Holtz coached 132 games in 11 seasons at Notre Dame (1986-96) and guided his teams to a 100-30-2 record. He coached more games than any other Irish head coach and finished second to Knute Rockne in victories. Holtz led the Irish to the 1988 national championship and remains 11th on the NCAA all-time win list for Division I-A coaches. He took his Notre Dame teams to nine straight New Year's Day bowl games from 1987 through '95 and coached the Irish to finishes of sixth or better in the final Associated Press poll in five seasons. Holtz was named the national coach of the year in 1988 by several organizations and saw his team play the most difficult schedule in the country in three seasons.

    Before coming to Notre Dame Holtz served as head coach at William & Mary (1969-71), North Carolina State (1972-75), Arkansas (1977-83) and Minnesota (1984-85). He served as a college football analyst for CBS Sports in '97 and '98, was head football coach at South Carolina from 1999 through 2004 and currently is an analyst for ESPN.

    Guglielmino Athletics Complex Officially Dedicated

    The Guglielmino Athletics Complex, new home to the University of Notre Dame football program, was dedicated Friday, Oct. 14, 2005. The dedication program included a blessing of the building, an afternoon Mass at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart and a dedication dinner in the rotunda of the Main Building. A special, 18-by-24-inch, commemorative poster (printed by Mossberg & Company in South Bend and designed by recent Notre Dame graduate Tim O'Connor) created for the dedication was available free of charge Friday night as fans left the pep rally at Notre Dame Stadium.

    Opened in August and located on the east side of campus, the 96,000-square-foot building commonly referred to as "The Gug" is a spacious, state-of-the-art facility that houses the football program's locker rooms, offices and meeting rooms, in addition to giving the 800 student-athletes in Notre Dame's 26 varsity sports enhanced space for all training, strength and conditioning, and medical needs. The Guglielmino Athletics Complex has been made possible through the generous gift of the late Don F. Guglielmino and his wife Flora. A longtime supporter of Notre Dame, Guglielmino attended the University in the 1939-40 academic year.

    Irish Football on the Printed Page

    This fall, three new books about Fighting Irish football have debuted. The Spirit of Notre Dame, by Jim Langford and Jeremy Langford, officially went on sale during the last week of August. Detailing both athletic and student/alumni stories from the University, the book is said to be "the absolute essential title for the millions of people who have a place in their heart for the Fighting Irish." The book is a production of The Doubleday Broadway Publishing Group and can be bought on www.randomhouse.com.

    South Bend Tribune and Notre Dame football beat writer Eric Hansen has seen the release of his new book, Notre Dame, Where Have You Gone?. Hansen catches up with former Fighting Irish football players, from the All-Americans to the walk-ons to the one-play wonders to the once-tragic figures. The book is available for order at www.sportspublishinginc.com.

    The third offering comes from Senior Associate Athletic Director for Media Relations at Notre Dame - John Heisler. Echoes of Notre Dame Football, The Greatest Stories Ever Told, was edited by the former long-time sports information director. A member of the CoSIDA Hall of Fame, Heisler's book stitches together the best columns from the best columnists. It not only recounts the greatest moments in Notre Dame lore, it also tracks the chronological progression sportswriting styles from the esoteric to the ultra-modern. The book is available by calling 800-335-5323 or by sending an e-mail to WebOrders@triumphbooks.com. The book also features a foreword by Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis.

    Kevin White Radio Show

    Look for the Kevin White Show for the next 30 weeks on ESPN 1000 AM radio in Chicago.

    The hour-long program debuted Sept. 4 in its sixth season - with first-night guests including former Irish football-walk-on Dan "Rudy" Ruettiger (subject of the 1993 movie "Rudy"), former Irish placekicker Harry Oliver (he kicked a 51-yard field goal 25 years ago this week to help Notre Dame beat Michigan 29-27 in 1980), and current Irish hockey coach Jeff Jackson.

    Guests regularly will include familiar names from all facets of college athletics.

    The show features White, Notre Dame's director of athletics, and ESPN 1000's Dave Juday. It can be heard regularly at 11:00 p.m. Central time on Sunday.

    Sponsors of the show include Gatorade, Xerox, adidas, Comcast, McDonald's, Chase, Coca-Cola, Sirius Satellite Radio, Jordan Industries and Sayers Computer Source.

    The show can be heard in more than 30 states around the country on ESPN 1000 in Chicago.

    Katrina Collection Update

    Collections taken up throughout the University of Notre Dame community in recent weeks--in the student residence hall chapels and dining halls and even the football stadium--have raised over $240,000 for the relief of victims of the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe.

    A collection in the Notre Dame Stadium during the football game with Michigan State raised $195,871. Collections also have been taken up at Masses in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart and in the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore but have not yet been tabulated.

    Funds raised in the University's Katrina collections are being distributed among Catholic Charities USA; Catholic parishes in the Gulf region which are administered by Notre Dame's founding religious order, the Congregation of Holy Cross; and regional parochial schools participating in Notre Dame's Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) volunteer teacher program.

    The University will continue to accept donations throughout the semester. Contributions may be sent to: Notre Dame Katrina Collection, P.O. Box 198, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556-019.

    Instant Replay

    Notre Dame will utilize the Big Ten Conference instant replay system during all other home games this season. The opposing team is given the option of agreeing to use the system as well, and it will only be implemented if both teams decide to utilize the system.

    • The Big Ten instant replay model and the NFL instant replay system are different. In the Big Ten model, only the Big Ten Technical Advisor, working in the press box, can stop a game to review a play. Unlike the NFL model, in the Big Ten neither the coaches nor the game officials on the field may ask for a review.

    • In order for a play to be changed the Technical Advisor must have indisputable video evidence that an error occurred. Television broadcast of the game will be the sole source of whether there is indisputable video evidence.

    • The replay system will not guarantee that all officiating mistakes are identified and corrected.

    •The types of plays that are reviewable include plays that are governed by the sideline, goal line, end zone and end line, passing plays, and other detectable infractions, such as forward progress with respect to first down.

    USC Television Rating Highest In 11 Seasons

    The USC-Notre Dame football game earned the best overnight television rating for a Notre Dame home game in more than a decade. The 7.9 overnight rating and 17 share was the highest since Notre Dame-Michigan earned a 8.4/21 overnight on Sept. 10, 1994.

    The rating peaked at a 14.2/27 from 7:30-7:45 as USC QB Matt Leinert scored with three seconds remaining leading the Trojans to a dramatic 34-31 victory. Notre Dame had taken the lead with 2:02 left. No. 9 Notre Dame had been bidding to end No. 1 USC's 27-game winning streak.

    NBC's college football analyst Pat Haden called the contest, "as entertaining a last three minutes of a college football game as I've ever seen."

    The top-rated markets were:

    1. Indianapolis, 14.7/30

    2. Los Angeles, 13.4/31

    3. Knoxville, 12.6/25

    4. Oklahoma City, 11.9/25

    5. Portland, 11.0/25

    6. Chicago, 10.7/24

    7. Birmingham, 10.4/19

    8. Boston,10.3/21.

    Notre Dame - NBC Sports Television Ratings

    Here is a look at the top 10 all-time rated games since Notre Dame and NBC began their partnership in 1991. This season's ND - USC game checks in at third place on the list.

    SEE PDF FOR LIST

     

     

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