Dec. 26, 2015
TIME, DATE AND PLACE
* 1 p.m. ET; Friday, Jan. 1, 2016 * University of Phoenix Stadium (63,400); Glendale, Arizona
* ESPN national telecast with Sean McDonough (play-by-play), Chris Spielman (analysis), Todd McShay (sideline). * This same TV crew broadcast Notre Dame’s Nov. 7 game at Pittsburgh for ABC. * The Irish will be appearing on ESPN for the first time this year. This is the second year in a row where Notre Dame will make its ESPN debut in the postseason. Its lone ESPN appearance in 2014 was its 31-28 Music City Bowl win over LSU on Dec. 30. Although no strangers to ABC national telecasts, including four in 2015, the Irish have not appeared on ESPN during the regular season since Sept. 7, 2013, at Michigan.
* IMG College Sports is the exclusive national rights-holder for Irish football radio broadcasts. Notre Dame games will be broadcast to 117 affiliates by Don Criqui (play-by-play) and Allen Pinkett (analysis). This broadcast can be heard live on SiriusXM Satellite Radio (channel 129). * The broadcast will be preceded by a one hour pre-game show hosted by Tony Castricone with Criqui, Pinkett and interviews conducted by Jack Nolan. It will be followed by a national post-game show hosted by Castricone, Criqui and Pinkett. * All games can be heard in South Bend on WSBT 96.1 FM & 960 AM, and Sunny 101.5 FM. * ESPN Radio will also air the game to its affiliates nationwide. Adam Amin (play-by-play), Kelly Stouffer (color) and Olivia Harlan (sideline) have the call.
* The Fiesta Bowl is sold out. * Notre Dame has played in front of sellout crowds in 286 of its previous 335 games (.854) overall. Notre Dame has played before 657 sellouts in 936 total games (.702) since 1930. The Irish have sold out 297 of their last 298 home games dating back to 1964, including each of the last 249 in a row since 1973. * Every Notre Dame game this season has attracted a sellout crowd, including a Temple record 69,280 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Oct. 31 and a Heinz Field-era Pitt record 68,400 on Nov. 7.
* Notre Dame is 2-3 all-time against Ohio State. The Irish swept a home-and-home series in 1935-36 and the Buckeyes returned the favor in 1995-96. The sides last met in the 2006 Fiesta Bowl with Ohio State winning, 34-20.
* Notre Dame: Brian Kelly, 55-22 at Notre Dame (6th year), 226-79-2 overall (25th year), 0-0 vs. OSU * Ohio State: Urban Meyer, 49-4 at Ohio State (4th year), 153-27 overall (14th year), 0-0 vs. ND
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
* Notre Dame and Ohio State each had two players earn consensus All-America honors: LB Jaylon Smith and OT Ronnie Stanley for the Irish; OT Taylor Decker and DL Joey Bosa for the Buckeyes * No bowl game will feature more consensus All-Americans than the 2016 BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl.
COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF
12 PK Justin Yoon has hit each of his last 12 field goals, the fourth-longest streak in school history. His 88.2% success rate on the season ranks fifth nationally and first among freshmen.
11 Over Stanford’s last 11 games, no team’s defense wrapped up Heisman finalist Christian McCaffrey better than Notre Dame. His 94 rushing yards and 113 offensive yards were comfortably his lowest totals over the Cardinal’s final 11 contests.
10 Notre Dame has won 10 games on the season. Joining its 12-1 campaign in 2012, the Irish are seeking to win at least 11 games for the second time in a four-year span for just the second time in school history. Notre Dame only previously accomplished this feat in 1988-89, going 12-0 and 12-1, respectively.
9 C.J. Sanders, son of former Ohio State flanker Chris Sanders and number nine in your program, is just the third player in Notre Dame history to return both a kickoff and a punt for a TD in the same season.
8 DL Romeo Okwara has eight sacks on the season, the most at Notre Dame since current Pittsburgh Steeler Stephon Tuitt had 12 in 2012. Okwara (12.5) and DL Sheldon Day (14.5) are the first Irish teammates with at least 12 TFLs in a season since 2006.
7 WR Will Fuller is has seven TD receptions this year of at least 45 yards.
6 Notre Dame has won each of its last six games in active NFL stadiums and are 10-3 (.769) in NFL facilities under head coach Brian Kelly. University of Phoenix Stadium will be the 13th current NFL stadium to play host to the Irish and the 14th venue which has played host to both a Super Bowl and a Notre Dame football game.
5 Will Fuller ranks fifth among all active players with 29 career TD catches. His 28 TD catches over the 2014-15 seasons are the most of any player nationally.
4 Brian Kelly is the fourth Irish skipper to have multiple 10-win seasons at the school, joining Knute Rockne, Ara Parseghian and Lou Holtz.
3 Three Notre Dame players have had more than one 100-yard rushing game this fall (Josh Adams, DeShone Kizer and C.J. Prosise). The Irish last had three players with multiple 100-yard rushing games in the same season in 2001 (Tony Fisher, Carlyle Holiday and Julius Jones).
2 Only two people have won the Butkus Award at both the high school and collegiate levels – Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o and Jaylon Smith.
1 DeShone Kizer is tied for first in school history among quarterbacks with nine rushing TDs this fall.
0 No team played more 10-win teams during the regular season than Notre Dame’s four.