Senior WR Maurice Stovall has eight touchdown catches in Notre Dame's last three games played.

Football Faces Syracuse In Final Home Game Of 2005

Nov. 15, 2005

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Notre Dame (7-2) vs. Syracuse (1-8)

The Rankings: Notre Dame – 6th AP, 7th USA Today, 6th Harris, 9th BCS

The Date and Time: Saturday, Nov. 19, 2005, 2:30 p.m. EST (1:30 p.m. CST in Chicago)

The Site: Notre Dame Stadium (80,795), Natural Grass

The Tickets: They’re all sold and it is the 185th consecutive sellout at Notre Dame Stadium (the first 130 coming at the old 59,075 capacity). The Syracuse game marks the 233rd home sellout in the last 234 games (dating back to 1964). It also is the 179th sellout in the last 204 Irish games and the 54th in the last 58 games involving Notre Dame, dating back to the end of the 2000 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), former Irish running back Allen Pinkett (analysis) and Al Smith (producer). This broadcast can be heard live on SIRIUS Satellite Radio (channel 126 for the Navy game) as well.

A live broadcast from the Notre Dame student station, WVFI, also is available via the Notre Dame official athletics website at (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 –; Syracuse –

Two-Minute Drill (what you need to know about Saturday’s Notre Dame – Syracuse matchup) –

• Notre Dame and Syracuse are meeting for just the fifth time. The teams split the first four meetings 2-2, but the Orange hold a two-game winning streak, having won the most recent matchup 38-12 in 2003, along with a 14-7 victory at Yankee Stadium in 1963. Saturday marks Syracuse’s second appearance in Notre Dame Stadium and first since 1961.

• Saturday’s game will be Notre Dame’s second matchup with the BIG EAST Conference this season that includes a 42-21 victory over Pittsburgh in the season opener on Sept. 3. The Irish are 55-20-1 (.730) against teams the currently make up the BIG EAST Conference.

•Junior QB Brady Quinn, already the school record holder in career touchdown passes (53), single-season touchdown passes (27) and single-season passing yardage (2,931), needs 254 yards in Saturday’s game to become Notre Dame’s all-time leading passer. He also is just 69 yards away from becoming Notre Dame’s first-ever single-season 3,000-yard passer.

• Notre Dame’s scoring prowess this season is already threatening several school records. The Irish have scored 40 points six times, matching the school record from 1991 and 1992. The team also has scored 30 points eight times in nine games (the season record is nine by the 1991 squad) and reached the 30-point mark in seven consecutive contests (only the 1993 and 1970 teams accomplished such a feat). Notre Dame also is on pace to break the school record for scoring average (38.67 currently, record is 37.68 in 1968).

• Through nine games, the Irish have already scored more points (348) than any of the previous five Notre Dame teams. The all-time single-season record of 426 points scored is in jeopardy as well, as three more contests this season (including a potential bowl game) would put the Irish at 462 points this season (according to the season scoring average per game).

• Notre Dame’s offense has improved its yardage production 131.9 yards this season, which leads the nation in that category. See page five for a complete breakdown of the nation’s most improved teams in total offense.

• Senior WR Maurice Stovall, who will play his final game in Notre Dame Stadium Saturday afternoon, has caught eight touchdown passes in Notre Dame’s last three games. Stovall also has posted four 100-yard receiving games this season and has moved into the the all-time top seven in career receptions, yards and receiving touchdowns (see page seven).

• Sophomore RB Darius Walker has rushed for 100 yards five times this season, marking the first time since 1998 that an Irish player has posted five 100-yard rushing performances in a season. Autry Denson performed the feat six times (including the 1999 Gator Bowl) during the `98 season.

• Junior WR Jeff Samardzija’s streak of eight consecutive games with a touchdown (the Notre Dame record) was broken last Saturday against Navy. Samardzija still owns the single-season touchdown record with 12 this season and with 919 yards receiving is just 204 yards away from Tom Gatewood’s single-season record of 1,123. With 81 yards receiving on Saturday, Samardzija will become just the third single-season 1,000-yard receiver in Notre Dame history (Gatewood, Jack Snow – 1,114 in 1964).

• Notre Dame has moved up to ninth in the latest BCS standings (on page 24), the highest ranking for the Irish since they finished the regular season ninth on Dec. 8, 2002.

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 a 7-2 record, 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 – Syracuse Series History and Notes

•Notre Dame and Syracuse will be meeting for the fifth time Saturday and the teams are even in the series at 2-2.

• The Orange has won the last two meetings, 14-7 during the 1963 season in Yankee Stadium and 38-12 in the Carrier Dome during the 2003 season.

• Notre Dame won the first two meetings in the series, a 20-0 victory in 1914 and 17-15 upset over #10 Syracuse in 1961.

•Saturday’s game marks the first in Notre Dame Stadium for Syracuse since the 1961 matchup.

Notre Dame Versus the BIG EAST Conference

• Notre Dame will be facing a BIG EAST Conference foe for the 77th time on Saturday.

• The Irish are 55-20-1 (.730) against teams that currently make up the BIG EAST Conference, including a 42-21 victory over Pittsburgh on Sept. 3.

• The Irish have faced Pittsburgh 63 times (44-18-1), West Virginia four times (4-0), Syracuse four times (2-2) and Cincinnati once (1-0, a 58-0 victory in 1900).

• Notre Dame is a member of the BIG EAST Conference in 21 of its 26 varsity sports, excluding men’s fencing, women’s fencing, hockey, men’s lacrosse and football.

Last Time at Notre Dame Stadium vs. Syracuse

Notre Dame, 17, #10 Syracuse, 15, Nov. 18, 1961

This game, the lone highlight of a tough 5-5 campaign for Notre Dame, was wrought with controversy surrounding “The Kick.” With just three seconds remaining, Notre Dame maneuvered itself into position for a 56-yard desperation field goal attempt by Joe Perkowski. The Irish drive had started at their own 30 with just 17 seconds remaining, but a 21-yard run and 10-yard pass set up a frantic field goal attempt. Syracuse defensive end Walt Sweeney rushes hard on the play, crashing through a blocker and smothering the kick attempt – but he is called for roughing the kicker. After the ball is moved forward 15 yards, Perkowski nails the 41-yard attempt for an upset victory.

The play kicked off a long and dramatic controversy. According to college footbal rules at the time, when a ball was kicked, the kicking team immediately became the defensive team and forfeited posession of the ball. The NCAA eventually ruled in favor of Notre Dame (due to the roughing the kicker penalty) and adjusted the ball possession rule for next season.

Notre Dame grabbed the lead in this game on two touchdown passes by Frank Budka – victimizing eventual Heisman Trophy winner Ernie Davis on defense on both tosses. Syracuse stormed back with two touchdown passes of its own, including a two-point conversion on the second score, to set up Perkowski’s dramatic kick.

On the Field Saturday

At halftime of Saturday’s game, Notre Dame will honor its 2004-05 ESPN The Magazine CoSIDA Academic All-Americans: Erika Bohn (Women’s Soccer), Annnie Schefter (Women’s Soccer), Kelli Barton (Women’s Swimming), Stacy Cowan (Women’s Track and Field), Todd Mobley (Men’s Cross Country/Track and Field) and Sean O’Donnell (Men’s Cross Country/Track and Field). Notre Dame boasts 158 Academic All-Americans, which ranks second all-time to Nebraska’s 222.

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 25 for a recap of each coaching debut season in ND history).

• 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.

• 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).

• 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).

• 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. Even with a projected bowl game this season, Notre Dame has assured itself of a winning season in 2005.

• 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).

• First-year coaching records since 1913 (most wins listed first) – Tyrone Willlingham (10-3 in 2002), Ara Parseghian (9-1 in 1964), Terry Brennan (9-1 in 1954), Frank Leahy (8-0-1 in 1941), Dan Devine (8-3 in 1975), Jesse Harper (7-0 in 1913), Charlie Weis (7-2 in 2005), Bob Davie (7-6 in 1997), Hunk Anderson (6-2-1 in 1931), Elmer Layden (6-3 in 1934), Lou Holtz (5-6 in 1986), Gerry Faust (5-6 in 1981), Joe Kuharich (5-5 in 1959), Knute Rockne (3-1-2 in 1918).

• 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.

Notre Dame Scoring At An Historic Pace

40 points – Notre Dame has scored over 40 points six times this season, matching the school record set by both the 1991 and 1992 teams.

30 points – The Irish have scored 30 or more points in eight of nine games this season (a 17-10 victory at Michigan was the lone exception). The record for 30 point games in a season is nine by the 1991 edition of the Fighting Irish (which included a 30-point performance in a bowl game). Notre Dame also has scored 30 or more points in seven straight games, becoming the first Notre Dame team to accomplish that feat since the 1993 team finished the regular season with seven consecutive games scoring over 30 points (the 1966 team also scored 30 points in seven straight games and the streak was ended in the famous 10-10 tie with Michigan State). No Notre Dame team has ever posted eight consecutive 30-point performances.

Notre Dame is currently seventh in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 38.67 points per game. If the 38.67 average holds up, it would set a Notre Dame single-season record.

In addition, the 2005 Irish team has already scored more points this season than any of the previous five Notre Dame teams. The 1999 team finished the year with 348 points. The school record for points scored (426) also is in reach for this year’s team. Scoring 38 points per game in the final two games of the season, plus a potential bowl game, would give the Irish 462 points. Notre Dame also can reach the school record for points in a season if it averages 26 points per game in its final three contests.

For a historic perspective, Notre Dame has only scored over 30 points in eight games or more just five times in the program’s history. The 1966, 1992 and 1993 teams all posted eight 30-point performances (the `93 team total includes a bowl game as well).

With three regular-season games remaining, Charlie Weis’ first Notre Dame team has already piled up 348 points – the most in a debut season for a non-interim Irish head coach.

Notre Dame’s Offensive Improvement the Best in the Nation

Entering this weekend’s action, Notre Dame’s 131.9 yards-per-game improvement for the Irish offense this season is rated first in the nation, ahead of USC, Penn State and Washington State. Here is a look at this year’s top 10 most improved offenses:

Most Improved Teams in Total Offense

Rank School 2004 2005 Improvement
1. Notre Dame 345.5 477.4 +131.9
2. USC 449.1 577.6 +128.5
3. Penn State 310.7 437.4 +126.7
4. Washington State 368.6 487.5 +118.9
5. Central Florida 280.0 396.9 +116.9
6. Iowa 312.7 416.6 +103.9
7. Maryland 298.0 399.4 +101.4
8. New Mexico 298.0 398.2 +100.2
9. Clemson 295.6 390.3 +94.7
10. Arizona State 435.4 518.1 +82.7

Offense Piling Up Yardage

The offense has been the highlight of the 2005 Notre Dame football season thus far. The Irish are currently 10th in the country in total offense (477.44) 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 328.78 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 six times this season (502 at Pittsburgh, 594 vs. Michigan State, 560 at Washington, 621 at Purdue, 511 vs. BYU, 505 vs. Navy) – marking the first time the Irish have posted six 500-yard performances since the 1970 season.

Here is a breakdown of Notre Dame’s 500-plus games in two comparable seasons (1970, 1992) –

1970 (six): 633 vs. Purdue, 513 vs. Michigan State, 600 vs. Navy, 574 vs. Army, 606 vs. Pittsburgh, 557 vs. USC

1992 (five): 561 vs. Northwestern, 509 vs. Michigan State, 580 vs. Purdue, 521 vs. Pittsburgh, 576 vs. Boston College

Keep an Eye on Third Down

Notre Dame has been highly effective on third down offensively this season. The Irish are eighth in the nation (67 of 135, .496) on third down and are holding their opponents to a respectable .362 (46 of 127) on defense.

Irish Rule The Red Zone

The Irish offense has been outstanding in red zone efficiency this season. Notre Dame has scored on 35 of its 39 trips into the red zone – and has proved capable of scoring both through the air and on the ground. Of the 30 touchdowns scored in the red zone, 15 have come via the passing game and 15 have come in the running game.

Notre Dame has forced its opponent into seven turnovers during 34 red zone visits this season. The Irish have caused three fumbles and intercepted four passes inside their own 20-yard line this season. Overall, Notre Dame’s opponents are 26 for 34 (.765) in red zone chances with 21 touchdowns and five field goals.

First-Year Players Seeing Significant Time

Through the first nine games of the 2005 season, Notre Dame has seen 25 players make their Irish playing debut. Included in the 25 players are 11 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*, D.J. Hord*, 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

Four Ranked Teams in Six Games

Including the Oct. 15 matchup with No. 1 USC, Notre Dame faced four ranked teams (according to the AP ranking) in this season’s first six games for the fifth time in the program’s history this year. 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’s three victories over ranked opponents have all occurred on the road this season – and all 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).

Notre Dame Winning Time-of-Possession Battle

While Notre Dame’s offense has been piling up the yardage this season (averaging 477.44 yards per game), it also has won the time of possession battle in seven of nine games this season. Only BYU (33:39) and Navy (31:35) have been able to hold the ball for more than 30 minutes against Notre Dame. Overall, Notre Dame averages 33:08 minutes per game with the ball, compared to 26:52 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
BYU 26:21 33:39
Tennessee 32:12 27:48
Navy 28:25 31:35

Notre Dame in the Bowl Championship Series

Notre Dame has moved up to ninth in the latest release of the BCS Standings (available on page 24 of this notes package). That marks the highest ranking for the team since it finished ninth in the final 2002 regular-season BCS Standings on Dec. 8. Notre Dame eventually appeared in the Gator Bowl that season.

For Notre Dame to qualify for the pool of potential at-large teams this season, it must win nine games and finish in the top 12 of the BCS Standings.

Notre Dame’s Highest BCS Rankings –

Third – Oct. 20 and Oct. 27, 2002

Sixth – Nov. 17, 2002

Seventh – NOv. 3 and Nov. 10, 2002

Ninth – Dec. 8, 2002 and Nov. 14, 2005

10th – Dec. 1, 2002

Stovall Making the Most of His Senior Season

Senior WR Maurice Stovall is enjoying a career year in his last season with the Fighting Irish. The Philadelphia, Pa., native is second on the team with 50 catches for 796 yards and nine touchdowns. His production over Notre Dame’s last three games has been incredible as well, as he has caught eight touchdown passes in the team’s last three victories.

Here is a look at Stovall’s production game-by-game this season –

Stovall Game-By-Game This Season:

Opponent Rec. Yards TD
at Pittsburgh 2 27 0
at Michigan 2 17 0
vs. Michigan State 8 176 1
at Washington 3 34 0
at Purdue 8 134 0
USC 3 30 0
BYU 14 207 4
Tennessee 2 41 1
Navy 8 130 3

Stovall Moving Up the Career Charts

Senior WR Maurice Stovall currently sits in the top seven for both career receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns at Notre Dame. His offensive explosion (378 yards, eight touchdowns) in the last three games has hastened his climb up the Irish all-time career charts.

Career Receptions

1. Tom Gatewood 157 1969-71
2. Jim Seymour 138 1966-68
3. Tim Brown 137 1984-87
4. Derrick Mayes 129 1992-95
5. Ken MacAfee 128 1974-77
6. Tony Hunter 120 1979-82
7. Maurice Stovall 111 2002-present

Career Receiving Yards

1. Derrick Mayes 2,512 1992-95
2. Tim Brown 2,493 1984-97
3. Tom Gatewood 2,283 1969-71
4. Jim Seymour 2,113 1966-68
5. Tony Hunter 1,897 1979-82
6. Maurice Stovall 1,842 2002-present

Career Touchdown Receptions

1. Derrick Mayes 22 1992-95
2. Tom Gatewood 19 1969-71
3. Maurice Stovall 16 2002-present
Jim Seymour 16 1966-68

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 (additional records broken are listed on page 26 of this notes package):

Touchdown Passes, Single Game – 6 – vs. BYU, the school record, breaking his previous mark of five posted earlier this season against Michigan State.

Touchdown Passes, Career – 53 – first on the all-time list ahead of Ron Powlus (52).

Touchdown Passes, Season – 27 – the Notre Dame single-season record, breaking Powlus’ mark of 19 from 1994.

Completions, Single Game – 33 – vs. Michigan State, matched Joe Theismann’s school record from the 1970 game at USC. Quinn completed 32 passes against BYU on Oct. 22.

Consecutive Completions – 12 – vs. BYU, second on the all-time list (matching Jarious Jackson) behind Ron Powlus’ 14 straight against Michigan State in 1997. Quinn has posted three consecutive completion streaks over 10 this season (11 at Pittsburgh and at Purdue, 12 vs. BYU).

Consecutive Passes Without an Interception – 130 – compiled vs. USC, BYU, Tennessee and Navy this season, breaking the old record of 127 by Carlyle Holiday during the 2002 season.

Passing Yards, Single Game – 487 – vs. Michigan State, second all-time behind Theismann’s 526 at USC in `70.

Passing Yards, First Half – 287 – vs. BYU, breaking his own record of 283 against Purdue earlier this season.

Passing Yards, Single Season – 2,931 – besting Jarious Jackson’s school record 2,753 from 1999. Quinn has already surpassed his previous career-best single-season total of 2,586 from last season.

Games with Four or More Touchdown Passes – 4 – surpassing Powlus’ mark of three. Quinn has thrown at least four touchdown passes against Washington (2004), Michigan State (2005), BYU (2005) and Navy (2005).

Yards, Career – 7,348 – becoming just the second Irish quarterback to throw for better than 7,000 yards, Quinn stands 254 yards behind Ron Powlus as the career yardage leader with 7,602.

Avg. Passing Yards Per Game, Career – 222.67 – currently first on the all-time list ahead of Powlus (172.7).

At his current pace (325.7 yards per game, three scheduled games remaining), he would total 3,908 passing yards this season. Quinn is just 69 yards away from becoming Notre Dame’s first 3,000-yard single-season passer.

Quinn 300

Since 1950, a Notre Dame quarterback has thrown for 300 yards or more 15 times. Junior QB Brady Quinn is responsible for six 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), 440 (at Purdue, 2005) and 467 (vs. BYU, 2005).

Quinn is the only Notre Dame quarterback to throw for over 400 yards four 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. He also is the first Irish quarterback to throw for 300 or more yards four times in a season.

Quinn Game-By-Game This Season:

Opponent Att. Comp. % Int. Yds. TD Long
at Pittsburgh 27 18 .667 1 227 2 51
at Michigan 30 19 .633 0 140 2 26
vs. Michigan State 60 33 .550 1 487 5 50
at Washingon 37 25 .675 0 327 1 52
at Purdue 36 29 .805 1 440 3 55
vs. USC 35 19 .542 1 264 1 36
vs. BYU 41 32 .780 0 467 6* 44
vs. Tennessee 33 20 .606 0 295 3 73
vs. Navy 31 22 .710 1 284 4 31
TOTAL 330 *217 .658 5 *2,931 *27 73
Per Game 36.7 24.1 0.56 325.7 3.0

Other Pass Efficiency: 164.33

* – Notre Dame record

Quinn On A Streak

Junior QB Brady Quinn has thrown at least one touchdown pass in his last 14 games played (and started) for the Irish, breaking John Huarte’s record of 10 set in 1964. The Dublin, Ohio, native has totaled 35 scoring tosses during the run (2.5 per game).

Quinn’s touchdown passes over the last 14 games:

2005 – 4 vs. Navy 3 vs. Tennessee, 6 vs. BYU, 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 Six

Junior QB Brady Quinn became the first Notre Dame quarterback to throw six touchdown passes in a single game against BYU on Oct. 22. Quinn finished the game 32 of 41 for 467 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions. It ranks as possibly the greatest single-game performance by a Notre Dame quarterback and earned Quinn the ABC Sports/Cingular All-American Player of the Week award for the second time in 2005 (he also earned the award after his stellar performance at Purdue).

Quinn broke his own school record of five touchdown passes set earlier this season against Michigan State.

Quinn’s touchdown passes vs. BYU:

10 yards to Maurice Stovall, first quarter, 7:12

14 yards to Jeff Samardzija, second quarter, 10:33

15 yards to Stovall, second quarter, 4:18

21 yards to Samardzija, third quarter, 12:50

36 yards to Stovall, third quarter, 4:47

24 yards to Stovall, third quarter, 2:16

Quinn Now The Best Third-Year Starting Quarteback

In 2005, junior Brady Quinn has become just the 13th quarterback 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 has already compiled the greatest season by any third-year starting quarterback in Notre Dame history. He has surpassed his predecessors in every key statistical category this season.

Player Year Att.-Comp. Yards TD-Int. Record
Nate Silver 1905 5-4
Gus Dorais 1912 7-0
Jim Phelan 1917 6-1-1
Ralph Guglielmi 1954 127-68 1160 6-7 9-1
Daryl Lamonica 1962 128-64 821 6-7 5-5
Terry Hanratty 1968 197-116 1466 10-9 7-2-1
Tom Clements 1974 215-122 1549 8-11 10-2
Blair Kiel 1982 219-118 1273 3-10 6-4-1
Steve Beuerlein 1985 214-107 1335 3-13 5-6
Tony Rice 1989 138-70 1176 8-7 12-1
Rick Mirer 1992 234-120 1876 15-6 10-1-1
Ron Powlus 1996 232-133 1942 12-4 8-3
Brady Quinn 2005 330-217 2931 27-5 7-2

Samardzija Finishes Eight for Eight

Junior WR Jeff Samardzija entered the 2005 campaign without a touchdown catch, but exploded this season to catch a touchdown pass in each of Notre Dame’s first eight 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 eight consecutive games with a touchdown catch – which made him the Notre Dame recordholder for consecutive games with a touchdown reception. He surpassed Malcolm Johnson’s six-game run from 1998 against BYU. 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 `98 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 (since broken by teammate Maurice Stovall, who posted four touchdown receptions against BYU). Samardzija was the seventh player to catch three touchdown passes in a game and the first since Tom Gatewood versus Purdue in 1970.

Samardzija, Statistically Speaking

Junior WR Jeff Samardzija has started the season off in impressive fashion, leading the team with 56 catches for 919 yards and 12 touchdowns. He is ranked 11th in the country in receiving yards per game (102.11) and is poised to become Notre Dame’s first 1,000-yard receiver since 1970 when Tom Gatewood posted 1,123. Samardzija is currently on pace for 1,225 receiving yards this season, which would break Gatewood’s record.

He has already surpassed the single-season touchdown total. His 12 scoring receptions have bested Derrick Mayes’ previous record of 11 from 1994

Touchdown Receptions in a Season –

Rank Name Total Season
1. Jeff Samardzija 12 2005
2. Derrick Mayes 11 1994
3. Jack Snow 9 1964
4. Jim Seymour 8 1966
5. Tom Gatewood 7 1970
Tom Gatewood 7 1970

Receiving Yards in a a Season –

Rank Name Total Season
1. Tom Gatewood 1,123 1970
2. Jack Snow 1,114 1964
3. Jeff Samardzija 919 2005
4. Tim Brown 910 1985
5. Derrick Mayes 881 1995

Zbikowski Returns

Junior Tom Zbikowski, who has seen action in just 20 games for the Irish, has already made a name for himself in the Notre Dame record books. At one point this season in a three-game stretch against USC, BYU and Tennessee, he returned a punt or interception for a touchdown four times – the first Irish defensive player to accomplish such a feat.

Here is a look at Zbikowski’s returns this season –

• vs. USC – punt return 60 yards

• vs. BYU – interception return 83 yards

• vs. Tennessee – punt return 78 yards, interception return 33 yards

In addition, Zbikowski returned a fumble 75 yards against Michigan State in 2004.

With his interception and punt return for a touchdown against Tennessee on Nov. 5, Zbikowski became the first Irish player to accomplish that feat since Nick Rassas against Northwestern in 1965. Rassas returned an interception 92 yards for a touchdown and a punt 72 yards for a score in Notre Dame’s 38-7 victory.

With his five career returns (two interceptions, two punts, one fumble), Zbikowski has already established himself among the best big-play return specialists in Notre Dame history. Here is a look at some of Notre Dame’s return standouts –

Tom Zbikowski – two interceptions, two punts, one fumble

Vontez Duff – Notre Dame’s all-time leading kick returner (yards) was the first Irish player to return a kickoff, punt and interception for a touchdown in the same season during the 2002 season. He also joins Zbikowski as the only Irish defensive players to post touchdown returns in three consecutive games played. Duff returned a kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown against Purdue in 2001, then missed the rest of the season with an injury. He returned in 2002 to return a punt 76 yards against Maryland and an interception 33 yards versus Purdue.

Allen Rossum – Possibly the best returns specialist in Notre Dame history, Rossum seemingly scored each time he touched the ball. Currently an all-pro return specialist for the Atlanta Falcons, Rossum posted a total of nine scoring returns during his career to set an NCAA record. Rossum return three kickoffs, three punts (all in the 1996 season, including two vs. Pittsburgh) and three interceptions from 1994-97.

Raghib “Rocket” Ismail – One of the most electrifying athletes to wear the Notre Dame uniform, Rocket Ismail returned six kicks for a touchdown in his career – specializing in kickoff returns with five. Possibly his greatest single performance was a punt return against Colorado in the 1991 Orange Bowl that did not even count. With 43 seconds remaining in Notre Dame’s eventual 10-9 loss to Colorado, Ismail returned a punt 91 yards for an apparent game-winning touchdown. The spectacular run was for naught, however, as a controversial clipping call against Notre Dame’s Greg Davis nullified the play.

Tim Brown – The 1987 Heisman Trophy winner (the most recent of Notre Dame’s seven Heisman award winners), Brown returned three punts for a touchdown during his Heisman campaign in 1987, including two against Michigan State in Notre Dame Stadium. Throughout his career, Brown compiled a total of six return touchdowns (three punt returns, three kick returns).

Zbikowski Third Nationally in Punt Returns

Junior S Tom Zbikowski’s emergence as a playmaker on special teams is reflected in the most recent NCAA statistical rankings. Zbikowski is third in the nation in punt return average (19.00), trailing UCLA’s Maurice Drew (29.07) and Nebraska’s Terrence Nunn (19.40). With two punt returns for a touchdown, Zbikowski joins Drew, Texas’ Aaron Ross and Wisconsin’s Brandon Williams as the only players in the nation to have multiple scoring punt returns (Drew has three, Ross and Williams two).

Walker’s 100-Yard Games

Sophomore RB Darius Walker has rushed for 100 yards five times this season, marking the first time since 1998 that an Irish player has posted five 100-yard rushing performances in a season. Autry Denson performed the feat six times (including the 1999 Gator Bowl) during the `98 season.

100-Yard Rushing Games in a Single Season Since 1950

1. Allen Pinkett 10 1983
2. Phil Carter 9 1980
3. Autry Denson 8 1997
4. Lee Becton 7 1993
5. Denson (1998), Denson (1996), Reggie Brooks (1992), Pinkett (1985), Vegas Ferguson (1979) Jerome Heavens (1977) 6
11. Darius Walker (2005), Randy Kinder (1994), Pinkett (1984) 5

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.

Walker’s Freshman Totals:

Player Year Carries-Yards Avg. TD
Autry Denson 1996 202-1179 5.8 8
Allen Pinkett 1983 252-1394 5.5 16
Vagas Ferguson 1977 80-493 6.2 6
Julius Jones 2000 162-657 4.1 7
Jerome Heavens 1976 54-204 3.8 0
Phil Carter 1980 186-882 4.4 6
George Gipp 1918 98-541 5.5 1
Randy Kinder 1994 119-702 5.9 4
Tony Brooks 1988 117-667 5.7 2
Emil Sitko 1947 60-426 7.1 5
Jerome Bettis 1991 168-972 5.8 16
Ryan Grant 2002 261-1085 4.2 9
Darius Walker 2005 176-797 4.5 4

2004 185-786 4.3 7

Walker’s 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.

Walker Game-By-Game in 2005:

Opponent Carries Yards Lng TD Receptions Yards Lng TD
at Pittsburgh 20 100 11 1 3 52 51 1
at Michigan 26 104 17 0 5 22 9 0
vs. Michigan St. 26 116 16 0 5 24 7 1
at Washington 21 128 18 1 3 20 10 0
at Purdue 23 80 19 1 1 -2 0 0
vs. USC 19 74 20 0 4 43 26 0
vs. BYU 7 17 9 0 1 37 37 0
vs. Tennessee 15 62 12 0 4 34 15 0
vs. Navy 19 124 15 1 2 15 11 0
TOTALS 176 797 20 4 28 245 51 2

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 28 catches (fourth on the team) for 245 yards and two touchdowns.

He is currently tied for fourth on the all-time single season receptions by a back list at Notre Dame. He trails record holder Bob Gladieux (37 in 1968) by nine entering this weekend’s game.

Receptions by a Running Back – Season

Rank, Name Number Season
1. Bob Gladieux 37 1968
2. Autry Denson 30 1997
3. Joe Heap 29 1952
4. Darius Walker 28 2005
Allen Pinkett 28 1983
6. Marc Edwards 25 1995
Mark Green 25 1986

Travis Thomas Steps Up

Looking for a change-of-pace back against No. 1 USC on Oct. 15, 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 52 yards, including a 16-yard run to record Notre Dame’s first touchdown of the day against the Trojans. Thomas also posted a career-best 58 yards rushing against Navy last weekend.

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 9 57 231 4.1 4 16

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 `05 campaign, 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
2005 99
1997 84
2002 76
1985 56
1996 56
1998 52
1987 50
1995 49
1993 46
1989 45
1990 43

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 in `04, the 6-4, 257-pound Fasano hauled in a career-high eight passes for a Notre Dame tight end-record 155 yards 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 and he has far surpassed that total this season with 40 catches.

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:

Player Receptions Years
Ken MacAfee 128 1974-77
Anthony Fasano 84 2003-present
Derek Brown 62 1988-91
Dean Masztak 62 1978-81
Tony Hunter 55 1979-82
Mark Bavaro 55 1981-84

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.

Player Yards Years
Ken MacAfee 1759 1974-77
Anthony Fasano 1097 2003-present
Dean Masztak 924 1978-81
Derek Brown 899 1988-91
Mike Creaney 890 1970-72
Mark Bavaro 771 1981-84

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.

Player Receptions-Yards Touchdowns
Anthony Fasano 40-538 2
Ken MacAfee 34-483 3
Mike Creaney 17-321 2
Derek Brown 15-220 1
Mark Bavaro 23-376 3

Fasano also is in teach of the single-season mark for catches by a tight end, needing just 15 more this season to reach Ken MacAfee’s record of 54 from 1977.

Player Receptions Year
Ken MacAfee 54 1977
Tony Hunter 42 1982
Anthony Fasano 40 2005
Ken MacAfee 34 1976
Mark Bavaro 32 1984

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 385 games in the facility to date and own a 290–90-5 (.760) 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):

• Notre Dame is the only team that played three games against top four teams from the preseason polls – #1/1 USC (L, 31-34), #5/4 Tennessee (W, 41-21) and #3/3 Michigan (W, 17-10).

• Notre Dame is the only school that will face three teams that were in the top 10 of both preseason polls this season.

• 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.

The Irish also faced #1/1/1 USC, Tennessee (who was ranked as high as third this season) and Michigan State (who have been in and out of the top 25 this year).

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 Navy, the Irish have a remarkable streak of 157 consecutive games (more than 12 full seasons) that have been carried by either NBC (86), 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. Both 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 179 of its previous 204 games, including 54 of its last 58 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 in September of this season. 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).

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.

Pep Rallies

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 for subscribers to “Fighting Irish All-Access.” Check for ticket information for the general public. Notre Dame students do not require tickets for admission.

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.

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 for more information on the service. The Notre Dame – Navy match up can be heard on the following SIRIUS channels –

Nov. 19 vs. Syracuse 125 (visiting team broadcast) 126 (home team)

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, 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.

• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

Football Banquet Tickets On Sale Now

Former University of Notre Dame head football coach Lou Holtz will serve as the guest speaker for the 84th University of Notre Dame Football Banquet.

The banquet, sponsored by the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley, will be held Friday, Dec. 2, 2005, in the north dome of the Joyce Center on the Notre Dame campus. A reception on the concourse and a silent auction in the Monogram Room both begin at 5:45 p.m. EST and the dinner begins at 7:00 p.m.

The program will include a special tribute to senior members of the 2005 Irish squad – as well as a series of awards honoring members of the Notre Dame team.

Tickets are now on sale at $40 each (a table for eight is $320) and can be ordered at the Joyce Center second-floor ticket window, by phone (VISA, MasterCard or American Express) by calling 574-631-7356 (fax to 574-631-0854), or by writing to Ticket Office, 113 Joyce Center, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Order forms also can be printed next week from Notre Dame’s athletic web site, Checks should be made payable to University of Notre Dame Football Banquet. Requests must be received by Friday, Nov. 18, 2005.

Proceeds benefit the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley Scholarship Fund.

Holtz coached 132 games in 11 seasons at Notre Dame (1986-96) and guided his teams to a 100-30-2 record. He coached more games than any other Irish head coach and finished second to Knute Rockne in victories. Holtz led the Irish to the 1988 national championship and remains 11th on the NCAA all-time win list for Division I-A coaches. He took his Notre Dame teams to nine straight New Year’s Day bowl games from 1987 through ’95 and coached the Irish to finishes of sixth or better in the final Associated Press poll in five seasons. Holtz was named the national coach of the year in 1988 by several organizations and saw his team play the most difficult schedule in the country in three seasons.

Before coming to Notre Dame Holtz served as head coach at William & Mary (1969-71), North Carolina State (1972-75), Arkansas (1977-83) and Minnesota (1984-85). He served as a college football analyst for CBS Sports in ’97 and ’98, was head football coach at South Carolina from 1999 through 2004 and currently is an analyst for ESPN.

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

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

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 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 over $240,000 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.

Instant Replay

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.

• 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.

• 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.

• The replay system will not guarantee that all officiating mistakes are identified and corrected.

•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.

USC Television Rating Highest In 11 Seasons

The USC-Notre Dame football game earned the best overnight television 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.

Notre Dame – NBC Sports Television Ratings

Here is a look at the top 10 all-time rated games since Notre Dame and NBC began their partnership in 1991. This season’s ND – USC game checks in at third place on the list.

Notre Dame on NBC Top 10 Games

Date Opponent W/L Score Rating Share
Nov. 13, 1993 Florida State W 31-24 16.0 39
Sept. 10, 1994 Michigan L 24-26 8.4 21
Oct. 15, 2005 USC L 31-34 7.9 17
Nov. 20, 1993 Boston College L 39-41 7.7 21
Sept. 28, 1996 Ohio State L 16-29 6.7 19
Oct. 21, 1995 USC W 38-10 6.4 17
Nov. 14, 1992 Penn State W 17-16 6.3 18
Oct. 26, 1991 USC W 24-20 6.1 18
Sept. 12, 1992 Michigan T 17-17 5.9 19
Sept. 5, 1998 Michigan W 36-20 5.9 15