Nov. 20, 2000
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The Date and Time: Saturday, Nov. 25, 2000, at 12:30 p.m. PST (3:30 p.m. EST in South Bend).
The Site: Memorial Coliseum (92,000/natural grass) in Los Angeles, Calif.
The Tickets: A crowd of more than 80,000 is expected at the game.
The TV Plans: ABC Sports national telecast with with Keith Jackson (play-by-play), Tim Brant (analysis), Todd Harris (sideline) and Mark Loomis (producer).
The Radio Plans: For the 33rd consecutive season, all Notre Dame football games are broadcast nationally on radio by Westwood One with Tony Roberts (play by play) and Tom Pagna (game analysis) and Paul Hornung (pregame/halftime analysis). The Westwood One network includes nearly 200 stations. A live broadcast from the Notre Dame student radio station, WVFI, is available through the Notre Dame athletic department web site at www.und.com.
Websites: Notre Dame (www.und.com), USC (www.usctrojans.com).
The Head Coach
Fourth-year Irish head coach Bob Davie owns a 29-18 (.617) career record at Notre Dame. Davie is one of 10 semifinalists for the Football News 2000 coach-of-the-year award and was one of 10 finalists for the 1998 Walter Camp Foundation/Street and Smith's Coach of the Year Award. His 1997 squad beat No. 11 LSU and No. 22 West Virginia to mark the first time a Notre Dame team beat ranked foes on consecutive weeks since November '92, while the '98 opening win over No. 5 and defending national champion Michigan gave him three wins over a ranked teams. He led the Irish to another season-opening ranked win this year against No. 23 Texas A&M, and the win over 13th-ranked Purdue marked the earliest the Irish have beaten two ranked opponents since 1990. The 2000 season marks Davie's seventh year at Notre Dame overall, after serving as defensive coordinator and inside linebacker coach from 1994-96. He coached nine seasons at Texas A&M ('85-'93), two at Tulane ('83-'84), four at Pittsburgh ('77, '80-'82) and two at Arizona ('78-'79), spending both years at Tulane as defensive coordinator and the last five at Texas A&M in that role.
The Injury Update (as of Nov. 19)
Junior QB Arnaz Battle Fractured left navicular (wrist) vs. Nebraska
(out for season, had surgery Sept. 12)
Senior TE Jabari Holloway Sprained knee vs. Rutgers
Senior DE Grant Irons Dislocated right shoulder vs. Nebraska
out for season, had surgery Sept. 21)
Junior CB Shane Walton Broken right forearm vs. Rutgers (had surgery Nov. 19)
Senior FB Jason Murray Hamstring vs. Boston College (DNP vs. Rutgers)
Sophomore TB Julius Jones Bruised thigh vs. Boston College (DNP vs. Rutgers)
Junior CB Clifford Jefferson Sprained ankle vs. Air Force (DNP vs. Boston College, Rutgers)
NOTRE DAME-USC GAME NOTES
The game marks the 72nd meeting between the Irish and Trojans in one of college football's greatest intersectional rivalries.
Notre Dame leads the USC series that began in 1926 by a 40-26-5 margin, while the Trojans hold a 17-16-4 edge in games played in the Memorial Coliseum.
The trip to Los Angeles will mark the return home for seven California natives on the Irish roster.
For more Notre Dame-USC notes, see pages 2-4.
THE IRISH TRAVEL PLANS
Notre Dame will be headquartered at the Ritz Carlton, Huntington, 1401 South Oak Knoll Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91106, (213) 568-3900. The Irish are scheduled to depart by TWA charter flight Thursday afternoon. A light workout at the Memorial Coliseum is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Friday.
IF NOTRE DAME WINS ...
Notre Dame will finish the regular season with seven consecutive wins, the most to end the regular season since the '88 team won all 11 on its way to winning the national championship.
The Irish will win four straight games away from home for the first time since 1996.
Notre Dame will win at the Coliseum for the first time since 1992 after a tie in 1994 and losses in 1996 and 1998.
IF USC WINS ...
The Trojans will defeat the Irish for the third straight game at the Coliseum.
USC will avoid having just its third losing season in the last 39 years.
The Trojans will defeat Notre Dame and UCLA in the same season for the first time since 1981.
Notre Dame holds a 40-26-5 series edge, with the Trojans holding a 17-16-4 edge in games played in the Memorial Coliseum.
The teams will meet for the 55th straight season (the only gap in the series came during World War II, from 1943-45).
The series began in 1926, when Knute Rockne became one of the first Midwestern or Eastern coaches to take his team to the West Coast. The next four games then alternated between Soldier Field and the Memorial Coliseum, with the first game played at Notre Dame Stadium in 1931.
Notre Dame's 40 wins over USC are the most by a Trojan opponent (12 more than California's second-most 28). The Trojan's 26 wins over the Irish are the most by a Notre Dame opponent (three more than Purdue's second-most 23).
USC is tied with Purdue as the second-most common opponent in Irish football history, as Notre Dame will have played both for the 72nd time this season.
Prior to USC's 27-20 overtime win over the Irish in 1996, Notre Dame had not lost in any of the previous 13 series meetings (11 straight Irish wins from '83-93, a tie in '94, then another Irish win in '95).
Since 1965, the ND-USC game has been nationally televised on 27 occasions (including the 2000 game).
The 1999 USC game received the fifth-highest ticket demand in Notre Dame history (46,658) while the '97 game attracted an all-time high of 57,048 requests.
ND-USC IN THE POLLS
Since the AP poll began in 1936, the last 62 Notre Dame-USC games (including this meeting) have included 28 in which both teams were ranked in the AP poll, 27 when one team was ranked and only seven when neither team was ranked. The 55 games with at least one ranked team have included 46 with at least one top-10 team.
In the 54 games where at least one team has been ranked, the higher-ranked team is 30-19-5 (.602).
An unranked team has defeated a ranked team 11 times in the series (six by USC), most recently in '98 when USC knocked off No. 9 Notre Dame (10-0) at the Coliseum.
There have been seven other times in the series when an unranked team knocked off a top-10 opponent, with the Trojans winning four of those games.
Notre Dame has a 19-9-2 record when it is ranked higher than USC.
Notre Dame is 7-4 against USC teams with losing records.
Irish assistant head coach/linebackers Kirk Doll coached the tight ends at Iowa State in 1979 while USC third-year defensive coordinator Bill Young was coaching the DL at Iowa State during that 1979 season. Doll and Young then both spent the 1980-84 seasons on John Cooper's staff at Tulsa, with Doll coaching the OL while Young tutored the DL for three seasons before adding defensive coordinator responsibilities for the final two seasons. The pair moved on again when John Cooper took the head coaching spot at Arizona State, with Doll coaching the Sun Devils' OLBs from 1985-87 while Young was the D-Line coach (Young then went with Cooper to Ohio State and Doll began his six-year stint at Texas A&M).
USC third-year DL coach Ed Orgeron coached the D-line at Syracuse from 1995-97, on a staff that included current Irish offensive coordinator Kevin Rogers and offensive tackles/tight ends coach Steve Addazio. Rogers was assistant head coach, QBs coach and recruiting coordinator at Syracuse during the 1995-97 seasons while Addazio coached the TEs and OL.
USC first-year LB coach A.J. Christoff served as defensive coordinator at Notre Dame in 1984 and 1985 when the Irish held the Trojans to a combined 10 points in two games, winning 19-7 in '84 and 37-3 in '85.
Third-year Irish defensive coordinator Greg Mattison and second-year safeties coach Lou West both coached with USC first-year WR/special teams coach Dan Ferrigno at Western Michigan. Mattison and Ferrigno spent five years on the same Bronco staffs (from 1982-86), while West coached with Mattison and Ferrigno in 1985 and 1986.
FRIEND OR FOE?
Seven Irish players hail from the state of California: senior DE Andrew Dempsey (Huntington Beach/Mater Dei), senior FL Joey Getherall (Hacienda Heights/Bishop Amat HS), senior FB Jeremy Juarez (Arcadia/Bishop Amat HS), junior FB Mike McNair (Corona del Mar/Mater Dei HS), senior LB Luigi Rao (Monterey Park/Bishop Amat HS), senior OT Kurt Vollers (Whittier/Servite HS) and junior CB Shane Walton (San Diego/Bishop's School).
Several Notre Dame and USC players hail from the same hometown or attended the same high school:
McNair played at Mater Dei High School, as did two USC players: freshman S Matt Grootegoed (Huntington Beach) and sophomore OL Lenny Vandermade (Santa Ana).
Getherall, Juarez and Rao and USC freshman S Jason Leach all attended Bishop Amat HS.
Vollers and USC freshman OT Joe McGuire (Anaheim) both attended Servite HS.
Walton and USC senior DE/LE Lonnie Ford (Morse HS) both hail from San Diego, Calif.
Notre Dame junior DB Clifford Jefferson and USC senior C Eric Denmon both hail from Dallas, Texas, natives and attended Carter HS.
OTHER NOTRE DAME-USC CONNECTIONS
The winner of the game keeps a shillelagh (presented by the Notre Dame Club of Los Angeles), with shamrocks representing Notre Dame victories and rubies Trojan heads standing for USC wins (each is engraved with the year and final score). The original foot-long shillelagh was flown from Ireland by Howard Hughes' pilot, according to legend, and was introduced in 1952 (although the medallions date back to the start of the series in 1926). When the original shillelagh ran out of space after the 1989 game, it was retired and is permanently displayed at Notre Dame. A new shillelagh–slightly larger than the original–was commissioned by Jim Gillis, a former baseball player at both USC and Notre Dame and onetime president of the Notre Dame Club of Los Angeles. The new trophy was handcrafted in 1997 in County Leitrum, Ireland, and contains medallions beginning with the '90 game.
Ninth-year Notre Dame women's volleyball head coach Debbie (Landreth) Brown was twice named the national player of the year while helping USC win the 1976 and '77 national championship in women's volleyball.