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    Fighting Irish


     

    Football Prepares for the Trojans

    With a history of steep competition, ND is psyched up for Saturday's game.

    November 23, 1998

    USC Trojans (7-4)
    vs.
    Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9-1)
    #9/#10 (AP/Coaches)

    The Date and Time: Saturday, November 28, 1998, at 5:00 p.m. PST
    The Site: Memorial Coliseum (92,000/natural grass) inLos angeles, Calif.
    The Tickets: The game is expected to be a sellout, with a few thousand tickets remaining as of Nov. 22. It would be the 109th sellout inthe last 125 games involving Notre Dame, including every '98 game.
    The TV Plans: ABC Sports national telecast with Keith Jackson(play by play), Bob Griese (analysis), LynnSwann(sideline) and Jay Rothman(producer).
    The Radio Plans: For the 31st consecutive season, all Irish football games are broadcast nationally by Mutual/Westwood One with Tony Roberts (play by play), Tom Pagna (analysis) and Chris Castleberry (producer). The Mutual Network includes nearly 300 stations.

    The Head Coach
    Bob Davie owns a 16-7 (.696) career record inthe midst of his second seasonas a college head coach in'98, including a 14-1 mark inthe last 15 regular-seasongames. Davie has beennamed one of 10 finalists for the 1998 Walter Camp Foundation/Street and Smith's Coach of the Year Award. The other nine finalists are: Bill Snyder of Kansas State, Philip Fulmer of Tennessee, Barry Alvarez of Wisconsin, Tommy Bowdenof Tulane, Mack Brownof Texas, Fisher DeBerry of Air Force, HoustonNutt of Arkansas, Bob Toledo of UCLA and Dick Tomey of Arizona. The award will be presented at the 32nd annual Walter Camp National All-America Award Dinner onFebruary 27, 1999, at the Yale University Commons. Davie's 1997 squad beat No. 11 LSU and No. 22 West Virginia in'97 to mark the first time a Notre Dame team beat ranked foes onconsecutive weeks since November '92 (54-7 vs. No. 9 BostonCollege, 17-16 vs. No. 22 PennState) while the '98 opening winover No. 5 Michigangave him a 3-4 record vs. ranked opponents. The '98 seasonmarks Davie's fifth 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 inthat role.

    The Injury Update (as of November 22)
    Out:
    Senior quarterback Jarious Jackson -- Sprained right knee (MRI 11/23; out approx. 4 weeks)
    Freshman cornerback Donald Dykes -- Fractured left clavicle inpractice (9/16)
    Junior offensive tackle Jerry Wisne -- Sprained knee vs. Navy (dnp vs. LSU, out 4-6 weeks)

    THE KEY NOTES
    BATTLE FOR THE SHILLELAGH: Notre Dame and USC are set to continue a storied rivalry that has included many memorable moments at Memorial Coliseum.
    ON THE SPOT: Notre Dame junior Eric Chappell and/or freshmanArnaz Battle will be looking to extend Notre Dame's historic success infirst career starts by an Irish QB.
    FINAL FLING: The USC game will be the final game that will count to Notre Dame and NCAA career statistics for all-time Irish rushing leader Autry Denson.

    RECAPPING THE 39-36 WIN OVER LSU
    Notre Dame overcame a 34-20 deficit, with Jarious Jacksonpassing to Raki Nelsonfor the winning 10-yard catch and dive with 1:27 left. The game featured eight types of scoring: two interceptions for TDs, five extra points, three rushing TDs, a fumble recovery TD, a kickoff returnTD, a two-point conversion, four passing TDs and a safety. Jacksoncompleted 13 of 21 passes for a career-high 276 yards and two TDs while rushing 21 times for 80 yards. The Irish receiving corps made several clutch plays, with four players each totaling between60-80 passing yards: Nelson(4 catches, 78 yards, 1 TD), Malcolm Johnson(4, 62, 1), Jabari Holloway (3, 71) and Bobby Brown(2, 65). The Irish were 11-of-16 onthird-downconversions, LSU 4-of-10. David Givens scored from 22 yards onanoptionpitch to tie the game inthe first quarter (7-7) and Lamont Bryant returned a KevinFaulk fumble 13 yards for a 14-13 Irish lead early inthe second quarter, but Faulk ranback the ensuing kickoff 88 yards for a TD. Autry Densonscored ona three-yard runearly inthe third quarter but Jim Sansonmissed the PAT to preserve LSU's 21-20 lead. A pair of Abram Booty TD catches pushed LSU's lead to 34-20 (one PAT was blocked) but Jacksonhit Johnsonwith aneight-yarder later inthe quarter (the PAT was blocked). Bobbie Howard picked off a Herb Tyler pass early inthe final quarter and rumbled 89 yards for a TD (the PAT againwas blocked, leaving LSU ahead 34-33). Onthe winning drive, Nelsoncaught a 3rd-and-13 pass for 24 yards and a 2nd-and-13 pass for 17 yards before the winning 10-yard catch. The final points came whenJacksontook anintentional safety with 0:03 left onthe clock.

    Notre Dame
    FIGHTING IRISH (9-1)

    Sept. 5 #5 Michigan W, 36-20 Sept. 12 at Michigan State L, 23-45 Sept. 26 PURDUE W, 31-30 Oct. 3 STanFORD W, 35-17 Oct. 10 at Arizona State W, 28-9 Oct. 24 ARMY W, 20-17 Oct. 31 BAYLOR W, 27-3 Nov. 7 at Boston College W, 31-26 Nov. 14 *vs. Navy W, 30-0 Nov. 21 LSU W, 39-36 Nov. 28 at USC (ABC) 5:00 PST * - at Jack Kent Cooke Stadium (Landover, MD)

    USC TROJANS (7-4)
    
    Aug. 30     PURDUE              W, 27-17
    Sept. 12    SAN DIEGO STATE      W, 35-6
    Sept. 19    OREGONSTATE         W, 40-20
    Sept. 26    at Florida State    L, 10-30
    Oct. 3      ARIZONA STATE       W, 35-24
    Oct. 10     CALIFORNIA          L, 31-32
    Oct. 17     at Washington State W, 42-14
    Oct. 24     at Oregon           L, 13-17
    Oct. 31     WASHINGTON          W, 33-10
    Nov. 7      at Stanford         W, 34-9
    Nov. 21     at UCLA             L, 17-34
    Nov. 28     Notre Dame          5:00 PST
    
    The Rankings
    Here's where Notre Dame has stood inthe polls during the '98 season:
    
    Date         AP      USA Today/ESPN
    Preseason    22nd    24th
    Sept. 6      10th    11th
    Sept. 13     23rd    25th
    Sept. 20     t23rd   also rec. votes
    Sept. 27     t23rd   23rd
    Oct. 4       22nd    22nd
    Oct. 11      18th    20th
    Oct. 18      18th    20th
    Oct. 25      16th    16th
    Nov. 1       13th    13th
    Nov. 8       12th    13th
    Nov. 15      10th    10th
    Nov. 22      9th     10th
    
    Preseason Rankings The '98 campaignmarks the 12th straight year Notre Dame beganthe football seasonranked somewhere inthe Associated Press preseasonpoll. Here's where Notre Dame was ranked inthe preseasonand final AP polls during those seasons:
    Year    Preseason  Final
    1987    18         17
    1988    13         1
    1989    2          2
    1990    2          6
    1991    6          13
    1992    3          4
    1993    7          2
    1994    2          NR
    1995    9          11
    1996    6          19
    1997    11         NR
    1998    22         ?
    

    THE TRAVEL PLANS The Irish will depart via TWA charter at approximately 1:00 p.m. EST onThursday. Notre Dame will be headquartered at the Newport Beach Marriott (714-640-4000). The Notre Dame party will fly home Sunday.

    RECAPPING THE 1997 NOTRE DAME-USC GAME
    Notre Dame built a 17-14 halftime lead thanks Autry Denson's 106 rushing yards (he finished with a season-high 133), but the Irish missed three FGs overall and a fourth-period Trojaninterceptionset up the game-winning FG with 1:05 onthe clock for a 20-17 USC win. The Irish scored the first two times they had the ball, driving 40 and 82 yards, while USC did the same ondrives of 77 and 71 yards of its own. Defense dominated after that, as the Irish - after rolling up 221 total yards by halftime - had only 27 second-half rushing yards. Jim Sansonhit a 27-yard field goal inthe final minute of the first half to give the Irish the lead at half, but he also missed from 45 and 34 inthe second quarter and from 33 with 7:02 left inthe game. USC's Mark Cusano intercepted a second-and-10 throw at his own44 and returned it to the Irish 29 with 2:34 left to set up the winning points.

    CONNECTIONS

  • Notre Dame's preseasonroster included eight players from the state of California, the second-most represented state onthe Irish squad behind Texas (14). Those players include sevenscholarship members of the '98 squad: senior LB Kory Minor (LaVerne/Bishop Amat HS), senior TE BenjaminRobinson(Saratoga/Saratoga HS), junior C JohnMerandi (Blue Jay/Rim of the World HS), junior DE Brad Williams (Orange/Mater Dei HS), sophomore SE Joey Getherall (Hacienda Hts/Bishop Amat HS), sophomore DT Kurt Vollers (Whittier/Servite HS) and freshmanFB Mike McNair (Cornoa del Mar/Mater Dei HS).
  • Second-year Irish quarterbacks coach Mike Sanford played quarterback and safety at USC from 1973-76 (current Trojanhead coach Paul Hackett was a USC assistant in'76). Sanford was a graduate assistant at USC in1977 and returned in1989 to coach receivers before eventually being named assistant head coach at USC (1989-96). Sanford's teams were a combined 4-11-1 vs. Notre Dame during his career as a player and coach, at USC (1973-77, 1989-96), Army (1979-80) and Purdue (1987-88).
  • Eighth-year Notre Dame women's volleyball head coach Debbie (Landreth) Brownwas anAll-AmericanonUSC's 1976 and '77 national championship teams.
  • The winner of the game keeps a shillelagh (presented by the Notre Dame Club of Los angeles), with shamrocks representing Notre Dame victories and Trojanheads standing for USC wins.

    FRIEND OR FOE? Notre Dame's preseasonroster included players from 32 states (eight from California) while USC's preseasonroster included 88 California natives and players from nine other states. A handful of Notre Dame and USC players hail from the same hometownand/or high school, among them:

  • Three Bishop Amat HS products are among the school's scholarship players: Notre Dame's senior OLB Kory Minor and sophomore SE Joey Getherall and USC senior CB DaylonMcCutcheon.
  • Two players from each team played during their prep days for Mater Dei High School: Notre Dame's junior DE Brad Williams and freshmanFB Mike McNair and USC's junior S David Gibsonand sophomore WR Rod Perry.
  • Williams and two USC players-senior S Grant Pearsall and junior OT Matt Welch-are natives of Orange, Calif. (Pearsall and Welch attended Villa Park HS).
  • Two players from each team are Dallas, Texas, natives: Notre Dame's senior ILB Joe Thomas and freshmanDB Clifford Jeffersonand USC's sophomore DE Bobby DeMars and senior CB Prentice Hill. Jefferson, DeMars and Hill all are graduates of Carter High School (Thomas attended Lincoln).

    1998 Notre Dame OPPONENT UPDATE Below is a look at Notre Dame opponents' recent results and upcoming games. Since 1977 whenthe NCAA started rating strength of schedule, Notre Dame's schedule has beenrated the most difficult five times inthe last 20 years (1978, 1985, 1987, 1989 and 1995). The '98 Irish schedule was ranked 16th-toughest inthe annual NCAA preseasonsurvey.

    Opponent       Record         Nov. 21           Nov. 28 
    Michigan       8-3 L, 16-31,  at Ohio State     at Hawaii
    MichiganState  6-5 W, 41-9,   Illinois          at PennState
    Purdue         8-4 W, 52-7,   Indiana           Regular seasonover
    Stanford       3-8 W, 10-3,   at California     Regular seasonover
    Arizona State  5-5            Idle              at Arizona (11/27)  
    Army           2-8 L, 23-35,  at Louisville     vs. Navy (12/5)
    Baylor         2-9 L, 10-24,  at Oklahoma State Regular seasonover
    Boston College 4-7 L, 10-35,  at West Virginia  Regular seasonover
    Navy           3-7 L, 11-24,  SMU               vs. Army (12/5) 
    LSU            4-6 L, 36-39,  Notre Dame        at Arkansas (11/27)
    USC            7-4 L, 17-34,  at UCLA           Notre Dame
    
    Notre Dame Opponents' SeasonRecord (Does not include games vs. ND): 51-57 (.472)

    SERIES NOTES

  • Notre Dame and USC will meet this week for the 70th time, tied with the Purdue series for the second-longest inNotre Dame history (the Irish and Navy played for the 72nd time onNov. 14).
  • Notre Dame holds a 39-25-5 series edge but the series is evenat Memorial Coliseum (16-16-4).
  • The teams will meet for the 53rd straight season(the only gap inthe series came during World War II, from 1943-45).
  • The series beganin1926, whenKnute Rockne became one of the first Midwesternor Easterncoaches to take his team to the West Coast. The next four games thenalternated betweenSoldier Field and L.A.'s Memorial Coliseum, with the first game played at Notre Dame Stadium in1931.
  • Prior to USC's 27-20 overtime winover the Irish in1996, Notre Dame had not lost inany of the previous 13 series meetings (11 straight Irish wins from 1983-93, a tie in'94, thenanother Irish winin'95).
  • Since the AP poll beganin1936, the 59 previous Notre Dame-USC games have included 28 inwhich both teams were ranked inthe AP poll, 25 whenone team was ranked and only six whenneither team was ranked (the '97 game was the first with neither ranked since 1985). The 53 games with at least one ranked team have included 44 with at least one top-10 team.
  • Inthe 53 games where at least one team has beenranked, the higher-ranked team is only 30-18-5 (.613). anunranked team has defeated a ranked team 10 times during the series (five by each team), most recently in1996 whenUSC knocked off No. 10 Notre Dame (27-20 inOT). There have beensix other times inthe series whenanunranked team knocked off a top-10 opponent, with the Trojans winning four of those games: vs. No. 5 Notre Dame in1955 (42-20), vs. the No. 1-ranked Irish in1964 (20-17), vs. No. 4 Notre Dame in1970 (38-28) and against No. 6 Notre Dame in1971 (28-14). The unranked 1959 Notre Dame team posted a 16-6 winover No. 7 USC while the 1963 Irish knocked off another No. 7 USC team, 17-14.
  • Since 1965, this game has beennationally televised on25 occasions (including the 1998 game).

    OPPONENT SERIES STREAKS HARD TO FIND
    Notre Dame has not lost three straight games to the same opponent since 1987, whenthe Irish lost for the third straight time to Pittsburgh (30-22 at Pitt, Oct. 10) and PennState (21-20 at PSU, Nov. 21) before losing for the fourth straight time to Miami (24-0 at Miami, Nov. 28). The Irish have lost four-plus straight games to the same opponent just five times since 1908: MichiganState (8, '55-'57, '59-'63), USC (5, '78-'82), Northwestern(4, '59-'62), Air Force (4, '82-'85) and Miami (4, '83-'85, '87). USC has the chance to beat Notre Dame for a third straight time, after wins in1996 (27-20 inOT) and 1997 (20-17).

    RECORDS SET IN THE USC SERIES

  • Four of the top rushing games inNotre Dame history have come against USC: Reggie Brooks' 227 yards at USC in1992 (3rd place; 19 carries, 11.9 avg., 3 TDs); Vagas Ferguson's 185 yards at home in1979 (14th; 25, 7.4, 2); Jim Morse's 179 yards at home in1954 (19th; 19, 9.4, 1); and Jerome Bettis' 178 yards at home in1991 (21st; 24, 7.4, 2).
  • The following rank first inthe Irish record book and occurred during the USC series: Bob Livingstone's 92-yard runfrom scrimmage in1947; Coy McGee's 24.4 rushing yards per attempt in1946 (6 for 146); Joe Theismann's 33 pass completions, 526 passing yards and 512 yards of total offense in1970; and Tim Brown's 30.6 yards per kick returnin1986 (5 for 153).
  • Steve Beuerlein's four TD passes vs. USC in1986 stands tied for first inthe Irish record book.
  • Lee Becton's record six consecutive games with 100-plus rushing yards included a game vs. USC in1993 (the third game of that string).
  • Reggie Brooks tied the Irish record with two 200-plus rushing yards games inthe same season, in1992 vs. Purdue and USC.
  • Thesimann's 58 pass attempts and 71 total offense attempts vs. USC in1970 both rank second inthe Irish record book.
  • Notre Dame returned two interceptions for TDs vs. USC in1966, which remains tied for the Irish record.
  • Notre Dame's 19 passing first downs inthe 1970 USC game remaina team record.
  • Inadditionto Livingstone's above run, some of the longest plays inIrish history have come vs. USC: Joe Heap's 94-yard fumble returnin1953 (4th); Joe Perkowski's 49-yard FG in1961 (7th); Paul Hornung and Morse hooked up ona 78-yard pass play in1955 (8th); Wally Fronhart's 82-yard interceptionreturnin1935 (9th); and Hornung's 95-yard kickoff returnin1956 (11th)
  • USC players ownseveral Notre Dame opponent records: Charles White's 44 rushing attempts in1979 and 120 career rushing attempts from 1976-79; anthony Davis' six TDs and 36 points in1972, inadditionto 11 career TDs and 68 career points from 1972-74; JohnJackson's 200 pass receptionyards in1989; DonSchafer's 60-yard FG in1986; AdrianYoung's four INTs in1967; and VernLillywhite's 83-yard punt in1946.
  • USC players owna share of the following Irish opponent records: Pat Haden's four TD passes in1974; Jackson's 14 receptions in1989 and 21 career receptions from 1987-89; Davis' 100-yard kickoff returnin1974; and Eric Hipp's six extra points in1979.
  • USC's 591 total offense yards in1979 is anIrish opponent record.

    THE SERIES

    Overall: ND leads 39-25-5
    At Memorial Coliseum: Tied 16-16-4
    Current Series Streak: 2 by USC

       
    Site    Year  Rank  W/L/T       ND  Opp
            1926        W           13  12
    SF      1927        W           7   6
            1928            L       14  27
    SF      1929        W           13  12
            1930        W           27  0
      #     1931            L       14  16
            1932            L       0   13
      #     1933            L       0   19
            1934        W           14  0
      #     1935        W           20  13
            1936    9-          T   13  13
      #     1937    9-  W           13  6
            1938    1-8     L       0   13
      #     1939    7-4     L       12  20
            1940        W           10  6
      #     1941    4-  W           20  18
            1942    8-14    W       13  0
      #     1946    2-16    W       26  6
            1947    1-3 W           38  7
            1948    2-          T   14  14
      #     1949    1-17W           32  0
            1950            L       7   9
            1951    -20 W           19  12
      #     1952     7-2W           9   0
            1953    2-20W           48  14
      #     1954    4-17W           23  17
            1955    5-      L       20  42
            1956    -17     L       20  28
      #     1957    12- W           40  12
            1958    18- W           20  13
      #     1959    -7  W           16  6
            1960        W           17  0
      #     1961    8-  W           30  0
            1962    -1      L       0   25
      #     1963    -7  W           17  14
            1964    1-      L       17  20
      #     1965    7-4 W           28  7
            1966    1-10W           51  0
      #     1967    5-1     L       7   24
            1968    9-2         T   21  21
      #     1969    11-3        T   14  14
            1970    4-      L       28  38
      #     1971    6-      L       14  28
            1972    10-1    L       23  45
      #     1973    8-6 W           23  14
            1974    5-6     L       24  55
      #     1975    14-3    L       17  24
            1976    13-3    L       13  17
      #     1977    11-5W           49  19
            1978    8-3     L       25  27
      #     1979    9-4     L       23  42
            1980    2-17    L       3   20
      #     1981    -5      L       7   14
            1982    -17     L       13  17
      #     1983        W           27  6
            1984    -14 W           19  7
      #     1985        W           37 3
            1986     -17W           38  37
      #     1987    10- W           26  15
            1988    1-2 W           27  10
      #     1989    1-9 W           28  24
            1990    7-18W           10  6
      #     1991    5-  W           24  20
            1992    5-19W           31  23
      #     1993    2-  W           31  13
            1994    -17         T   17  17
      #     1995    17-5W           38  10
            1996    10-     L (ot)  20  27
      #     1997            L       17  20
    Rankings refer to AP poll.  
    # - Notre Dame Stadium, SF - Soldier Field. 
    
    NOTRE DAME VS. THE PAC-10

    School Won Lost Tied Pct. Arizona 2 1 0 1.000 Arizona State 1 0 0 1.000 California 4 0 0 1.000 Oregon 1 0 1 .750 Oregon State 0 0 0 --- Stanford 9 4 0 .692 UCLA 2 0 0 1.000 USC 39 25 5 .616 Washington 4 0 0 1.000 Washington State 0 0 0 --- TOTALS 62 30 6 .663

  • Notre Dame has won early 70 percent of its games versus Pacific-10 Conference opponents, with anoverall mark of 62-30-6 (.663) against Pac-10 schools-including the 1998 wins over Stanford and Arizona State. More than70 percent of those games (69) have come versus USC while another 13 have come against Stanford (9-4-0).

  • Notre Dame has played a handful of games vs. California (4-0), Washington(4-0), Arizona (2-1), Oregon(1-0-1) and UCLA (2-0). Notre Dame and Arizona State met for the first time earlier this season, while the Irish still have yet to face OregonState or WashingtonState. Arizona State became the 130th different opponent faced by the Notre Dame football program during its 112-year history.

    *The Irish wonat Washington in 1995 (29-21) and beat the Huskies at Notre Dame Stadium in'96 (54-20), with the only other previous games inthat series coming in'48 and '49. The most recent games versus the other Pac-10 teams are as follows: a 16-13 home loss to Arizona in'82, a 41-8 home winover California in'67, a 13-13 tie at Oregonin'82 and a 24-0 home winover UCLA in'64.

  • Notre Dame is 9-3-1 in its last 13 games versus Pac-10 schools (3-2-1 vs. USC, 3-1 vs. Stanford, 2-0 vs. Washington, 1-0 vs. ASU), beginning with a 1992 victory over USC.

    DENSON VS. USC

    Notre Dame senior TB Autry Denson has averaged 129.3 yards in three career games vs. USC, including two of his top career efforts: 160 yards on33 carries at USC in1996 (3rd all-time) and 133 yards on30 carries at home vs. USC in'97 (10th). The 33 and 30 rushes inthose games rank first and third-most inDenson's career while his 27 carries in1995 rank sixth (he has averaged 30 carries per game vs. USC inhis career).

    MEMORABLE COLISEUM MOMENTS
    The Notre Dame-USC rivalry has produced many memorable moments during the first 36 games played at Memorial Coliseum, among them:

  • 1926 - Art Parisien's 23-yard TD pass to JohnNiemiec provided Notre Dame with a 13-12 wininthe series opener. Knute Rockne inserted the lefthanded Parisieninplace of star QB Charlie Riley with six minutes left to play and the diminutive southpaw led way onthe winning 59-yard drive.
  • 1947 - There was plenty of pregame hype for this matchup betweenthe No. 1 Irish and No. 3 Trojans, but Notre Dame woneasily (38-7) infront of the biggest crowd ever to see a sports event onthe West Coast at the time (104,953).
  • 1958 - No. 18 Notre Dame won20-13 thanks to the second-half heroics of replacement QB Bob Williams and a goalline stand late inthe third quarter, after USC had a first downat the one-foot line.
  • 1966 (see p. 5)
  • 1968 - No. 1 USC and No. 9 Notre Dame played to a 21-21 tie. USC came back from a 21-7 halftime deficit, after the Irish held O.J. Simpsonto 33 first-half rushing yards.
  • 1970 - Joe Theismannset still-standing Irish records for pass completions (33) and passing yards (526) but eight turnovers doomed No. 4 Notre Dame to a 38-28 loss at the hands of unranked USC.
  • 1972 - anthony Davis enjoyed what remains one of the top opponent efforts ever versus Notre Dame, as the No. 1 Trojans posted a 45-23 winover No. 10 Notre Dame. Davis returned two kickoffs for TDs (covering 193 yards) and added four rushing TDs.
  • 1974 - No. 5 Notre Dame jumped out to 24-0 halftime lead but the sixth-ranked Trojans erupted for 55 second-half points versus the nation's top-ranked defensive team for a 55-24 final score. USC's big half included eight TDs vs. a defense that had allowed just nine inthe previous 10 games. anthony Davis had four TDs (including a kickoff returnfrom his ownend zone) and a two-point conversion.
  • 1978 - No. 3 USC escaped with a 27-25 winover the No. 8 Irish, thanks to a 37-yard FG by Frank Jordanthat sailed through the goalposts with 0:02 left onthe clock. The 50th game of the series saw Joe Montana rally the Irish from a 24-6 deficit heading into the fourth quarter, but Paul McDonald's 35-yard pass to CalvinSweeney with 0:19 left onthe clock set up the winning kick.
  • 1980 - No. 17 USC derailed the national championship hopes of No. 2 Notre Dame, 20-3, inDanDevine's last game vs. the Trojans.
  • 1984 - Notre Dame's 19-7 winona cold, rain-soaked day ended the eight-game Irish losing streak at the Coliseum. The No. 14 Trojans lost six fumbles to the unranked Irish.
  • 1986 - Notre Dame rallied for a 38-37 victory, after trailing 37-20 heading into the final quarter. Tim Brownreturned a punt 56 yards inthe closing moments and JohnCarney wonthe game with an18-yard FG as time expired.
  • 1988 - No. 1 Notre Dame pulled off a 27-10 winover favored No. 2 USC. Head coach Lou Holtz elected to leave two of the teams top players-TB Tony Brooks and FL Ricky Watters-at home due to violations of team rules and the Irish responded with a winthat propelled the program to its 11th national title. The game's signature plays included: a first-play, 55-yard pass from the endzone by Tony Rice to Raghib Ismail; Rice's 65-yard TD onanoptionrundownthe left sideline; and StanSmagala's 64-yard interceptionreturnfor a TD and a 21-7 Irish lead shortly before halftime.
  • 1990 - Notre Dame held onfor a 10-6 victory, with Tony Brooks scoring the winning TD ona one-yard pitch play with 3:14 left to play.
  • 1992 - Notre Dame emerged with a 31-23 victory, led by Reggie Brooks' 227 rushing yards. USC's Travis Hannah beat Tom Carter for a 41-yard pass to the five-yard line with 25 seconds left to play but Carter redeemed himself onthe next play by intercepting Rob Johnson's attempted pass to Johnnie Mortoninthe corner of the end zone.
  • 1994 - The teams played to a 17-17 tie, with ShawnWalters one-yard runproviding the final score for USC with 4:53 left to play. The tying score was set up whenUSC blocked anattempted 37-yard FG try by StefanSchroffner, with the Trojans returning the ball to the Notre Dame 16-yard line.
  • 1996 - USC won27-20 in OT, onBrad Otton's five-yard pass to Rodney Sermonns. The Trojans had forced OT with 1:50 left, whenDelonWashingtoncapped a 67-yard drive with a 15-yard TD runand a two-point conversionrun. The Irish-who lost four fumbles-had takenthe lead onAutry Denson's nine-yard runwith 3:53 left inregulationbut Jim Sanson's missed PAT left the deficit at eight points.

    IRISH READY FOR TROJanS AFTER EARLIER BACK-TO-BACK VS. THE PAC GAMES

  • The earlier 1998 games vs. Stanford and ASU represented Notre Dame's first back-to-back games vs. Pac-10 teams since 1982, whenthe Irish lost 16-13 vs. Arizona before playing to a 13-13 tie the next week at Oregon. The Irish in'98 are playing three Pac-10 teams for the first time since 1982 (the '82 team lost 17-13 at USC onNov. 27).
  • Each of the '82 games vs. Pac-10 teams saw the winning/tying points scored with under a minute to play, as did the game vs. Miami that preceded the Arizona matchup. At no other time inNotre Dame football history have back-to-back games beendecided inthe final 60 seconds. Mike Johnston's 32-yard FG with 0:11 to play beat Miami while Arizona's Max Zendejas drilled one from 48 yards to sink the Irish as time expired. The next week, Johnstonagainconnected, from 25 yards with 0:11 to play for the tie at Oregon. The 1982 season-ending USC game featured Michael Harper's one-yard TD plunge with 0:48 left onthe clock, with the ball squirting free as Harper crossed the goal line for a controversial clinching score (the Irish recovered but the play was ruled a TD).
  • Prior to 1982, Notre Dame played three Pac-10 schools in1963 (winning 17-14 vs. USC and 27-12 vs. UCLA before losing 24-14 at Stanford) and 1964 (winning 24-0 vs. UCLA and 28-6 vs. Stanford before losing 20-17 at USC).
  • Notre Dame also will face Arizona State (Oct. 9), USC (Oct. 16) and Stanford (Nov. 27) in1999.

    IRISH HOPE TO EXTEND FIRST-START MAGIC
    Notre Dame junior QB Eric Chappell or freshman QB Arnaz Battle will be making his first career start this week at USC. Should the Irish winthat game, it would mark the 10th straight Notre Dame victory inwhich anIrish quarterback made his first career start. That group includes current Irish senior Jarious Jackson('98), Tom Krug ('95), RonPowlus ('94), KevinMcDougal ('93), Paul Failla ('91), Rick Mirer ('90), Kent Graham ('87), Tony Rice ('87) and Terry andrysiak ('85). A list of the last nine starting debut games by Notre Dame quarterbacks is included below.

  • Jarious Jackson, senior (Notre Dame vs. #5 Michigan, 9/5/98; 1st game of season) W, 36-20 ... 4-of-10, 96 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT ... 16 rushes for 62 yards
  • Tom Krug, junior (#8 Notre Dame at Air Force, 11/18/95; 11th game of season) W, 44-14 ... 8-of-13, 0 TD, 1 INT ... 3 rushes for 13 yards Started due to Ron Powlus' collarbone injury, inprevious week versus Navy
  • Ron Powlus, sophomore (#3 Notre Dame at Northwestern, 9/3/94; 1st game of season) W, 42-15 ... 18-of-24, 291 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT ... 2 rushes for 6 yards
  • Kevin McDougal, senior (#7 Notre Dame vs. Northwestern, 9/4/93; 1st game of season) W, 27-12 ... 6-of-8, 135 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT ... 5 rushes for -16 yards
  • Paul Failla, freshman(#8 Notre Dame at Purdue, 9/2891; 4th game of season) W, 45-20 ... 1-of-1, 10 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT ... 2 rushes for 11 yards Started inplace of Rick 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 (#1 Notre Dame vs. #4 Michigan, 9/15/90; 1st game of season) W, 28-24 ... 14-of-23, 165 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT ... 10 rushes for 12 yards, 1 TD
  • Kent Graham, freshman(#9 Notre Dame vs. BostonCollege, 11/7/87; 8th game of season) W, 32-25 ... 6-of-8, 11 yards, 1 INT ... 3 rushes for 7 yards
  • Tony Rice, sophomore (#11 Notre Dame at Air Force, 10/17/87; 5th game of season) W, 35-14 ... 1-of-5, 10 yards, 1 INT ... 9 rushes for 70 yards, 2 TD Played due to Terry andrysiak's brokencollarbone injury, inprevious game at Pittsburgh
  • Terry andrysiak, sophomore (vs. Mississippi, 11/9/85; 8th game of season) W, 37-14 ... 4-of-8, 60 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT ... 2 rushes for -7 yards

    IRISH QUARTERBACKS HAVE RISEN TO THE CHALLENGE BEFORE
    History is onthe side of Notre Dame, which has seen several quarterbacks inrecent years fill inadmirably for aninjured starter.

  • On Nov. 4, 1995, Ron Powlus suffered a third-quarter collarbone injury with the Irish trailing Navy 17-14. Fellow junior Tom Krug thencome onand led the Irish to a 35-17 victory, with a pair of third-quarter TD passes to Derrick Mayes (42 and 3 yards). Krug's clutch performances including 5-of-8 passing for 90 yards and no interceptions, with Autry Denson's 24-yard TD runicing the game inthe fourth quarter.
  • Krug drew his first career start inthe next game, two weeks later at Air Force, and led the Irish to a 44-14 win(8-of-13 passing for 96 yards and one INT).
  • When Terry Hanratty went down with an early shoulder injury inthe famous 1966 tie with MichiganState (10-10), his fellow sophomore Coley O'Briencame onto lead the Irish offense (he had completed 14 of 32 passes, with three INTs, inthe first eight games). One week later, onNov. 26, O'Briendrew his first career start led the No. 1 Irish to a decisive 51-0 victory at No. 10 USC that crowned Notre Dame's national championship season. O'Brien, named "back of the game", completed 21-of-31 passes for 255 yards and three TDs inNotre Dame's most lopsided victory inthe history of the USC series.
  • Second-year Irish offfensive coordinator Jim Colletto was a graduate assistant at UCLA whena similar scenario unfolded prior to a 1966 game vs. USC. Starting QB Gary Beban-who would go onto winthe 1967 HeismanTrophy-broke his leg during a 10-0 winover Stanford, thrusting 21-year-old senior NormanDow into the spotlight for his first career start the next week at USC. Dow, who had completed 10-of-14 passes prior to the USC game and was the holder for PATs, was voted "back of the game" after leading the No. 8 Bruins to a 14-7 winover the No. 7 Trojans. Dow completed 2-of-8 passes for 30 yards inthe game and accounted for 82 of UCLA's 229 rushing yards (on19 carries).

    DAVIE RANKS AMONG TOP SECOND-YEAR IRISH COACHES

  • Bob Davie's .900 winning percentage (9-1-0) in1998 ranks among the top winning percentages by a second-year Notre Dame head coach. The 1998 Irish could finish with a .917 winning percentage with two more wins (11-1), an.833 mark by winning one of the final two games (10-2) and a .750 percentage if they lose the last two games (9-3).
  • Top seasonwinning percentages by second-year Irish coaches include: Knute Rockne (1.000, 9-0-0, 1919), Elmer Layden(.833, 7-1-1, 1935), Terry Brennan(.800, 8-2-0, 1955) and Hunk anderson(7-2-0, .778, 1932). Other second-year coaching marks: Jesse Harper (.750, 6-2-0, 1914) Ara Parseghian(.750, 7-2-1, 1965), DanDevine (.750, 9-3-0, 1976), Frank Leahy (.727, 7-2-2, 1942), Lou Holtz (.667, 8-4-0, 1987), Gerry Faust (.591, 6-4-1, 1982) and Joe Kuharich (.200, 2-8-0, 1960).

    LIVING ON THE EDGE

  • Over the past two seasons, Notre Dame is 8-2 ingames that have beendecided by a touchdownor less, with the losses coming to No. 6 Michigan(21-14) and USC (20-17) during the 1997 season. The Irish also posted close wins over Georgia Tech (17-13), Navy (21-17), No. 22 West Virginia (21-14) and Hawaii (23-22) during the '97 seasonbefore beating Purdue (31-30) and Army (20-17) onlate field goals this season, turning ina goalline stand to hold off Boston College (31-26) and rallying to beat LSU (39-36). Included inthose 10 games is a 7-1 mark for the Irish ingames decided by 1-5 points.

  • The Irish stand 9-1 in'98 based mainly ontheir ability to winthe close games this fall:
    Michigan- came back to win36-20 after trailing 13-6 at the half.
    Purdue - used two Tony Driver interceptions inthe last two minutes and Jim Sanson's game-winning field goal with 57 seconds left for a 31-30 win.
    Army - needed a career-long 48-yard field goal from Sansonwith 1:06 left.
    Boston College - thrwarted Eagles onfour rushes from inside the five inthe final 2 minutes of the game to hold onto 31-26 win.
    LSU - Jarious Jackson's 10-yard pass to Raki Nelsonwith 1:27 left to play provides the final margin(39-36).

  • Notre Dame's four wins (and no losses) in1998 by a touchdownor less are tied for the third-most inIrish history, trailing only a pair of Elmer-Laydencoached teams among best records for games decided by 0-7 points: the 1939 Irish squad (6-1-0) and the 1937 team (5-1-1). Other Irish teams to winfour close games ina seasoninclude (record indicates games decided by 0-7 points): 1997 (4-2-0), 1990 (4-3-0), 1974 (4-0-0), 1940 (4-1-0) and 1929 (4-0-0).

  • Knute Rockne owns the best career winning percentage among Notre Dame coaches ingames decided by sevenor fewer points, at 21-1-5 (.870). Among Irish coaches with 10-plus such games, Bob Davie ranks second behind Rockne at 8-2-0 (.800), followed by Terry Brennan(10-3-0/.769), Elmer Layden(22-7-3, .734), Frank Leahy (17-5-8, .700), Ara Parseghian(13-6-4/.652), DanDevine (15-9-1/.620) and Lou Holtz (20-18-2/.525). Holtz's first seasonsaw the Irish go just 1-5-0 ingames decided by a touchdownor less.

    CONSISTENCY BREEDS SUCCESS

    HALF AND HALF
    Notre Dame has erased memories of third-quarter offensive futility in1997 (whenthe Irish scored 27 total points) and first-half struggles early in'98 (outscored 38-6 inthe first three games). The Irish have totaled 133 first-half points and 166 second-half points this season, including 94 inthe crucial third quarter. Despite a rough first-quarter start to the season, Notre Dame holds a 61-58 first-quarter scoring edge through the first 10 games.

    SCORING STREAK STILL GOING
    The Irish have scored points inevery quarter of their last six games (24 quarters), after failing to score inthe fourth quarter vs. Stanford. The last time Notre Dame scored inat least 20 consecutive quarters was during the 1990 season, whenthe Irish scored inevery quarter vs. Air Force, Miami, Pittsburgh, Navy and Tennessee before scoring inthe first two quarters versus PennState (22 straight overall). The current 24-quarter scoring streak is longest at Notre Dame inat least the last 30 seasons (records had beenchecked back to the 1969 seasonas of Nov. 23).

    QUARTERLY BALANCE
    Notre Dame's highest and lowest-scoring quarters are separated by just 33 points (3.3/gm), as the team has totaled 94 points inthe third and 61 inthe first (plus 73 inthe second, 2 inthe fourth).

    THIRD-QUARTER TURNAROUND
    Notre Dame's third-quarter bugaboo during the 1997 season(outscored 64-27; Irish avg. of 2.1 third-quarter points per game) is a distant memory, as the Irish offense has averaged 9.4 points inthe third quarter this season(94 points overall, with 16 scored by the opposition). The Irish defense has shut out eight teams inthe third quarter, including six straight before allowing LSU a pair of TDs (Purdue managed a field goal vs. the Irish).

    BALANCED YARDAGE
    Notre Dame averaged 157.7 net offensive yards inthe first half (473 total) of the first three games, compared to 202.7 inthe second half (608 total). After tacking onthe last sevengames, the overall numbers now show virtually the same net yardage inthe second half for the Irish (1,956 yards) as inthe first (2,032).

    TAKING BACK HOME FIELD

  • After sporting a home record of just 17-7 during the 1994-97 seasons, Notre Dame in'98 surged to its first 6-0 home record for the first time since the 1988 team wonall sevenof its games.
  • The Irish ended the 1997 seasonwith home wins over BostonCollege, Navy and No. 22 West Virginia, yielding a current nine-game home winning streak, longest by anIrish team since a 19-game runat home from Sept. 19, 1987 to Sept. 29, 1990.
  • Notre Dame has posted its first unbeatenseasonat home since the 1989 team went 5-0. The winover LSU also gave the Irish just their second unbeatenhome seasonwith six-plus wins (the 1988 national championship team was 7-0 at home).
  • The longest home winning streak at Notre Dame Stadium is 28 games, from Nov. 21, 1942 to Sept. 30, 1950. The program's longest all-time home winning streak is 40 games, from Nov. 9, 1907 to Nov. 17, 1917 (Notre Dame Stadium opened in1930).

    IRISH NEAR-PERFECT IN THE RED ZONE

  • Notre Dame's 9-1 start has received a big boost from consistency inconverting solid scoring chances. The Irish have come away with points in37 of 40 trips into "red zone" territory (92.5 percent)-including touchdowns on70 percent of the chances-while opponents have posted points onjust 68 percent of their chances (less thanhalf of the opposing red-zone chances, 18 of 38, have produced TDs).
  • The Irish have converted 24 percent more of their red-zone chances thantheir 1998 opponents (.925-.684) while totaling 63 more red-zone points thanthe opponents (195-132).
  • By comparison, Notre Dame's 2-5 start in1997 featured a 70 percent success rate inthe red zone for the Irish (16-of-23, 12 TDs) and 78 percent for the opposition(21-of-27, 16 TDs).
  • The only missed red-zone chances for the Irish in1998 have come ona bad-snap field goal try vs. Army, a failed fourth-and-one runby Autry Densonvs. Baylor and Jim Sanson's 27-yard field goal try that went wide left vs. LSU.
  • Here's a look at how Notre Dame and its opponents have fared inthe red zone (inside the opponent's 20-yard line) so far in1998:
        NOTRE DAME
    	Category    OPPONENTS
        40  Chances     38      
        9   Passing TDs 11  
        19  Rushing TDs 7 
        28  Total TDs   18
        .700 (28/40)    TD Pct. .474 (18/38)
    
        9   FGs Made    8 
        1   FGs Missed  4
        0   FGs Blocked 1 
        195 Total Points (TD-6, FG-3)   132
        .925 (37/40)    Scoring Pct.    .684 (26/38)
    
        0  Turnovers    2
        5  Penalties    4
        2 (1 on bad FG snap)  Failed Fourth Down Attempts 5
        0  Opponent Returnfor TD  2
    1998 Red Zone GAME-BY-GAME Breakdown
    Notre Dame   (37-of-40 ... 9 passing TDs, 19 rushing TDs, 9 FGs)
    Michigan     6-of-6  FG (32), FG (27), FG (32), TD (O'Leary, 4), TD (Denson, 3), TD (Denson, 1)
    Michigan St. 3-of-3  FG (32), TD (Denson, 2), TD (Levy, 3)
    Purdue       5-of-5  TD (Denson, 14), TD (Holloway, 10), TD (Denson, 5), TD (Holloway, 17), FG (17)
    Stanford     4-of-4  TD (Denson, 2), TD (Spencer, 6), TD (Jackson, 7), TD (Jackson, 5) 
    Arizona St.  3-of-3  TD (Johnson, 7), TD (Denson, 1), TD (Denson, 1)
    Army         1-of-2  TD (Denson, 4), Failed 4th Down(Bad FG Snap)
    Baylor       3-of-4  FG (32), TD (Denson, 2), Failed 4th Down(Denson), FG (21)
    Boston Coll. 5-of-5  TD (Denson, 1), TD (Getherall, 28), FG (Sanson, 31), TD (Johnson, 8), TD (Denson, 2)
    Navy         4-of-4  TD (Denson, 8), TD (Denson, 18), TD (Johnson, 16), FG (Sanson, 37)
    LSU          3-of-4  Missed FG (27), TD (Denson, 3), TD (Johnson, 8), TD (Nelson, 10)    
    

    Opponent (26-of-38 ... 11 passing TDs, 7 rushing TDs, 8 FGs) Michigan 4-of-7 FG (Baker, 36), missed FG (Baker, 33), FG (Feely, 21), TD (Brady, 1), Blocked FG (Feely, 23), missed FG (Feely, 46), TD (Tuman, 8) MichiganSt. 4-of-6 TD (Scott, 16), TD (Irvin, 3), TD (McFadden, 17), Failed 4th Down(Burke), Opp. Returnfor TD (Cooper), FG (37) Purdue 4-of-4 TD (Lane, 13), TD (Brees, 2), FG (37), TD (I. Jones, 16) Stanford 3-of-6 FG (25), Failed 4th Down(Wire), Failed 4th Down(Husak), Failed 4th Down(Husak), TD (Stewart, 5), TD (Fasani, 1) Arizona St. 2-of-3 FG (22), missed FG (38), TD (Redmond, 1) Army 2-of-2 TD (B. Williams, 3), TD (Stucker, 19) Baylor 1-of-1 FG (18) BostonColl. 4-of-5 TD (Cloud, 11), TD (DiCosmo, 23), FG (Matich), TD (DiCosmo, 6), Failed 4th Down(Cloud) Navy 0-of-0 LSU 2-of-4 TD (Faulk, 1), TD (Booty, 18), Opp. returnfor TD (Howard), missed FG (Boyd, 42)

    TURNING OVER A NEW LEAF
  • Notre Dame is tied for ninth inthe nationwith a +1.00 turnover ratio. Just five DivisionI-A squads have fewer turnovers thanthe Irish's 13: Syracuse (9), Wisconsin(9), Miami, Ohio (10), Tulane (11) and Air Force (12).
  • Since a three-turnover game at MichiganState inits only loss of the season, Notre Dame has just nine giveaways inthe last eight games. The Irish have posted no turnovers twice this season(vs. Purdue and Arizona State) and one turnover infour other games (vs. Michigan, Army, BC and Navy). The Irish totaled two giveaways vs. Stanford, Baylor and LSU.

    THEY SHALL RETURN

  • During the past 13 seasons (1986-98), Notre Dame has produced 47 touchdowns (with those TDs coming over the course of 41 games) via kickoff, punt and interceptionreturns-including the A'Jani Sanders interceptionat Arizona State and Bobbie Howard's INT vs. LSU-compared to eight total returns by the oppositioninthat 13-year stretch.
  • Since the start of the 1986 season, the Irish have produced their most returns versus Pittsburgh (seven), followed by four each versus Air Force, Michigan, MichiganState and Purdue. The 47 returns have come versus 20 teams, including three versus Miami and Navy, two versus Hawaii, Rice, Texas and LSU, and one each versus Arizona State, BostonCollege, Indiana, Northwestern, Rutgers, SMU, Stanford, Tennessee, USC and Washington.
  • The 47 returns have come from 26 players: nine by AllenRossum (anNCAA record), six by Raghib Ismail, five by Tim Brown, three by Ricky Watters, two each by Pat Terrell and Clint Johnson, one each by Corny Southall, Michael Stonebreaker, StanSmagala, Jeff Alm, Ned Bolcar, Todd Lyght, Demetrius Dubose, Tom Carter, Lee Becton, Pete Bercich, Mike Miller, Jeff Burris, Bobby Taylor, AltonMaiden, Emmett Mosley, Autry Denson, Joey Goodspeed, Jarious Jackson, A'Jani Sanders and Bobbie Howard.

    THE LONG MARCHES
    Notre Dame has produced numerous long scoring drives during '98. After throwing out the team's 11 touchdowns scored after turnovers inthe opponent's territory or long returns, Notre Dame has traversed anaverage of 72.2 yards onits 29 conventional TD drives through the first 10 games. Those drives have averaged 8 plays while including 10 drives of 80-plus yards. Here's the breakdown:

  • Michigan: 52 yards on9 plays, 71 yards on13 plays.
  • MichiganState: 80 yards on10 plays.
  • Purdue: 72 yards on13 plays, 86 yards on13 plays, 56 yards on2 plays, 80 yards on12 plays.
  • Stanford: 65 yards on8 plays, 60 yards on4 plays, 60 yards on5 plays, 99 yards on15 plays.
  • Arizona State: 87 yards on11 plays, 80 yards on12 plays, 81 yards on4 plays.
  • Army: 58 yards on6 plays, 73 yards on8 plays.
  • Baylor: 82 yards on10 plays, 68 yards on3 plays, 71 yards on2 plays.
  • BostonCollege: 69 yards on11 plays, 64 yards on6 plays, 83 yards on7 plays.
  • Navy: 63 yards on13 plays, 77 yards on12 plays, 62 yards on7 plays.
  • LSU: 82 yards on6 plays, 65 yards on6 plays, 78 yards on8 plays, 75 yards on12 plays.

    BIG PLAY IRISH
    Notre Dame's "big play" marginhas improved significantly (+22 inlast five games). Here's where the Irish and their opponents stand, based onruns of 12 yards or more and passes of 16-plus yards:

    Game           Big Plays               Opponent Big Plays
    Michigan       12 for 224 yards            10
    MichiganState  10 for 291 yards             7
    Purdue         9  for 167 yards             7   
    Stanford       11 for 243 yards             8
    Arizona State  7  for 163 yards             7
    

    First 5 games 49 plays for 1,088 yards 39 plays Army 12 for 224 yards 3 Baylor 10 for 291 yards 6 Boston College 10 for 238 yards 12 Navy 9 for 178 yards 4 LSU 15 for 352 yards 7 Last 5 games 54 plays for 1,284 yards 32 plays

    RECENT IRISH RUSHING HISTORY
    Notre Dame's rushing attack has ranked 20th or better nationally 10 of the last 11 years, with the Irish currently ranking 13th for 1998 (after the Irish ranked just 36th in1997):
    Year    Rushing Average   NCAA Rank   Rushing TDs
    1987    252.1             14th        33
    1988    258.0             11th        30
    1989    287.7             8th         42
    1990    250.3             12th        33
    1991    268.0             5th         31
    1992    280.9             3rd         34
    1993    260.7             6th         36
    1994    215.6             20th        18
    1995    233.5             6th         29
    1996    269.5             8th         34
    1997    174.9             36th        22
    1998    221.5             13th        22
    
    IRISH IN THE NFL
    Notre Dame for the fourth straight seasonin1998 had more of its former players onopening-day rosters inthe National Football League thanany other school. The Irish had 40 former players onthose rosters, followed by Florida State (38), PennState (35) and Tennessee (34). Here's the Irish players who are on1998 NFL rosters:


    BUFFALO BILLS
    OL Dusty Zeigler.
    CAROLINA PANTHERS
    QB Steve Beuerlein, FL Raghib Ismail, RB anthony Johnson, LB KinnonTatum, DB Rod Smith (now with GreenBay).
    CHICAGO BEARS
    CB Tom Carter, DT Jim Flanigan, DT Paul Grasmanis, T andy Heck.
    DETROIT LIONS
    TE Pete Chryplewicz, LB Scott Kowalkowski.
    GREENBAY PACKERS
    SE Derrick Mayes, QB Rick Mirer, DB Pat Terrell.
    INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
    LB Bert Berry, CB Jeff Burris.
    JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
    S Travis Davis, DT Renaldo Wynn.
    KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
    C Tim Grunhard.
    MIAMI DOLPHINS
    C Tim Ruddy, CB ShawnWooden
    MINNESOTA VIKINGS
    LB Pete Bercich.
    NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
    RB Ray Zellars.
    OAKLAND RAIDERS
    WR Tim Brown, TE Derek Brown.
    PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
    CB Bobby Taylor, CB AllenRossum.
    PITTSBURGH STEELERS
    DT Oliver Gibson, FB Jerome Bettis.
    ST. LOUIS RAMS
    CB Todd Lyght.
    SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
    K JohnCarney, G AaronTaylor.
    SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
    TE Irv Smith, DT Bryant Young, DT Junior Bryant, LB anthony Peterson, FB Marc Edwards.
    SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
    RB Ricky Watters.
    TENNESSEE OILERS
    P Craig Hentrich.

    1998 Honors

    OT Mike Rosenthal, sr., 6-7, 300

  • Football News, First Team All-America
  • AthlonYearbook, First Team All-America
  • Bob Griese's College Football Yearbook, Second Team All-America
  • Lindy's, one of top three candidates for Outland Award
  • Lindy's, ranked fourth among offensive tackles
  • The Sporting News, ranked ninth among OTs

    OLB Kory Minor, sr., 6-1, 245

  • Butkus Award Candidate
  • Football News, Second Team All-America
  • Bob Griese's College Football Yearbook, Third Team All-America
  • The Sporting News, ranked third among OLBs
  • Lindy's, ranked fourth among OLBs

    TB Autry Denson, sr., 5-10, 202

  • Doak Walker Award candidate
  • The Sporting News, ranked 12th among RBs
  • Lindy's, ranked 14th among running backs
  • NBC Sports/Chevrolet Notre Dame MVP vs. Michigan(24 rushes, 162 yards, 2 TDs), Purdue (31, 143, 2) and Baylor (24, 189, 1)

    P Hunter Smith, sr., 6-2, 218

  • Bob Griese's College Football Yearbook, Third Team All-America

    CB DeveronHarper, jr., 5-11, 187

  • Lindy's, ranked 10th among cornerbacks

    TE Jabari Holloway, so., 6-3, 254

  • Lindy's, ranked ninth among tight ends

    FB Jamie Spencer, jr., 6-1, 245

  • Lindy's, ranked 10th among fullbacks

    ILB Bobbie Howard, sr., 5-10, 232

  • Butkus Award Candidate

    ILB Jimmy Friday, sr., 6-2, 236

  • Butkus Award Candidate

    FS Deke Cooper, jr., 6-3, 221

  • ABC Sports/Chevrolet Notre Dame MVP vs. MichiganState (14 tackles, 96-yd fumble. return)
  • Compaq National Defensive Play of the Week vs. Boston College (4th-downtackle of Mike Cloud)

    QB Jarious Jackson, sr., 6-0, 220

  • NBC Sports/Chevrolet Notre Dame MVP vs. Stanford (11-of-15 passing for 163 yards; 18 rushes for 100 yards and three TDs) and vs. LSU (13-of-21 passing for 276 yards and 2 TDs; 21 rushes for 80 yards)

    FB Joey Goodspeed, jr., 6-0, 241

  • ABC Sports/Chevrolet Notre Dame MVP at Arizona State (four rushes for 109 yards)

    PK Jim Sanson, jr., 5-9, 189

  • NBC Sports/Chevrolet Notre Dame MVP vs. Army (FGs from 39, 48 yards)

    OFFENSIVE LINE
    Notre Dame returned five lettermento anoffensive line that has allowed just nine sacks while leading the way for anIrish ground game that ranks 13th inthe nationwith 221.5 rushing yards per game (including the most rushing yards allowed by Michigan-280-since 1987) ... senior tri-captainMIKE ROSENTHAL (33 career starts) is inhis third year as a starter (at tackle instead of guard, where he played in'96 and '97) ... senior LUKE PETITGOUT (21 career starts) returned at the other tackle after taking over in'97 whenChris Clevenger's career ended with a back injury ... senior guard JERRY WISNE (25 career starts) suffered a knee injury vs. Navy, with junior MIKE GanDY taking his spot inthe starting lineup vs. LSU ... the other guard is senior TIM RIDDER (started three games in'97 at TE) while junior C JOHnMERanDI is a first-year starter.

    QUARTERBACKS
    Senior QB JARIOUS JACKSON wonhis first start vs. Michigan(4-of-10, 96 yds, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 16 rushes for 62 yds) and added animpressive game vs. Stanford inwhich he became the first Irish QB since '56 to score three TDs ina game (11 of 15 passing for 163 yards, 19 rushes for 100) ... Jacksonalso completed 17 of 31 passes for 270 yards vs. Army (career highs for comp. and att.), completed 10 of 21 for 210 yards and 2 TDs at BC, and completed his first 12 passes vs. Navy ... Jackson's big game vs. LSU (13-of-21 passing, career-high 276 yards, 2 TDs, plus 21 rushes for 80 yards) ended with a knee injury onanintentional safety inthe final seconds ... for the season, Jacksonis 104 of 188 (.553) for 1,740 yards and 174.0 yards/gm (13 TDs, only 6 INTs), plus 113 rushes for 441 yards ... freshmanQB ARNAZ BATTLE (6 rushes for 28 yards, plus a 40-yard completionto Joey Getherall onhis only pass) led the Irish ona 10-play, 80-yard TD drive inthe fourth quarter at MSU (plus 4 rushes, 22 yards) ... Battle also took the final three snaps of the Stanford game and handled eight snaps vs. Baylor (2 rushes, 6 yards) before spraining a shoulder ... junior ERIC CHAPPELL saw his first career quarterback actionvs. Baylor, misfiring onhis only pass inthe final series, and also rannine plays vs. Navy (two rushes for 12 yards).

    RUNNING BACKS
    Senior TB AUTRY DENSON(113.0 yards/gm, 4.9 yards/rush, 15 rushing TDs) is putting the final touches onone of the top rushing careers inNotre Dame history ... Densongained a then-career-high 162 yards on24 carries with a pair of TD runs vs. Michiganand inthe Purdue game moved past Vagas Fergusoninto second onthe Irish career rushing list, thanks to 143 yards ... Denson-who has a rushing TD inevery game this season-posted a new career high vs. Baylor (24 rushes for 189 yards) and became the Irish all-time rushing leader with 107 yards vs. Navy ... sophomore TB DARCEY LEVY (out the last five games with a sprained ankle) backed up Densonearly inthe seasonand scored ona three-yard runat MSU ... freshmanTB TONY FISHER has 18 rushes for 75 yards, including sevenfor 19 vs. Baylor and eight for 29 vs. Navy ... sophomore TONY DRIVER has started the past eight games at SS but also took some snaps at TB late inthe Baylor game (Driver played inthe Irish offensive backfield as a freshman) ... FB is being shared by senior JAMIE SPENCER and junior JOEY GOODSPEED ... Spencer (50 rushes, 242 yards, 4.8/rush, 2 TDs) has started the first 10 games, with 10 rushes for 80 yards vs. Stanford and six for 36 at BC ... Goodspeed (28 rushes, 200 yards, 7.1/rush) had 105 total yards and a 60-yard ramble at ASU ... sophomore FB JASOnMURRAY (6 rushes, 21 yards) has regained his form after anearly-seasonhamstring pull and shoulder injury ... freshmanMIKE McNAIR also has seensome snaps inthe Irish backfield while junior OG MIKE GanDY has beenused at FB inthe Irish "elephant" backfield.

    RECEIVING CORPS
    The Irish returned their main WRs in senior SE MALCOLM JOHNSON(41 catches, 656 yards, 6 TDs) and senior FL BOBBY BROWn(11 catches for 259 yards, including three for 64 vs. Army, two for 73 vs. Baylor with a 66-yard TD, and two for 65 vs. LSU, with a 44-yarder) ... Johnsonhad five catches for 56 yards inthe winover Purdue, sevenfor 113 vs. Stanford, six for 150 at BC (most yards by anIrish player since Derrick Mayes' 163 vs. Air Force in1994), four for 61 yards vs. Navy and four for 62 yards and a TD vs. LSU ... Johnsonis the only Irish receiver inhistory to score a TD insix straight games ... sophomore JOEY GETHERALL (12 catches, 182 yards) started the MSU game at FL and had a 28-yard TD grab at BC ... Getherall also returns punts ... junior SE RAKI NELSOn(10 catches, 209 yards) had two receptions for 68 yards vs. Michigan, including a 35-yard TD, and missed four straight games with anankle sprainbefore returning at BC ... Nelson's four catches for 78 yards vs. LSU included three onthe winning drive: 24 yards on3rd-and-13, 17 yards on2nd and 13 and the 10-yard TD catch and dive on3rd-and-6 ... junior JAY JOHNSOnhas four catches for 69 yards while freshmenDAVID GIVENS and JAVInHUNTER also see playing time .... sophomore starting TE JABARI HOLLOWAY has 15 catches for 262 yards, including a big game vs. Purdue (four catches, 94 yards, two TDs) and three for 71 vs. LSU ... junior DanO'LEARY had a four-yard TD catch vs. Michigan(he started at MSU and ASU as a second TE), a 16-yard catch vs. Stanford and a 12-yard catch at BC.

    BROWN BUSTS OUT

  • After totaling just two catches for 25 yards during the first five games of 1998, senior FL Bobby Brownhas nine catches for 234 yards inthe last five games.
  • Brown-who led the Irish as a junior with 45 receptions for 543 yards and six TDs-is responsible for two of the more memorable passing plays of the 1998 season. Against Army, he took a short pass near the left sideline and broke several tackles onthe 36-yard play before fumbling near the goal line, with fellow senior WR Malcolm Johnsonrecovering inthe end zone. Inthe Baylor game, Browncaught a 21-yard pass from Jarious Jacksonover the middle and thenwona sprint vs. the Bears secondary over the final 45 yards to the right endzone marker.

    DEFENSIVE LINE
    Notre Dame rotates several players up front ... freshman ANTHONY WEAVER (25 total tackles, five for loss, two sacks) started at left end vs. Michigan, with a timely forced fumble ... Weaver did not start vs. Purdue (the Irish used five DBs), but otherwise has beena first-teamer ... junior BRAD WILLIAMS (28 tackles, five for loss, one sack) has beenthe starter at right end ... junior anTWOnJONES (24 tackles, three for loss, one sack) started vs. Michigan, Stanford and ASU at nose guard, while LanCE LEGREE (30 tackles) has the other six starts at NG ... junior B.J. SCOTT (12 tackles, one sack) backs up Williams while Weaver was backed up by senior LAMONT BRYanT during the first six games (Bryant switched to OLB beginning with the Army game).

    LINEBACKERS
    The LB corps is led by senior tri-captainKORY MINOR (missed MSU game with turf toe, 54 tackles, five sacks overall; 11 tackles vs. Baylor, 14 vs. LSU) at one outside positionand seniors BOBBIE HOWARD (tri-captain) and JIMMY FRIDAY onthe inside ... Howard-who had 17 tackles at BC and aninterceptionto set up a short TD drive-leads the '98 team with 109 tackles (six for loss) while Friday-who made the memorable third-down, goalline tackle inthe final minute at BC-is second with 73 (four for loss) ... Howard had an89-yard INT returnfor a TD vs. LSU ... the other outside spot features sophomore GRanT IRONS (31 tackles, one sack) and junior JOE FERRER (26 tackles, two sacks) ... Irons did not play vs. Army, Baylor or BC due to a shoulder injury and did not start vs. Navy, with senior LAMONT BRYanT sliding back from DE to his old LB spot ... Bryant has 45 overall tackles, with his LB stint vs. Army featuring three tackles for loss and his only sack of the year while he had five tackles and a sack vs. Baylor, six tackles at BC and four tackles with two recovered fumbles vs. LSU ... Irons had a sack and recovered fumble vs. Michiganand forced fumbles vs. ASU and Navy ... senior JOE THOMAS, junior RONNIE NICKS and freshmanTYREO HARRISOnprovide depth inside while sophomore anTHONY DENManis available outside (he started vs. Purdue).

    DEFENSIVE BACKFIELD
    Both senior starting safeties had early injuries, with SS BENNY GUILBEAUX (34 tackles) returning vs. Army after three games out due to a tornMCL ... FS A'JanI SanDERS did not play at MSU (ankle sprain) but is fifth onthe team with 51 tackles ... Sanders had 14 tackles inthe winover Michigan, Guilbeaux 13 ... Sanders had a 25-yard INT returnfor a TD at ASU ... taking over at SS has beenconverted sophomore TB TONY DRIVER (he played FS inthe spring and also returns kickoffs in'98) ... Driver's pair of late INTs capped the 31-30 comeback vs. Purdue (he has 58 tackles, fourth most onthe team) ... Driver also recovered a fumble vs. Michigan... experienced junior DEKE COOPER (third onteam with 72 tackles) is also at FS and has started eight of the last nine games ... Cooper's 14 tackles and 96-yard fumble returnfor a TD at MichiganState earned him the ABC/Chevrolet Notre Dame MVP Award (he also had anINT at ASU) while his fourth-downstop of Mike Cloud capped the game-winning, goalline stand at BC... senior TY GOODE (32 tackles) and junior DEVEROnHARPER (42 tackles) opened as the starting CBs, with sophomore BROCK WILLIAMS (38 total tackles, INT at ASU) starting sevengames inplace of Goode, who took the spot of the injured Harper vs. Baylor.

    SPECIAL TEAMS
    Senior HUNTER SMITH is inhis fourth year as the starting punter (41.8-yard avg., including a 79-yarder at ASU) while junior JIM SanSOn(19 of 31 career FGs, 11 of 15 in'98) returns as placekicker ... Sanson(3-of-3 onFG tries vs. Michigan), converted the last-minute chip shot from 17 yards that beat Purdue, a career-best 48-yarder with 1:06 left to beat Army and is 9-of-9 in'98 onkicks from within40 yards (misses from 45 and 48) ... Smith handles kickoff duties ... sophomore TONY DRIVER (avg. of 22.3 yards on23 returns) is No. 1 at kickoff returns while his classmate DARCEY LEVY has averaged 23.3 yards onsevenkick returns, including one for 52 yards at MSU (Levy has missed the last five games with anankle injury) ... their classmate JOEY GETHERALL has returned punts in nine games (9.5 yard avg. on15 returns, including a 68-yarder vs. Navy) while senior TB AUTRY DENSOnreturned four punts for 40 yards vs. Army.

    IRISH USE DEPTH
    Part of Notre Dame's success in'98 is due to the multiple positions inwhich more thanone player is making major contributions:

        SS -  Tony Driver (10 games, 57 tackles, 2 int, 1 QB hurry, 1 fumble recovery)
            Benny Guilbeaux (8 games, 34 tackles, 2 for loss)
        FS -  Deke Cooper (10 games, 72 tackles, two for loss, 1 int, 2 fumble recoveries)
            A'Jani Sanders (9 games, 51 tackles, two for loss, 3 int)
        NG -  Lance Legree (10 games, 30 tackles, 1 for loss, 2 QB hurries)
            antwonJones (9 games, 22 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 sack, 3 QB hurries)
        OLB - Grant Irons (7 games, 31 tackles, 1 for loss, 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery, 2 forced fumbles)
            Lamont Bryant (10 games, 46 tackles, 7 for loss, 3 sacks, 5 QB hurries, 3 fumble recoveries)
        TE -  Jabari Holloway (10 games, 15 rec, 262 yards, 26.2 avg, 2 TD, Long 51)
            DanO'Leary (9 games, 3 rec, 32 yards, 10.7 avg, 1 TD, Long 16)
        FB -  Jamie Spencer (10 games, 50 carries, 242 yds, 4.8 avg, Long 37)
            Joey Goodspeed (10 games, 28 carries, 200 yards, 7.1 avg, Long 60)
            
    PLAYING STREAKS END AND CONTINUE
  • Senior ILB Kory Minor saw his streak of 37 consecutive games played and 35 straight starts end Sept. 12, whenhe did not play at MichiganState due to turf toe. Minor-who returned to the starting lineup Sept. 26 vs. Purdue-had started every previous game except the second game of his freshmanseason('95), at Purdue. Minor has logged 975:30 of playing time inhis 46 career games.
  • Senior SS Benny Guilbeaux-who returned to actioninthe Army game-saw his streak of 32 consecutive games played end Sept. 26 vs. Purdue. He missed three straight games due to a tornMCL suffered at MichiganState onSept. 12.
  • Mike Rosenthal owns the longest Irish active streak for straight starts (24) while two Irish seniors have appeared inall 46 games of their careers: TB Autry Densonand SE Malcolm Johnson. The next longest active streaks for consecutive games played belong to yet another senior OL, Tim Ridder (37), and senior FB Jamie Spencer (34).

    WEAVER MAKES RARE D-LINE START
    Anthony Weaver's start vs. Michiganmarked the first Notre Dame freshmanto start at defensive line since Germaine Holden, onNov. 9, 1991 vs. Tennessee. Weaver became the first Irish freshmanto start anopener at any defensive positionsince Mike Kovaleski opened at weakside LB vs. Purdue onSept. 10, 1983. Weaver became the first Irish freshmanto start a seasonopener onthe defensive line since Ross Browner opened the Sept. 22, 1973 game versus Northwesternat right end.

    THE BUTKUS CANDIDATES

  • Notre Dame boasted three preliminary candidates among 68 overall for the '98 Butkus Award (presented to the nation's outstanding collegiate linebacker by the DowntownAthletic Club of Orlando) inOLB Kory Minor, ILB Bobbie Howard and ILB Jimmy Friday, all seniors. Minor also was a preliminary candidate in'96 and '97. The three Irish candidates for '98 mark the most ever for Notre Dame ina season(the record is four by North Carolina in'97). Kansas State, Florida and Michiganalso had three nominees in'98.
  • Howard leads the team with 109 tackles (six for loss), plus three broken-up passes, a fumble recovery and an89-yard INT returnfor TD vs. LSU. Friday is third onthe team with 73 tackles (five for loss), plus four "QB hurries" and a block of a 40-yard field goal try by Michigan's Jay Feely late inthe third quarter that preserved a 23-13 Irish lead. Minor, who missed the MichiganState game due to turf toe, has totaled 54 tackles (one for loss), plus a forced fumble, five sacks and 12 QB hurries.

    DENSON IN THE IRISH CAREER RECORD BOOK

    RUSHING YARDS 
            Name, Years             TC  Yds.    Avg.TD
        1.  Autry Denson, '95-      835 4272    5.2 43
        2.  AllenPinkett, '82-'85   889 4131    4.6 49
        3.  Vagas Ferguson, '76-'79 673 3472    5.2 32
        4.  Jerome Heavens, '75-'78 590 2682    4.5 15
        5.  Phil Carter, '79-'82    557 2409    4.3 14
        6.  George Gipp, '17-'20    369 2341    6.3 21
        7.  Randy Kinder, '93-'96   404 2295    5.7 18
        8.  Tony Brooks, '87-'91    423 2274    5.4 12
        9.  Emil Sitko, '46-'49     362 2226    6.1 25
        10. Neil Worden, '51-'53    476 2039    4.3 29  
    
    RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS 
    1.  AllenPinkett, 1982-85       49
    2.  Autry Denson, 1995-         43
    3.  Louis (Red) Salmon, 1900-03 36
    4.  anthony Johnson, 1986-89    32
        Vagas Ferguson, 1976-79     32
    6.  Stan Cofall, 1914-16        30
    

    RUSHING ATTEMPTS 1. AllenPinkett, 1982-85 889 2. Autry Denson, 1995- 835 Vagas Ferguson, 1976-79 673

    RUSHING YARDS/GAME 1. Autry Denson, 1995- 97.1 2. AllenPinkett, 1982-85 96.1 3. George Gipp, 1917-20 86.7 4. Vagas Ferguson, 1976-79 84.7

    100-YARD RUSHING GAMES 1. Autry Denson, 1995- 22 2. AllenPinkett, 1982-85 21 3. Vagas Ferguson, 1976-79 13

    TOP ACTIVE DIV. 1 RUSHERS 1. Ricky Williams, Texas 6,020 (1,865 yards in'98; 1 game left)

    2. Denvis Manns, New Mexico St. 4,692 (1,469 yards in'98; no games left)

    3. RonDayne, Wisconsin 4,563 (1,279 yards in'98; no games left)

    4. KevinFaulk, LSU 4,463 (1,185 yards in'98; one game left)

    5. Autry Denson, Notre Dame 4,272 (1,130 yards in'98; 1 game left)

    RUN FOR THE RECORD
    Senior TB Autry Denson(4,272 career yards) ranks second onthe Irish career rushing TD list (43) and surpassed Irish career rushing yard leader AllenPinkett (4,131 yards) inthe Nov. 14 Navy game. Some of Denson's top career efforts have come vs. USC (see p. 4). Denson's 143 yards onSept. 26 vs. Purdue pushed him past Vagas Ferguson(3,472) into second place onthe Irish groundgaining list. Densonalso stands infifth place among NCAA active career rushing leaders. With his 1,268 rushing yards in1996, Densonbecame the sixth player inNotre Dame history to reach the 1,000-yard mark ina seasonand he is onpace for 1,243 yards in'98 (which would rank fifth inIrish history). He is a nominee for the Doak Walker Award, givenannually to the nation's top running back.

    DENSON CRACKS NCAA CAREER TOP 40
    Autry Densonranks 32nd inNCAA career rushing yards (4,272), closely trailing the following former greats: Syracuse's Joe Morris (27 yards), Auburn's Bo Jackson(31), Oklahoma State's David Thompson(46), Miami of Ohio's Deland McCullough (96) and Iowa State's Troy Davis (110). Denson's 80 yards vs. LSU moved him past Army's Mike Mayweather, Texas Tech's ByronHanspard and Cincinnati's Reggie Taylor. Noteworthy players that he recently passed include Florida State's Warrick Dunnand Washington's NapoleanKaufman. Four current rushers-Texas' Ricky Williams (2nd), New Mexico State's Denvis Manns (14th), Wisconsin's RonDayne (20th) and LSU's KevinFaulk (23rd)-rank among the top 25. Denson's seasonaverage (113.0 yards/gm) would net him 4,385 career yards and vault him into 27th, just six yards behind North Carolina's Amos Lawrence (4,391), 58 behind Texas great Earl Campbell (4,443) and 65 behind former SMU star Eric Dickerson(4,450).

    PINKETT'S RECORD AMONG OLDEST In NCAA'S TOP 40
    AllenPinkett's Irish rushing record stood 12-plus seasons, the 13th-oldest at a respective school among the NCAA's top 44 career rushers. George Gipp (1917-20; 2,341 yards) held the record until Jerome Heavens (2,682) claimed the top spot in1978, with Vagas Ferguson(3,472) taking over the record in1979. The oldest school-record holders among the NCAA's top 40 career rushers are Archie Griffin(Ohio State, '75), Tony Dorsett (Pittsburgh, '76), Ted Brown(North Carolina State, '78), Jerome Persell (WesternMichigan, '78) and Charles White (USC, '79). Others that stood longer thanPinkett's did include: Amos Lawrence (North Carolina '80), George Rogers (South Carolina, '80), Joe Morris (Syracuse, '81), Herschel Walker (Georgia, '82), Eric Dickerson(SMU, '82), Mike Rozier (Nebraska, '83) and Curtis Adams (Central Michigan, '84).

    MORE THAN AVERAGE CAREER
    Autry Denson's career rushing average of 97.1 yards per game is onpace to best the Irish record of 96.1 set by AllenPinkett. Densonneeds to rush for at least 52 yards versus USC to claim the Irish career record for rushing yards per game. He also needs 170 yards to joinPinkett, Vagas Fergusonand Reggie Brooks as the only Irish players ever to reach 1,300 rushing yards ina season.

    REACHING FOR MORE
    Autry Denson(1,179/1,268/1,130 from 1996-98) has joined AllenPinkett (1,394/1,105/1,100 from 1983-85) as the only Irish running backs to total three seasons with 1,000-plus yards. Denson's 1,130 yards in1998 earnhim distinctionas the only Notre Dame player ever to eclipse 1,100 yards inthree different seasons. In'97, Densonbecame the third Irish player to record back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, joining Vagas Ferguson('78-'79) and AllenPinkett ('83-'85). Denson's 1,268 yards in'97 marked the fourth-highest total inIrish history while his 1,179 yards in'96 ranks sixth.

    TDs FOR AD
    In addition to ranking second in Irish history with 43 career rushing TDs (to AllenPinkett's 49), Autry Densonhas compiled one of the top rushing TD seasons in1998, with 15. Pinkett ('84) and Vagas Ferguson('79) share the record with 17 rushing TDs ina season. anIrish player has totaled 16 rushing TDs just three times: Bill Downs in1905, Pinkett in'83 and Jerome Bettis in'91.

    HE'S THE MAN
    Autry Denson's 6.79 yards/carry vs. Michiganranks sixth best inhis career (min. 14 rushes) while his 7.88 average vs. Baylor ranks second. Densonhas averaged 6.5-plus yards 10 times inhis career, with the Irish winning each of those games. Those 10 productive games include wins over No. 6 Texas (6.58 yds/rush) and No. 16 Washingtonin'96 (9.79) and No. 5 Michiganin'98 (6.79).

    HELPING THE CAUSE
    Notre Dame is 18-5 when Autry Denson has rushed for 100-plus yards, with a loss at USC in'96 and losses in'97 at Purdue, Stanford, USC and vs. No. 15 LSU inthe Independence. The Irish wonthe first nine 100-yard games of Denson's career and are 9-5 during his last 14. Densonhas rushed for 100-plus yards ineight of his last 13 games. He ended '97 with 125 rushing yards vs. Navy, 92 at LSU, 144 vs. West Virginia, 143 at Hawaii and 101 vs. LSU inthe Independence Bowl and kicked off '98 with a then-career-best 162 yards vs. Michiganbefore totaling 143 yards vs. Purdue. During his last 15 games, Densonhas totaled 1,785 rushing yards for a solid 119.0 yards/gm. His 128 yards at BC represented his 21st career game with 100-plus yards (six in'98) while his 107 yards vs. Navy pushed Densonpast AllenPinkett with anIrish record 22 career games with 100-plus yards. Denson's 143 yards vs. Hawaii onNov. 29, 1997 marked his seventh overall 100-yard effort of '97 (he also had seven100-yard games in'96).

    RUSHING YARDS

            Opponent (Date),          Carries Yards
        1.  Baylor (10/31/98),           24   189
        2.  #5 Michigan(9/5/98),         24   162
        3.  at USC (11/30/96),           33   160
        4.  at #6 Texas (9/21/96),       24   158
        5.  at Boston College (11/9/96), 23   155
        6.  #22 West Virginia (11/22/97),26   144
        7.  Purdue (9/26/98),            31   143
            at Hawaii (11/29/97),        28   143
        9.  #16 Washington(10/12/96),    14   137
        10. USC (10/18/97),              30   133
    

    Rushing ATTEMPTS Opponent (Date) Carries 1. at USC (11/30/96) 33 2. Purdue (9/26/98) 31 3. USC (10/18/97) 30 4. at Boston College (11/7/98) 28 at Hawaii (11/29/97) 28 6. #5 USC (10/21/95) 27 7. #22 West Virginia (11/22/97)26 8. vs. Navy (11/14/98) 25 at #6 Michigan(9/27/97) 25 10. Five times (three in1998) 24

    Rushing YARDS PER ATT. Opponent, Date TC/Yds. Avg. 1. #16 Washington, 10/12/96 14/137 9.79 2. Baylor, 10/31/98 24/189 7.88 3. vs. Navy (Ireland), 11/2/96 16/123 7.69 4. Navy, 11/4/95 16/115 7.19 5. at Air Force, 11/18/95 16/109 6.81 6. #5 Michigan, 9/5/98 24/162 6.79 7. at BostonCollege, 11/9/96 23/155 6.74 at Pittsburgh, 10/11/97 19/128 6.74 9. at #6 Texas, 9/21/96 24/158 6.58 Navy, 11/1/97 19/125 6.58

    LONGEST RUNS Opponent, Date Yards 1. #5 Michigan, 9/5/98 58 2. at Pittsburgh, 10/11/97 50 3. Navy, 11/1/97 48 #8 Florida State, Orange Bowl, 1/1/95 48 5. #16 Washington, 10/12/96 47 6. at Hawaii, 11/29/97 43 7. Rutgers, 11/23/96 38 8. Baylor, 10/31/98 37 9. #22 West Virginia, 11/22/97 36 10. #15 LSU, Ind. Bowl, 12/28/97 35

    ND SEASON RUSHING YARDS Pl. Name, Year TC Yards 1. Vagas Ferguson, 1979 301 1,437 2. AllenPinkett, 1983 252 1,394 3. Reggie Brooks, 1992 167 1,343 4. Autry Denson, 1997 264 1,268 5. Vagas Ferguson, 1978 211 1,192 6. Autry Denson, 1996 202 1,179 7. Autry Denson, 1998 232 1,130 8. AllenPinkett, 1984 275 1,105 9. AllenPinkett, 1985 255 1,100 10. Al Hunter, 1976 233 1,058

    Denson's 1998 pace for 11 games: 1,243

    ND SEASON RUSHING TDs 1. AllenPinkett, 1984 17 Vagas Ferguson, 1979 17 3. Jerome Bettis, 1991 16 AllenPinkett, 1983 16 Bill Downs, 1905 16 6. Autry Denson, 1998 15

    ND SEASON RUSHING ATT. 1. Vagas Ferguson, 1979 301 2. AllenPinkett, 1984 275 3. Autry Denson, 1997 264

    ND SEASON 100-YD RUSH. GMS 1. AllenPinkett, 1983 9 2. Autry Denson, 1997 and 1996 7 Vagas Ferguson, 1979 7 Densonhas six 100-plus yard games in'98

    TOP IRISH Rushing GAMES Player, Opp., Year TC/Yds. Avg. 1. V. Ferguson, Ga. Tech, '78 30/255 8.5 2. Phil Carter, Mich. St., '80 40/254 6.4 3. Reggie Brooks, USC, '92 19/227 11.9 4. Jim Stone, Miami, '80 38/224 5.9 5. Vagas Ferguson, Navy, '78 18/219 12.2 6. AllenPinkett, PSU, '83 36/217 6.0 7. Jim Stone, Navy, '80 33/211 6.4 8. Reggie Brooks, Purdue, '92 15/205 13.6 9. Jerome Havens, Army, '77 34/200 5.9 10. AllenPinkett, Air Force, '83 27/197 7.3 11. Autry Denson, Baylor, '98 24/189 7.9

    GO-TO PLAYER
    Notre Dame is 26-4 whenAutry Densonhas scored a rushing TD during the past four seasons (including every game in'98). The Irish are 4-6 whenhe has not scored a rushing TD inthe past three seasons (he was not the season-long starter in'95). Losses whenDensonhas scored a rushing TD: USC in'96, Purdue and USC in'97 and MichiganState in'98. Denson's 13 games with two rushing TDs all have helped produce Irish win

    ALL-PURPOSE BACK
    Autry Denson's 30 receptions in'97 are the most by anIrish RB back since Bob Gladieux's 37 in'68. Densonalso owns 484 career returnyards (11 kickoffs, 29 punts) while his combined rushing (4,272), receiving (424) and returnyards account for 5,180 career all-purpose yards.

    DENSON HAS MEMORABLE GAMES VS. Michigan, PURDUE

  • Autry Denson's career-best 162 yards versus Michiganinthe 1998 opener were the most rushing yards by a Michiganopposing player in28 games, since PennState's StephenPitts rushed 17 times for 164 yards onNov. 11, 1995. As a team, Notre Dame rolled up the most rushing yards (280) allowed by Michiganin125 games, since Minnesota's 321 rushing yards onNov. 7, 1987.
  • Denson's two TDs vs. Purdue gave him seveninhis career vs. the Boilers, equaling the most inthe 70-game series. Recent Irish FB anthony Johnson('86-'89) also totaled sevencareer TDs vs. Purdue. Densonhad two TDs and a TD catch vs. Purdue in'96 and a TD onthe ground and through the air at Purdue in'97.

    NCAA CAREER RUSHING LEADERS

     
            Name, School,Years Yds.                     Avg.
        1.  Tony Dorsett, Pittsburgh, '73-'76   6,082   5.66
        2.  Ricky Williams, Texas, '95-         6,020   6.29
        3.  Charles White, USC, '76-'79         5,598   5.47
        4.  Herschel Walker, Georgia, '80-'82   5,259   5.29
        5.  Archie Griffin, Ohio State, '72-'75 5,177   6.13
        6.  DarrenLewis, Texas A&M, '87-'90     5,012   5.51
        7.  anthony Thompson, Indiana, '86-'89  4,965   4.56
        8.  George Rogers, S. Carolina, '77-'80 4,958   5.50
        9.  Trevor Cobb, Rice, '89-'92          4,948   4.54
        10. Paul Palmer, Temple, '83-'86        4,895   5.16
        11. Steve Bartalo, Colorado St., '83-'86 4,813  3.96
        12. Mike Rozier, Nebraska, '81-'83      4,780   7.16
        13. Ed Marinaro, Cornell, '69-'71       4,715   5.14
        14. Denvis Manns, NM State, '95-        4,692   5.28
        15. Marcus Allen, USC, '78-'81          4,682   5.24
        16. Ted Brown, N.C. State, '75-'78      4,602   5.35
        17. Thurman Thomas, Okla. St., '84-'87  4,595   5.12
        18. Marshall Faulk, SD St., '91-'93     4,589   5.99
        19. Terry Miller, Oklahoma St., '74-'77 4,582   5.41
        20. Ron Dayne, Wisconsin, '96-          4,563   5.62
        21. Darrell Thompson, Minn., '86-'89    4,518   4.96
        22. Lorenzo White, Mich. St., '84-'87   4,513   4.55
        23. KevinFaulk, LSU, '95-               4,463   5.35
        24. Eric Dickerson, SMU, '79-'82        4,450   5.63
        25. Earl Campbell, Texas, '74'-77       4,443   5.81
        26. Amos Lawrence, No. Caro., '77-'80   4,391   4.98
        27. Troy Davis, Iowa State, '94-'96     4,382   5.60
        28. Deland McCullough, Miami,'92-'95    4,368   4.60
        29. David Thompson, Okla. St., '93-'96  4,318   5.10
        30. Bo Jackson, Auburn, '82-'85         4,303   6.62
        31. Joe Morris, Syracuse, '78'-81       4,299   5.29
        32. Autry Denson, Notre Dame, '95-      4,272   5.12
        33. Reggie Taylor, Cincinnati, '83-'86  4,242   4.48
        34. Byron Hanspard, TX Tech, '94-'96    4,219   5.55
        35. Mike Mayweather, Army, '87-'90      4,212   5.06
        36. Jerome Persell, W. Mich., '76-'78   4,190   4.98
        37. NapoleanMcCallum, Navy, '81-'85     4,179   4.60
        38. Tico Duckett, Mich. St., '89-'92    4,176   5.07
        39. George Swarn, Miami (OH), '83-'86   4,172   4.74
        40. Erric Rhett, Florida, '89-'93       4,163   4.77
        41. Curtis Adams, C. Mich., '81-'84     4,162   5.47
        42. Allen Pinkett, Notre Dame, '82-'85  4,131   4.65
        43. Robert Holcombe, Illinois, '94-'97  4,105   4.35
        44. James Gray, Texas Tech, '86-'89     4,066   5.48
        45. Robert Lavette, Ga. Tech, '81-'84   4,066   4.35
        46. Stump Mitchell, Citadel, '77-'80    4,062   5.48
        47. Dalton Hillard, LSU, '82-'85        4,050   4.59
        48. Napolean Kaufman, Wash., '91-'4     4,041   5.69
        49. Charles Alexander, LSU, '75-'78     4,035   4.72
        50. Darrin Nelson, Stanford, '77-'81    4,033   5.74
     

    JARIOUS JACKSON NOTES

    AN EFFICIENT SEASON
    Due inpart to a solid TD-to-interceptionratio (13/6), Irish senior Jarious Jacksonranks 14th inthe nationwith a 149.50 passing efficiency rating-ranking second among Irish QBs during the 1990s (behind KevinMcDougal's 151.29 in'93) and marking the eighth time inthe last nine seasons that anIrish QB has finished inthe NCAA top 20. Rick Mirer ranked eighth in1990 (149.21), 10th in'91 (138/8) and 14th in'92 (134.65) while McDougal was 12th in'93. The previous four seasons saw RonPowlus rank 20th in1994 (139.18), 16th in'95 (140.67), 17th in'96 (141.26) and outside the top 50 in'97 (124.92).

    BY THE DOZEN
    Senior QB Jarious Jacksoncompleted his first 12 passes vs. Navy for 159 yards and one TD, marking the second-longest string of consecutive pass completions inNotre Dame history (RonPowlus completed 14 straight vs. MichiganState in1997).

    BIG FIRST HALF
    Senior QB Jarious Jacksonhelped the Irish overcome their early-season, first-half sluggishness by turning inanimpressive effort vs. Stanford, resulting ina 28-3 halftime lead. Jacksoncompleted six of eight first-half passes for 71 yards while rushing 18 times overall for touchdowns of 22, sevenand five yards.

    RARE TRIFECTA FOR IRISH QB
    Jarious Jackson's three rushing TDs vs. Stanford were most by a Notre Dame QB in32 seasons, since Paul Hornung ranfor three TDs (and kicked the extra points) ina 21-14 victory over North Carolina onNov. 17, 1956.

    HITTING THE CENTURY MARK
    Jarious Jackson's 100-yard rushing day versus Stanford represented the most yards onthe ground by anIrish signalcaller since Tony Rice ran26 times for 141 yards and two TDs, versus PennState onNov. 18, 1989.

    TOUGHEST TEST
    Jarious Jacksonwas just the fourth Irish signalcaller inthe last 24 seasons to face a ranked opponent inhis first start and the first to face a team ranked higher thanthe Irish. He also became the first Notre Dame quarterback to make his debut start vs. a defending national champion. Infact, the Irish opened the seasonversus a defending AP poll champ just once previously-a 19-9 winfor the No. 3-ranked 1977 squad over No. 7 Pittsburgh. He is just the fourth Notre Dame QB since '75 to start his first career game with the Irish as a senior, with the most recent being KevinMcDougal in'93.

    ROSENTHAL KEEPS PUNCHING THE CLOCK
    Senior OL and team captainMike Rosenthal has logged 277-plus minutes of playing time this season, giving him 885-plus career minutes of playing time. Rosenthal-who has played in39 career games, including 24 straight starts-has totaled the fourth-most career minutes of any offensive linemanwho has played for the Irish during the Lou Holtz and Bob Davie eras (with totals including players' stats from the seasons prior to Holtz's arrival). Rosenthal recently passed the following players onthat list: former teammate Chris Clevenger (748, 1994-97), RyanLeahy (753, 1992-95), JustinHall (757, 1988-92) and Tim Ryan(770, 1987-90) and last week passed former Irish center Mike Heldt's career time (875:06). Rosenthal heads into his final regular-seasongame (bowl game times don't count to career totals) just 18:01 behind former All-AmericanAaronTaylor's career minutes played total (903:08). The top two spots onthat list are occupied by linemenwho were fifth-year seniors onthe 1997 squad: Mike Doughty (1,048) and Rick Kacenski (937).

    NOTRE DAME OFFENSIVE LINEMEN PLAYING TIME (in Holtz/Davie eras)

        1.  Mike Doughty    1994-97 1,048:29 
        2.  Rick Kacenski   1994-97 937:09 
        3.  AaronTaylor     1990-93 903:08
        4.  Mike Rosenthal  1995-   885:07
        5.  Mike Heldt      1987-90 875:06 
        
    HOLLOWAY DOES IT HIS WAY
  • Sophomore TE Jabari Holloway collected four pass receptions for 94 yards and two touchdowns inthe 31-30 winover Purdue, including a 17-yard catch ona slant patternover the middle that cut Purdue's lead to 30-28 with 3:36 left inthe fourth quarter.
  • Holloway's 94 receiving yards were most by a Notre Dame tight end in110 games, since the Sept. 30, 1989 game at Purdue whenDerek Brownlatched onto four Tony Rice passes for 101 yards. Brown's big day included catches of 27, 23, 38 and 13 yards but no TDs ina 40-7 win
  • Holloway's two TDs were most by anIrish TE in22 games, since Pete Chryplewicz caught two passes for scores inthe 54-20 winover Washingtonat Notre Dame Stadium onOct. 12, 1996.
  • Holloway's noteworthy day included: a 16-yard catch onplay actionfollowed moments later by a 10-yard score ona slant play, both midway through the second quarter; a 21-yard catch and 30-yard ramble (51 total yards) downthe right sideline early inthe third quarter, ending at the Purdue five-yard line; and the 17-yard, fourth-quarter TD catch.

    THE 1998 NCAA STATS Updated '98 NCAA stat rankings for Notre Dame and USC (top 50 for team ranks):

    Team Rankings           Notre Dame      USC  
    Rushing Offense         13th at 221.5   140.5  
    Passing Offense         177.5           50th at 213.9 
    Total Offense           34th at 399.00  354.36           
    Scoring Offense         35th at 30.0    t40th at 28.8 
    Rushing Defense, yards  45th at 143.4   46th at 144.2   
    Passing Eff. Defense    124.3 rating pts 5th at 92.6 rating pts (195.8  yds) 
    Total Defense           49th at 350.5   38th at 340.0 
    Scoring Defense         32nd at 20.3    26th at 19.4  
    Net Punting             17th at 38.5    33.4    
    Punt Returns            48th at 9.6     t33rd at 11.1 
    Kickoff Returns         20.0            20th at 22.9 
    Turnover Margin         9th at +1.00    t20th at +0.73  
    

    Individual Rankings Notre Dame USC Rushing Autry Denson Chad Morton 14th at 113.00 40th at 93.22 Passing Efficiency Jarious Jackson CarsonPalmer 14th at 149.5 rating points 42nd at 125.1 rating points All-Purpose Yardage Autry Denson Chad Morton 47th at 124.30 50th at 123.00 Total Offense Jarious Jackson 30th at 218.10 Scoring Autry Denson t15th at 9.00 Interceptions Chris Claiborne t18th at 0.45 Kickoff Returns R. Jay Soward 50th at 22.46 Punt Returns Joey Getherall 46th at 9.53 Punting Hunter Smith 33rd at 41.77 Field Goals Jim Sanson Adam Abrams 41st at 1.10 t36th at 1.18

    Smith Moving Up
    Here's where senior Hunter Smith stands onthe Irish career punting chart:
    Rank    Name, Year(s)               No. Yards   Avg.
        1.  Craig Hentrich, 1989-92     118 5204    44.10
        2.  Hunter Smith, 1995-98       167 6882    41.21
        3.  Vince Phelan, 1987          50  2044    40.90
        4.  Bill Shakespeare, 1933-35   91  3705    40.71
        5.  Blair Kiel, 1980-83         259 10534   40.67
    
    Smith's 43.3 yard average in1996 ranks fifth onthe Irish seasonlist (Craig Hentrich holds the record, 44.9 in1990). Smith's 79-yard punt at Arizona State is longest by a Notre Dame player since 1935 and third-longest inIrish history. Smith ranks third onthe Irish career punts list (167), behind Blair Kiel (259; 1980-83) and Joe Restic (209, '75-'78).

    LOTS OF OPTIONS
    Four Irish players have rushed for 80-plus yards ina game during the past sevenoutings: senior TB Autry Denson(six times), senior QB Jarious Jackson(100 vs. Stanford, 80 vs. LSU), junior FB Jamie Spencer (80 vs. Stanford) and junior FB Joey Goodspeed (109 at ASU).

    RECENT WINS ARE MEMORABLE ONES FOR IRISH
    Notre Dame owns a record of 15-3 inits last 18 games, with the last 12 victories including four wins inwhich the winning points were scored inthe final two minutes, one with a game-winning goalline stand and three other victories that came vs. ranked opponents:

  • OnNov. 29, 1997, RonPowlus hooked up with Raki Nelsonona third-and-17 play from the Notre Dame 44-yard line, with that 47-yard completionplacing the ball at the Hawaii eight-yard line. Scott Cengia thenknocked home a 20-yard field goal with 0:05 left onthe clock for a 23-22 Irish win.
  • Inthis season's 31-30 winover Purdue, Tony Driver's 37-yard interceptionreturnto the Purdue five-yard line set up Jim Sanson's winning 17-yard field goal with 0:57 left inthe fourth quarter.
  • The Oct. 24 winover Army (20-17) saw Jim Sansonboot a career-best, 48-yard field goal that provided the winning marginwith 1:06 left to play.
  • The 31-26 winat Boston College onNov. 7 was sealed whenNotre Dame stopped four straight BC rushes (from the 4, 2, 1 and 1 yard lines) inthe game's final minute.
  • Last week's 39-36 winover LSU saw the winning points scored with 1:27 left, ona six-yard pass from Jarious Jacksonto Raki Nelson.
  • Three other recent Irish wins have come at No. 11 LSU onNov. 15, 1997 (24-6), at home versus No. 22 West Virginia (21-14) onthe following Saturday, and the 36-20 winover No. 5 MichiganonSept. 5, 1998. The winover West Virginia also featured a late game-winning score, whena five-yard pass from Powlus to Bobby Brownbroke the 14-14 tie with 4:56 left to play.

    IRISH HAVE FARED WELL AFTER RECENT OFF WEEKS
    Since 1984, Notre Dame is 15-2 inregular-seasongames following a bye week, including the 1998 last-minute wins over Purdue (31-30) and Army (20-17) and sevenmemorable wins over ranked teams: 24-10 over No. 19 Army in1985, 24-19 at No. 1 Michiganin'89, 31-23 at No. 19 USC in'92, 31-24 over No. 1 Florida State in'93, 54-20 over No. 16 Washingtonin'96 and 24-6 at No. 11 LSU in'97. The two recent losses after off weeks were 30-22 at Pittsburgh in1987 (the Irish were ranked No. 4 that week) and 23-16 versus No. 8 Florida State at the Citrus Bowl in1994 (the Irish were unranked for that game).

    FOOTBALL BANQUET
    The annual Notre Dame football banquet will be held Friday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. at the Joyce Center Fieldhouse.

    SERIES OPENER SUCCESS

    Following the 28-9 winat Arizona State onOct. 10, Notre Dame has wonsevenstraight series openers by anaverage marginof 20 points. Since 1950, the Irish are 20-2 inregular-seasonseries openers while Notre Dame's impressive all-time record inseries openers now stands at 112-15-3 (.873). The Irish also have won19 straight series openers that have takenplace onthe opponent's field, stretching back to a 1921 loss at Iowa.

    MOVERS AND SHAKERS

    Notre Dame's jump from 22nd to 10th inthe AP poll following the season-opening winover Michiganrepresented the biggest one-week improvement inthat poll for the Irish in39 years. The 1959 Irish squad was not ranked inthe Sept. 21 AP top 20 but rose to #8 just one week later, following a 28-8 winover North Carolina inthe opener (the AP poll switched from 20 to 25 teams beginning in1989).

    PRIME-TIME PERFORMANCES

  • The opening winfor the No. 22 Irish over No. 5 Michiganranks among the top upsets-based onrankings-inNotre Dame history, as there were just three previous games inwhich anIrish team that was not ranked inthe AP top 20 beat a team inthe top five (since 1936). Since '87, Notre Dame is 10-2-1 inNotre Dame Stadium vs. AP top-10 teams and 6-1 vs. top-five opponents.
  • The opening winover Michiganmarked the first time Notre Dame has opened a seasonby beating a team ranked more thansevenspots higher inthe AP poll. Notre Dame had faced the defending AP national champ just once previously ina seasonopener (since 1937), coming away with a 19-9 winat No. 7-ranked and defending champ Pittsburgh in77 (the Irish were ranked No. 3 prior to that game).

    The Ticket Details

    All six '98 Notre Dame home football games were sold out. That's no surprise, considering coming into the '98 season136 straight games at Notre Dame Stadium -- and 184 of the last 185 dating back to '64 -- had beensellouts.

    Two of Notre Dame's '98 home games produced among the four highest numbers of tickets requested inNotre Dame football history, thanks to the availability of nearly twice as many tickets through the alumni lottery (33,779 in'98, compared to 16,000 prior to '97). Contributing alumni are designated as Notre Dame graduates who have contributed at least $100 to the University withinthe last calendar year.

    Overall ticket requests for '97-inthe first year of the expanded Notre Dame Stadium-increased by 90,000 for six games combined, compared to the highest previous figure. Thousands more contributing alumni received tickets to one or more games in'97 compared to any previous year, plus additional tickets were made available to parents of current students, and analumni family game was designated, providing alumni the chance to order more thanthe customary two tickets. The other group benefitting from increased ticket availability inthe Stadium was University staff, all of whom now have the opportunity to obtaintickets.

    The overall increase of nearly 21,000 seats inthe Stadium provides 16,000 more to the contributing alumni lottery, 3,000 to faculty and staff and 2,000 to various University allotments, including trustees, advisory councils, alumni board, alumni clubs, and major benefactors.

    The 80,225 capacity (amended to 80,012 for '98) - and the six resulting sellouts in'97 - enabled Notre Dame to rank eighth nationally inDivision1-A attendance in'97.

    Toughest TicketS AROUND

    Including the 1998 lottery figures, here are the 10 highest demand games (based ontotal tickets requested by contributing alumni) inNotre Dame Stadium history:

    Rk. Opponent               Season Request
        1.  USC 1997               57,048
        2.  MichiganState  1997    47,681
        3.  Michigan   1998        47,233
        4.  Army    1998           46,547
        5.  West Virginia   1997   46,093
        6.  Ohio State  1996       45,225
        7.  Boston College  1997   43,442
        8.  Georgia Tech    1997   43,408
        9.  Michigan   1994        42,705
        10. USC 1991               41,954
    

    Irish Sell Out for 33rd Consecutive YEAR In 1997
    The University of Notre Dame finished eighth nationally inattendance among all NCAA DivisionI-A football-playing institutions in1997. The Irish averaged 80,225 fans -- the full capacity of the expanded Notre Dame Stadium -- for its six 1997 home games. The '97 seasonmarked the 33rd consecutive seasonthat every seat has beensold for every Irish home game. Notre Dame's average increase of 21,150 fans per game in'97 compared to 1996 marked the second highest increase nationally, behind only Stanford's increase of 21,154 that was helped by the crowd of 75,651 (compared to the average of 56,937) whenthe Irish inOctober played the Cardinal inPalo Alto.
    Here's the top 10 inattendance in 1997:

    School Games Attendance Average Change 1. Tennessee 6 639,227 106,538 up 1,120 2. Michigan 7 745,139 106,448 up 516 3. PennState 6 582,517 97,086 up 919 4. Ohio State 8 731,884 91,486 down2,542 5. Florida 6 512,775 85,463 up 59 6. Auburn 6 501,267 83,545 up 1,077 7. Georgia 6 494,375 82,396 up 3,124 8. Notre Dame 6 481,350 80,225 up 21,150 9. LSU 7 561,016 80,145 up 626 10. So. Carolina 6 480,041 80,007 up 472

    College football set anall-time attendance record in 1997, with 36.9 millionfans viewing games, including a record 27.5 millioninDivisionI-A.

    The New Attendance Figure (80,012)
    Recognize the familiar 59,075 capacity for football at Notre Dame inthe old versionof Notre Dame Stadium? The new figure to remember beginning in1998 is 80,012. That's downslightly from the '97 capacity of 80,225, a figure that represented a computerized projectionof seating prior to completionof constructionof the nearly 21,000-seat additionto the Stadium. The adjusted 80,012 number represents a refined seating manifest that includes changes that weren't apparent until constructionwas finished and the '97 seasonactually began.

    AN ADDED TOUCH
    The Notre Dame National Monogram Club has presented the gift of 12 stylish Monogram Club circular logos to Notre Dame Stadium. The logos currently adorneach of the stadium's field-level gates.

    BIG CROWDS EVERYWHERE
    Notre Dame has played infront of capacity crowds in109 of its last 125 games (including the likely upcoming sellout at USC). Pending the final sale of tickets for the USC game, each of the 11 games involving Notre Dame during the 1998 seasonhave beenplayed infront of a sellout crowd.

    Future IRISH Football Schedules

    1999
    Sept. 4     at Michigan
    Sept. 11    at Purdue
    Sept. 18    MichiganSTATE
    Oct. 2      OKLAHOMA
    Oct. 9      ARIZONA STATE
    Oct. 16     USC
    Oct. 30     NAVY
    Nov. 6      at Tennessee
    Nov. 13     at Pittsburgh
    Nov. 20     Boston College  
    Nov. 27     at Stanford         
    

    2000 Sept. 9 NEBRASKA Sept. 16 PURDUE Sept. 23 at Michigan State Sept. 30 TEXAS A&M Oct. 7 STANFORD Oct. 14 vs. Navy (Orlando, Fla.) Oct. 21 at West Virginia Oct. 28 AIR FORCE Nov. 11 BOSTON COLLEGE Nov. 18 at Rutgers Nov. 25 at USC

    2001 Sept. 8 at Nebraska Sept. 15 at Purdue Sept. 22 MichiganSTATE Sept. 29 at Stanford Oct. 6 PITTSBURGH Oct. 13 WEST VIRGINIA Oct. 20 USC Oct. 27 at Boston College Nov. 3 TENNESSEE Nov. 10 at Texas A&M Nov. 17 NAVY

    2002 Sept. 7 PURDUE Sept. 14 Michigan Sept. 21 at Michigan State Oct. 5 STANFORD Oct. 12 PITTSBURGH Oct. 19 at Air Force Oct. 26 at Florida State Nov. 2 BOSTON COLLEGE Nov. 9 at Navy (site TBA) Nov. 23 RUTGERS Nov. 30 at USC

    NOTRE DAME STUDENT-ATHLETES AGAIN NEAR TOP OF GRADUATION RANKINGS

    Notre Dame is No. 1 whenthe college football teams inthe Nov. 8 wire service and Bowl Championship Series rankings were reranked by graduationrate, and the overall graduationrate of all student-athletes at the University os second among the nation's Division1-A colleges and universities, according to the latest annual report compiled by the NCAA.

    The 1998 NCAA Graduation-Rates Report, the eighth such survey issued by the association, covers students who enrolled between1988 and 1991 at 308 DivisionI institutions. The NCAA bases graduationrates onthe raw percentages of student-athletes who entered aninstitutionand graduated withinsix years. Students who leave or transfer, regardless of academic standings, are considered nongraduates.

    Using the NCAA formula, Notre Dame graduated 88 percent of its student-athletes, second only to Duke University at 92 percent. (Among student-athletes who complete all four years of athletic eligibility at Notre Dame, i.e. not considering those who leave or transfer, 99 percent earntheir degree.) The national average for DivisionI-A schools-the 111 institutions with the largest football programs-is 58 percent.

    Notre Dame graduated 86 percent of mencompeting invarsity athletics, againsecond to Duke's 92 percent. Among women, Notre Dame's 93-precent graduationrate is betted by only BostonCollege's 96 percent and Northwestern's 95 percent.

    Notre Dame football players graduated at an80-percent rate, fifth nationally behind Duke, Vanderbilt, Boston College and Northwesternand first among the nation's top 25 programs.

    Among the BIG EAST Conference institutions, the 80-percent graduationrate of the Notre Dame men's basketball programs is second only to St. John's at 85 percent.

    Notre Dame graduated 82 percent of its African-Americanstudent-athletes, third to Duke (94 percent) and Stanford (83 percent).

    Former Irish Athletes Give Back To Alma Mater

    Jim Flaniganof the Chicago Bears and Rick Mirer of the GreenBay Packers have established academic scholarship endowments at the University of Notre Dame, joining other alumni student-athletes who together have contributed more than$2 millionto the University for scholarships to the general student body. Beginning this academic year, the Rick Mirer Endowed Scholarship and the James and SusanFlaniganEndowed Scholarship will provide financial aid to Notre Dame students with outstanding academic credentials and demonstrated financial need.

    "What makes the generosity of Rick, Jim and the others so unusual is that, unlike many such contributions by professional athletes to their alma maters, these funds are specifically directed to academic scholarship support-not to athletes or the athletic department," said Rev. E. William Beauchamp, C.S.C., executive vice president of the University. "Undergraduate financial aid is the University's top fund-raising priority, and we are grateful that Rick and Jim have joined inour effort to meet the full financial need of every Notre Dame student."

    In additionto Mirer and Flanigan, other current and former professional athletes from Notre Dame who have established academic scholarship endowments at the University include Jim Morse, Chris Zorich, Paul Hornung, andy Heck, Johnny Lujack, Todd Lyght, Jim Lynch, Bryant Young, Demetrius DuBose, Jerome Bettis and LaPhonso Ellis.

    IRISH FACE ANOTHER TOUGH SCHEDULE

  • Notre Dame's 1998 schedule was ranked 16th-toughest inDivisionI heading into the season, according to the NCAA's annual preseasonsurvey. Notre Dame's 11 opponents for 1998 compiled a .570 combined winning percentage in1997, ranking the Irish just behind LSU (.575), Virginia (.573) and Oregon(.571) onthat list. The 10 toughest preseasonschedules belonged to Auburn(.693), Florida (.639), Alabama (.636), Washington(.636), USC (.621), Georgia (.620), South Carolina (.610), Texas A&M (.603), Stanford (.602) and California (.597).
  • Since 1978, Notre Dame has faced the toughest DivisionI preseasonschedule in1979 (.639), 1986 (.634), 1987 (.673) and 1990 (.618). The Irish went onto have the toughest schedule inthe final rankings in1978 (.552, 25th preseason), 1985 (.566, 14th preseason), 1987 (.657, 1st preseason), 1989 (.600, 5th preseason) and 1995 (.547, 26th preseason).
  • Since '78, the national polls championhas ranked first inthe final toughest schedule survey twice: PennState in'82 (.591) and Florida in'96 (.547), plus '90 co-championColorado (.561).

    The 1998 Schedule

  • Notre Dame beganits 1998 schedule indaunting fashionby playing host to defending national championMichiganinthe seasonopener, followed by MichiganState, Purdue and Stanford, all of whom defeated the Irish in'97. The fifth game came onthe road against anArizona State team ranked ninth inthe USA Today/ESPnpreseasonpoll (Michiganwas fifth, MichiganState 23rd).
  • Five of Notre Dame's '98 opponents played in'97 bowl games: Michigan(Rose winner), MichiganState (Aloha), Purdue (Alamo winner), Arizona State (Sunwinner) and LSU (Independence winner). Notre Dame played six ranked teams in'97, the first time that happened since '92. In'97, the Irish lost their three games vs. ranked teams before a 24-6 winat #11 LSU and a 21-14 home winover #22 West Virginia.
  • The Irish played eight games vs. teams that ended up in'97 bowl games, the most Irish opponents to end up inbowls since eight of Notre Dame's 1989 foes qualified for postseasonplay.

    IRISH FOOTBALL TOPS HARRIS POLL

    Notre Dame ranks as the most popular college football team inthe country for the second-straight year, according to results of a Harris Poll released onSeptember 16, 1998. The results are based ontelephone polling of 1,006 adults surveyed betweenAugust 12 and 17, 1998. The results of the poll were: 1. Notre Dame, 2. Florida State, 3. PennState, 4. Michigan, 5. Tennessee, 6. Ohio State, 7. Florida, 8. Alabama, 9. Nebraska, 10. Texas A&M.

    VICTORY MARCH DUBBED TOP SONG

    The Notre Dame Victory March has beenranked as the best fight song inthe nation, according to a new book, "College Fight Songs: anannotated anthology", which is due to be released inthe fall of 1998. The book is writtenby NorthernIllinois University professor William Studwell. Other fight songs among the top 10 onthat list included: The Victors (Michigan), OnWisconsin, Downthe Field (Yale), anchors Aweigh (Navy), SteinSong (Maine), Fight onUSC, Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech, The Eyes of Texas and Across the Field (Ohio State). Inadditionto Michigan, USC and Navy, a fourth opponent onNotre Dame's schedule-Army-saw its fight song, OnBrave Old Army Team, check inat 21st onthe newly-released list of top fight songs.

    The NEW BOWL ALIGNMENT

  • While Notre Dame remains anindependent, the '98 seasonbrings a noteworthy tie betweenthe Irish and the BIG EAST Conference. Additionally, the new Bowl Championship Series, a four-game package including the Fiesta, Orange, Sugar and Rose Bowls-for the first time will include the Big Tenand Pacific-10 Conferences, inthe attempt to create the ultimate national title game.
  • Also beginning in'98, inyears inwhich Notre Dame is not selected for a top-four bowl game, the Irish canbe selected as part of the BIG EAST rotationof bowl options, specifically involving the Gator Bowl and the Insight. com Bowl. The Gator may select Notre Dame twice ina four-year period. The Insight.com may select the Irish once over that four-year period. Both bowls will adhere to the BIG EAST one-winrule, inwhich a team selected for a particular game must be withinone winof all other bowl eligible teams (i.e. a 7-4 team cannot be selected over a team that is 9-2).

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