|GAME DAY INFORMATION|
|Date||Saturday, October 24, 2020|
|Time||3:30 p.m. ET|
Sean McDonough (play-by-play)
Todd Blackledge (analyst)
Todd McShay (field analyst)
Molly McGrath (reporter)
|Radio:||Notre Dame Radio Network|
|Head Coach||At School||Overall||vs. Opponent|
|Notre Dame||Brian Kelly||96-37 (11th year)ˆ||267-94-2 (30th year)ˆ||1-1|
|Pittsburgh||Pat Narduzzi||39-32 (Sixth year)||39-32 (Sixth year)||0-1|
|IRISH VS. Panthers - BY THE NUMBERS|
|1||The Notre Dame Fighting Irish make history in 2020 by joining a conference for the first time in the 132-year tenure of the program. The Irish will play as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The South Florida matchup marks the only non-conference game the Irish will play in the regular season.|
|3||Offensive coordinator Tommy Rees is one of just three Power 5 coordinators currently coaching under the same head coach for whom they played as a student-athlete. He joins Iowa offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz and North Carolina co-defensive coordinator Tommy Thigpen.|
|3||QB Ian Book became the first quarterback in Notre Dame history (modern era) to rush for three touchdowns in a half in the first vs. South Florida. It marked the second time in his career in which he has rushed for three touchdowns in a game. The last time he rushed for three touchdowns in a single game was against this week’s opponent, Wake Forest, in 2018).|
|4||With the 52-0 shutout of South Florida last week, Brian Kelly became the first Irish coach to post four or more shutouts in his Notre Dame career since Lou Holtz. The last Irish shutout took place in 2019 vs. Bowling Green (52-0), and Kelly’s first shutout as the Notre Dame head coach came vs. Wake Forest in 2012 (38-0).ˆ|
|5||With a 127-yard performance by RB Kyren Williams vs. Louisville, it marks Notre Dame’s fifth-consecutive game with a 100-yard rusher (beginning with Tony Jones Jr. in the 2019 Camping World Bowl). The last time the Irish strung together five-straight games with a 100-yard rusher was in 2017 (Miami - OH to Wake Forest). Notre Dame has also posted five 100-rushing yard performances this season, a figure which ties for the lead among Power 5 programs. Williams leads the entire ACC in rushing yards per game (121.5)|
|10||The Irish boast a current win streak of 10 games, the longest among Power 5 programs. No other FBS program claims a longer current win streak.|
|11.5||With just seven points allowed vs. Louisville, the Irish defense has yielded just 11.5 points per game through the four games of the season. This figure ranks fourth among all FBS teams, and just one Power 5 team can claim a lower average (Oklahoma State, 9.0)|
|22||Notre Dame has won 22-consecutive games at Notre Dame Stadium, which sets the modern-era record for longest home win streak. Clemson and Ohio State are the only other Power 5 programs that boast home streaks of 20 or more games.|
|27.5||The Irish rank first in the ACC in penalty yards incurred per game, with just 27.5 on average. Thus far, Notre Dame’s opponents have averaged 47.5 penalty yards per game.|
|29||Notre Dame has held 29-of-30 opponents during Clark Lea’s tenure as defensive coordinator to 30 points or less. That includes includes ranked opponents LSU, Michigan, Stanford, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Clemson, Georgia, Virginia and Navy.|
|30||Notre Dame’s Tommy Rees (28) is one of just two offensive coordinators under age 30 among FBS teams (South Florida’s Charlie Weis Jr., 27).|
|36:15||In the win over Louisville, the offense held the ball for a whopping 36:15, including an impressive 7:55, 57-yard drive to finish out the fourth quarter and preserve the win. Louisville held the ball for only 23:45 minutes of possession time. Entering Saturday, the Cardinals ranked second in the ACC in time of possession, averaging 32:59 per game. They now rank sixth in the conference after Saturday.|
|96||With the win over Louisville, Brian Kelly is now third all-time in program history in career wins at Notre Dame (96 ˆ) - passing Ara Parseghian.|
|363^||Games coached by Brian Kelly in his career, second among active coaches in the NCAA to Mack Brown (North Carolina).|
ˆ Includes 20 regular-season wins and two postseason appearances vacated under discretionary NCAA penalty.
- Dick Corbett Head Football Coach Brian Kelly announced five team captains for Notre Dame’s 2020 football campaign this fall. They include returning 2019 captains QB Ian Book and OL Robert Hainsey, as well as first-time captains S Shaun Crawford, DL Daelin Hayes and DL Adetokunbo Ogundeji.
- Book and Hainsey earn the role as rare two-time captains, just the 23rd and 24th Notre Dame players in the program’s 131-season history to ever serve multiple seasons as a team captain. More than 200 players have served in the captain role for Irish Football.
home field win streak
- Notre Dame has won 22-straight games at home dating back to Sept. 30, 2017, starting with a victory over Miami (Ohio) and extending to the 2020 season-opening win over Duke.
- It continues the modern-era record for longest home winning streak for the Irish (28-straight from 1942-50). With the 52-0 shutout of South Florida, the Irish topped the previous modern streak of 19-straight from 1987-90, and with the 12-7 win over Louisville, Notre Dame overtook Ohio State’s streak of 21 home games won. Clemson is the only other Power 5 program that boasts a home streak of more than 22 games
- The Irish completed an undefeated home slate for the second-consecutive season in 2019. Notre Dame had not achieved back-to-back undefeated home seasons since 1988-89.
- Notre Dame completed an undefeated season at Notre Dame Stadium in 2019 for the third time in five seasons (2015, 6-0 and 2018, 6-0) after finishing 7-0 following a 40-7 win over Boston College. From 1990-2011, only the 1998 campaign (6-0) saw a perfect Notre Dame home slate.
WELCOME TO THE CLUB
- For the first time in the 132-year history of the Notre Dame Football Program, the Fighting Irish are playing the 2020 football season as members of the Atlantic Coast Conference (131 years were spent as an independent. The 132nd season is the first in the ACC). Each ACC squad will play 10 conference games, in addition to one non-conference matchup, to complete a modified 11-game schedule. The two squads with the best records will face off in the ACC Championship in December.
- In the ACC Preseason Order of Finish, the Irish were ranked second behind Clemson, who enters the season as the top-ranked team in the nation.
- In a partnership that began in 2014, Notre Dame and the ACC agreed to schedule the Irish to play, on average, five ACC opponents each season. Originally scheduled through the 2025 season, the games have now been scheduled through the 2037 campaign.
- Notre Dame is 26-7 (.788) against ACC opponents since the scheduling agreement began during the 2014 season, and including 2020 play as a conference member
TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS
- Notre Dame has been ranked in the Top 25 for 52-consecutive weeks, the longest such streak for the Irish since the 1994 season (124 weeks).
- The 52-week streak currently ranks fourth among all FBS active streaks, which do not include teams who were not listed in the initial 2020 AP polls at the beginning of the season (Big Ten and Pac-12). Auburn ended its 23-week streak this week.
LAST TIME: PITT
- October 13, 2018 – Notre Dame 19, Pittsburgh 14: Fifth-ranked Notre Dame (7-0) came back from an eight-point, second-half deficit against Pittsburgh (3-4), preserving its undefeated season with a 19-14 victory at Notre Dame Stadium.
- Quarterback Ian Book overcame two early turnovers and led a pair of key second-half touchdown drives to put the Irish ahead for good in the fourth quarter. It marked Book’s fourth-straight game with multiple touchdown passes.
- Julian Okwara stood out defensively, recording seven quarterback hurries, six tackles and a third-down tackle-for-loss late in the game. Khalid Kareem also made his presence felt, sacking Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett for a 14-yard loss on the Panthers’ final drive of the afternoon to highlight his four tackles.
Book club in session
- Graduate student quarterback Ian Book’s return as the starter in 2020 marks the first time the Irish have entered a season with a quarterback boasting at least two seasons of majority of games started (23-of-26 games from 2018-19) since Jimmy Clausen in 2009 (22-of-25 games from 2007-08).
- Book is tied for fourth in the ACC in Scoring (TDs), averaging 7.5 points per game individually, and is 24-3 (.889) as a starter.
- In the win over Louisville, Book passed for 106 yards and rushed for 47, also fooling a Louisville defender to gain extra yardage on an impressive go-ahead touchdown run.
- In the 12-7 victory, Book and the offense held the ball for a whopping 36:15, including an impressive 7:55, 57-yard drive to end the fourth quarter and preserve the win.
- Book quarterbacked ND to 554 yards of total offense in the 42-26 win over Florida State, the most for Notre Dame since 2019 vs. Bowling Green (573 yards).
- Book recorded three rushing touchdowns in the first half against South Florida – the second time in his career in which he has rushed for three touchdowns in a game (Wake Forest – 2018). He became the first quarterback in Notre Dame history (modern era) to rush for three touchdowns in a half.
- In the 52-0 win over South Florida, Book completed 12-of-19 passes for 144 yards, also managing an offense that scored five rushing touchdowns, traveled 430 yards, posted zero turnovers and only punted twice.
- In the season opener vs. Duke, Book completed 19-of-31 passes, including a 75-yard long, for 236 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 12 yards. Book quarterbacked the Irish offense to five scoring drives, the first of which went 96 yards in 12 plays, to take the lead in the second quarter. It was the longest drive by the Irish since a 97-yard drive in the 30-27 home win over Southern Cal in 2019. Notre Dame also added an 83-yard touchdown drive later in the game.
- In all, the Irish offense outrushed (178-75), outpassed (263-259) and outgained (441-334) the Blue Devils, and were 3-4 in the redzone.
HEADED FOR THE RECORD BOOKS
- With his performance against the Cardinals, Book moved into a tie with associate athletics director for football Ron Powlus with 558 career pass completions, ranking fourth all-time in Irish history.
- With the win over Louisville, Book passed offensive coordinator and former Irish QB Tommy Rees to move into seventh all-time in program history in wins as a starting quarterback (24). Book is 24-3 (.889) as a starter.
- Book upped his career rushing touchdown total to 13 with his scoring scamper vs. Louisville, one away from tying Joe Montana and Everett Golson (14). Book’s 13 rushing TDs currently rank 10th all-time in Irish QB history.
- With his 47 yards rushing vs. Louisville, Book passed Brandon Wimbush (1,155) to move into second all-time in Notre Dame QB rushing yards with 1,159.
- Book moved into second all-time in Notre Dame career total offense yards (7,838) with his performance against Florida State, passing Jimmy Clausen (7,793).
- Book currently stands at 60-career passing touchdowns, tying Jimmy Clausen with two TD passes vs. Florida State to rank third all-time in program history.
- Book moved ahead of Steve Beuerlein (6,527) when he passed for 201 yards vs. Florida State to rank fifth all-time in career passing yards. Book now boasts 6,832 yards.
- Bookbecame the first Notre Dame quarterback with 2,500 passing yards, 500 rushing yards and 30 touchdown passes in a season with his 2019 regular-season performance. Jalen Hurts was the only other collegiate student-athlete to hit these marks in the 2019 regular season, while Trevor Lawrence and Sam Ehlinger joined the group, but not until the postseason. Since 2017, only Book, Hurts, Kyler Murray, JT Barrett and D’Eriq King have hit these marks in the regular season.
- In 2019, Book was named Notre Dame Offensive Player of the Year and earned spots on the Davey O’Brien Award Great 8 List three times and as the Manning Star of the Week twice. He finished the season 240-for-399 with 3,034 yards and 34 touchdowns, throwing just six INT. He also ran 112 times for 546 yards and four TDs.
- Just five players in the FBS were responsible for more points than Book’s 222 (33 passing TDs, four rushing TDs) in the 2019 regular season.
AND THE BASE KEEP RUNNIN’
- RBs Kyren Williams, C’Bo Flemister and Chris Tyree have each posted at least one 100-yard rushing game. Notre Dame is the only team in the ACC to have three different student-athletes mark a 100-yard rushing game this season, and no Power 5 team has more than Notre Dame’s three.
- Irish running backs have reached the 100-yard mark five times this season, a figure which ties for the lead among all Power 5 teams and in the ACC with Virginia Tech. Just one FBS team has had more (Liberty, six).
- With a 127-yard performance by Williams vs. Louisville, it marks Notre Dame’s fifth-consecutive game with a 100-yard rusher (beginning with Tony Jones Jr. in the 2019 Camping World Bowl). The last time the Irish strung together five-straight games with a 100-yard rusher was in 2017 (Miami – OH to Wake Forest).
WHEN THERE’S A WILL[IAMS]
- RB Kyren Williams has reached the 100-yard rushing mark in three of four total games this season, the second-most individual 100-yard rushing performances in the ACC. Williams ranks second in the ACC in rushing yards per game, running for an average of 121.5 yards (486 yards so far this season), a figure which also ranks sixth among all FBS players. He ranks tied for third in the ACC in all-purpose yards (151.2) per game, also tying for eighth in the nation (FBS) in that category.
- Williams’ 486 yards in the first four games of a season is the best opening slate for an Irish RB since Dexter Williams in 2018 (512). Kyren Williams reached three 100-rushing yard performances in just four games, as did Dexter Williams, while it took Josh Adams five games to reach that mark in 2017.
- In a grind game vs. Louisville, Williams showcased his power run ability, plowing for 127 rushing yards alone against a defense that had only allowed 156.8 rushing yards per game entering the matchup with the Irish.
- Williams shattered his previous career-high mark of 112 yards set vs. Duke in the season-opener, rushing for 185 yards on 19 carries vs. Florida State. His 185 rushing yards rank as the fourth-highest in a single game by any ACC player this season, and the most by any freshman or sophomore ACC player this season (Williams is an academic sophomore, a freshman in eligibility).
- Entering the game, Florida State allowed just 141.3 rushing yards per game. Williams surpassed that total on his own by more than 40 yards. His 185 yards vs. FSU still rank as the ninth-most in a single game among FBS players this season, and the fourth-most in a single game that week in the FBS. His total is also the highest for a Notre Dame player since 2018. Williams was responsible for 10 of Notre Dame’s 15 rushing first-downs in that game.
- Williams posted 117 yards on five carries vs. Florida State, including runs of 65 and 46 yards, in the first quarter. The last time a Notre Dame player rushed for more yards on five or fewer carries was Josh Adams vs. Miami – OH in 2017 (151 yards).
- His 65-yard run in the first quarter vs. Florida State was the longest rush of his career, and his performance marked the second time this season (and in his career) he broke the 100-rushing-yard plateau.
- Williams exploded onto the scene in his first-career start vs. Duke, leading all FBS players in all-purpose yards (205) after rushing for 112 yards and tacking on 93 more in the air. His performance marked the first time an Irish player has reached the 90-yard plateau in both rushing and receiving in a single game since at least 1996.
- In the season-opener vs. Duke, the sophomore back averaged 5.9 yards-per-carry (12 carries) and rushed for two touchdowns, also accounting for two receptions that resulted in 91 yards-after-catch, including a career-high 75-yard reception on a screen pass to bring the Irish in the red zone. Williams the first Irish player to record two or more rushing touchdowns since Tony Jones Jr. had three against Virginia in 2019, and was awarded the game ball vs. Duke for his efforts.
- RB Chris Tyree surpassed the 100-yard mark for the first time in his young career, with 11 carries for 103 yards and boosted by a 45-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, vs. Florida State. Tyree was responsible for five of Notre Dame’s 15 rushing first downs that day.
- His performance was the only 100-rushing yard performance by a true freshman in the ACC that week. On the season, only three ACC true freshmen have recorded 100-rushing yard games, including Tyree.
- Tyree scored his first-career touchdown vs. South Florida. He later would set a then-career mark for longest rush after scampering 31 yards in the second quarter. Tyree has also served four games in the kickoff return role for the Irish.
- RB C’Bo Flemister posted a career game vs. South Florida, rushing for a career-high 127 yards (13 carries) to go along with a rushing touchdown. His 31-yard run in the fourth quarter was the longest rush of his career, and his performance marked the first time he has broken the 100-rushing-yard plateau in his career.
- His 100-yard performance marked the third-consecutive game in which the Irish have boasted a 100-yard rusher, dating back to the 2019 Camping World Bowl.
HANDS IN THE AIR
- WR Javon McKinley led the Irish in receptions and receiving yards vs. Florida State with five receptions for 107 yards, and was the first Irish receiver to reach the 100-yard plateau since Chase Claypool in the 2019 Camping World Bowl. McKinley surpassed his previous career-high in receiving yards (104) with the 38-yard reception in the third quarter vs. Florida State.
- The Book-McKinley connection was solid vs. FSU, as McKinley was Notre Dame’s most successful receiver, while also matched up with Preseason All-ACC selection Florida State CB Asante Samuel for much of the evening.
- McKinley also posted his first-career rush, a 15-yard run, in the third quarter vs. Louisville.
- On Notre Dame’s opening drive vs. Louisville, WRs Kevin Austin Jr. (18-yard catch) and Ben Skowronek (16-yard catch) each posted their first receptions of the season.
- WR Joe Wilkins Jr. hauled in a five-yard pass from Ian Book for his first-career reception in the final minute of the second quarter vs. Duke.
- Often referenced as “Tight End U,” every Notre Dame tight end who has started in the opening game of the season has been drafted, starting with Anthony Fasano in 2003.
- The Irish have started mutliple tight ends in three of the four total games this season, also starting Brock Wright, Tommy Tremble and Michael Mayer all in the game vs. South Florida.
- Four tight ends have caught passes this season: Tremble (10-114), Mayer (7-80, TD), Wright (2-10) and freshman Kevin Bauman (1-5).
- Freshman Mayer scored his first-career TD vs. Florida State, marking him as the first true freshman tight end to score a touchdown since Kyle Rudolph in 2008 against Purdue. Mayer made his first-career start vs. South Florida. He previously notched his first-career reception in the second quarter vs. Duke, hauling in a 17-yard reception from Ian Book for a first down.
- Bauman’s first-career catch came vs. USF, also serving as freshman QB Drew Pyne’s first-career completion.
- Notre Dame’s starting offensive line boasts 127-career starts between the five veterans.
- The Irish own the second-highest rushing offense average in the ACC (261.0 yards per game), and have allowed the third-fewest sacks on the season (seven) in the ACC.
- In a performance against Louisville that saw Liam Eichenberg receive Pro Football Focus Team of the Week honors, Notre Dame rushed for 232 yards, earning Kyren Williams his third 100-yard performance of the season. Entering that game, Louisville had allowed just 156.8 rushing yards per game.
- In the victory over Florida State, the unit allowed zero sacks on QB Ian Book, while making it possible for the Irish to rush for 353 yards total, with two different players reaching the 100-yard mark. Prior to that contest, Florida State had allowed just 141.3 rushing yards per game.
- Notre Dame averaged 8.4 yards-per-carry vs. Florida State, the third-highest single-game figure in the ACC this season.
- OL Robert Hainsey received ACC co-Offensive Lineman of the Week honors for his role in the O-Line’s performance vs. South Florida. The Line allowed zero sacks on Irish quarterbacks in the 52-0 shutout win and paved the way for six rushing touchdowns, tied for the ACC’s most in a single game this season.
- Notre Dame’s 281 rushing yards were the most by any ACC team that week, and only one ACC team had posted more rushing yards in a single game prior to that occurrance.
- The 6.2 yards-per-rush by Notre Dame vs. South Florida ranked as the most that week.
- Notre Dame posted 16 rushing first downs, then the most in a single game this season by any ACC team. It currently sits just two below the conference leading figure of 18.
- The Irish won Pro Football Focus’ Offensive Line of the Week award after the season-opener vs. Duke, producing the highest-combined pass-block grade of any O-Line that week.
- The Irish return five starters to the offensive line (Eichenberg, Banks, Patterson, Kraemer and Hainsey), as Hainsey and Kraemer were sidelined for some game action in 2019 due to injury. As a whole, Notre Dame’s offense returned seven starters, only losing four.
POISED TO ATTACK
- In the win over Louisville, the offense held the ball for a whopping 36:15, including an impressive 7:55, 57-yard drive to finish out the fourth quarter and preserve the win. In all, the Irish had seven offensive drives on the day, and four of those drives took five minutes or more off the clock.
- In the 42-26 win over Florida State, Notre Dame racked up 554 yards of total offense, the most since 2019 vs. Bowling Green (573 yards). It also marked the first game with two 100-yard rushers (Kyren Williams & Chris Tyree) and a 100-yard receiver (Javon McKinley) since 2015 (Stanford).
- The last time Notre Dame had two players with more than 100 yards rushing in a game was in 2017 vs. Southern Cal (Josh Adams and Brandon Wimbush), and the last time the Irish posted more than 300 yards rushing was in 2019, also against Southern Cal.
- The win over Florida State also marked the first time since 2000 the Irish have scored 42 points in consecutive games.
- Notre Dame marked the 12th time the Irish scored at least 50 points in head coach Brian Kelly’s (12-0) 11-year tenure in the 52-0 win over South Florida. The 11 years prior to Kelly’s arrival, Notre Dame hit the 50-point plateau once.
- The Irish held a 35-0 margin at halftime vs. South Florida, the largest halftime lead since last season’s 52-0 win against Bowling Green (also 35-0).
- Notre Dame rushed for six touchdowns against the Bulls, the most in a game since 2018 (six versus Wake Forest) and the most in a single game this season among ACC teams.
- In addition to allowing zero sacks in the victory over South Florida, the offensive line paved the way for Notre Dame’s 281 rushing yards, the most by any ACC team that week.
- The 6.2 yards-per-rush by Notre Dame vs. South Florida ranked as the most that week. Notre Dame posted 16 rushing first downs, the most that week and the highest value at that point in the season. The figure was topped the next week.
- In the season opener vs. Duke, the Irish offense outrushed (178-75), outpassed (263-259) and outgained (441-334) the Blue Devils, and were 3-4 in the redzone.
- Book quarterbacked the Irish offense to five scoring drives vs. Duke, the first of which went 96 yards in 12 plays, to take the lead in the second quarter. It was the longest drive by the Irish since a 97-yard drive in the 30-27 home win over Southern Cal in 2019. Notre Dame also added an 83-yard touchdown drive later in the game.
EXPERIENCED & EXPLOSIVE
- The Irish boast two long-tenured veterans in the secondary with sixth-year Shaun Crawford and gradaute transfer Nick McCloud. They are coupled with young standouts Kyle Hamilton, TaRiq Bracy, Houston Griffith and Clarence Lewis, all of whom have started at least one contest for the Irish this season.
HAMILTON, A STAR
- A preseason All-America Second Team selection (USA TODAY), Kyle Hamilton is tied for the team lead in tackles with 20, after only playing in three games thus far.
- Hamilton started in the win over Louisville and posted a crucial diving pass breakup on third-and-11 on Louisville’s opening drive to force a punt. In the fourth quarter, Hamilton posted tackles on consecutive plays, second-and-26 and third-and-17, to force a punt, ending what would be Louisville’s final drive of the game to secure an Irish win.
- Hamilton now averages 6.7 tackles per game, which ranks third among all ACC defensive backs.
- He accounted for four tackles and a PBU on the opening drive for Duke. His QB hurry came in the second quarter, which forced an incomplete pass on a Duke third-and-seven. On the day, he marked seven tackles, the second-most for the Irish and the 13th-most in the ACC. His five solo tackles ranked 10th in the ACC at that point.
- Shaun Crawford returns for his sixth season, due to a medical redshirt year of eligibility granted by the NCAA. After playing corner for five seasons, Crawford won the starting safety job entering 2020.
- The graduate student earned the game ball for his performance vs. Louisville, when he tied for the team lead in tackles (six), also executing a crucial pass breakup, punching the ball out of the receiver’s hands, to end the third quarter and stall Louisville’s drive.
- Crawford was called to start at corner due to team need in the victory over Florida State, and posted the first interception of the season for the Irish in the fourth quarter as he intercepted QB Jordan Travis at the Notre Dame goal line to prevent a score. The interception helped seal the game for the Irish. It was the fifth interception of his career, and his second-career forced or recovered turnover inside the Notre Dame five-yard line.
- Crawford made several impact plays vs. FSU including coverage on a third-down pass from Jordan Travis to Camren McDonald in the first quarter, which fell incomplete and forced a Florida State punt
- He also recovered a fumble in the win over Duke, setting Notre Dame up at their own 41 for a touchdown drive.
SQUAD ROLLS DEEP
- S Houston Griffith and true freshman CB Clarence Lewis made their first-career starts vs. South Florida. Both finished the game with five solo tackles including 1.0 for loss each, and Lewis tacked on three pass breakups.
- Junior CB TaRiq Bracy was named to the Pro Football Focus Team of the Week for his play against Duke. According to PFF, Bracy forced a contested target and incompletions on two of three targets, and did not allow any yards.
BACK IT UP
CAN I GET A WU-WU-WU?
- Named to the Preseason All-ACC team, LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah boasts a total of 6.0 TFL on the season, which ranks 10th in the ACC, and his average of 1.50 per game ranks fourth-highest in the ACC. He is the only player in the ACC who has played just four games and totaled 6.0 or more TFL.
- “Wu” led the Irish defense in TFL with 2.0 vs. Louisville, adding two other tackles, one of which resulted in no gain for the offense. Two of his tackles came on third down to force a fourth-down play.
- Owusu-Koramoah forced the first turnover of the season after breaking the ball loose from Duke’s Jalon Calhoun in the third quarter. Owusu-Koramoah led the Irish in tackles (nine) and got to Duke QB Chase Brice for the third Irish sack of the day in the fourth quarter, pinning him for a loss of six yards on what would be Duke’s final drive.
- Sophomore LB Jack Kiser made a statement in his first-career start against South Florida, leading the team in tackles (eight) in his first game action on defense. Kiser’s 2.0 tackles-for-loss led the team (tied), and he also posted a QB hurry. Ater not being listed on the depth chart leading up to the game, Kiser was called up to start at the BUCK position, and his efforts earned him the game ball. Pro Football Focus named Kiser its “Secret Superstar of the Week,” giving him a 90.0 PFF grade in the first half.
PUT THE PRESSURE ON
- Jayson Ademilola made his first-career start at defensive tackle in place of Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa vs. Florida State. He also started against Louisville, alongside Ade Ogundeji, Daelin Hayes and Kurt Hinish.
- Daelin Hayes made an impact play with his TFL vs. Louisville, reading the screen pass and pinning Louisville’s Javian Hawkins for a loss of six in the fourth quarter, helping to stall a Louisville drive on first-and-20 and preserve the Irish win.
- Ade Ogundeji posted 2.0 sacks against Florida State for a total loss of nine yards, the leading sack figure on Notre Dame’s defense. In total, he also posted four tackles and one QBH.
- Sophomore DL Isaiah Foskey tallied his first-career sack vs. Duke to force a Blue Devil field goal. The sophomore made noise in a reserve role against Duke, responsible for the sack (loss of 10 yards) and a QB hurry earlier in the game at the 11-yard line also forced a Duke field goal. Foskey broke up a pass on the next drive to help lead to a punt. His final TFL came in the fourth quarter, when he combined with DL Jacob Lacey to bring down Duke’s Deon Jackson on second-and-13, setting up a Duke punt.
- Freshman DL Alexander Ehrensberger notched his first-career sack in the third quarter vs. South Florida, while sophomore LB JD Bertrand posted his first-career tackle.
DEFEND THE GRIDIRON
- With just seven points allowed vs. Louisville, the Irish defense has yielded just 11.5 points per game through the four games of the season. This figure ranks fourth among all FBS teams, and just one Power 5 team can claim a lower average (Oklahoma State, 9.0). In 2019, the Notre Dame defense ranked No. 12 among FBS teams in scoring defense, allowing just 17.9 points per game (26 touchdowns and 17 field goals).
- In the win over Louisville, the defense limited Louisville to just 96 rushing yards. Entering the game, the Cardinals averaged 177.8 rushing yards per game.
- On the day, Louisville posted just 14 first downs and held the ball for only 23:45 minutes of possession time. Entering Saturday, the Cardinals ranked second in the ACC in time of possession, averaging 32:59 per game. They now rank sixth in the conference after Saturday. Notre Dame now ranks third in the conference, averaging 32:29 per game.
- Notre Dame leads the ACC in opponent first downs, allowing just 61 on the season thus far. At 15.2 per game, it is the second-best rate in the conference.
- In total, Notre Dame boasts a 0.208 opponent third-down conversion rate on the season, the best mark in the ACC and the second-best among all FBS teams.
- The Irish rank second in the ACC in pass defense (193.2) and third in rush defense (107.5) and total defense (300.8).
- Notre Dame also ranks second in the ACC in pass defense efficiency (113.9).
- Notre Dame marked the second shutout in as many seasons with a 52-0 victory over RV South Florida in Week Two. The Irish allowed the Bulls in the red zone just one time on the day, and the attempt was unsuccessful for South Florida. In all, the Bulls were held to 11 first downs, including just one first down in the first half.
FOLLOW HIS LEA-D
- Notre Dame has held 29-of-30 opponents during Clark Lea’s tenure as defensive coordinator to 30 points or less. That includes includes ranked opponents LSU, Michigan, Stanford, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Clemson, Georgia, Virginia and Navy.
- The Irish rank third in the ACC in kick-return defense, allowing an average of just 17.88 yards per return. That figure ranks 21st among all FBS programs.
- True freshman RB Chris Tyree owns the fifth-best kick return average in the ACC, bringing back kicks at a rate of 22.5 yards per game.
- True freshman DL Jordan Botelho recovered a blocked South Florida punt for a touchdown in the 52-0 shutout win, marking the only punt return TD in the ACC that week and just the second this season. DL Osita Ekwonu was responsible for the block. It was the first blocked punt returned for a touchdown by the Irish since 2015 against Southern Cal.
- Botelho was the only player in the FBS that week to post a punt return touchdown. He ranks tied for first among all FBS players in punt return touchdowns, of which there have been just 10 this season.
- Botelho also provided notable pressure on another South Florida punt, forcing a rushed punt that traveled just one yard and gave the Irish possession at the South Florida 25-yard line.
- P Jay Bramblett made his mark vs. Duke, bombing six punts in the season-opener, including punts of 53, 52 and 45 yards. His play of the day came in the second quarter on a fake punt play, when he rushed for 14 yards, cutting to get the Irish the first down and keeping Notre Dame’s drive alive to end in a touchdown. On the day, Bramblett marked a 43.8-yard average punt.
- K/P Dawson Goepferich scored his first points for the Irish on a PAT vs. South Florida.
- K/P Jonathan Doerer is 5-7 on field-goal attempts through the season, connecting on all 15 PAT attempts. He has now connected on 77-consecutive PATs, a streak which extends to 2018 vs. Navy.
- In the win vs. Louisville, Doerer made both field goal attempts, giving the Irish an early lead in the 12-7 contest on a day that experienced wind gusts upwards of 30 MPH.
- On the season, Doerer owns an 80.0 FG percentage in conference games, tying for fifth in the ACC.
- In 2019, Doerer compiled a 85.0 FG-make percentage (17-20), the fifth-best by an Irish kicker in a single season since 1996. In 2019, Doerer was perfect on PAT attempts (57-of-57), totaling 108 points between field goals and PAT.
- In 2019, Doerer scored 108 points for the Irish, the most in a single season by any Notre Dame kicker. He topped Kyle Brindza’s 2013 mark of 98 with his performance in the Camping World Bowl vs. Iowa State, in which Doerer netted 15 points on four field goals and three PATs.
- In 2019, Doerer inscribed his name in Notre Dame record books vs. Southern Cal, becoming the first Irish kicker since Dave Reeve (1977) to make three field goals of 40 or more yards in a single game. Doerer made a career-long 52-yard field goal on the opening drive of the second half vs. Southern Cal, also making a 45-yard field goal with 15 seconds remaining in the first half. Doerer added a 43-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. All three surpassed his previous career-long (36 yards).