Oct. 18, 2005
Notre Dame (4-2) vs. BYU (3-3)
The Rankings:Notre Dame – 9th AP, 12th USA Today, 11th Harris, 16th BCS
The Date and Time:Saturday, Oct. 22, 2005, 1:30 p.m. EST (12:30 p.m. MDT in Provo, 2:30 p.m. EDT in New York)
The Site:Notre Dame Stadium (80,795), Natural Grass
The Tickets: They’re all sold and it is the 182nd consecutive sellout at Notre Dame Stadium (the first 130 coming at the old 59,075 capacity). The BYU game marks the 230th home sellout in the last 231 games (dating back to 1964). It also is the 176th sellout in the last 201 Irish games and the 41st in the last 44 games involving Notre Dame, dating back to the end of the 2001 season.
The TV Plans: NBC national telecast with Tom Hammond (play-by-play), Pat Haden (analysis), Lewis Johnson (sideline), David Gibson (producer) and John Gonzalez (director).
The Radio Plans: For the 38th consecutive season all Notre Dame football games are broadcast on approximately 300 stations in 50 states by Westwood One with Tony Roberts (play by play) and former Irish running back Allen Pinkett (analysis). This broadcast can be heard live on SIRIUS Satellite Radio (channel 143 for the BYU game) as well.
A live broadcast from the Notre Dame student station, WVFI, also is available via the Notre Dame official athletics website at www.und.com (subscription service). All Notre Dame home games may be heard in South Bend on U93-FM (92.9) with pre-game analysis featuring Sean Stires, Brian Noe, Vince DeDario and Colin Burns. The post-game show is hosted by Jack Nolan and features former Notre Dame players Reggie Brooks and Mirko Jurkovic. See page 17 of this notes package for more information on Irish football radio and television shows.
Websites: Notre Dame – www.und.com; BYU – www.BYUcougars.com
Two-Minute Drill (what you need to know about this weekend’s Notre Dame – BYU matchup) –
â€¢ Notre Dame and BYU are meeting for just the fifth time with the Irish leading the all-time series 3-2. BYU won the most recent matchup in Provo last season, spoiling Notre Dame’s 2004 season opener with a 20-17 victory.
â€¢ The Irish are 4-0 on the road this season (with three wins over ranked teams) and 0-2 in Notre Dame Stadium. Head coach Charlie Weis is looking for his first home-field victory this weekend.
â€¢ Notre Dame is looking to break its four-game losing streak at Notre Dame Stadium, which is tied with the four-game skids in 1933-34 and 1960 as the longest in school history.
â€¢ After starting the year 1-3, BYU has rebounded to win its last two contests and even its season record at 3-3. The Cougars rushed for 274 yards in a 24-14 win against Colorado State.
â€¢ Junior wide receiver Jeff Samardzija is looking to become the first Notre Dame player to catch a touchdown pass in seven consecutive games. He is currently tied with Malcolm Johnson (1998) for the school record of six straight games with a touchdown reception.
â€¢ Samardzija also is just two touchdown receptions away from Derrick Mayes’ school record of 11 in 1994. Samrdzija is currently tied with Jack Snow (1964) for second on the single-season list with nine.
â€¢ Samardzija ranks among the nation’s best receivers, as he is tied for second (with two other players) in the NCAA for touchdown receptions with nine, trailing Bowling Green’s Steve Sanders (10). Among the nation’s top 40 receivers (ranked by receptions per game), Samardzija is third in yards-per-reception with a 17.59 average, trailing Texas Tech’s Steve Sanders (17.78) and Oregon’s Demetrius Williams (18.83).
â€¢ Junior Brady Quinn is close to posting the finest junior season for a three-year starting quarterback in school history. A breakdown of third-year starting quarterbacks is available on page nine of this notes package. In addition, Quinn is just 225 yards behind Steve Beuerlein for second-place on the all-time passing yardage list.
â€¢Quinn also has his eyes set on two more records that could fall this season. His 14 touchdown passes are 10th on the single-season and just five behind Ron Powlus’ record of 19 in 1994. Quinn already is third on the career touchdown pass list with 40, trailing Rick Mirer in second place with 41 (Powlus is the all-time leader with 52). He has already become the first Irish singalcaller to throw a touchdown pass in 11 consecutive games and hopes to continue that streak this weekend against BYU.
â€¢ Saturday’s game will mark the latest in a season Notre Dame has played host to its third home game since 1989, when the No.1-ranked Irish defeated No. 7 Pittsburgh 45-7 on Oct. 28.
â€¢ Notre Dame continues its five-game homestand on Saturday against BYU. The 2005 season marks the first since 1999 that the Irish will play five consecutive home games. The `99 team finished the five games with a 4-1 record, losing the first of the string but closing out with wins over No. 23 Oklahoma, Arizona State, USC and Navy.
â€¢ Notre Dame has a 10-minute average advantage over its opponents in time of possession this season (35:12 – 24:48) and has won the time-of-possession battle in each game this season. No Notre Dame opponent has held the ball more than 29:04 (Michigan) against the Irish this season.
â€¢ Notre Dame’s near-upset of No. 1 USC last weekend will be replayed twice this week on UNI-HD, NBC’s high definition channel. The game will be on Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. (EDT, 7:00 p.m. in South Bend) and 12 midnight (EDT).
2005: The Charlie Weis Era Begins
The 117th season of Notre Dame football is the first in the tenure of head coach Charlie Weis, who has started his career with four road victories in his first five games, including wins over three ranked opponents.
Weis was named the 28th head football coach in Notre Dame history on Sunday, Dec. 12, 2004. A 1978 Notre Dame graduate, Weis takes the reins of the Irish program after a highly-successful career as an assistant coach in the National Football League.
The owner of four Super Bowl champion rings as products of a stellar 15-season career as an NFL assistant, Weis is a widely-respected disciple of professional coaching standouts Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick. He came to Notre Dame after excelling as offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots, where he played an integral role in New England’s victories in three of the last four Super Bowls.
Weis is the first Notre Dame graduate to hold the football head coaching position at his alma mater since Hugh Devore (a ’34 graduate) served as interim coach in 1963 and is the first Notre Dame graduate to serve as the Irish football coach on a full-fledged basis since Joe Kuharich (a ’38 graduate who coached at Notre Dame from 1959 through ’62).
A veteran of 26 seasons in coaching, Weis coached nine seasons with the Patriots, including five as offensive coordinator. He helped produce four Super Bowl championships (New York Giants following the 1990 season, Patriots following ’01, ’03 and ’04 seasons), five conference titles and seven division crowns.
Notre Dame – BYU Series History and Notes
â€¢ Notre Dame leads the abbreviated series with BYU 3-2, with three of the five meetings coming in a three-year stretch from 1992-94.
â€¢ BYU claimed its second win in the series with a 20-17 victory in the 2004 season opener for both teams.
â€¢ Notre Dame has averaged 30.2 points in five series games against BYU, while the Cougars have scored 18.2 points per game on average versus the Irish.
â€¢ In Notre Dame’s three series victories, the Irish scored over 33 points; in the two losses, the Irish did not score more than 17 points.
â€¢ BYU is making its fourth appearance in Notre Dame Stadium (1992, 1994, 2003) and is 1-2 on Notre Dame’s home field.
â€¢Notre Dame has visited Provo and LaVell Edwards Stadium just twice in the series.
â€¢The Irish defeated BYU 45-20 in Provo while ranked third in the nation during the 1993 season.
â€¢ The 1993 game set a LaVell Edwards Stadium attendance record with 66,247 fans on hand.
Notre Dame Versus the Mountain West Conference
â€¢ Notre Dame has a 25-7 (.781) all-time record against current members of the Mountain West Conference, with the vast majority of those games (26) coming against Air Force.
â€¢ The .781 Irish winning percentage vs. the MWC is the second best in school history against a major Division I-A conference, topped only by the .884 mark (23-3) Notre Dame has posted against Conference USA.
â€¢ Today’s game is just the fifth for the Irish against a team representing the Mountain West since that league began play in 1999.
â€¢The other four meetings for Notre Dame with MWC opponents came against Air Force in 2000 (a 34-31 overtime win) and 2002 (a 21-14 win) along with the 2003 and ’04 meetings with BYU.
â€¢ The only other Mountain West Conference team the Irish have faced is TCU (a 21-0 win in 1972).
â€¢ Other MWC teams: Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV, Utah, Wyoming.
Last Time at Notre Dame Stadium vs. BYU
Notre Dame posted a 33-14 victory in BYU’s last visit to Notre Dame Stadium in 2003, by far the most convincing win of the season for the Irish. It also gave the seniors a strong farewell in front of another capacity crowd of 80,795 at Notre Dame Stadium.
Senior running back Julius Jones continued his late-season surge by rushing a career-high 35 times for 161 yards and a career-best three touchdowns. It was the first time an Irish back had rushed for three scores since Autry Denson turned the trick against Georgia Tech in the 1999 Gator Bowl.
The Notre Dame defense also proved to be tough against the pass-happy BYU offense. The Irish forced a season-high four turnovers and sacked Cougar quarterback Matt Berry four times while holding BYU to just 53 yards rushing all day long.
The first of those four Notre Dame takeaways would produce the opening points of the contest, as Greg Pauly scooped up a BYU fumble and returned it to the Cougar 14-yard line. D.J. Fitzpatrick came on to convert the first of his four field goal attempts, hitting from 27 yards out midway through the first quarter.
The Cougars came right back, needing four plays to take the lead. A 46-yard pass from Berry to Justin Jory set up an 18-yard TD run by Rey Brathwaite at the 6:17 mark of the first period.
Fitzpatrick tacked on two more field goals from 31 and 34 yards away, the second coming after Derek Curry picked off a Berry pass and brought it back to the BYU 32-yard line. The Irish drove down to the five-yard line on that possession, but had to settle for their third field goal of the day.
After the Notre Dame defense forced BYU to punt on its next possession, the Irish took control late in the first half, as freshman quarterback Brady Quinn marched his team 52 yards in seven plays before Jones bulled over from the one-yard line with 25 seconds left in the quarter.
The teams traded punts to start the second half before the Notre Dame offense heated up again. Starting at their own 41-yard line, the Irish quickly covered the distance in four plays, with the highlight coming when Quinn hit then-sophomore wideout Rhema McKnight for a 33-yard gain. Jones scored on the next play from 23 yards out to build a 23-7 Notre Dame lead less than four minutes into the third quarter.
Notre Dame came back and added another Fitzpatrick field goal early in the fourth period before BYU capitalized on a short field and went 39 yards in three plays to close within 26-14. Berry capped off the short Cougar drive with a one-yard sneak at the 7:27 mark.
However, BYU couldn’t muster any further offense and Jones sealed the Irish win with his third score, a 13-yard scamper directly towards the student section at Notre Dame Stadium with 47 seconds to play.
Irish Look to Break an Unwelcome Streak
With Notre Dame’s two tough losses at home this season, the team’s homefield losing streak has been pushed to four games. In the 116-year history of the Notre Dame program, the Irish have lost four consecutive home games only three times – in 1933-34, in 1960 and the present streak that dates back to last season.
What makes Notre Dame’s current streak unusual is that each loss has occurred in the last minute (or in overtime) of each contest. Here is a look at Notre Dame’s last four losses at home:
Oct. 23, 2004 – Boston College 24, Notre Dame 23
A 30-yard touchdown pass from BC’s Paul Peterson to Tony Gonzalez with 0:54 remaining tied the score and Ryan Ohliger’s PAT provides the winning margin for the Eagles.
Nov. 13, 2004 – Pittsburgh 41, Notre Dame 38
The Panthers win a see-saw battle when Josh Cummings drills a 32-yard field goal with just one second remaining. The final drive featured two pass interference calls on the Irish, one of which nullified a game-clinching interception in the end zone.
Sept. 17, 2005 – Michigan State 44, Notre Dame 41
A furious Notre Dame comeback from a 21-point deficit ends in an overtime loss to the Spartans. Jason Teague’s 19-yard run on the game’s final play provides the winning point total for MSU.
Oct. 15, 2005 – USC 34, Notre Dame 31
After a clutch fourth-down conversion and a wild out-of-bounds fumble on the Irish goal line, Matt Leinart sneaks in from one yard out with three seconds remaining to hand Notre Dame its fourth-consecutive loss in Notre Dame Stadium.
Irish First-Year Head Coaches
As Charlie Weis continues his first season at the helm of the Irish, here are a few notes on Notre Dame’s head coaches in their inaugural years (see page 13 for a recap of each coaching debut season in ND history).
â€¢ The 27 previous head football coaches in Notre Dame history have combined to amass a 168-60-12 (.700) record in their first years at the helm.
â€¢ Weis is the first coach to begin his Irish career by beating two ranked opponents in his first two games. The only other attempt was by Terry Brennan in 1954 (won 21-0 vs. #4 Texas, lost 27-14 vs. #19 Purdue).
â€¢ Weis is the first coach to begin his Notre Dame tenure with two victories on the road and on the opponent’s home field since Knute Rockne in 1918 (at Case Tech, at Wabash). Hunk Anderson faced his first two games away from Notre Dame in `31 (at Indiana, vs. Northwestern at Soldier Field – a win and a tie, respectively) and Dan Devine also started with two games away from South Bend in `75 (vs. Boston College at Foxboro, at Purdue – both wins).
â€¢ The two most recent Irish head coaches (Bob Davie; 7-6 in 1997, Tyrone Willingham; 10-3 in 2002) posted winning records in their first seasons. The last Irish coach to turn in a sub – .500 season in his first year is Lou Holtz, whose `86 team finished 5-6.
â€¢ The longest winning streak for a Notre Dame head coach to begin his career with the Irish is nine games, by Harper (1913-14) and Parseghian (`64).
â€¢ Since 1913, four Notre Dame coaches – Layden, Parseghian, Holtz and Willingham – have taken over the program the year after their predecessors were either .500 or below. All but Holtz, who went 5-6 in `86, posted winning records in their first seasons and the quartet had a combined 30-13 record in such seasons. The `04 Irish went 6-6 under Willingham.
First-Year Players Seeing Significant Time
Through the first six games of the 2005 season, Notre Dame has seen 24 players make their Irish playing debut. Included in the 24 players are 10 true freshmen from Notre Dame’s 15-player class signed last year. The complete list of players that have played for the first time this season: James Bent, Justin Brown, David Bruton*, Maurice Crum, Jr., Casey Cullen, Paul Duncan*, Leo Ferrine, David Fitzgerald, David Grimes*, LaBrose Hedgemon III, Ray Herring*, Joey Hiben*, Pat Kuntz*, Terrail Lambert, Ashley McConnell, Marty Mooney, Steve Quinn * Asaph Schwapp*, Dwight Stephenson, Jr., Scott Smith*, Ronald Talley and Michael Turkovich*, Anthony Vernaglia.
* – indicates true freshman
Offense Piling Up Yardage
The offense has been the highlight of the 2005 Notre Dame football season thus far. The Irish are currently 12th in the country in overall offense (489.67) and are on pace for the most prolific offensive season since the team ended the 1996 season ranked 10th in total offense. Currently, the Irish are averaging 318.83 passing yards per game and are on pace to break the Notre Dame record of 252.7 set in 1970 (Notre Dame finished that season ranked eighth in the country in passing offense and second overall with a school-record 510.5 total yards per game).
One measuring stick for offensive production is games in which the team compiles over 500 yards of total offense. Notre Dame has accomplished that feat four times this season (502 at Pittsburgh, 594 vs. Michigan State, 560 at Washington, 621 at Purdue) – marking the first time the Irish have posted four or more 500-yard performances since the 1996 season.
Here is a breakdown of Notre Dame’s 500-plus games, season by season, since 1990 –
1990: 502 vs. Purdue, 542 vs. Air Force
1991: 650 vs. Michigan State
1992: 561 vs. Northwestern, 509 vs. Michigan State, 580 vs. Purdue, 521 vs. Pittsburgh, 576 vs. Boston College
1993: 539 vs. Pittsburgh, 535 vs. BYU, 604 vs. Navy
1994: 547 vs. Purdue
1995: 503 vs. Purdue, 511 vs. Texas, 514 vs. Air Force
1996: 650 vs. Washington, 544 vs. Boston College, 565 vs. Pittsburgh, 648 vs. Rutgers
1997: 520 vs. Boston College
1999: 566 vs. Oklahoma, 524 vs. Navy
2003: 512 vs. Stanford
2004: 536 vs. Purdue
Keep an Eye on Third Down
Notre Dame is ranked 12th in the nation and is averaging a solid 48 percent on third down this season (46 of 96), while holding its opponents to 31 percent (25 of 80), which is ranked 23rd in the nation.
Red Zone Turnovers
Notre Dame has forced its opponent into six turnovers during 23 red zone visits this season. The Irish have caused three fumbles and intercepted two passes inside their own 20-yard line this season. Overall, Notre Dame’s opponents are 16 for 23 in red zone chances with 13 touchdowns and three field goals. The Irish are 24 for 27 with 21 touchdowns and four field goals.
Four Ranked Teams in Six Games
Including last weekend’s matchup with No. 1 USC, Notre Dame has faced four ranked teams (according to the AP ranking) in a season’s first six games five times. Notre Dame won three of the games this year, taking down #23 Pittsburgh, #3 Michigan and #22 Purdue – all on the road.
Notre Dame faced a similar challenge in 2003, 2000, 1979 and 1953. The 1953 team (W, 28-21 at #6 Oklahoma; W, 24-14 vs. #15 Pittsburgh; W, 27-14 vs. #4 Georgia Tech; W, 38-7 vs. Navy) is the only Irish squad to win all four games.
Notre Dame’s Solid Start in 2005
Notre Dame has claimed victories over three ranked opponents on the road this season – and all three victories occurred on the opponent’s home field. That marks the first time Notre Dame has defeated three ranked teams on the road since 2002 (vs. #21 Maryland, at #18 Air Force, at #11 Florida State), but the first time since 1990 that feat has been achieved on the opponents’ home fields (at #24 Michigan State, at #9 Tennessee, at #18 USC).
The three ranked victories also occurred in the first five games of the year. The 2005 season marks the 11th time Notre Dame has faced three ranked opponents in its first five games of the season – and the ’05 season is the first time since 1980 (vs. #13 Miami, vs. #14 Michigan and vs. #9 Purdue) that the team has won all three such games in five attempts (1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003).
Quinn and the Notre Dame Record Book
Junior QB Brady Quinn, in his third full year as the Irish starter, already has made a lasting mark on the Irish football record book. Here is a quick overview of some of his accomplishments and rankings all-time at Notre Dame (see pages 9, 11 and 13 for several career ranking breakdowns for Quinn):
Touchdowns, Single Game – 5 – vs. Michigan State, the school record, breaking the previous mark of four which was held by seven different individuals in nine different games.
Completions, Single Game – 33 – vs. Michigan State, matched Joe Theismann’s school record from the 1970 game at USC.
Yards, Single Game – 487 – vs. Michigan State, second all-time behind Theismann’s 526 at USC in `70.
Yards, Career – 6,302 – becoming just the third Irish quarterback to throw for better than 6,000 yards, Quinn stands 225 yards behind Steve Beuerlein for second on the all-time list. Ron Powlus is the career yardage leader with 7,602 (Quinn trails Powlus by 1,564 yards).
Touchdown Passes, Career – 40 – already third on the all-time list behind Rick Mirer (41) and Ron Powlus (52).
Touchdown Passes, Season – 14 – ninth on the all-time list behind Rick Mirer (1992) who stands eight with 15. He is just five off the single-season record of 19, set by Powlus in 1994.
Avg. Passing Yards Per Game, Career – 210.1 – currently first on the all-time list ahead of Powlus (172.7).
Quinn also is well ahead of the pace to set the single-season passing yardage record for the Irish. At his current pace (314.2 yards per game), he would total 3,455 yards. The single-season record is held by Jarious Jackson, who threw for 2,753 yards in 1999. Averaging 250 yards per game for the rest of the season he would end up with 3,135 yards. The Dublin, Ohio, native has the possibility of becoming Notre Dame’s first 3,000-yard single-season passer.
Since 1950, a Notre Dame quarterback has thrown for 300 yards or more 14 times. Junior QB Brady Quinn is responsible for five of those performances – the most for any single Notre Dame quarterback. Quinn has thrown for 350 (vs. Boston College, 2003), 432 (vs. Purdue, 2004), 487 (vs. Michigan State, 2005), 327 (at Washington, 2005) and 440 (at Purdue, 2005).
Quinn is the only Notre Dame quarterback to throw for over 400 yards three times in a career (in fact, he is the only one to do it twice) – and in Notre Dame’s last road game at Purdue he became the first Irish signalcaller to throw for more than 300 yards in three consecutive games and the only Irish QB to throw for over 300 yards three in one season.
SEE PDF FOR A GAME-BY-GAME BREAKDOWN OF QUINN’S 2005 STATS…
Quinn On A Streak
Junior QB Brady Quinn has thrown a touchdown pass in his last 11 games played (and started) for the Irish, breaking John Huarte’s record of 10 set in 1964. The Dublin, Ohio, native has totaled 22 scoring tosses during the run.
Quinn’s touchdown passes over the last 11 games:
2005 – 1 vs. USC, 3 at Purdue, 1 at Washington, 5 vs. Michigan State, 2 at Michigan, 2 at Pittsburgh
2004 – 2 vs. Oregon State (Insight Bowl), 1 at USC, 3 vs. Pittsburgh, 1 at Tennessee, 1 vs. Boston College
Quinn Throws Five
Junior QB Brady Quinn became the first Notre Dame quarterback to throw five touchdown passes in a single game against Michigan State on Sept. 17. Quinn finished the game 33 of 60 for 487 yards, five touchdowns and one interception. It ranks as the second-best individual statistical performance by a Notre Dame quarterback – just behind Joe Theismann’s 33-for-58, 526-yard peformance at USC in 1970. Unfortunately, both games ended up in the loss column for the Irish.
Quinn’s touchdown passes vs. Michigan State:
18 yards to Jeff Samardzija, first quarter, 5:14
31 yards to Samardzija, second quarter, 8:43
6 yards to Darius Walker, third quarter, 1:23
7 yards to Maurice Stovall, fourth quarter, 12:29
4 yards to Smardzija, fourth quarter, 2:31
Quinn, Statistically Speaking
Brady Quinn’s exceptional start to the 2005 season has provided several statistical highlights for the junior QB.
â€¢ He reached the 6,000-yard passing barrier quicker than any Irish quarterback in history (29 games). Ron Powlus reached 6,000 yards in 34 games (and, like Quinn, he passed 6,000 yards at Purdue) and Steve Beuerlein racked 6,000 yards in 40 games.
â€¢ Quinn’s 283 passing yards in the first half at Purdue two weeks ago are the most ever for an Irish quarterback in a game’s first 30 minutes.
â€¢ He completed 11 consecutive passes during the second and third quarter of the Purdue game – marking the second time he has accomplished that feat this season. He completed 11 straight at Pittsburgh as well. Those two streaks are good for third on the all-time list behind Jarious Jackson (12 vs. Navy, 1998) and Ron Powlus (14 vs. Michigan State, 1997).
In 2005, junior quarterback Brady Quinn has become just the 13th signal-caller in Notre Dame history to start under center for three years. The following is a list of Quinn’s predecessors, along with their stats (when available) from their third starting season. In the 12 seasons played by three-year starting Irish quarterbacks, prior to Quinn’s `05 season, the group amassed a 90-30-4 combined record.
Quinn is poised to become the most prolific passer of the three-year starter group. He needs just 58 yards to surpass Ron Powlus for single season yards (1942) and two touchdown passes to move past Rick Mirer (15).
SEE PDF FOR A BREAKDOWN OF NOTRE DAME THREE-YEAR STARTING QUARTERBACKS…
Walker Off To A Great Start
Sophomore RB Darius Walker started the 2005 season with four consecutive 100-yard performances. He ran for an even 100 yards at #23/25 Pittsburgh (42-21 Irish victory), posted 104 yards in a 17-10 victory at #3/3 Michigan, rushed for 116 yards against Michigan State (44-41 OT loss) and had a career-high 128 yards at Washington on Sept. 24. Purdue ended Walker’s streak of 100-yard games at four by holding him to 80 yards on 23 carries.
The effort against Washington made Walker the first Irish running back to start the season with four consecutive 100-yard rushing performances. The last Notre Dame running back to rush for over 100 yards in four straight games was Randy Kinder, who rushed for 100 yards against Purdue (142), Vanderbilt (110), Texas (129) and Ohio State (143) in 1995.
SEE PDF FOR A BREAKDOWN OF WALKER GAME-BY-GAME IN 2005…
Walker Expanding His Game
While sophomore Darius Walker set the Notre Dame freshman rushing record last season (786 yards in `04), he was limited in his role in the Irish passing game (10 catches, 74 yards). He has already eclipsed those numbers in 2005, posting 21 catches (fourth on the team) for 159 yards and two touchdowns.
Jinx?, What Jinx?
Sophomore running back Darius Walker set a Notre Dame freshman rushing record in 2004 with 786 yards, eclipsing the mark of 756 Jerome Heavens set in 1975, en route to earning third-team Freshman All-America honors from The Sporting News. If Walker stays on the pace he set in his first season with the Irish, he will be primed to turn in one of the finest statistical seasons ever by an Irish sophomore. Here’s a look at how the top 10 rushers in Notre Dame history, plus a few other notables, fared in their sophomore year.
SEE PDF FOR A BREAKDOWN OF NOTRE DAME SOPHOMORE RUNNING BACKS…
Travis Thomas Steps Up
Looking for a change-of-pace back against No. 1 USC last weekend, Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis turned to junior RB Travis Thomas. Thomas, who has shined in reserve duty this season, stepped up to rush for a career-high 52 yards, including a 16-yard run to record Notre Dame’s first touchdown of the day against the Trojans.
Thomas’ production this season already surpasses his totals from 2004, his first season of action for the Irish:
Year Games Att. Yards Avg. TD Long
2004 11 25 25 1.0 0 12
2005 6 37 161 4.4 3 16
Samardzija Six for Six
Junior WR Jeff Samardzija entered the 2005 campaign without a touchdown catch, but has since caught at least one scoring toss in each of this season’s first six games. The two-sport athlete (who was a top-line starting pitcher for the Irish baseball team last season) becomes the first Irish receiver to begin the season with six consecutive games with touchdown catches and has matched Malcolm Johnson’s school record with a touchdown grab in six straight games. Johnson caught a scoring toss in six straight midseason contests (Arizona State, Army, Baylor, Boston College, Navy and LSU) from Oct. 10 through Nov. 11, during the 1998 season.
Samardzija, who also serves as the team’s holder on field-goal attempts, tied a Notre Dame record with three touchdown receptions versus Michigan State. He is the seventh player to do it and the first since Tom Gatewood versus Purdue in 1970. Samardzija’s two touchdown grabs at Purdue made him the first Irish receiver to catch touchdowns in five consecutive games since Malcolm Johnson posted a Notre Dame record six TD catches in six straight
Scoring Streak by `The Shark’ Among the Nation’s Best
Junior WR Jeff Samardzija, nicknamed `The Shark’ by his teammates, boasts one of the best consecutive touchdown-per-game scoring streaks in the nation. His is currently tied for fourth,having caught a touchdown pass in all six Notre Dame games this season. Here is a look at the the top touchdown-scoring consecutive game streaks in NCAA football this season –
1. Jason Hill (Washington State) – 8 (current)
2. Steve Sanders (Bowling Green) – 7 (current)
Brian Calhoun (Wisconsin) – 7 (current)
4. Bradley Glatthaar (Cincinnati) – 6 (current)
Jeff Samardzija (Notre Dame) – 6 (current)
Jordy Nelson (Kansas State) – 6 (current)
Michael Bush (Louisville) – 6
8. Joseph Addai (LSU) – 5 (current)
Demetrius Williams (Oregon) – 5
Lendale White (USC) – 5 (current)
11. Karlos Whittaker (Navy) – 4 (current)
Kevin Robinson (Utah State) – 4 (current)
Damien Rhodes (Syracuse) – 4
Johnnie Lee Higgins (UTEP) – 4 (current)
Jerome Harrison (Washington State) – 4 (current)
Reggie Bush (USC) – 4
Samardzija, Statistically Speaking
Junior WR Jeff Samardzija has started the season off in impressive fashion, leading the team with 34 catches for 598 yards and nine touchdowns. He is ranked 21st in the country in receiving yards per game (99.7) and could become Notre Dame’s first 1,000-yard receiver since 1970 (Tom Gatewood, 1,123 yards). Samardzija is currently on pace for 1,093 receiving yards this season.
He is already threatening the single-season touchdown total. His nine scoring receptions are tied for second on the all-time list.
Touchdown Receptions in a Season –
Rank Name Total Season
1. Derrick Mayes 11 1994
2. Jack Snow 9 1964
Jeff Samardzija 9 2005
4. Jim Seymour 8 1966
5. Tom Gatewood 7 1970
Tom Gatewood 7 1970
Older and Wiser
The 2005 Notre Dame offensive line is one of the most experienced units in school history. With the entire starting group from a year ago still in the fold, the Irish offense boasts almost 100 combined career starts on the line. Entering the 2005 season, senior tackle Mark LeVoir started the last 24 Notre Dame games and led the veteran group in starting assignments. Seniors Bob Morton and Dan Stevenson were a close second with 22 starts each, while junior Ryan Harris had 19 starts to his credit and junior John Sullivan was the junior man of the group with 12. Here is a look at the 10 most experienced offensive line units to wear the blue and gold since `85, with the `05 group added in for comparison.
Year Starts Heading Into Season
Ndukwe a Turnover Machine
Junior saftey Chinedum Ndukwe (pronounced Shin-eh-DOOM en-DUKE-way), seeing the most playing time of his career this season, has turned into a playmaker in Notre Dame’s defensive backfield and on special teams. Ndukwe has played a part in half (seven of 14) of Notre Dame’s forced turnovers this season.
He recovered a fumble in the first four games of the season for the Irish, forced a fumble at Washington and intercepted passes against Michigan State and USC at home.
So far this season, Ndukwe has 20.5 tackles, one TFL, and 1 PBU in addition to his turnover creations.
Zbikowski Making a Name for Himself On Special Teams
Junior safety Tom Zbikowski is third on the team in tackles with 37 and tied for the team lead in both interceptions (two) and passes broken up (four). The Golden Gloves boxer also is making plays on special teams for the Irish. His 16.55 punt-return average is ranked eighth in the country entering the weekend and his 60-yard punt return for a touchdown against USC was Notre Dame’s first since the 2002 season.
Zbikowski has recorded punt returns of 23 (at Pitt), 25 (at Washington) and 60 (vs. USC) yards so far this season.
Notre Dame Winning Time-of-Possession Battle
While Notre Dame’s offense has been piling up the yardage this season (averaging 489.7 yards per game), it has also won the time of possession battle in each contest. In fact, Notre Dame has not allowed an opponent to log 30 minutes of possession time in a game this season. Overall, Notre Dame averages 35:12 minutes per game with the ball, compared to 24:48 for its opponents. Here is a game-by-game breakdown:
Game Notre Dame Opponent
at Pitt 32:46 27:14
at Mich 30:56 29:04
MSU 35:49 24:11
Wash 36:56 23:04
Purdue 36:03 23:57
USC 38:40 21:20
Don’t Forget the Anniversary
The 2005 football season marks the 75th anniversary of the opening of fabled Notre Dame Stadium. The Irish have played 382 games in that facility to date and own a 287-90-5 (.757) record in the “House that Rockne Built.”
The Irish were 3-3 in Notre Dame Stadium in `04, running their home record to 91-30 (.752) over the last 20 years.
The most wins in a season by the Irish at home is seven by the `88 national championship team and the longest home winning streak in Notre Dame football history is 28 games (from 11/21/42 through 9/30/50).
In `55, the Stadium’s 25th anniversary, Notre Dame went 8-2 on the season for coach Terry Brennan, including a 4-0 home record; the Irish turned in a 9-2-1 overall record and a 5-0 home mark to commemorate Notre Dame Stadium’s 50th anniversary in `80.
Irish Face Another Loaded Schedule
With the updates of the AP and USA Today/Coaches Poll, Notre Dame will continue to face one of the toughest schedules in the nation (rankings are AP/USA Today and Harris Interactive):
â€¢ Notre Dame is the only team that will play three games against top four teams from the preseason polls – #1/1 USC (Oct. 15), #5/4 Tennessee (Nov. 5) and #3/3 Michigan (W, 17-10).
â€¢ Notre Dame is the only school that will face three teams that were in the top 10 of both preseason polls this season.
â€¢ Notre Dame will play games against six teams ranked in the top 25 this season at least once this season. The Irish have already defeated #23/25 Pittsburgh 42-21, #3/3 Michigan 17-10 and #22/20/22 Purdue. Last weekend, the Irish battled #1/1/1 USC in an `instant classic,’ losing 34-31 on the final play of the game. Notre Dame also will face #17/18/18 Tennessee on Nov. 5. Michigan State, unranked before its victory over the Irish, has moved into #22/22/21 in the current national rankings.
USC Television Rating Highest In 11 Seasons
Last weekend’s USC-Notre Dame football game earned the best overnight rating for a Notre Dame home game in more than a decade. The 7.9 overnight rating and 17 share was the highest since Notre Dame-Michigan earned a 8.4/21 overnight on Sept. 10, 1994.
The rating peaked at a 14.2/27 from 7:30-7:45 as USC QB Matt Leinert scored with three seconds remaining leading the Trojans to a dramatic 34-31 victory. Notre Dame had taken the lead with 2:02 left. No. 9 Notre Dame had been bidding to end No. 1 USC’s 27-game winning streak.
NBC’s college football analyst Pat Haden called the contest, “as entertaining a last three minutes of a college football game as I’ve ever seen.”
The top-rated markets were:
1. Indianapolis, 14.7/30
2. Los Angeles, 13.4/31
3. Knoxville, 12.6/25
4. Oklahoma City, 11.9/25
5. Portland, 11.0/25
6. Chicago, 10.7/24
7. Birmingham, 10.4/19
8. Boston, 10.3/21.
In Front of the Nation
In 2004, the Notre Dame football team once again received more network television exposure and played in more highly-rated games than any other program in college football.
The Irish played in the highest-rated network game of the `04 regular season (and the highest-rated regular-season game overall in two seasons) in its `04 regular-season finale at USC. That game, televised by ABC Sports, received a 6.3 Nielsen rating and was seen in 6.898 million households.
Overall, Notre Dame played in six games that ranked among the top 25 highest-rated network telecasts and no other school played in more than five (Tennessee and Georgia each played in five).
Including Notre Dame’s last game against USC, the Irish have a remarkable streak of 154 consecutive games (more than 12 full seasons) that have been carried by either NBC (82), ABC (44), CBS (14) or ESPN (13). You have to go all the way back to the `92 season to find a Notre Dame game that wasn’t on one of those four networks.
The streak will continue throughout the 2005 season as well. All five remaining games this season are scheduled to be broadcast on NBC or ABC.
In Front of a Full House
Notre Dame has played in front of sellout crowds in 177 of its previous 203 games, including 45 of its last 49 games dating back to the end of the Fiesta Bowl at the end of the 2000 season (the `01 and `03 games at Stanford, last year’s game vs. Navy at the Meadowlands and this season’s game at Washington were not sellouts). At Michigan in `03, the Irish and Wolverines attracted the largest crowd in NCAA history (111,726), marking the third time in the history of the series that an NCAA attendance record has been set. It also represented the seventh time in the last four seasons that Notre Dame has been part of establishing a new stadium attendance record (at Nebraska and Texas A&M in `01; at Air Force and Florida State, home vs. Boston College in `02, vs. Oregon State in the Insight Bowl in `04 – the game set a Bank One Ballpark record for football configuration). Notre Dame and Michigan played before an over-capacity 111,386 at Michigan Stadium two weeks ago. This season’s Washington was played before less than a capacity crowd as 71,473 witnessed the Irish defeat the Huskies, 36-17, at Husky Stadium (capacity: 72,500) in Seattle.
At Purdue, the Irish and Boilermakers played before 60,491 football fans, a Ross-Ade Stadium record (since the renovation of the facility in 2003).
On the `Fas’ Track to Success
Senior tight end Anthony Fasano turned in a breakout 2004 season for the Irish, catching 27 balls for 367 yards and four touchdowns. Against Purdue, the 6-4, 257-pound Fasano hauled in a career-high eight passes for a career-high and Notre Dame tight end-record 155 yards in `04 and was named John Mackey National Tight End of the Week. His 27 catches in ’04 tied him with former Irish standout Pete Chryplewicz for the fifth-highest single-season total by a tight end.
Barring injury Fasano has moved onto Notre Dame’s top five all-time tight end receiving list. Here’s a look at where he stands heading into the weekend:
SEE PDF FOR STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN…
Fasano’s signature game – the eight-reception, 155-yard outburst versus Purdue in ’04 – placed him at the top of the record books in terms of yards for a single game. The following is a list of how he stacks up against Notre Dame’s top five tight end in terms of career yards.
SEE PDF FOR STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN…
What makes Fasano’s totals even more impressive is the fact that he has tallied them in a little more than two years of action, after not playing his freshman year in 2002. Here’s a breakdown of what Notre Dame’s other prolific pass-catching tight ends did in their third seasons in the blue and gold.
SEE PDF FOR STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN…
Already in the Books
In 2004, Notre Dame wide receiver Matt Shelton cemented his name in the lore of Notre Dame football last season by setting a single-season record for average yards per reception. Shelton’s average of 25.8 yards per catch eclipsed Tony Hunter’s mark of 25.6 from the 1979 campaign. Here’s a look at the top five single seasons in school history in terms of yards per reception.
Player Avg. Year
1. Matt Shelton 25.8 2004
2. Tony Hunter 25.6 1979
3. Jim Morse 22.1 1956
4. Raghib Ismail 21.8 1990
4. Kris Haines 21.8 1978
The record for most receptions by a pair of classmates at Notre Dame is 210, achieved by the 1966-68 combination of Jim Seymour (138) and Bob Gladieux (72). A prolific 2005 season by seniors Rhema McKnight and Maurice Stovall could eclipse that standard. Entering this weekend’s contest, McKnight has 103 career catches and Stovall 87 for 190 total – needing 20 catches combined to reach the record. It should be pointed out, however, that both McKnight and Stovall played as freshmen – Seymour and Gladieux piled up 210 catches in just three years of varsity action.
National Award Watch Lists
Maxwell award –
In June, Irish junior quarterback Brady Quinn was one of 53 players named to the 2005 Maxwell Award Watch List. The award, presented by the Maxwell Football Club, is given annually to the college football player of the year.
Quinn has been Notre Dame’s offensive leader this season, completing 64 percent of his passes while throwing for 1,885 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Quinn threw for 2,586 yards in `04, his second as the starting quarterback for Notre Dame. His sophomore season ended up as the best second-year campaign ever for an Irish quarterback, finishing second in ND history on the single-season passing list behind Jarious Jackson’s 2,753 yards in `99. Quinn’s attempts (353) and completions (191) last season stand atop the single-season lists at Notre Dame. He accounted for 20 touchdowns (17 passing, three rushing) in `04.
Starting the last 27 consecutive games at quarterback for Notre Dame, Quinn already has posted the top freshman and sophomore statistical seasons in school history. He currently ranks third all-time on the Notre Dame passing yardage list, just 225 yards behind Steve Beuerlein for second place.
The Maxwell Award is named after Robert W. “Tiny” Maxwell, a Philadelphia native and former All-American guard at Swarthmore and Chicago who went on to a career that included professional football, coaching and sportswriting.
Notre Dame has seen four different players earn the Maxwell Award a total of five times in the football program’s history. Tight end Leon Hart was the initial recipient in 1949, followed by HB John Lattner (1952 and `53), LB Jim Lynch (1966) and DE Ross Browner (1977).
MACKEY AWARD –
On Aug. 1, Anthony Fasano was named to the 2005 John Mackey Award Watch List which is given annually to the nation’s best collegiate tight end.
Fasano is second on the team in `05 with 27 catches for 335 yards (12.4 avg.). He is averaging 55.8 receiving yards per game.
Fasano is coming off his most productive season in 2004. As a junior, he finished second on the team with 27 catches for 367 yards and four touchdowns. Proficient in pass catching, route running and blocking, Fasano is poised for a breakout year in Notre Dame’s new offense under the direction of head coach Charlie Weis and offensive coordinator Michael Haywood.
Fasano caught four passes for 60 yards in the ’04 season opener against BYU and continued to be a reliable force in the Irish offense throughout the campaign. He exploded for career highs in catches and yards against Purdue, nabbing eight receptions for a Notre Dame tight end-record 155 receiving yards.
He was named the John Mackey National Tight End of the Week for his performance against Purdue.
The Verona, N.J., native, one of 20 players on the watch list, also caught two touchdown passes against Washington and added scoring receptions at Tennessee and against Oregon State in the Insight Bowl.
Fasano also was a key contributor in 2003. As a sophomore, he caught 18 passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns. He did not play during his freshman season in 2002.
NFL Hall of Famer John Mackey is considered to be the best to have played the tight end position. The award honors his leadership and career of excellence.
The John Mackey Award has been presented since 2000, with four NFL players as alumni: Dallas Clark of Iowa (’01), Daniel Graham of Colorado (’02), Kellen Winslow, Jr. of Miami (FL) (’03) and Heath Miller of Virginia (’04).
The Nassau County Sports Commmission, a non-profit organization to enhance quality of life by “Improving Life through Sports” and promote “Healthy Sports for Healthy Kids,” presents this national football award as a tribute to Nassau County sports legend and native John Mackey.
GROZA AWARD –
D.J. Fitzpatrick has been named to the Lou Groza Award Preseason Watch List as one of 30 preliminary candidates for the annual award recognizing college football’s finest placekicker.
Fitzpatrick is a perfect 27 for 27 in PATs this season. He has missed two of nine field-goal attempts and has posted a punting average of 40.5 – pinning six kicks inside the opponent’s 20-yard line and launching a 60-yard punt at Michigan.
Fitzpatrick is entering his third season as the primary placekicker and punter for the Fighting Irish and is coming off an excellent season in 2004 in which he connected on 11 of 15 field goal attempts (73.3 percent), including a long of 47 yards. He scored 64 points on the season while making 34 of 35 conversion attempts. A proven performer in pressure situations, Fitzpatrick has made 25 of 32 attempts inside 50 yards for his career. He already ranks eighth in Notre Dame history for career field goals made with 25.
Kickers on the Lou Groza Award Preseason Watch List were chosen based on statistics from the 2004 season and 2005 preseason expectations. However, all Division I-A kickers are eligible for consideration for the award. A panel of more than 300 experts votes on the award, including Division I-A head coaches, sportswriters and sportscasters, conference representatives, professional kickers and all previous Groza Award finalists.
The 20 semi-finalists for the Lou Groza Award will be announced on Monday, Oct. 31, 2005, with the naming of the three finalists two weeks later on Monday, Nov. 14, 2005. The three finalists are recognized during the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award Banquet and Silent Auction on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2005, at the Palm Beach Gardens Marriott and the winner is announced on Thursday, December 8, 2005, during the ESPN Home Depot College Football Award Show in Orlando, Fla.
The award, now in its 14th year, is named for National Football League (NFL) Hall-of-Fame kicker Lou Groza, who played 21 seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Groza won four NFL championships with Cleveland and was named NFL Player of the Year in 1954. Nicknamed “The Toe,” Groza helped usher in the idea that a player could be used exclusively for kicking.
BUTKUS AWARD –
Senior linebacker and defensive team captain Brandon Hoyte has been named one of 65 candidates on the 2005 Butkus Award watch list. The award honors the nation’s top collegiate linebacker.
Hoyte has been a terror to opposing offenses this season. He leads the team with 49 tackles (including a team high 12 with 10 solos at Michigan), 11 tackles for a loss and four sacks. He also has broken up two passes and forced two fumbles in 2005.
A fifth-year senior in 2005, Hoyte is a two-time academic all-district honoree with 254 career tackles, 10 career sacks and six forced fumbles. A native of Parlin, N.J., Hoyte is a leader both on and off the field for the Irish.
Hoyte finished second on the team in tackles last season, making 74 stops (38 solo) along with eight tackles for loss and three sacks. Projected as a starter on the outside for the Irish this season, Hoyte is poised to end his Irish career with an outstanding senior campaign.
Named a freshman All-American by The Sporting News in 2002, Hoyte has collected more than 50 tackles in each season (57 in ’02, 74 in ’03, 74 in ’04).
Making the Grade
The last four seasons of Notre Dame football have produced some impressive semesters in the classroom for the Notre Dame football team. In fact, the Irish had a 2004 spring semester in which the team’s 104 players combined for a 2.96 grade-point average that ranks as the program’s best semester GPA on record (dating back to 1992). The Notre Dame football program’s top six semester GPAs since `92 were all posted in the seven semesters prior to the fall of `04, including the three semesters from fall of `02 to fall of `03 (2.84 in fall of `02, 2.79 in spring of `03 and 2.82 in fall of `03). The football program’s second-best semester GPA of the past 12 years came in the spring of `02 (2.90), followed by a 2.80 in the spring of `01 and a 2.69 in the fall of `01. Upon closer examination, the 2004 spring semester saw 11 Irish football players post a Dean’s List GPA (sliding scale, based on major), while 21 turned in a semester GPA of 3.4-plus and more than half (53) had a GPA of 3.0 or better. In addition, two players – former DE Kyle Businscak and senior LB Brandon Hoyte – received Academic All-District V honors in `03, marking Budinscak’s third selection and Hoyte’s second to the prestigious squad. Budinscak followed up with another All-District V honor in `04.
Taking Care of Business Off the Field, Too
The American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) annually honors the school with the highest graduation rate based on a particular entering freshman football class, and Notre Dame has won the award six times, most recently in 2001 with its 100-percent graduation rate (22 of 22 entering freshmen from `96 earned their degrees within five years). The `01 award followed Notre Dame’s previous honors in `82, `83, `84, `88 and `91. Notre Dame also holds the distinction of producing the first 100-percent rate in a single year when 24 of 24 student-athletes from the entering class of `82 earned their degrees within a five-year period (and 16 of those 24 did so within four years). Only eight other times has a school registered a 100-percent graduation rate. The `88 award had special meaning, as it was the first time a school won the national championship on the football field – as Notre Dame did, finishing 12-0 after a Fiesta Bowl win over unbeaten West Virginia – and in the classroom. Including the special mention category, the Irish have received some sort of recognition in 23 of the 24 years the award has been presented, with Duke next at 21.
All 2005 pep rallies will be held in the Joyce Center Arena (south dome) on Fridays before Saturday home games, beginning at 6:00 p.m. (EST). The football team enters the arena at 6:30 p.m.
For the USC game, the pep rally was moved into Notre Dame Stadium to accomodate the expected overflow crowd. An estimated crowd of over 45,000 fans attended the USC pep rally, which was also broadcast live by ESPNews.
Beginning this season, all of Notre Dame’s pep rallies will be broadcast live (video and audio) on www.und.com for subscribers to “Fighting Irish All-Access.”
Notre Dame Experience Returns for 2005 Season
For years, the Joyce Center has been the “pregame meeting place” for several thousand Notre Dame alumni. In an effort to add to this tradition, the Notre Dame athletics department is providing an interactive fan experience for each of the 2005 home football games in the Joyce Center Fieldhouse (north dome). For the fourth consecutive season, the “Notre Dame Experience” will combine with the Notre Dame Alumni Association Hospitality Center with interactive inflatables, photo booths, autograph sessions, football trivia and stage activities. Gates open three hours prior to kickoff and admission is free.
Tickets Available for 2005 Football Kickoff Luncheons
Tickets are now on sale for all the 2005 Notre Dame Kickoff Luncheons, held in the Joyce Center Fieldhouse (north dome) on the Friday prior to home football games. The luncheons feature head coach Charlie Weis and Irish players and assistant coaches, plus special guests and other attractions.
Tickets are $18 each, with a handling fee of $3 – there are 10 seats per table – and if you wish to sit as a group at the same table with other guests, please return all reservations in one envelope. Checks should be made payable to “University of Notre Dame” and mailed to: Athletics Business Office, 112 Joyce Center, Notre Dame, IN, 46556. Telephone and credit card reservations are not accepted. A printed reservation form is available on Notre Dame’s athletics web site – www.und.com.
Notre Dame Athletics Continues Relationship with SIRIUS Satellite Radio
After a successful debut season in 2004, SIRIUS Satellite Radio will continue to offer Notre Dame football, and selected men’s/women’s basketball, games on its nationwide service.
Go to www.sirius.com for more information on the service. The Notre Dame – USC match up can be heard on the following SIRIUS channels – Oct. 22 vs. BYU 143
Inside the Irish Huddle DVD
Legendary Notre Dame Quarterbacks, a project dedicated to the lore and history of University of Notre Dame football and its rich quarterbacking tradition, is beginning its existence with the release of a DVD, Inside the Irish Huddle, Stories from the Legendary Notre Dame Quarterbacks.
The DVD is now available and can ordered on NDQB1.com, the official website of the Legendary Notre Dame Quarterbacks.
Inside the Irish Huddle, made in association with Indianapolis and Chicago based Pathway Productions, includes interviews with and collegiate highlights of some of the most high-profile players and coaches in Notre Dame and college football history. Joe Montana, Joe Theismann, Paul Hornung, Johnny Lujack, Tom Clements and Terry Hanratty are just a few of former players featured on Inside the Irish Huddle.
The project is spearheaded by former Irish quarterback Blair Kiel (1980-83).
Notre Dame Stadium Update
Thanks to funding by the Notre Dame Monogram Club, Notre Dame Stadium features a new look for its 75th anniversary this season.
â€¢ Positioned in the 195 portals of the original Stadium walls (now visible in the lower bowl concourse), there now are individual, four-by-10-foot, mesh banners with old-school, black-and-white photos highlighting Notre Dame’s 11 consensus national-championship seasons, its 139 first-team football All-Americans, its seven Heisman Trophy winners, its five national-championship coaches and its eight representatives in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
â€¢ Hanging from the ceiling around the lower concourse are 15 full-color, 12-by-15-foot banners – 10 of them featuring action shots of members of the 2005 Irish squad, and five featuring the 75th anniversary logo for Notre Dame Stadium. In addition, there will be four other five-by-eight-foot representations of the logo within the Stadium.
â€¢ One addition visible from inside the Stadium is a sign on the facing of the wall just above the tunnel – it reads “Irish” and includes the Monogram Club logo.
â€¢ Attached to light polls on Moose Krause Circle surrounding the Stadium and in the Stadium and Joyce North and South parking lots are 100 two-by-four foot pole banners, all of them featuring various Notre Dame marks and phrases – including combinations of Irish, We Are ND, a shamrock, the leprechaun, University of Notre Dame, Here Come the Irish, Fighting Irish, a gold helmet and the 75th anniversary Stadium logo.
â€¢ In addition, there are plans over the next few years to theme the entry gates at the Stadium – with the intention of creating specific recognition of Notre Dame’s national championships, its All-Americans, its Heisman Trophy winners and its national championship coaches. The gate completed was Gate B. It recognizes the Irish Heisman winners with three-foot by eight-foot replicas of the Heisman Trophy. The displays were designed by Rockwell Group of New York and fabricated by Show Motion Inc. of Connecticut. The work was accomplished with the cooperation of the Downtown Athletic Club and the Heisman Trophy Trust.
Most of the signage and design work is being handled by Sport Graphics, Inc., in Indianapolis, Ind. Additional work for the gate designs is by the Rockwell Group in New York, N.Y.
Guglielmino Athletics Complex Officially Dedicated
The Guglielmino Athletics Complex, new home to the University of Notre Dame football program, was dedicated Friday, Oct. 14, 2005. The dedication program included a blessing of the building, an afternoon Mass at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart and a dedication dinner in the rotunda of the Main Building. A special, 18-by-24-inch, commemorative poster (printed by Mossberg & Company in South Bend and designed by recent Notre Dame graduate Tim O’Connor) created for the dedication was available free of charge Friday night as fans left the pep rally at Notre Dame Stadium.
Opened in August and located on the east side of campus, the 96,000-square-foot building commonly referred to as “The Gug” is a spacious, state-of-the-art facility that houses the football program’s locker rooms, offices and meeting rooms, in addition to giving the 800 student-athletes in Notre Dame’s 26 varsity sports enhanced space for all training, strength and conditioning, and medical needs. The Guglielmino Athletics Complex has been made possible through the generous gift of the late Don F. Guglielmino and his wife Flora. A longtime supporter of Notre Dame, Guglielmino attended the University in the 1939-40 academic year.
Irish Football on the Printed Page
This fall, three new books about Fighting Irish football have debuted. The Spirit of Notre Dame, by Jim Langford and Jeremy Langford, officially went on sale during the last week of August. Detailing both athletic and student/alumni stories from the University, the book is said to be “the absolute essential title for the millions of people who have a place in their heart for the Fighting Irish.” The book is a production of The Doubleday Broadway Publishing Group and can be bought on www.randomhouse.com.
South Bend Tribune and Notre Dame football beat writer Eric Hansen has seen the release of his new book, Notre Dame, Where Have You Gone?. Hansen catches up with former Fighting Irish football players, from the All-Americans to the walk-ons to the one-play wonders to the once-tragic figures. The book is available for order at www.sportspublishinginc.com.
The third offering comes from Senior Associate Athletic Director for Media Relations at Notre Dame – John Heisler. Echoes of Notre Dame Football, The Greatest Stories Ever Told, was edited by the former long-time sports information director. A member of the CoSIDA Hall of Fame, Heisler’s book stitches together the best columns from the best columnists. It not only recounts the greatest moments in Notre Dame lore, it also tracks the chronological progression sportswriting styles from the esoteric to the ultra-modern. The book is available by calling 800-335-5323 or by sending an e-mail to WebOrders@triumphbooks.com. The book also features a foreword by Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis.
Kevin White Radio Show
Look for the Kevin White Show for the next 30 weeks on ESPN 1000 AM radio in Chicago.
The hour-long program debuted Sept. 4 in its sixth season – with first-night guests including former Irish football-walk-on Dan “Rudy” Ruettiger (subject of the 1993 movie “Rudy”), former Irish placekicker Harry Oliver (he kicked a 51-yard field goal 25 years ago this week to help Notre Dame beat Michigan 29-27 in 1980), and current Irish hockey coach Jeff Jackson.
Guests regularly will include familiar names from all facets of college athletics.
The show features White, Notre Dame’s director of athletics, and ESPN 1000’s Dave Juday. It can be heard regularly at 11:00 p.m. Central time on Sunday.
Sponsors of the show include Gatorade, Xerox, adidas, Comcast, McDonald’s, Chase, Coca-Cola, Sirius Satellite Radio, Jordan Industries and Sayers Computer Source.
The show can be heard in more than 30 states around the country on ESPN 1000 in Chicago.
Katrina Collection Update
Collections taken up throughout the University of Notre Dame community in recent weeks–in the student residence hall chapels and dining halls and even the football stadium–have raised $240,171 for the relief of victims of the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe.
A collection in the Notre Dame Stadium during the football game with Michigan State raised $195,871. Collections also have been taken up at Masses in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart and in the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore but have not yet been tabulated.
Funds raised in the University’s Katrina collections are being distributed among Catholic Charities USA; Catholic parishes in the Gulf region which are administered by Notre Dame’s founding religious order, the Congregation of Holy Cross; and regional parochial schools participating in Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) volunteer teacher program.
The University will continue to accept donations throughout the semester. Contributions may be sent to: Notre Dame Katrina Collection, P.O. Box 198, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556-019.
Notre Dame will utilize the Big Ten Conference instant replay system during all other home games this season. The opposing team is given the option of agreeing to use the system as well, and it will only be implemented if both teams decide to utilize the system.
â€¢ The Big Ten instant replay model and the NFL instant replay system are different. In the Big Ten model, only the Big Ten Technical Advisor, working in the press box, can stop a game to review a play. Unlike the NFL model, in the Big Ten neither the coaches nor the game officials on the field may ask for a review.
â€¢ In order for a play to be changed the Technical Advisor must have indisputable video evidence that an error occurred. Television broadcast of the game will be the sole source of whether there is indisputable video evidence.
â€¢ The replay system will not guarantee that all officiating mistakes are identified and corrected.
â€¢The types of plays that are reviewable include plays that are governed by the sideline, goal line, end zone and end line, passing plays, and other detectable infractions, such as forward progress with respect to first down.
NOTRE DAME VS. BYU: BY THE NUMBERS:
SEE PDF FOR NCAA STATISTICAL RANKINGS FOR EACH TEAM…