December 11, 1998
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9-2)
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (9-2)
Toyota Gator Bowl
The Date and Time: Friday, January 1, 1999, at 12:30 p.m. EST.
Alltel Stadium (76,940/natural grass) in Jacksonville, Fla.
The game is expected to be a sellout, with Notre Dame receiving an allotment of 12,500 tickets. If the game sells out, it would be the 109th sellout in the last 126 games involving Notre Dame, including the first 10 games of 1998.
The TV Plans: NBC Sports national telecast with Tom Hammond (play by play), Pat Haden (analysis), Jim Gray (sideline) and Ed Feibischoff (producer).
The Radio Plans: Pacific West Radio Sports holds the radio rights for the Gator Bowl. The game also will be broadcast nationally by Mutual/Westwood One with Tony Roberts (play by play), Tom Pagna (analysis) and Chris Castleberry (producer).
Websites: Notre Dame (www.und.com), Georgia Tech (ramblinwreck.com), the Gator Bowl (www.gatorbowl.com).
Notre Dame FIGHTING Irish (9-2)
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 L, 0-10
GEORGIA TECH (9-2)
* - at Jack Kent Cooke Stadium (Landover, MD)
Sept. 5 BOSTON COLLEGE L, 31-41
Sept. 12 NEW MEXICO STATE W, 42-7
Sept. 26 at North Carolina W, 43-21
Oct. 3 DUKE W, 41-13
Oct. 11 at North Carolina St. W, 47-24
Oct. 17 VIRGINIA W, 41-38
Oct. 24 FLORIDA STATE L, 7-36
Oct. 31 at Maryland W, 31-14
Nov. 12 at Clemson W, 24-21
Nov. 21 WAKE FOREST W, 63-35
Nov. 28 at Georgia W, 21-19
Here's where Notre Dame has stood in the polls during the '98 season:
Date AP USA Today/ESPN
Preseason 22nd 24th
Sept. 6 10th 11th
Sept. 13 23rd 25th
Sept. 20 t23rd ORV
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
Nov. 29 16th 16th
Dec. 6 17th 18th
The '98 campaign marks the 12th straight year Notre Dame began the season ranked somewhere in the Associated Press preseason poll. Here's where Notre Dame was ranked in the preseason and 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 Injury Update (as of Dec. 7)
Questionable:Sprained right knee vs. LSU (dnp vs. USC; out approx. 4 weeks).
Began wearing a leg brace the day of his Nov. 21 injury. Expected to remain in the brace for four weeks. Ongoing rehabilitation began Nov. 30.
Medical staff expects him to be at full speed when Irish begin practicing Dec. 27.
Senior quarterback Jarious Jackson
Junior offensive tackle Jerry WisneSprained knee vs. Navy (dnp vs. LSU or USC; out approximately 4 weeks)
His injury situation is identical to Jarious Jackson's.
THE KEY NOTES
HEADING SOUTH: Notre Dame is making its second trip to the Gator Bowl, after beating Penn State, 20-9, following the 1976 season.
BOWL EXPERTS: Georgia Tech and Notre Dame own two of the nation's top all-time winning percentages in postseason bowl games.
LIVING ON THE EDGE: Notre Dame has grown accustomed to close finishes during the past two seasons, with several players stepping forward to supply the clutch plays.
BONUS GAME: All-time Notre Dame career rushing yards leader Autry Denson will play one final game in his stellar career, which also saw him pass Tim Brown and come just shy of catching Allen Pinkett on the Irish career all-purpose yards list.
LEADING THE CHARGE: First-year starting quarterback Jarious Jackson has turned in a steadily improving season while ranking statistically among the top signalcallers in Notre Dame history.
The Head Coach
Bob Davie owns a 16-8 (.667) career record as he nears the end of his second season as a college head coach in '98, including a 14-2 mark in the last 16 regular-season games. 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 on consecutive weeks since November '92 (54-7 vs. No. 9 Boston College, 17-16 vs. No. 22 Penn State) while the '98 opening win over No. 5 Michigan gave him a 3-4 record vs. ranked opponents. The '98 season marks 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 in that role.
DAVIE NAMED FINALIST FOR NATIONAL COACH OF THE YEAR
Notre Dame's Bob Davie has been named 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, Phillip Fulmer of Tennessee, Barry Alvarez of Wisconsin, Tommy Bowden of Tulane, Mack Brown of Texas, Fisher DeBerry of Air Force, Houston Nutt 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 on February 27, 1999, at the Yale University Commons.
DAVIE HAS DONE HIS SHARE OF BOWLING
Bob Davie has been to 16 previous bowl games (the first 15 as an assistant coach), including seven Cotton, two Sugar, two Fiesta, one Orange, one Gator, one Holiday, one Hancock and one Independence (in '97, his first season as Notre Dame head coach). His teams' combined record in those bowl games is 6-10.
JACKETS RANK AMONG MOST COMMON IRISH OPPONENTS
Notre Dame and Georgia Tech will meet for the 32nd time, which ranks as the eighth-most common series in Notre Dame football history (the Irish have faced 130 different teams in their 112 years of varsity football). The most common opponents in Irish football history are as follows:
Opponent Games ND series record
Navy 72 62-9-1
Purdue 70 46-22-2
USC 70 39-26-5
Michigan State 62 41-20-1
Pittsburgh 57 40-16-1
Army 48 36-8-4
Northwestern 47 37-8-2
Georgia Tech 32 26-4-1 (prior to Gator Bowl)
Notre Dame holds a 26-4-1 series mark (.855) versus Georgia Tech.
The previous 31 games of the series have included two stretches in which the teams played eight consecutive seasons and one stretch of seven straight years with a Notre Dame-Georgia Tech game.
The series began with a game at Georgia Tech in 1922 and the teams continued to play every year through 1929. The series resumed with a game every season from 1938-45, followed by games in 1953 and '59. The Irish and Yellow Jackets then met every season from 1967-70 and every year from 1974-81 before last year's 17-13 Irish win at Notre Dame Stadium.
Notre Dame is 5-0-1 in its last six games against Georgia Tech, including wins in 1977, '78, '79, '81 and '97 (see p. 4) and a tie in 1980.
Georgia Tech's last win over Notre Dame was a 23-14 decision in 1976 in Atlanta.
SERIES HISTORY WITH RANKED PARTICIPANTS
Since the AP poll began in 1936, the 23 previous Notre Dame-Georgia Tech games have included three in which both teams were ranked in the AP poll, 12 when one team was ranked and only five when neither team was ranked.
The previous games in the series with both teams ranked in the AP poll: No. 18 Notre Dame's 21-0 win at No. 10 Georgia Tech in 1944; No. 1 Notre Dame's 27-14 home win over the No. 4 Yellow Jackets in 1953; and No. 10 Notre Dame's 38-21 win at No. 20 Georgia Tech in 1978.
In the 15 previous games of the series where at least one team has been ranked, the higher-ranked team is 12-2-1. The upsets came when No. 18 Notre Dame posted a 21-0 win at No. 10 Georgia Tech in 1944 and when the unranked Yellow Jackets knocked off the No. 11 Irish in 1976, 23-14 at home. Notre Dame travelled to unranked Georgia Tech in 1980 as the nation's top-ranked team but the squads played to a 3-3 tie.
RECENT IRISH RESULTS VS. RANKED TEAMS
Notre Dame has gone 18-9-1 (.661) at Notre Dame Stadium in games played against Associated Press top 25 opponents during the past 12 years, compared to 19-14-1 away - including 5-4 in bowls. Since the start of the 1986 season, the Irish are 37-23-2 overall (.613) versus AP top 25 teams.
Overall: ND leads 26-4-1
At Notre Dame: ND leads 15-2-0
At Georgia Tech: ND leads 11-2-1
Current Series Streak: 5-0-1 by ND (wins in 1977, '78, '79, '81 and '97, tie in '80)
Site Year Rank W/L/T ND Opp
1922 W 13 3
* 1923 W 35 7
* 1924 W 34 3
1925 W 13 0
* 1926 W 12 0
* 1927 W 26 7
1928 L 0 13
1929 W 26 6
1938 W 14 6
* 1939 W 17 14
* 1940 W 26 20
1941 W 20 0
* 1942 L 6 13
* 1943 W 55 13
1944 18-10 W 21 0
1945 W 40 7
* 1953 1-4 W 27 14
* 1959 -19 L 10 14
1967 9- W 36 3
* 1968 9- W 34 6
1969 9- W 38 20
* 1970 1- W 10 7
1974 2- W 31 7
* 1975 12- W 24 3
1976 11- L 14 23
* 1977 5- W 69 14
1978 10-20 W 38 21
* 1979 10- W 21 13
1980 1- T 3 3
* 1981 W 35 3
* 1997 11- W 17 13
* - Indicates Notre Dame home games. Rankings indicate AP poll at time of game (Notre Dame-Georgia Tech).
NOTRE DAME vs. GEORGIA TECH
Sept. 6 , 1997; Notre Dame Stadium
1 2 3 4 Tot
Georgia Tech 0 10 0 3 13
Notre Dame 7 3 0 7 17
Statistic ND GT
First Downs 2 17
Rushing 10 10
Passing 11 7
Penalty 1 0
Rushing Attempts 42 44
Yards Gained Rushing 174 201
Yards Lost Rushing 20 24
Net Yards Rushing 154 177
Net Yards Passing 217 118
Passes Comp.-Att. 18-29 10-21
Had Intercepted 2 2
Total Offensive Plays 71 65
Total Net Yards 371 295
Avg. Gain/Play 5.2 4.5
Fumbles: No.-Lost 1-0 0-0
Penalties: No.-Yards 7-44 5-30
No. of Punts-Yards 3-120 3-144
Average Per Punt 40.0 48.0
Punt Return: No.-Yds 2-9 2-13
Kick. Ret.: No.-Yards 4-69 2-45
Intercept.: No.-Yards 2-1 2-4
Fum. Ret.: No.-Yards 0-0 0-0
Possession Time 30:55 29:05
Third-Down Conv. 5 of 11 7 of 16
Fourth-Down Conv. 0 of 1 0 of 0
Sacks By: No.-Yards 4-24 0-0
Rushing Att Gain Loss Net TD Ln
Charlie Rogers 21 97 0 97 0 17
Joe Hamilton 15 69 24 45 1 14
Charles Wiley 8 35 0 35 0 7
Passing Att Com Int Yds TD Ln
Joe Hamilton 21 10 2 118 0 26
Receiving Rec Yds TD Ln
Charlie Rogers 4 39 0 26
Harvey Middleton 3 49 0 20
Derrick Steagall 1 14 0 14
Chris Myers 1 9 0 9
Matt Gubba 1 7 0 7
Rushing Att Gain Loss Net TD Ln
Autry Denson 24 85 14 71 2 19
Joey Goodspeed 12 57 0 57 0 11
Ron Powlus 5 32 6 26 0 22
Ken Barry 1 0 0 0 0 0
RECAPPING NOTRE DAME'S 1997 WIN OVER GEORGIA TECH (Sept. 6)
Passing Att Com Int Yds TD Ln
Ron Powlus 29 18 2 217 0 47
Receiving Rec Yds TD Ln
Bobby Brown 7 64 0 16
Joey Getherall 5 47 0 12
Malcolm Johnson 3 29 0 22
Autry Denson 2 58 0 47
Dan O'Leary 1 19 0 19
Notre Dame overcame two fourth-quarter turnovers and used a stifling defense and a late drive for a 17-13 comeback win over Georgia Tech that marked Bob Davie's debut as head coach and the rededication game of 80,225-seat Notre Dame Stadium. After Jim Sanson kicked a 28-yard FG on the final play of the first half for a 10-10 tie, Tech came back with a Dave Frakes 32-yard FG on the first play of the fourth quarter to go up 13-10. But Notre Dame held Tech without a first down in the last 15:00 and watched Frakes miss FGs from 43 and 47. The Irish took over with 7:42 left and drove 70 yards in 11 plays for the winning points, on a one-yard Autry Denson run with 2:37 left. The winning drive featured 52 rushing yards (31 by Denson) and Tim Ridder's recovery of a Denson fumble at the Tech 40-yard line. Denson finished with 71 rushing yards (24 att.), QB Ron Powlus hit 18 of 29 throws for 217 yards and Bobby Brown caught seven balls for 64 yards. Denson opened the scoring with a three-yard run in the first quarter before Tech QB Joe Hamilton scrambled for an 11-yard TD early in the second quarter and Frakes nailed a 33-yarder. Hamilton completed 10 of 21 passes for 118 yards and ran 15 times for 45. Tech's Charlie Rogers had 21 rushes for 97 yards and caught four passes for 39. Current senior SS Benny Guilbeaux intercepted Hamilton in the end zone after Tech had moved to the Irish six-yard line on its first drive of the second half. On the Friday night prior to the game, an estimated 35,000 fans packed Notre Dame Stadium for an outdoor pep rally.
ALL-TIME IRISH PLAYERS WITH GEORGIA TIES
Notre Dame's all-time varsity football roster includes nearly 2,500 players who have appeared in at least one career game, with 17 from the state of Georgia, including current sophomore TE Jabari Holloway (Riverdale/Sandy Creek HS).
Notre Dame's all-time Georgia natives include six who played on the offensive line, two who played on the defensive line, three linebackers, two defensive backs, one tight end, one wide receiver, two running backs, one placekicker and one punter.
The 17 players include four Atlanta natives, two each from Savannah, Marietta and Decatur and one each from Athens, Dunwoody, Doraville, Riverdale, Chamblee, Columbus and Rincon. Seven were products of Atlanta's Marist High School.
In addition to Holloway, six other Georgia natives have played for the Irish in the 1990s: LB/DE Corey Bennett (Doraville/Cross Keys HS, 1994-97), CB Ivory Covington (Decatur/Dunwoody HS, 1994-97), FL Adrian Jarrell (Athens/Clarke County HS, 1989-93), PK Rob Leonard (Decatur/Marist HS, 1991-93), OL/DT Bernard Mannelly (Marietta/Marist HS, 1989, '91-'92), TB Kenny Spears (Atlanta/Woodward Academy, 1990) and C/OG Dusty Zeigler (Rincon/Effingham County HS, 1993-95). Bennett was a starter on the DL for most of the '95 and '97 seasons while Covington was the starting left CB in '96 and '97. Jarrell was a contributing member of the receiver corps while playing behind the likes of Raghib Ismail and Lake Dawson. Zeigler started at center for the Irish in '94 and at left guard in '95 (when he also was one of five team captains).
Atlanta native Wes Pritchett (Westminster HS) was a four-year letterwinner for the Irish from 1985-88 and served as a starting ILB in '87 and '88. As a senior in 1988, Pritchett helped lead Notre Dame to a 12-0 national championship season.
Columbus native Frank Springer was the starting RG for the first two football teams in Notre Dame history (1887 and 1888).
Atlanta native Jim Carroll (Marist HS) started at three different positions during his Irish career--LG (1962), RG ('63) and ILB ('62-'64)--while also serving as team captain for the 1964 squad that went 9-1 in Ara Parseghian's first season.
Savannah native Ed Whalen earned a monogram with the 1950 Irish squad as a backup FB while his son Brian Whalen was a backup punter and letterwinner on the 1981 team (both Whalens attended Benedictine Academy).
The other Georgia natives on the Irish all-time roster include four more Marist HS products: G Ken Adamson (Atlanta, 1957-59), C James Baugus (Dunwoody, 1986), LB John McHale (Chamblee, 1968-70) and CB Dave O'Haren (Marietta, 1984). Adamson was team captain and a starter at RG for the 1959 team while Baugus was the second-string C in 1986.
FRIEND OR FOE?
Notre Dame's preseason roster included players from 32 states while Georgia Tech's preseason roster included 47 Georgia natives and players from 16 other states. A handful of Notre Dame and Georgia Tech players hail from the same hometown (none from the same high school), among them:
Notre Dame senior TB Autry Denson, Irish senior FL Bobby Brown and Georgia Tech senior CB Jason Bostic all are natives of Lauderhill, Fla. Denson attended Nova HS while Brown prepped at St. Thomas Aquinas and Bosic attended Cardinal Gibbons.
Irish junior TB Jay Vickers and two Tech players-sophomore DT Ira Claxon and sophomore CB Derrick Dudley-each hail from Tallahassee, Fla. Vickers attended Lincoln HS, Claxon went to Goby HS and Dudley attended Florida HS.
MEMORABLE SERIES MOMENTS
Notre Dame's 27-14 home win over fourth-ranked Georgia Tech on Oct. 24, 1953 ended the Yellow Jackets' 31-game unbeaten streak (the longest in college football history at the time). Eventual Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Lattner led the top-ranked Irish to a 323-131 edge in rushing yardage, with Lattner picking up 96 yards and Neil Worden adding 101. The four Irish TDs were most versus Tech during its unbeaten streak while Ralph Guglielmi's third-quarter TD pass was the first against the Jackets in 22 games. Irish coach Frank Leahy did not attend the second half, after fainting due to a lower chest muscle spasm while walking to the lockerroom at halftime.
Four Notre Dame national championship seasons have included wins over Georgia Tech: 1924 (34-3), 1929 (26-6),1943 (55-13) and 1977 (69-14).
RECORDS SET IN THE GEORGIA TECH SERIES
Vagas Ferguson rushed for 225 yards (on 30 carries) versus Georgia Tech in 1978, which remains the Irish record for rushing yards in a game. Ferguson's 39 rushing attempts versus the Jackets in 1979 rank third in the Irish record book.
Jerome Heavens' 148 rushing yards against Georgia Tech in 1975 remain the highest single-game rushing total ever by a Notre Dame freshman.
Blair Kiel and Joe Howard hooked up on a 96-yard pass and catch play versus Georgia Tech in 1981 that remains first in the Irish record book.
Joe Montana's 10 straight completions versus Georgia Tech in 1978 are tied for third in the Irish record book.
Frank Carideo's 22.0 yards per punt return (5 for 110) versus the Jackets in 1929 remains the Notre Dame record.
Notre Dame's 69 points and 10 TDs versus Georgia Tech in 1977 stand as Irish modern-day records while the team's five TD passes in that game is tied for first in the Irish record book.
Frank Carideo 75-yard punt return vs. Tech in '29 ranks 12th in Irish history.
The 1976 Georgia Tech team shares the Notre Dame opponent record for fewest pass attempts (1), fewest completed (0) and fewest passing yards (0).
Former Georgia Tech player Robert Lavette shares the Notre Dame opponent record for receptions in a game, after latching onto 14 (50 yards) in the 1981 game.
Georgia Tech's Jeff Ford returned an interception for 100 yards versus the Irish in 1969, which remains the Notre Dame opponent record.
Prior to the 1997 Irish-Yellow Jackets game, the previous time that Georgia Tech uniforms appeared in Notre Dame Stadium was in the fall of 1992 during filming of the movie "Rudy." The movie, depicting the career of former Irish walk-on Dan "Rudy" Ruettiger, centers around his only game appearance which came in 1975 against Georgia Tech at Notre Dame Stadium (a 24-3 Irish win). Game segments with players wearing authentic Notre Dame and Georgia Tech uniforms were shot at halftime of the '92 Notre Dame-Boston College game. The movie premiered in South Bend in the fall of '93.
NOTRE DAME VS. THE ACC
School Won Lost Tied Pct.
Clemson 1 1 0 .500
Duke 2 1 0 .667
Florida State 1 3 0 .250
Georgia Tech 26 4 1 .855
Maryland 0 0 0 ---
North Carolina 15 1 0 .938
No. Carolina St. 0 0 0 ---
Virginia 1 0 0 1.000
Wake Forest 0 0 0 ---
TOTALS 46 10 1 .816
Notre Dame owns an all-time winning percentage of .816 (46-10-1) versus Atlantic Coast Conference teams, with a winning or even series record against five of the six ACC teams the Irish have faced.
Most of Notre Dame's 57 previous games vs. ACC teams have come against Georgia Tech (26-4-1) or North Carolina (15-1-0), with the 10 others vs. Clemson (1-1-0), Duke (2-1-0), Florida State (1-3-0) and Virginia (1-0). The Irish have never faced Maryland, North Carolina State or Wake Forest.
Notre Dame and North Carolina met 16 times over a 27-year stretch, with the most recent game producing a 21-14 road victory for the No. 15 Irish in 1975.
Three of the four Notre Dame-Florida State games have come during the 1990s, including the memorable 31-24 Irish win at Notre Dame Stadium in 1993 that pushed the No. 2 Irish ahead of the No. 1 Seminoles in the national polls. Florida State returned the favor the next season with a 23-16 win in a game played in Orlando, Fla. Most recently, FSU's No.-8 ranked 1995 team downed the No. 6 Irish in the Orange Bowl, 31-26.
The Irish and Clemson last met at Notre Dame in 1979 (a 16-10 win for the No. 14 Tigers). Duke suffered a 64-0 loss to the 1966 Notre Dame team in the last meeting between the teams. Virginia and Notre Dame met to open the 1989 season in the Kickoff Classic, with the Irish posting a 36-13 win at Giants Stadium.
TOP NCAA BOWL - WINNING PERCENTAGES
1. Georgia Tech 18-8-0 .692
2. USC 25-13-0 .658
3. Florida State 16-8-2 .654
4. Penn State 21-11-2 .647
5. Oklahoma 20-11-1 .641
6. Arizona State 10-6-1 .618
7. Alabama 28-17-3 .615
8. Notre Dame 13-9-0 .596
9. Syracuse 10-7-1 .583
10. Mississippi 15-11-0 .577
Auburn 14-10-2 .577
12. Washington 13-10-1 .563
NOTRE DAME ALL-TIME BOWL HISTORY
Counting the upcoming Gator Bowl, Notre Dame has played in 23 all-time bowls, with participation in nine different bowls: Rose, Cotton (7), Orange (5), Sugar (3), Gator (2), Liberty, Aloha, Fiesta (2) and Independence. The Irish have competed in bowls vs. 16 different schools: Stanford, Texas (3), Nebraska, Alabama (2), Penn St., Houston, Georgia, Boston College, SMU, Texas A&M (3), West Virginia, Colorado (3), Florida, Florida St., LSU and Georgia Tech. The Gator Bowl will be the sixth bowl site attended by the Irish in the '90s. Here's a quick review of Notre Dame's bowl history (13-9 record):
'24 Rose Stanford W 27-10
'70 Cotton Texas L 17-21
'71 Cotton Texas W 24-11
'73 Orange Nebraska L 6-40
'73 Sugar Alabama W 24-23
'75 Orange Alabama W 13-11
'76 Gator Penn State W 20-9
'78 Cotton Texas W 38-10
'79 Cotton Houston W 35-34
'81 Sugar Georgia L 10-17
'83 Liberty Boston Coll. W 19-18
'84 Aloha SMU L 20-27
'88 Cotton Texas A & M L 10-35
'89 Fiesta West Virginia W 34-21
'90 Orange Colorado W 21-6
'91 Orange Colorado L 9-10
'92 Sugar Florida W 39-28
'93 Cotton Texas A & M W 28-3
'94 Cotton Texas A & M W 24-21
'95 Fiesta Colorado L 24-41
'96 Orange Florida State L 26-31
'97 Indepen. LSU L 9-27
BRING ON THE BOWLS
Georgia Tech and Notre Dame boast two of the nation's highest winning percentages in postseason bowl play. The top 15 in terms of percentage, based on 15 or more bowl appearances, are located in the left column.
THE 1998 NCAA STATS
1998 NCAA stat rankings for Notre Dame and Georgia Tech (top 50 for team ranks):
Team Rankings Notre Dame Georgia Tech
Rushing Offense 16th at 212.5 33rd at 183.7
Passing Offense 169.9 205.0
Total Offense 42nd at 382.45 38th at 388.73
Scoring Offense 43rd at 27.3 13th at 35.5
Rushing Defense, yards 40th at 141.8 167.5
Passing Eff. Def. 119.7 (205.4 yds) 121.3 (230.0 yds)
Total Defense 43rd at 347.2 397.5
Scoring Defense 27th at 19.4 47th at 24.3
Net Punting 39th at 36.7 6th at 40.1
Punt Returns 8.2 15th at 13.2
Kickoff Returns 19.6 13th at 23.5
Turnover Margin t21st at +0.64 28th at +0.45
PLENTY OF CHALLENGING FINAL TESTS
Individual Rankings Notre Dame Georgia Tech
Rushing Autry Denson
19th at 106.91
Passing Efficiency Jarious Jackson Joe Hamilton
13th at 149.5 25th at 141.7
All-Purpose Yardage Dez White
15th at 150.45
Total Offense Jarious Jackson Joe Hamilton
31st at 218.10 29th at 224.0
Scoring Autry Denson Brad Chambers
t25th at 8.18 t41st at 7.45
Receiving Yards/Game Dez White
26th at 88.45
Punt Returns Charlie Rogers
6th at 14.17
Kickoff Returns Dez White
15th at 26.23
Punting Hunter Smith Rodney Williams
35th at 41.67 23rd at 42.52
Field Goals Jim Sanson Brad Chambers
42nd at 1.10 t43rd at 1.09
Notre Dame's last 10 bowl opponents (including the '99 Gator Bowl) have posted an impressive combined record of 100-11-1 (.897) coming into those games, yet the Irish have defeated five of the nine teams to date. The AP rankings and regular-season