|GAME DAY INFORMATION|
|Date||Saturday, September 26, 2020|
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Capacity 31,500 (FieldTurf)
Dave Pasch (play-by-play)
Mike Golic (analyst)
Paul Carcaterra (reporter)
|Radio:||Notre Dame Radio Network|
|Head Coach||At School||Overall||vs. Opponent|
|Notre Dame||Brian Kelly||94-37 (11th year)ˆ||265-94-2 (30th year)ˆ||5-0|
|Wake Forest||Dave Clawson||36-42 (Eighth year)||126-122 (21st year)||0-3|
|IRISH VS. DEMON DEACONS - 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 USF 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).|
|3||In 2019, CB Clarence Lewis posted three pass breakups in the 52-0 shutout of South Florida, the highest total among ACC players in a single game that week. Overall, Lewis’ three PBU this season, all coming against South Florida, give him the second-highest season total of passes defended in the ACC, ranking sixth in the conference in average passes defended per game.|
|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|
|4||Four graduate transfers -- CB Nick McCloud (North Carolina State), S Isaiah Pryor(Ohio State), WR Ben Skowronek(Northwestern) and K/P Dawson Goepferich (Brown) -- signed with the Irish this offseason who will play key roles on the field for Notre Dame.|
|8||The Irish boast a current win streak of eight games, the second-most among Power 5 programs.|
|8||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 and in his first-career start. 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 their “Secret Superstar of the Week,” giving him a 90.0 PFF grade in the first half.|
|20||Notre Dame has won 20-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||Notre Dame has held 27-of-28 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).|
|100||RB C’Bo Flemister reached the 100-yard rushing plateau for the first time in his career with a 127-yard performance vs. South Florida. It marked the third-consecutive game in which the Irish have boasted a 100-yard rusher, dating back to the 2019 Camping World Bowl.|
|361^||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 20-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 sets 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. Clemson and Ohio State are the only other Power 5 programs that boast home streaks of 20 or more 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 sesason. Originally scheduled through the 2025 season, the games have now been scheduled through the 2037 campaign.
- Notre Dame is 24-7 (.774) 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 48-consecutive weeks, the longest such streak for the Irish since the 1994 season (124 weeks).
- The 48-week streak currently ranks fifth among all FBS active streaks (excludes conference teams who have not yet begun the season).
LAST TIME: WAKE FOREST
- September 22, 2018 – Notre Dame 56, Wake Forest 27: In its first road test of the 2018 season, the eighth-ranked Notre Dame football team had its most productive offensive game of the season en route to a 56-27 win over Wake Forest (2-2) Saturday afternoon at BB&T Field.
- QB Ian Book made his first start of the season, and he led the Irish to 566 yards of total offense against the Demon Deacons. Book was 25-34 through the air for 325 yards and two TDs. The junior also recorded the first three rushing touchdowns of his career. The only other time he has recorded three rushing touchdowns in a game was last week in the 52-0 win over South Florida.
- The Irish tallied 241 yards on 40 carries and had six rushing touchdowns total. The 56 points for the Irish were a season-high and the most since scoring 62 against UMass in 2015.
Book club in session
- Graduate student quarterback Ian Book returns as the starter in 2020, marking the first time the Irish enter 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 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.
- Book became 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 interceptions. He also ran 112 times for 546 yards and four touchdowns.
- Just five players in the FBS were responsible for more points than Book’s 222 in the 2019 regular season.
HEADED FOR THE RECORD BOOKS
- Book currently stands at 58 career passing touchdowns after passing current associate athletic director for football Ron Powlus (52 career TD passes) with his four scoring tosses at Stanford in 2019.
- With his performance vs. South Florida, Book passed Steve Beuerlein (6,527) to move into fifth all-time in career passing yards (6,530). He also took sole possession of sixth overall in consecutive games completing a pass (29) in Notre Dame records, also passing Steve Beuerlein (28).
- Book’s nine rushing yards vs. South Florida pushed him over the edge to overtake Tom Clements (1,070 career rushing yards) in Irish QB career rushing yards records with 1,075 (third all-time).
- Book moved into third all-time in Notre Dame career total offense yards (7,551) against South Florida. He passed current associate athletic director for football Ron Powlus (7,479) and offensive coordinator Tommy Rees (7,543) in that category.
AND THE BASE KEEP RUNNIN’
WHEN THERE’S A WILL[IAMS]
- RB Kyren 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.
- Williams punched it in from the one-yard line for his first-career touchdown in the second quarter vs. Duke. Later in the second quarter, Williams ripped off a career-high 75-yard reception on a screen pass to bring the Irish in the red zone.
- Williams scored his second touchdown of the game after a career-long 26-yard rush in the third quarter. He is the first Irish player to record two or more rushing touchdowns since Tony Jones Jr. had three against Virginia in 2019.
- Williams was awarded the game ball vs. Duke
- 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.
POISED TO ATTACK
- 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.
- QB Ian 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 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. Only one ACC team has posted more rushing yards in a single game previously this season.
- The 6.2 yards-per-rush by Notre Dame vs. South Florida rank as the most that week and second-most in a single game this season. Notre Dame posted 16 rushing first downs, the most in a single game this season by any ACC team.
- The Irish converted both fourth-down attempts vs. South Florida and are a perfect 4-4 in season fourth-down attempts.
- 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, 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.
- With the performance in the season opener, the Irish ranked first in the ACC (and 11th among all FBS teams) in tackles for loss allowed. Notre Dame succumbed to just five TFL.
- Losing zero fumbles in the matchup with Duke, Notre Dame is among 22 FBS teams to not mark a lost fumble in 2020.
- Thanks to RB Kyren Williams’ 112 rushing yards supplemented by the running back corps (including RBs Chris Tyree, Jahmir Smith and Jafar Armstrong), the Irish rank third in the ACC in rushing offense (178 yards).
- The Irish took home Pro Football Focus’ Offensive Line of the Week award after the season-opener vs. Duke, producing the highest-combined pass-block grade of any offensive 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.
- 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 and in his first-career start. 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 their “Secret Superstar of the Week,” giving him a 90.0 PFF grade in the first half.
- Kiser, a native Hoosier, hails from Royal Center, and was named 2018 Indiana Mr. Football.
DEFEND THE GRIDIRON
- After the first two games, Notre Dame leads the nation in overall fumbles recovered with four on the season, after taking control of two fumbles vs. Duke and retaining two vs. South Florida.
- The Irish sit at a +1.5 turnover margin, the second-best in the ACC and seventh-best in the FBS. S Shaun Crawford and DL Ade Ogundeji were responsible for two defensive fumble recoveries, as LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah forced one loose.
- Notre Dame has the third-best pass defense and pass defense efficiency in the ACC, allowing 32 completions on 66 attempts (97.4 efficiency), while also boasting the fourth-best rushing defense in the ACC (90.5-yard average).
- In total, Notre Dame boasts a 20 percent opponent third-down conversion rate on the season, tied for the best mark in the ACC. The Irish defense held South Florida to just two successful third down conversions of 15 total attempts.
- 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.
- By allowing just 13 points vs. Duke and zero vs. South Florida, the Irish defense ranks fourth in the ACC and ninth among FBS teams in scoring defense. 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).
FOLLOW HIS LEA-D
- Notre Dame has held 27-of-28 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.
- 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 this 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 now ranks tied for first among all FBS players in punt return touchdowns, of which there have been just five 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.
- In his debut for the Irish, RB Chris Tyree served in the KOR slot, returning four kicks for 90 yards, including a 38-yard long.
- K/P Jonathan Doerer is 3-4 on field-goal attempts through the season, connecting on all nine PAT attempts.
- K/P Dawson Goepferich scored his first points for the Irish on a PAT vs. South Florida.
- 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 (54-of-54), totaling 93 poinst between field goals and points after.
- 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).
- Freshman RB Chris Tyree scored his first-career touchdown vs. South Florida. He later would set a career mark for longest rush after scampering 31 yards in the second quarter. Tyree has also served two games in the kickoff return job for the Irish.
- Freshman TE Michael Mayer made his first-caareer 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.
- S Houston Griffith and 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.
- In the win over South Florida, freshman QB Drew Pyne completed his first-career pass to fellow freshman TE Kevin Bauman. It was Bauman’s first-career reception.
- 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.
- S Kyle Hamilton 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.
- Sophomore DL Isaiah Foskey tallied his first-career sack vs. Duke to force the Blue Devils into a 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.
- Junior 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.
- Senior LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah forced the first turnover of the season after breaking the ball loose from Duke’s Jalon Calhoun in the third quarter. Graduate student S Shaun Crawford recovered the fumble for the Irish, which set Notre Dame up at their own 41 for a touchdown drive. 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 of the game.
- 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.