Nov. 8, 1999
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5-4) at Pittsburgh Panthers (4-5)
The Date and Time: Saturday, November 13, 1999, at 3:30 p.m. EST.
The Site: Pitt Stadium (56,150 capacity, artificial turf) in Pittsburgh, Pa.
The Tickets: They’re all sold-with this game marking the 117th sellout in the last 135 games involving Notre Dame, including the first 10 games of 1998 and all 10 in 1999.
The TV Plans: CBS Sports regional telecast with Craig Bolerjack (play by play), Ed Cunningham (analysis) and Steve Scheer (producer).
The Radio Plans: For the 32nd consecutive season, all Notre Dame football games are broadcast nationally on radio by Mutual/Westwood One with Tony Roberts (play by play), Tom Pagna (game analysis) and Paul Hornung (pregame/halftime analysis). The Mutual Network includes more than 200 stations. A live broadcast from the Notre Dame student radio station, WVFI, is available through the Notre Dame athletic department web site at www.und.com.
Websites: Notre Dame (www.und.com), Pittsburgh (www.pittsburghpanthers.com).
The Injury Update
(as of Nov. 8)
|Sophomore OT Jordan Black||Torn right MCL vs. Tennessee||(out for season)|
|Sophomore TB Terrance Howard||Hamstring vs. Tennessee||(out for season)|
|Junior SS Ron Israel||Fractured left hand vs. Tennessee|
|Freshman CB Albert Poree||Will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery this week||(dnp vs. Navy, Tennessee)|
|Senior DE Jason Ching||Arthroscopic knee surgery (11/5)|
|Junior FB Jason Murray||Shoulder surgery (9/17)|
|Sophomore FB Mike McNair||Sprained arch prior to Mich. game||(out for season)|
|Junior DE Grant Irons||Kicked in left leg vs. Tennessee|
|Senior FL Raki Nelson||Torn left MCL vs. Oklahoma||(missed last 4 games)|
|Junior FS Justin Smith||Arthroscopic right knee surgery (10/17)||(injured in warmups prior to USC game, dnp vs. Navy, Tenn.)|
THE KEY NOTES
LIKE BROTHER, LIKE BROTHER:
ND’s Julius Jones has begun to make his mark in recent weeks while his brother Thomas has taken over the NCAA rushing lead.
SO LONG, STADIUM:
The Notre Dame-Pittsburgh rivalry dates back to 1909, with this week’s matchup signaling the final game to be played at Pitt Stadium.
DOWN THE STRETCH:
Jarious Jackson continues to compile one of the top seasons and careers in the storied history of Notre Dame quarterbacks.
If Notre Dame Wins:
? The Irish will win for the 20th time in their last 26 regular-season games.
? The Irish will halt a five-game losing streak away from home (including neutral sites).
? The Irish will beat Pittsburgh for the ninth straight time.
? The Irish will run their winning streak vs. BIG EAST teams to nine games (since 1994).
? The Irish will improve to 15-2 versus BIG EAST teams in the 1990s.
If Pittsburgh Wins:
? The Irish will lose for the seventh time in the last 12 games overall.
? The Irish will drop to 5-9 away from home in the Bob Davie era (including bowl games).
? The Irish will lose for the sixth straight time away from home (since the 30-0 win over Navy at Jack Kent Cooke Stadium).
? The Panthers will halt an eight-game losing streak versus Notre Dame.
? Pittsburgh will end Notre Dame’s eight-game winning streak versus BIG EAST teams.
? The Irish will lose to a BIG EAST team for the third time in the 1990s (with 14 wins).
Here’s where Notre Dame has stood in the polls during the ’99 season:
|Date||Associated Press||USA Today/ESPN|
|Aug. 29||16th||no new poll|
The ’99 campaign marks the 13th straight year Notre Dame began the season ranked somewhere in the Associated Press preseason poll. Here’s where Notre Dame was ranked in the preseason and final AP polls during the previous 12 seasons:
INTRODUCTORY FACTS & NOTES
RECAPPING THE TENNESSEE GAME
? The fourth-ranked Volunteers scored in the closing seconds of the first half for a 17-7 lead before using a big second half to defeat the visiting Irish, 38-14, in front of the second-largest crowd (107,619) in Neyland Stadium history. UT outgained the Irish 413-291 and won the turnover battle (2-0). Notre Dame’s Jarious Jackson completed 11 of 18 passes for 127 yards (one interception, two sacks), with Joey Getherall catching six balls for 61 yards. Julius Jones gained 46 yards on 12 rushes and 93 on four kickoff returns (he finished with 176 total yards, including a 32-yard catch and a five-yard punt return). Tee Martin enjoyed a big day for the Vols, completing 18 of 32 passes for 196 yards and three TDs (he also ran six times for 46 yards and another score). Travis Henry led UT’s ground game, with 16 rushes for 132 yards and a TD.
? UT jumped ahead with a 24-yard FG from Alex Walls on its first drive and added a 21-yard TD pass from Martin to Donte’ Stallworh in the second quarter. The Irish then drove 65 yards n 14 plays for a score, with David Givens scoring from four yards out (the first rushing TD allowed by the Vols in 1999). UT’s final drive of the half was kept alive by a pair of Irish penalties on failed third-down plays, with the 81-yard march capped by Martin’s two-yard toss to Eric Parker. The Vols added third-quarter TDs on a pair of big plays, with Martin heaving a 43-yard bomb to Leonard Scott and Henry rumbling in from 40 yards. Notre Dame scored late in the third quarter, on Getherall’s 11-yard end-around, but failed to cash in after recovering the ensuing onside kick (the Irish drove to the UT nine-yard line but were stopped on a fourth-and-two run by Tony Fisher). Martin’s 14-yard run ended the scoring late in the fourth quarter.
THE TRAVEL PLANS
? The Irish will fly from South Bend to Pittsburgh on Friday at 5:00 p.m. and swill return to South Bend immediately following the game.
? Notre Dame will be headquartered at the Pittsburgh Hilton and Towers, Gateway Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, (412) 391-4600.
CENTURY OF GREATNESS
Notre Dame football fans had the chance to determine the top 20 moments of the 1900s in Notre Dame football history, as part of a joint promotion involving the Notre Dame, Host Communications and University Netcasting/FansOnly. During August, Irish fans selected their top moments from the 1900s as part of the season-long “Century of Greatness”. Ballots also were distributed at Notre Dame Stadium in conjunction with the Kansas game. Select Meijer stores also provided ballots and displays that include the opportunity to enter a sweepstakes for a trip to the Nov. 6 Notre Dame-Tennessee game in Knoxville. The top 20 moments will be highlighted in a special supplement to the Notre Dame vs. Boston College football game program on Nov. 20. A video will highlight the moments and a series of trading cards has been produced for giveaway involving Coke products sold at Meijer stores. The promotion also involves features in the home game programs, announcements at home games featuring radio actualities from moments in the 1900s and vignettes from the great moments on the Bob Davie Show and the Notre Dame Football Review. Covers of Notre Dame’s ’99 home game programs feature reproductions of covers and artwork from vintage Irish programs of the past century.
IRISH FACE 33 TEAMS IN 1990s
Recent opponent Oklahoma became the 33rd different team faced by the Notre Dame football team in the 1990s:
? Notre Dame’s opponents during the 1990 season included several familiar teams: Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Stanford, Air Force, Miami, Pittsburgh, Navy, Tennessee, Penn State, USC and Colorado.
? The 1991 opponents included Indiana, Hawaii and Florida while the 1992 Irish faced Northwestern, BYU, Boston College and Texas A&M. Notre Dame then added Florida State in 1993 before facing Texas, Ohio State, Washington and Army in 1995.
? The most recent teams added to Notre Dame’s list of opponents in the 1990s include: Vanderbilt and Rutgers (1996), Georgia Tech, LSU and West Virginia (’97), Arizona State and Baylor (’98) and Kansas and Oklahoma (’99).
The Sunday Wrap-Up
Bob Davie holds a media briefing at 11:30 a.m. each Sunday following Irish games. The briefing is held at the Joyce Center football auditorium. Check with John Heisler at (219) 631-7516 for teleconference availability.
The Host Football Review
Host Communications offers a two-hour delayed replay of each Notre Dame home game. The replays are available in many major markets, via over-the-air syndication, including WNDU-TV in South Bend and TCI Cable (channel 3).
The Davie Show
Bob Davie’s half-hour, weekly television show is syndicated nationally by Host Communications, produced by Golden Dome Productions and hosted by Jeff Jeffers. The show is carried by WNDU-TV in the South Bend market on the following Saturday and on FoxSports-Chicago on Monday afternoon.
RADIO CALL-IN SHOW
The 1999 football season marks the debut of The Bob Davie Radio Show on WNDV-AM (1490) and WNDV-FM (92.9). The show has a call-in format and airs Monday nights during the season from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. EST. WNDU-TV sports director Jeff Jeffers and WNDV’s Jeremy Gray serve as the hosts for the show.
Web Site (www.und.com)
Notre Dame’s official athletic department web site can be found at www.und.com, with the extensive offerings including real-time statistics for all Notre Dame home football games.
KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES
? Notre Dame freshman TB Julius Jones (Big Stone Gap, Va.) and his brother Thomas Jones, a senior TB at Virginia, have combined for nearly 800 all-purpose yards during the past two weeks. The elder Jones brother currently leads the nation with 165.11 rushing yards per game (274 rushes for 1,486 yards, 15 TDs and 5.4 per rush).
? Julius Jones has totaled 359 all-purpose yards during the past two games, with 183 versus Navy (19 rushes for 146, 1 catch for 9, 2 punt returns for 5, 1 kick return for 23) and 176 at Tennessee (12 rushes for 46, 1 catch for 32, 1 PR for 5, 4 KR for 93).
? Thomas Jones has racked up 422 yards in back-to-back games versus top-10 teams. He had 207 yards versus top-ranked Florida State (26 rushes for 164 and a TD, 6 catches for 26, 2 PR for 17) and 215 vs. Georgia Tech (39 rushes for 213 and 2 TDs, 1 catch for 2).
THE JJ CONNECTION
Players with the initials “JJ” have had a particular impact for the Irish in 1999, especially in the comeback win over Navy:
? Jarious Jackson – record-setting signalcaller who has ranked as high as third nationally in passing efficiency, has engineered several Irish comeback efforts in 1999 season, including thrilling wins over USC and Navy.
? Julius Jones – rookie tailback who ran for 146 yards vs. Navy (most by an Irish rookie since 1975) on the same day that his brother Thomas took over the NCAA rushing lead with a 164-yard rushing day versus top-ranked Florida State.
? Jay Johnson – senior receiver who caught game-winning TD pass from 16 yards out versus Navy with 0:36 left to play. Two of his first three catches in 1999 went for TDs (he also caught a 31-yarder in the win over Arizona State).
? Jackson (Tupelo HS) and Johnson (Starkville HS) are the only Mississippi natives on the 1999 Notre Dame roster and faced each other during their high school careers.
? With nine of 12 regular-season games in the books, Notre Dame is on pace to challenge the team record for total passing yards (2,527 in 10 games during 1970, on pace for 2,713 in ’99, including a 10-game pace of 2,261).
? On a per-game basis, the 1999 Irish offense stacks up with the record-setting 1970 aerial game, with 26.3 pass attempts/gm (28.3 in ’70), 15.5 completions/gm (16.2 in ’70) and 226.1 passing yards/gm (252.7 in ’70). The Irish own a .586 pass completion pct. (the record of .638 was set in ’93) while averaging 8.76 yards/pass att. (record of 10.0 in ’93) and 15.0 yards per completion (record of 17.5 in ’64).
? Jarious Jackson is on pace to challenge the Irish record for single-season passing efficiency (149.48, record is 154.4) and could threaten the Irish season records for passing attempts (on pace for 311, record is 298), completions (185, 182), completion pct. (.594, .616), passing yards (2,844, 2,789) and TD passes (18, 19). On a per-game basis, Jackson also could be in the running to set records for pass attempts/gm (25.9, record is 28.1), completions/gm (15.4, 16.6), passing yards/gm (232.4, 242.9), passing yards per att. (8.6, 10.1) and passing yards per comp. (14.6, 18.1).
THE THREE KEYS
Irish head coach Bob Davie has cited the following areas as keys to the success of the Irish during the past two seasons: turnover margin, “red-zone” efficiency and success in close games. Notre Dame was +7 in turnover margin during the 1998 season but is -1 in ’99. The Irish scored on 91.1 percent of their red-zone chances in ’98 while averaging 4.9 points per red-zone chance (those numbers are down to 66.7 percent, 4.0 points per chance in ’99). The Irish went 4-1 in 1998 in games decided by 1-7 points (they are 3-2 so far in 1999 close games).
? Notre Dame holds a 40-16-1 series edge, including 23-8-1 in games in Pittsburgh (21-8-0 at Pitt Stadium).
? The teams first played in 1909, 1911 and 1912, in games played in Pitsburgh at Forbes Field. The series then resumed from 1930-37 (at Pitt Stadium and Notre Dame Stadium), before taking a five-year break. The teams then played from 1943-54, took 1955 off and then played every year in a 23-season stretch (1956-78) before taking a four-year hiatus from the series. The Irish and Panthers met in 1982 and ’83 and every season from 1986-92 before the most recent pair of games in 1996 and ’97.
? Beginning with 1943, Notre Dame and Pittsburgh have met in 48 of the last 57 seasons (including 1999), with no gaps in the series of more than three years during that 57-year period. Since 1930, the teams have met 56 times in the last 70 years.
? Notre Dame currently is riding an eight-game winning streak in the series (1988-93, ’96-’97), equaling the second-longest streak in the history of the series. The Irish also defeated the Panthers every season from 1943-51 and in 11 straight seasons from 1964-74.
? The longest Pittsburgh winning streak in the series is three games, happening three times: 1932-34, 1958-60 and 1983, ’86-’87).
? During the current eight-game series winning streak, Notre Dame has outscored Pittsburgh 371-104 (average score of 46-13), with the Irish scoring 30-plus points in each of those eight games while holding Pittsburgh to 22 or fewer points in each game of the current streak.
? The Irish have outscored the Panthers 149-27 in the last three games (average score of 50-9).
? The second and third-largest crowds in Pitt Stadium history witnessed games versus Notre Dame during the 1930s, with 66,622 viewing the 1936 games while 66,586 were on hand in 1930 (the record of 68,918 saw Pitt face Fordham in 1938). The 1982 game between Notre Dame and Pitt ranks eighth on the all-time attendance list for Pitt Stadium (60,162).
? Four of the biggest victory margins in Notre Dame history have come versus Pittsburgh: by 58 points in 1944 (58-0), by 56 in 1965 (69-13) and by 54 in 1996 (60-6).
? At least one of the teams has been ranked in the AP national poll (which began in 1936) in 36 of the 57 previous games in the series, with the higher-ranked team holding a 28-8-0 edge.
? Pittsburgh owns six of the eight upsets of a higher-ranked AP team, with four of those wins coming at Pitt Stadium: No. 9 Pittsburgh 26, No. 7 Notre Dame 0 (1936), unranked Pitt 29, No. 14 ND 26 (1958), unranked Pitt 34, No. 9 Notre Dame 20 (1975) and unranked Pitt 30, No. 4 ND 22 (1987).
? Unranked Panthers teams also have posted a pair of wins at Notre Dame Stadium over Irish teams ranked in the AP poll: 22-19 over No. 8 ND in 1952 and 21-18 over No. 16 ND in 1983.
? Notre Dame’s noteworthy upsets in the series include: a 26-9 home win for the unranked Irish over No. 9 and defending national champ Pitt in 1978 and a 31-16 win for the unranked Irish over top-ranked Pittsburgh in 1982 (at Pitt Stadium).
? Notre Dame faced teams from eight different conferences/affiliations during the 1998 season and is scheduled to face teams from six different leagues in 1999, including three each from the Big Ten (Michigan, Purdue, Michigan State) and the Pac-10 (Arizona State, USC, Stanford), two each from the Big 12 (Kansas, Oklahoma) and the BIG EAST (Pittsburgh, Boston College), plus Tennessee (Southeastern) and Navy (independent).
? In 1998, the Irish played the above Pac-10 and Big-10 teams, in addition to Boston College, Navy, Army (Conference USA), Baylor (Big 12), LSU (Southeastern) and Georgia Tech (Atlantic Coast).
RECAPPING THE LAST NOTRE DAME-PITTSBURGH GAME
Notre Dame snapped a four-game losing streak with a 45-21 win at Pittsburgh on Oct. 11, 1997. The Irish rushing game awakened for 317 yards, led by Autry Denson’s 19 carries for 128 and Clement Stokes’ 15 for 109. Ron Powlus completed 13 of 20 passes for 160 yards. Allen Rossum returned the opening kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown and Denson dashed 50 yards to account for the only scoring of the first half. An early interception by Hank Poteat gave Pitt a first down on the Irish nine but the Panthers missed a 32-yard field goal. The Irish scored 10 points in the third quarter (on a Jim Sanson 22-yarder and a 23-yard Jamie Spencer run), after failing to score any third-quarter points during a 1-4 start. Pittsburgh used a Dwayne Schulters six-yard TD run and a Kevin Barlow five-yard score to cut the lead to 24-14 late in the third quarter. The Irish pulled away behind Denson’s two-yard score, a three-yard Jarious Jackson run on the only option play called all day and Jackson’s 40-yard return of a last-second onside kick. Pittsburgh’s final TD came on a nine-yard pass to Terry Murphy from Pete Gonzales (who completed 16 of 32 passes for 216 yards).
DAVIE SET TO RETURN TO HIS ROOTS
? Notre Dame head coach Bob Davie was born in the western Pennsylvania town of Sewickley and graduated from Moon Senior High School in 1972. After graduating from Youngstown State in 1976, Davie was a graduate assistant coach on Jackie Sherill’s 1977 staff at Pittsburgh, with that team posting a 9-2-1 record and a 34-3 win over Clemson in the Gator Bowl. Davie’s first game as a college coach was a 19-9 loss to Notre Dame at Pitt Stadium, on Sept. 10, 1977 (that was the Panthers’ first game since the 1976 national championship season).
? Davie returned to Pittsburgh as linebackers coach during the 1980-82 seasons, which produced a 29-5 combined record and three bowl trips (a 37-9 win over South Carolina in the Gator, a 24-20 win over Georgia in the Sugar and a 7-3 loss to SMU in the Cotton). Davie coached under Sherill in 1980 and ’81 before coaching under Foge Fazio in the 1982 season (Fazio, like Davie, went on to become the defensive coordinator at Notre Dame, in 1986-87).
OTHER COACHING CONNECTIONS
? Third-year Notre Dame running backs coach Desmond Robinson was a linebacker and defensive end at Pittsburgh from 1975-78, when he played on the 1976 national championship team and in four bowl games (current Irish head coach Bob Davie was a Pitt grad assistant in 1977). Robinson was on the same 1981 Pitt staff as Davie, with Robinson coaching the defensive backs on that 11-1 Sugar Bowl team.
? Current Pittsburgh DT coach Bob Junko coached with Davie on Pitt’s 1982 team (Junko was the Panthers’ defensive coordinator from 1982-85). Junko also was Northwestern’s defensive coordinator from 1986-88, with current Irish coordinator of football operations Bob Chmiel coaching the NU running backs in 1987.
? Second-year Irish offensive line coach Dave Borbely and Pittsburgh head coach Walt Harris were on the same staff at Tennessee during the 1984-85 seasons, when Borbely was a graduate assistant offensive line coach (Harris coached at UT from 1983-88, as assistant head coach and offensive coordinator).
? Current Notre Dame assistant head coach and inside linebackers coach Kirk Doll coached the tight ends at Iowa State in 1979, with current Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Larry Coyer holding the same position at Iowa State in ’79.
? Doll also coached the linebackers at Arizona State from 1985-87, with current Pittsburgh offensive line coach Tom Freeman coaching the ASU line from 1984-91.
? All-Time Series: Notre Dame leads 40-16-1
? At Pitt Stadium: Notre Dame leads 21-8-0
? At Forbes Field (pre-1925): ND leads 2-0-1
? At Notre Dame Stadium: ND leads 17-8-0
? Series Streak: ND 8 wins (1988-93, ’96-’97)
Rankings refer to AP poll
* – Notre Dame Stadium
Notre Dame vs. BIG EAST TEAMS
? Notre Dame has won nearly 73 percent of its games (69-26-2) vs. teams that currently comprise the BIG EAST Conference, with 57 of those 97 games vs. former independent Pittsburgh.
? The Irish own a winning series record versus all six BIG EAST teams they have faced.
? Notre Dame is 14-2 versus BIG EAST teams during the 1990s, including eight straight victories (vs. Boston College in ’95, vs. BC, Pittsburgh and Rutgers in ’96, vs. Pittsburgh, BC and West Virginia in ’97, and vs. BC in ’98).
? Notre Dame has not lost to a BIG EAST team since the 11th-ranked Irish were upset, 30-11, at Boston College on Oct. 8, 1994 … since that game, Notre Dame has posted a 60-6 win over Pittsburgh in 1996 (the Irish were No. 14), a 62-0 victory over Rutgers in the ’96 season finale (the Irish were No. 10), a 45-21 win at Pitt in ’97, a 21-14 win over No. 22 West Virginia in the final home game of the ’97 season and a 31-26 win at Boston College in 1998.
? The last Notre Dame-Miami game came in 1990 and is one of the most memorable games in the series, as Raghib Ismail returned a kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown and Craig Hentrich kicked a Notre Dame record five field goals to help the sixth-ranked Irish upset the No. 2 Hurricanes, 29-20, at Notre Dame Stadium.
? ND capped its 1988 national championship season with a 34-21 Fiesta Bowl victory over third-ranked West Virginia.
? Notre Dame’s last game versus Syracuse came in 1963, a 14-7 home victory for the Orangemen.
? Notre Dame has never played Temple or Virginia Tech.
OTHER NOTRE DAME-PITTSBURGH TIES
? Two members of Notre Dame’s strength and conditioning staff have connections to Pittsburgh. Assistant strength and conditioning coordinator Aaron Hillman spent the summer of 1994 as a strength and conditioning specialist with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Assistant strength and conditioning coach Tony Rolinski worked in the Pitsburgh strength and conditioning department from 1994-96, while attaining his masters in exercise physiology from the school. He then was the head strength coach at North Hills High School in Pittsburgh before serving as the head strength and conditioning coach at Duquesne in 1997-98.
? Notre Dame fourth-year women’s lacrosse head coach Tracy Coyne is a Pittsburgh native and a 1978 graduate of Canevin High School (which also produced Notre Dame All-America QB Tom Clements, who led the Irish to the 1973 national title). Coyne worked in the Pittsburgh athletic department in 1985, as the administrative assistant to the senior women’s administrator.
THEY SHALL RETURN
? During the past 14 seasons (’86-’99), Notre Dame has produced 49 TDs over the course of 43 games via kickoff, punt and interception returns-including A’Jani Sanders’ pair of interceptions vs. ASU (in ’98 and ’99), Bobbie Howard’s interception vs. LSU (in ’98) and Deveron Harper’s INT in the ’99 opener vs. Kansas. (Those numbers don’t include several fumble returns for touchdowns, with recent ones coming from Deke Cooper at Michigan State in ’98, Lamont Bryant vs. LSU in ’98 and Anthony Denman vs. KU in ’99).
? By comparison, Notre Dame’s opponent in the past 14 seasons have combined for just nine total returns for touchdowns (on kicks, punts or interceptions).
? Since the start of ’86, the Irish have produced their most returns vs. Pittsburgh (seven), with four each vs. Air Force, Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue.
? The 49 returns have come from 27 players, including nine by Allen Rossum (an NCAA record), six by Raghib Ismail, five by Tim Brown and three by Ricky Watters.
PITTSBURGH GAMES HAVE PRODUCED PLENTY OF IRISH RETURNS
? Despite totaling 30 TD returns on kickoffs and punts during the past 14 seasons, Notre Dame is in the midst of a kick-return-for-TD drought that stretches back to its previous two games versus Pittsburgh.
? The Irish have not returned a kickoff for a touchdown in the last 27 games, since Allen Rossum returned the opening kickoff 93 yards for a score versus Pittsburgh on Oct. 11, 1997 (Jarious Jackson later had a more unconventional return for a TD in that game, scoring from 40 yards out on an onside kick).
? The Irish have gone 35 games since their last punt return for a TD, stretching back to the Nov. 16, 1996, game versus Pittsburgh that produced three Irish punt return TDs (two by Rossum, covering 83 and 55 yards, and the last by Autry Denson for 74 yards).
? Notre Dame’s other recent returns for TDs vs. Pittsburgh include Pat Terrell’s 54-yard interception in 1989 and a 60-yard punt return by Jeff Burris in 1993.
Notre Dame Football All-Time Pittsburgh Natives
? Notre Dame’s all-time football roster includes nearly 2,500 players who have appeared in at least one career game, with 18 from Pittsburgh: RG Frank Winter (1898-1901), QB Clarence Diebold (1900), LG Lee Diebold (1910), HB John McSorley (1926-27), T Joe Papa (Kiski Prep, 1938-40), QB Joe Gasperella (Pittsburgh/Vandergrift HS, 1944-45), LG Ed Fay (Central Catholic HS, 1944-45), E Ray Jonardi (Baldwin HS, 1949-50), HB Dave Flood (Langley, 1950-52), T Bill McCarthy (North Catholic HS, 1951), FB Don Schaefer (Central Catholic HS, 1953-55), HB Tom Mittelhauser (South Hills Catholic HS, 1963), PK Joe Azarro (Central Catholic HS, 1964-67), OG/LB Dan Dickman (North Catholic HS, 1967), LB John Cloherty (Churchill Area HS, 1969-71), QB Jim Bulger (Central Catholic HS, 1970-71), FB Ray Zellars (Oliver HS, 1991-94) and OG Rob Mowl (Woodland Hills HS, 1998). Of the above players, Zellars had the longest stint as a starter (in ’93 and ’94).
NOTRE DAME’S PENNSYLVANIA QB PIPELINE
? Notre Dame’s all-time football roster includes 18 quarterbacks from the state of Pennsylvania, highlighted by some of the most noteworthy QBs in the program’s history: Johnny Lujack (Connelsville/Connelsville HS, 1943, ’46-’47), Bob Williams (Wilkes-Barre/G.A.R., 1956-58), Terry Hanratty (Butler/Butler HS, 1966-68), Tom Clements (McKees Rocks/Cenevin HS, 1972-74), Joe Montana (Monongahela/Ringgold HS, 1975, 77-78) and Ron Powlus (Berwick/Berwick HS, 1994-97).
? Lujack played on three national title teams and won the 1947 Heisman Trophy while Williams backed up Heisman winner Paul Hornung in 1956 before starting in ’57 and ’58. Williams made some key plays on both sides of the ball in the 7-0 win at Oklahoma in ’57, halting the OU’s NCAA-record 47-game winning streak. Hanratty was a three-year starter and helped the Irish win the 1966 national championship. Clements also was a three-year starter and led the Irish to a national title in his junior season (1973). Montana backed up Rick Slager in 1975 and was injured in 1976 before guiding the Irish to the 1977 national title (he also started in ’78).
? Hanratty completed 58.9 percent of his passes in 1968 (fourth in Irish history) while his 366 passing yards vs. Purdue in 1967 remain second all-time at Notre Dame. He also ranks fifth at Notre Dame for career passing yards (4,152) and TDs (27) and fourth with 304 completions.
? Clements ranks eighth in Irish history with 490 completions (in three seasons) and ninth in single-season completitions (215, in 1974).
? Montana ranks seventh at ND with 515 career completions (in three years) while his 141 completions in 1978 ranks fourth.
? Powlus owns Irish season and career records for completions (182 in 1997, 558 career) while ranking second in season and career completion pct. (.611 in 1997, .575 career). He also owns Irish records for lowest interception ratio in a season (.0172 in 1996, 4 in 232) and a career (.0278, 27 of 969), career passing yards (7,602), TD passes in a season (19, 1994) and career TD passes (52) while sharing the Irish record for TD passes in a game (four, three times).
? Pittsburgh and the surrounding Western Pennsylvania area have produced a number of Irish QBs, including Lujack, Williams, Hanratty, Montana, Clarence Diebold (Pittsburgh, starter in 1900), Joe Gasperella (Pittsburgh/Vandergrift HS, ’44-’45), Jim Bigelow (Glenshaw/Shaler HS, ’52-’54 reserve), Pat Steenberge (Erie/Cathedral Prep, ’70-’71), Jim Bulger (Pittsburgh/Central Catholic HS, ’70-’71 reserve), Ken Karcher (Glenshaw/Shaler Area HS, ’81-’82) and Paul Failla (Sewicky/North Allegheny HS, ’91-’93).
? Other ND QBs from Pennsylvania have included Philadelphia natives Vince McNally (Roman Catholic HS, ’25-’26), Charles McKinney (’26-’27 reserve) and Bill Whiteside (LaSalle HS, ’49-’50), plus John Mazur (Plymouth/Plymouth HS, backup in ’49-’50, starter in ’51) and Cliff Brown (Middletown/Middletown Area HS, ’71-’73).
? Some of the biggest-gaining plays in Notre Dame football history have come in games versus Pittsburgh, including the longest punt, the longest field goal, the second-longest pass play, the fourth-longest run from scrimmage and the fifth-longest punt return.
? The longest punt and longest field goal in Notre Dame history both have come in games versus Pittsburgh (42 seasons apart). Bill Shakespeare booted an 86-yard punt versus the Panthers in 1935 while Dave Reeve connected on a 53-yard field goal in the 1976 season-opening loss to Pittsburgh (31-10). Shakespeare also had a 72-yard punt vs. Pittsburgh in 1934 (still seventh-best in the Irish record book).
? Bob Kelly ripped off an 85-yard run versus Pittsburgh in 1944 (tied for fourth in Irish record book) while John Huarte’s 91-yard pass play to Nick Eddy remains second-longest in Notre Dame history. Other long Irish pass plays versus the Panthers have included: Joe Theismann to Mike Creaney (8th in ND record book, 78 yards, 1970), George Izo-Aubrey Lewis (14th, 74, 1957), Izo-Red Mack (17th, 72, 1958).
? Five of the longest punt returns in Notre Dame history have come vs. Pittsburgh: Joe Heap (5th-longest, 92 yards, ’52), Lancaster Smith (7th, 85, ’48), Allen Rossum (8th, 83, ’96), Tom Schoen (11th, 78, ’67) and Autry Denson (13th, 74, ’96).
FRIEND OR FOE?
? Notre Dame’s 1999 roster includes six Pennsylvania natives: senior WR Raki Nelson (Harrisburg/Bishop McDevitt HS), senior OG Rob Mowl (Pittsburgh/Woodland Hills HS), junior FB Jason Murray (Belle Vernon/Belle Vernon HS), sophomore OG Ryan Scarola (Export/Franklin Regional HS), freshman DL Jim Molinaro (Bethlehem/Catholic HS) and junior walk-on FB Jascint Vukevich (Cranberry Township/Seneca Valley HS). The 1999 Notre Dame roster includes players from 30 states while the Pittsburgh roster includes 53 Pennsylvania natives and players from 14 other states.
? A handful of Notre Dame and Pittsburgh players hail from the same hometown or attended the same high school:
? Mowl and two Pittsburgh freshmen-DB William Ferguson and FB Lousalka Polite-played at Woodland Hills HS. The Panthers roster includes a total of 13 Pittsburgh natives.
? Scarola attended Franklin Regional HS, as did Pittsburgh sophomore DB and Delmont native Mark Ponko.
? Nelson (Bishop McDevitt HS) and Pittsburgh senior DB Hank Poteat (Harrisburg HS) are natives of Harrisburg, Pa.
? USC is tied with Purdue as the second-most common opponent in Irish football history, as the teams will meet for the 71st time this season.
? Notre Dame faces its five most common opponents in 1999: Navy (73), Purdue (71), USC (71), Michigan State (63) and Pittsburgh (58).
? The Irish have played 130 different teams in their 111 years of varsity football, with the most common opponents as follows (number of games are updated to include all 1999 games):
ND-PITTSBURGH IN THE RECORD BOOK
? The following Notre Dame records were set in games versus Pittsburgh: George Izo’s 12.8 passing yards per att. (26 for 332, 1958), Tom Schoen’s nine punt returns (1967), 231 team punt-return yards and 38.5 per punt return (1996), low ND first downs (3, 1937), 31 rushing first downs (1993), low rushes (8, modern record, 1968), 40 points in second quarter (1996) and 49 points in first half (modern record, 1968).
? The following are tied for first in the Notre Dame record book and were set in games versus Pittsburgh: Daryle Lamonica’s four TD passes (1962), Ken Ivan’s nine PATs (1965), Allen Rossum’s two punt returns for TDs (1996), five Irish TD passes (1944), low total offense attempts (31, in 1937), modern records of 69 points, 10 TDs and nine PATs (1965), low ND rushing first downs (1, 1937), low ND passing first downs (0, 1989) and no ND punts (last done in 1993).
? Lee Becton’s first of six consecutive games with 100-plus rushing yards (ND record) came versus Pittsburgh in 1993.
? Bill Wolski 30 points (5 TDs) versus Pittsburgh in 1965 rank second in the Irish record book, as do Ken Ivan’s 12 PATs in 1965.
? Angelo Dabiero’s 22.6 yards per kick return (6 for 136) versus Pittsburgh in 1960 rank third in Irish history while Tim Brown’s 26.0 yards per catch (6 for 156) in 1987 rank fourth.
? Former Pittsburgh players and teams hold the following Notre Dame opponent records: 303 rushing yards by Tony Dorsett (23 att., 1975), 754 career rushing yards by Dorsett (96 att., 1973-76), six career TD passes by Alex Van Pelt (1989-92), 10 career PATs and five FGs by Carson Long (tied for first, 1973-76) and 411 team rushing yards (50 att., 1975, tied for first).
THE 1999 NCAA STATS
Updated 1999 NCAA stat rankings for Notre Dame and Pittsburgh (top 50 for team ranks):
|Rushing Offense||20th at 196.7||120.2|
|Passing Offense||42nd at 226.1||28th at 250.8|
|Total Offense||20th at 422.78||371.00|
|Scoring Offense||39th at 28.3||24.8|
|Rushing Defense, yards||144.0||48th at 136.1|
|Passing Efficiency Def.||120.1||119.8|
|Scoring Defense||24.8||39th at 22.1|
|Net Punting||35.3||19th at 38.7|
|Punt Returns||39th at 10.4||12th at 13.3|
|Kickoff Returns||20th at 23.2||18.7|
|Turnover Margin||-0.11/gm (-1 overall)||even|
|Passing Efficiency||Jarious Jackson||David Priestley|
|11th at 142.4 rating pts||24th at 136.3 rating pts|
|Total Offense||Jarious Jackson|
|20th at 266.89|
|13th at 7.11|
|48th at 5.22|
|Receiving Yards||Latef Grim|
|14th at 98.44|
|34th at 83.22|
|Punt Returns||Julius Jones||Hank Poteat|
|48th at 9.82||13th at 14.13|
|Kickoff Returns||Hank Poteat|
|28th at 24.17|
|Field Goals||Nick Lotz|
|T-40th at 1.11|
OFFENSIVE LINE STILL COMING OF AGE
The ND offensive line-which now must overcome the injury to LT Jordan Black-has met the challenge of helping ignite the offense, by playing its role in a win over Oklahoma that included 284 rushing yards and 566 yards of total offense. A quick glance at some comparative statistics show that the ’99 line has faced a different challenge than the veteran ’98 unit:
|’98 after 9 games (season total)||’99 after 9 games|
|Rushing Offense||221.5 (212.5)||196.7|
|Scoring Offense||30.0 (27.3)||28.3|
|Sacks Allowed||9 for 45 yards||26 for 176 yards|
|OL Starters Career Starts||97||48|
|Top Career Rusher||Autry Denson, 4131 yds||Jarious Jackson, 843 yds|
|Top Rusher (yards/gm)||Autry Denson, 113.0||Tony Fisher, 62.3|
The arrival of first-year offensive coordinator Kevin Rogers has left its mark on the 1999 season statistics, as the passing game has become a bigger part of the Irish offense while the Irish have racked up more points in the first quarter than in 1998:
|’98 after 9 games (season total)||’99 after 9 games|
|Passing Offense||177.5 (169.9)||226.1|
|Passing TDs||13 (13)||12|
|Total Offense||399.0 (382.5)||422.8|
|Rushing First Downs||112||84|
|Passing First Downs||81||90|
|Total First Downs||160||185|
|Pct. of First Downs Passing||39.7 pct.||48.7 pct.|
|First-Quarter Scoring||61-58, plus 3||44-30, plus 14|
|Third-Down Conversion Pct.||47 pct. (63-135)||44 pct. (59-133)|
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT
A comparison of Notre Dame’s stats through the first nine games of 1998 (when the Irish were 8-1) and 1999 indicate several areas that are in need of improvement:
|’98 after 9 games (season total)||’99 after 9 games|
|Third-Quarter Scoring||94-16, plus 78||70-56, plus 14|
WINS AND LOSSES
Notre Dame is averaging 263.4 rushing yards per game (5.2 per rush) in its five wins this season and just 112.8 in its four losses (2.9 per rush). Other noteworthy comparisons from 1999 wins and losses include: Jarious Jackson’s rushing yards (379 total in the five wins, 37 in the four losses), turnover ratio (+7 in wins, -8 in losses), third-down conversion pct. (.480, .400), first-quarter scoring (+20, -6) and third-quarter scoring (+32, -18).
TAKING BACK HOME FIELD
? Notre Dame has won 14 of its last 15 games at Notre Dame Stadium.
? After sporting a home record of just 17-7 from 1994-97, Notre Dame in 1998 surged to a 6-0 home record for the first time since the ’88 team went 7-0 at home.
? The Irish ended ’97 with home wins over Boston College, Navy and No. 22 West Virginia, yielding a 10-game home winning streak (including the 1999 opener versus Kansas) that ended with the 23-13 loss to Michigan State on Sept. 18, 1999 (the Irish have bounced back to win the last four home games). That 10-game home win streak was the longest by an Irish team since a 19-game run at home from Sept. 19, 1987 to Sept. 29, 1990.
? Notre Dame in ’98 posted its first unbeaten season at home since the ’89 team went 5-0 and their second unbeaten home season with six-plus wins (the 1988 national championship team was 7-0 at home).
? The longest home win streak at Notre Dame Stadium is 28 games, from Nov. 21, 1942, to Sept. 30, 1950. The program’s longest all-time home winning streak is 40 games, from Nov. 9, 1907 to Nov. 17, 1917 (Notre Dame Stadium opened in 1930).
HOLDING ONTO THE BALL
? The Notre Dame offense totaled no turnovers versus both Oklahoma and Arizona State, marking the first time that an Irish team had gone back-to-back games without a turnover since 1993. Taking care of the ball was a hallmark of that talented 1993 squad, which had six games without a turnover, including the second and third games of the season (vs. Michigan and Michigan State) and a four-game streak of no turnovers later in the season (vs. BYU, USC, Navy and Florida State).
? The no-turnover stretch spanned 32 drives by the Irish offense and 151 plays from scrimmage (not including punts and field goal attempts).
PROBABLE STARTERS (NOTRE DAME-PITTSBURGH)
The Head Coach
Third-year Irish head coach Bob Davie owns a 21-13 (.618) career record at Notre Dame, including an 19-6 mark in the last 25 regular-season games. Davie was one of 10 finalists for the 1998 Walter Camp Foundation/Street and Smith’s Coach of the Year Award. His 1997 squad beat No. 11 LSU and No. 22 West Virginia in ’97 to mark the first time a Notre Dame team beat ranked foes on consecutive weeks since November ’92 while the ’98 opening win over No. 5 and defending national champion Michigan gave him a 3-4 record vs. ranked opponents (now 4-5). The ’99 season marks Davie’s sixth year at Notre Dame overall, after serving as defensive coordinator and inside linebacker coach from 1994-96. He coached nine seasons at Texas A&M (’85-’93), two at Tulane (’83-’84), four at Pittsburgh (’77, ’80-’82) and two at Arizona (’78-’79), spending both years at Tulane as defensive coordinator and the last five at Texas A&M in that role.
COACHING IN THE CLUTCH
Knute Rockne owns the best career winning pct. among Notre Dame coaches in games decided by seven or fewer points, at 21-1-5 (.870). Among Irish coaches with 14-plus such games, the other top winning percentages in tight games belong to Elmer Layden (22-7-3, .734), Frank Leahy (17-5-8, .700), Bob Davie (11-5, .688), Ara Parseghian (13-6-4/.652), Dan Devine (15-9-1/.620) and Lou Holtz (20-18-2/.525). Holtz’s first season saw the Irish go 1-5-0 in games decided by a TD or less.
Notre Dame’s Probable Starting OFFENSE
|LT||75||Kurt Vollers||Expected to start at Pitt, for injured Jordan Black, 44:40 career playing time (11:19 at Tennessee)|
|LG||55||Jim Jones||Has played in only 11 career games for the Irish (vs. Stanford and Navy in ’98, 9 starts in ’99)|
|C||64||John Merandi||Preseason first team All-American (Street & Smith’s), veteran of offensive line (27 career games played)|
|RG||69||Mike Gandy||Started two games in ’98, Notre Dame’s most experienced guard (9 starts in ’99)|
|RT||76||John Teasdale||Reserve in 10 games during 1998 season, made his first collegiate start vs. Kansas (9 starts in ’99)|
|SE||88||Bobby Brown||Most experienced receiver (77 career catches, 10 TDs), three catches for 84 yards vs. ASU (TD)|
|TE||87||Jabari Holloway||26 career starts, 3 catches for 51 yards and TD at Mich., ’99 preseason first team All-America (Lindy’s)|
|FL||18||Joey Getherall||Team-best 28 catches, career-best days vs. OU (6 catches, 133 yards, 58-yard TD) and USC (7 for 73)|
|QB||7||Jarious Jackson||Ranks 11th nationally in passing efficiency, first solo captain for Irish since 1991, see pp. 14-15|
|FB||45||Joey Goodspeed||Most experienced Irish fullback (32 career games, 8 starts), five catches for 25 yards at Purdue|
|TB||12||Tony Fisher||Averaging 62.3 yards/game, 5.1 yards/carry, vs. KU: 13 rushes for 111 yards, 2 TDs, vs. OU: 26 for 140|
Notre Dame’s Probable Starting DEFENSE
|LE||44||Grant Irons||Switched from OLB to DL for ’99, adding 20 pounds to frame, fumble recovery vs. MSU, sack vs. OU|
|LT||77||Brad Williams||Experienced performer with 32 career starts, six tackles, sack vs. Michigan State|
|RT||90||Lance Legree||13 career starts, including one in ’99 (Tenn.), slowed by early knee injury, six tackles vs. Navy|
|RE||53||Lamont Bryant||27 career starts, 2 sacks at Mich., 7 tackles at Pur., ranked 10th among ’99 DEs by The Sporting News|
|ILB||39||Anthony Denman||Moved inside in ’99 (25 career gms at OLB), 63 tackles in ’99, 3 fumble recoveries (38-yd TD vs. KU)|
|ILB||34||Ronnie Nicks||Shared Irish tackle lead versus Kansas (seven), slowed early in 1999 season by ankle injury|
|OLB||41||Joey Ferrer||First career regular-season start vs. USC (5 tackles), sack vs. ASU, started in ’97 Independence Bowl|
|LCB||15||Clifford Jefferson||Saw action in two ’98 games before making first college start and blocking FG vs. KU, 61 tackles in ’99|
|FS||1||Deke Cooper||44 career gms (22 starts) and 184 career tackles (51 in ’99), vs. ASU: 7 tackles, INT, 2 fumble recov.|
|SS||5||A’Jani Sanders||22 career starts, with 203 tackles (team-high 69 in ’99), 3 INTs in ’99 (one for 28-yard TD vs. ASU)|
|RCB||10||Deveron Harper||Most experienced Irish DB (28 starts, 160 tackles), 22-yard INT for a TD vs. Kansas, INT vs. ASU|
? Senior DL Brad Williams owns the longest active streak for consecutive starts (24) on the current Irish football team, followed by senior C John Merandi (21).
? The longest active Irish streaks for consecutive games played belong to senior FS Deke Cooper (44) and senior SE Bobby Brown (34). Junior FL Joey Getherall saw his streak of 23 consecutive games played end at Purdue, due to a shoulder injury suffered at Michigan.
? Just five Irish players have started 24 or more games in their careers at Notre Dame: Williams (31), senior DE Lamont Bryant (28), Brown (25), senior CB Deveron Harper (28) and junior TE Jabari Holloway (26).
Two former Notre Dame walk-on players were elevated to scholarship status prior to the start of the 1999 season. Offensive guard Brendan O’Connor and outside linebacker Anthony Brannan are now scholarship players.
OFFENSIVE SCOUTING REPORT
Senior Jarious Jackson (134 for 225 in ’99, .596 pct., 12 TDs, 10 INTs, 220.7 passing yards/gm) is back for his second year as the starting QB and serves as team captain. Jackson finished ’98 ranked 13th nationally in passing efficiency (11th in ’99, at 142.41). His highlights include 85 rushing yards on 12 carries vs. Kansas (38-yard TD), 18 completions for a career-best 302 yards at Michigan (20-yard TD on fourth-and-one) and a career-best 22 completions for 267 yards at Purdue (one TD). He added a 15-for-26, 245-yard game vs. MSU (TD, INT) before a huge all-around game vs. Oklahoma: 15 for 21 passing for 276 yards and 2 TDs, 15 rushes for 107 yards and a TD. He tied an Irish record with four TD passes vs. ASU (10 for 17, 223 yards) while rushing nine times for 93 (including a 44-yard run and a 48-yard TD). He engineered the big comeback vs. USC by completing 19 of 30 passes for 257 yards (TD, INT) before fueling the comeback drive vs. Navy (he totaled 200 passing yards while rushing for 74 yards, including a career-best 57-yard TD run). Jackson headed into the USC matchup with 1,313 passing yards during the previous five games-ranking second-best in the long history of all-star Irish signalcallers. Jackson also ran 15 times for 48 yards at Michigan, with a twisting 12-yard TD run, and had two TD runs at Purdue (15 yards, 1 yard). His ’99 rushing gains include 576 yards on 92 carries (6.3 per carry), prior to subtracting 160 yards lost on 24 sacks (which knocks his average down to 3.6). Jackson is averaging 64.0 rushing yards per game (not counting his sack yardage). See pp. 14-15 for detailed information on Jackson. Sophomore Arnaz Battle worked his way into the backup spot in ’98, before a late-season shoulder injury. Battle ran two series in the ’99 opener vs. Kansas (one in the second quarter), misfiring on three pass attempts while rushing twice for 75 yards (he capped the Irish scoring with a 74-yard TD run). He also ran a first-quarter series vs. MSU (0-for-1 passing, one rush for five yards) and a second-quarter series versus Oklahoma (one completion for six yards, one incompletion). Battle ran the last full series of the second and fourth quarters of the ASU game (no pass attempts, five rushes for a net of three yards) and ran the final series at Tennessee (4-of-6 passing, with two first-down throws and a series-ending INT, plus a 12-yard rush and two sacks).
Sophomore Tony Fisher leads the Irish with 111 rushes for 561 yards (62.3 per game, 5.1 per rush). Fisher-who also has taken some snaps at FB in recent games-enjoyed a huge game vs. Kansas in his first start (13 for 111, TD runs of two and 46 yards) before adding 75 yards on 12 rushes at Michigan, plus two catches for 51 (he had a 40-yard run and 47-yard catch and run vs. UM). Fisher added a career-best 140 yards on 26 carries vs. Oklahoma (55-yard burst on the game’s first play) and made a huge 28-yard catch late in the USC game. Freshman JULIUS JONES (57 carries, 297 yards, 5.2 per rush) provides backup at tailback, with Jones rushing 10 times for a team-best 35 yards vs. USC (he also caught a 49-yard pass) before erupting for 146 yards on 19 carries vs. Navy (most yards by an Irish freshman since 1975) and adding 46 yards on 12 rushes at Tennessee. At fullback, senior Joey Goodspeed and sophomore Tom Lopienski have shared the starting spot. Goodspeed (who started vs. Navy) caught five balls for 25 yards at Purdue while rushing four times for 11 (he has 16 rushes in ’99, for 50 yards). Lopienski-who did not see action as a freshman-has 20 rushes for 63 yards in ’99 and has started three of the last four games.
The offensive line responded to major graduation losses, with a solid opening game vs. Kansas (343 rushing yards-most by an Irish team since ’96). The line also helped the Irish amass 566 yards of total offense in the win over OU (most by an Irish team since 1996) and has played its part in a balanced Irish offense during the past five games (1,075 rushing yards, 1,132 passing yards). Senior center John Merandi is the only full-time OL returner from the 1998 team. Next on the list in terms of experience is senior guard Mike Gandy, who moved into the starting lineup for the last three games of ’98. Newcomers to the starting lineup are senior Jim Jones at left guard (played in two games in ’98) and junior offensive tackle John Teasdale (11 games in ’98) while junior KURT VOLLERS is slated to make his first career start at Pittsburgh, in place of injured sophomore LT Jordan Black (Vollers played 11-plus minutes of game time at Tenn.). Merandi, Gandy, Jones, Teasdale and Black each started the first nine games in ’99. The reserves are sophomore SEAN MAHAN at tackle, sophomore Ryan Scarola and senior Rob Mowl at guard and freshman center JEFF FAINE.
Notre Dame has a balanced and deep group of receivers, led by returning starters in senior split end Bobby Brown (77 career receptions for 1,211 yards, heading into the Pittsburgh game) and junior tight end Jabari Holloway. Brown has 19 catches for 324 yards and a team-best four TDs in ’99. He had four catches for 49 yards at Purdue (seven-yard TD), three for 84 vs. ASU (42-yard catch-and-run for a TD) and three for 38 vs. USC. Brown also latched onto a pass in the flat and raced 31 yards for a TD vs. Navy before making the crucial first-down catch on fourth and 10 to set up the winning score. Brown (17.1 yards per catch) is backed up at split end by sophomore Javin Hunter, who saw limited playing time as a freshman but ranks fourth on the ’99 team with 13 grabs for 224 yards (team-best 17.2 per rec.), including three catches at both Michigan and Purdue, a 43-yard catch vs. Michigan State and three catches for 27 yards at Tennessee. Senior Jay Johnson adds depth at split end, with five catches for 79 yards in ’99, a 31-yard TD vs. ASU and the winning 16-yard grab vs. Navy. Junior flanker Joey Getherall leads the team with 28 catches and 379 (two receiving TDs). He had a strong game at Michigan, where he suffered a shoulder injury that sidelined him for the Purdue and MSU games (he returned for a career-best day vs. Oklahoma). Getherall caught three passes at Michigan for 29 yards, scored on a four-yard reverse and returned two kickoffs for 62 yards. He had six grabs for 133 yards vs. OU (both then-career highs), including a 58-yard catch-and-run for a score (he had two catches vs. ASU, including a 25-yard TD). Getherall then made a career-best seven grabs (73 yards) vs. USC and added six for 61 at Tennessee (he also scored on a 11-yard end-around). Senior Raki Nelson amassed 18 catches for 332 yards during a four-game stretch before suffering an ACL injury in the OU game (he has missed the last four games but could return this week). Nelson has 21 catches for 346 yards (16.5 yards per catch, 69.2 yards per game), after latching onto five passes vs. both Michigan (91 yards) and Purdue (68) before equaling a career-high with six catches vs. MSU (for a career-best 117 yards), plus two catches for 46 vs. OU. Sophomore flanker David Givens, who played sparingly as a freshman, caught two balls for 34 yards at Michigan, one for 13 yards at Purdue, one for 16 yards vs. USC and two for 20 vs. Navy (six total for 83). Holloway is the team’s top returning receiver from ’98 (15 catches, 262 yards, one TD) while senior tight end Dan O’Leary has played in 24 career games, with two grabs for 24 yards in the KU game, two for 30 yards at Purdue, two for 28 vs. OU, a six-yard TD vs. ASU and a seven-yard TD vs. USC (he has eight total catches for 95 yards and two TDs). Holloway latched onto three catches for 51 yards at Michigan, including the late go-ahead score. He also caught a 27-yard pass at Purdue, two passes for 21 yards vs. OU (including a memorable cross-field pass for a 15-yard TD), made an 11-yard catch vs. USC and caught two passes for 18 yards vs. Navy. Holloway has nine total catches for 128 yards and two TDs, with his biggest play coming when he recovered Jarious Jackson’s fumble in the end zone for the game-winning TD vs. USC
JOEY HILDBOLD’s first season as the Irish punter has included a 46.4 yard average on five punts at Purdue and a 39.7 overall average on 37 punts in ’99. Senior JIM SANSON opened the season with plenty of kicks vs. Kansas (one FG missed, one FG blocked, 6-of-7 on PATs). Sanson converted a 20-yard FG and 2-of-3 PATs at Purdue before hitting two FGs (33, 34) and one extra point vs. MSU. Sanson missed twice from short range vs. OU and once from close range vs. ASU (he has made just three of nine FG tries in ’99). Sanson’s career stats include 25-of-43 on field goals (58.1 percent)-including 23 of 33 from 40 yards or closer-and 102-of-117 on PATs (87.2 percent). Sophomore DAVID MILLER assumed the placekicking duties early in the ASU game, making 6-of-7 PATs (one was blocked). Miller made both his PATs vs. USC and was 2-of-3 on FGs (miss from 29, made from 37 and 33) before converting 3-of-3 PATs vs. Navy and seeing a 43-yard FG try get blocked (he missed a 25-yarder at Tennessee). Junior JOEY GETHERALL averaged 25.8 yards on four kickoff returns and 9.8 yards on five punt returns (he had a 41-yard kick return at Michigan) in the first two games. While Getherall was sidelined for the Purdue and Michigan State games (shoulder injury at Michigan), the Irish turned to freshman JULIUS JONES on punts (11 returns in ’99, avg. of 9.8 yards with a long of 20) while kickoffs were handled by sophomore TERRANCE HOWARD (16 total, avg. of 21.5, long of 36, season-ending hamstring injury at Tennessee) and Jones (nine for avg. of 21.7, long of 36). Senior walk-on JAMES CAPUTO is the holder for placekicks while sophomore GERALD MORGAN took over long-snapper duties in the Navy game (senior DAN O’LEARY was the long snapper in the first seven games).
CAREER BESTS – RUSHING YARDS
|Arnaz Battle||75 yards vs. Kansas, ’99|
|Tony Fisher||140 vs. Oklahoma, ’99|
|Joey Goodspeed||109 vs. Arizona St., ’98|
|Terrance Howard||67 vs. Navy, ’99|
|Jarious Jackson||107 vs. Oklahoma, ’99|
|Julius Jones||146 vs. Navy, ’99|
|Tom Lopienski||20 vs. USC, ’99|
CAREER BESTS – COMPLETIONS
|Arnaz Battle||7 vs. USC, ’98|
|Jarious Jackson||22 vs. Purdue, ’99|
CAREER BESTS – PASSING YARDS
|Arnaz Battle||94 vs. USC, ’98|
|Jarious Jackson||302 vs. Michigan, ’99|
CAREER BESTS – RECEPTIONS
|Bobby Brown||7 in three games, ’97|
|Joey Getherall||7 vs. USC, ’99|
|David Givens||2, vs. Michigan, ’99|
|Joey Goodspeed||5 vs. Purdue, ’99|
|Jabari Holloway||4 vs. Purdue, ’98|
|Javin Hunter||3 vs. Mich./Purdue, ’99|
|Tom Lopienski||2 vs. Michigan St., ’99|
|Raki Nelson||6 vs. BC, ’97, MSU ’99|
|Dan O’Leary||4 vs. Purdue, ’97|
CAREER BESTS – RECEIVING YARDS
|Bobby Brown||88 vs. Stanford, ’97|
|Joey Getherall||133 vs. Oklahoma, ’99|
|David Givens||34 vs. Michigan, ’99|
|Joey Goodspeed||25 vs. Purdue, ’99|
|Jabari Holloway||94 vs. Purdue, ’98|
|Javin Hunter||84 vs. Michigan St., ’99|
|Julius Jones||49 vs. USC, ’99|
|Raki Nelson||117 vs. Michigan St., ’99|
|Dan O’Leary||49 vs. Purdue, ’97|
CAREER BESTS – TACKLES
|Rocky Boiman||7 vs. Michigan, ’99|
|Lamont Bryant||9 vs. Ga. Tech, MSU, ’97|
|Deke Cooper||16 vs. Michigan State, ’98|
|Anthony Denman||10 vs. Michigan, ’99|
|Joe Ferrer||5 vs. USC, ’99, Navy, ’99|
|Deveron Harper||10 vs. USC, ’97|
|Tyreo Harrison||10 vs. Michigan St., ’99|
|Grant Irons||8 in three games|
|Ron Israel||4 vs. USC, ’99|
|Clifford Jefferson||10 vs. Purdue, ’99|
|Antwon Jones||5 vs. Army, ’98|
|Lee Lafayette||4 vs. Stan., ’98, Pur., ’99|
|Lance Legree||6 vs. Navy, ’99|
|Ronnie Nicks||7 vs. Kansas, ’99|
|Carlos Pierre-Antoine||5 vs. ASU, ’99|
|A’Jani Sanders||14 vs. Michigan, ’98|
|Gerome Sapp||4 vs. ASU, ’99|
|Anthony Weaver||5 vs. Navy, ’98 and ’99|
|Brad Williams||8 vs. Navy, ’98|
NOTRE DAME BESTS – 1990s
|Rushing Yards||458 vs. Purdue, ’92|
|Passing Yards||331 vs. MSU, ’92|
|Total Yards||650 in two games|
|First Downs||34 vs. MSU, ’91|
|Low Rush. Yards All.||-6 vs. Rutgers, ’96|
|Low Pass Yards All.||12 vs. Army, ’98|
|Low Total Yds. All.||43 vs. Rutgers, ’96|
|Fewest First Downs All.||5 in two games|
|Points (Game)||62 vs. Rutgers, ’96|
|Points (Half)||42 (2nd) vs. Navy, ’90|
|Points (Qtr)||40 (2nd) vs. Pitt., ’96|
|Victory Margin||62 (62-0) vs. Rut., ’96|
ND BESTS – DAVIE ERA (1997-)
|Rushing Yards||343 vs. Kansas, ’99|
|Passing Yards||323 vs. BC, ’97|
|Total Yards||566 vs. Oklahoma, ’99|
|First Downs||29 vs. BC, ’97|
|Low Rush Yds. All.||33 vs. Baylor, ’98|
|Low Pass Yds. All.||12 vs. Army, ’98|
|Low Total Yds. All.||172 vs. Baylor, ’98|
|Fewest 1st Downs All.||12 vs. Army, ’98|
|Sacks||5 vs. Baylor, ’98|
|Turnovers Forced||6 vs. ASU, ’99|
|Points (Game)||52 vs. BC, ’97|
|Pts (Half)||31 vs. Pitt. (2nd half), ’97|
|Points (Qtr)||27 vs. ASU, ’99|
|Vict. Margin||35 (48-13), vs. KU, ’99|
TURNING THE TABLES
? The Irish defense forced four turnovers in the Kansas game, extending one of the ’98 team’s high points (the Irish also were guilty of four turnovers vs. KU). In ’98, Notre Dame tied for 21st in the nation with a +0.64 regular-season turnover ratio. Just 11 Div. I-A squads had fewer turnovers than the 18 by the Irish in ’98 (the Irish also had just 13 in ’97). The Irish have turned it over 22 times so far in ’99 while forcing 21 (-1).
? The ND offense posted low turnover averages in ’97 (1.18/gm, 13 total) and ’98 (1.63, 18) and will be looking for those type of numbers the rest of the way in 1999, after averaging 2.44 turnovers during the first nine games (22 total, none in back-to-back games vs. OU and ASU-the first time that has happened for the Irish since 1993).
? The Irish finished the 1998 season with a +7 overall turnover ratio but are -1 so far in 1999 (the Irish defense has forced 12 fumbles and nine interceptions while the Irish offense has 11 fumbles and 11 interceptions).
DEFENSIVE SCOUTING REPORT
Junior Grant Irons (32 tackles, three sacks, forced fumble, fumble recovery) has moved to DE, after spending his first two years as a LB (he had his best game of ’99 at Tennessee, with six tackles and a sack). Senior Lamont Bryant (35 tackles, three sacks) is at the other end spot. Bryant had two sacks at Michigan, seven tackles at Purdue and six vs. MSU. The starting tackles are senior Brad Williams (20 total tackles in ’99, six tackles and a sack vs. MSU, forced fumble vs. Navy) and sophomore ANTHONY WEAVER, who moved to a backup end spot beginning with the Navy game. Weaver missed the Kansas game due to a knee injury before making four tackles (one for loss) at Michigan, four vs. USC, five vs. Navy and four at Tennessee (he has 18 total). Providing backup at the end spots are senior Jason Ching (five tackles in ’99) and sophomore Ryan Roberts (sack vs. KU, five total tackles) while senior Antwon Jones (started ’99 opener vs. Kansas, four total tackles) and junior Andy WisNe (nine tackles, one sack in ’99) provide depth inside. Senior DT Lance Legree missed the Kansas and Michigan games with a strained right knee but has returned to play a key role, with 13 total tackles in ’99, including six vs. Navy and a starting assignment at Tenn.
The most experienced returner is junior Anthony Denman, who starts inside (weakside). Denman (second on team with 63 tackles, six for loss) had seven tackles and scooped up a fumble for a 31-yard TD vs. KU, shared the team lead with 10 tackles at Michigan and added nine tackles, a sack and a forced fumble vs. MSU. He led the team with eight tackles vs. ASU, seven vs. USC and a career-best 13 at Tenn. (he also recovered fumbles vs. USC and Navy). Senior Ronnie Nicks opened ’99 as the starter at the other inside spot (strong side) but missed most of the Michigan game and the Purdue, MSU and OU games with an ankle injury (he had seven tackles vs. KU and has 18 overall). Senior JoeY Ferrer (20 tackles) has started the past three games at dropback LB, with a career-high five tackles vs. both USC and Navy (he had a sack in the ASU game). Sophomore Rocky Boiman started the first six games at the dropback spot, making his presence felt with two fumble recoveries vs. KU. Boiman (26 total tackles in ’99, fumble recovery vs. Navy) had seven tackles at Michigan but was used mostly on special teams at Purdue (the Irish used five and six DBs for most of the game). Sophomores Carlos Pierre-Antoine (16 tackles in ’99) and Tyreo Harrison and senior Anthony Brannan provide depth inside. Harrison-the initial replacement when Nicks was injured-had five tackles at Michigan, was second on the team with 10 tackles vs. MSU (three for loss) and has 21 total tackles (plus a blocked FG at Tennessee).
Senior right CB DEVERON HARPER started the previous two years and is fifth on the ’99 team with 45 tackles. Harper returned an interception for 22 yards for a TD vs. KU and had another INT vs. ASU. Sophomore CLIFFORD JEFFERSON (third on ’99 team with 61 tackles) made his debut at left CB vs. KU (seven tackles), adding nine at Michigan and 10 at Purdue (he also recovered a fumble vs. the Boilers). Sophomore SHANE WALTON, in his first year with the Irish football program after playing soccer last year, also is in the mix (he saw brief action at Purdue). Sophomore DONALD DYKES also sees action at corner along with freshman JASON BECKSTROM (he plays the nickel package as the extra corner). Senior DEKE COOPER (top returning tackler from ’98 with 78) returns as the starter at free safety, ranking fourth on the ’99 team with 51 tackles. Cooper had six tackles and caused a fumble vs. KU before making seven tackles at Michigan and seven at Purdue. His big game vs. ASU included seven tackles, two fumble recoveries and a 33-yard INT. He added an INT vs. USC, forced a fumble vs. Navy and had nine tackles at Tennessee. Fifth-year veteran A’JANI SANDERS (58 tackles, team-high three INTs in ’98) is back at strong safety, with a team-best 69 tackles in ’99 (nine for loss, plus three INTs). Sanders had seven tackles and a caused fumble vs. KU before sharing the team lead with 10 tackles at Michigan and a team-best 11 at Purdue (plus a 10-yard INT). He added a team-best 12 tackles vs. MSU, had a 28-yard INT return for a TD vs. ASU and made a team-best nine tackles vs. Navy. Freshman JEROME SAPP is the most healthy FS backup, with junior JUSTIN SMITH possibly making a return this week after knee surgery. Junior RON ISRAEL was the top SS backup, but is out for the Pitt game with a hand injury. Israel was a key part of the nickel/dime package at Purdue before suffering an ankle injury that sidelined him for the MSU game. Israel started vs. Purdue and OU, in a six-DB set, and had two key plays in the USC game (a 16-yard sack and a forced fumble on a blitz that led to an Irish TD).
Preseason And ’99 Honors
DE Lamont Bryant
? The Sporting News, ranked 10th among defensive ends
? Lindy’s, ranked 12th among defensive ends
? Street & Smith’s and Walter Camp Football Foundation, Honorable Mention All-American
FS Deke Cooper
? Named to ‘watch list’ for 1999 Jim Thorpe Award, given to best defensive back in country
? Lindy’s, ranked 12th among safeties
? The Sporting News, ranked eighth among free safeties
? Street & Smith’s and Walter Camp Football Foundation, Honorable Mention All-American
LB Anthony Denman
? NBC/Chevrolet MVP vs. Michigan State (9 tackles, sack, forced fumble)
TB Tony Fisher
? NBC/Chevrolet MVP vs. Kansas (13 rushes for 111 yards, 2 TDs)
CB Deveron Harper
? Lindy’s, ranked 13th among cornerbacks
TE Jabari Holloway
? Lindy’s, First Team All-American
? Lindy’s, ranked first among tight ends
? The Sporting News, ranked seventh among tight ends
? NBC/Chevrolet MVP vs. USC (fumble recovery for winning TD, 11-yd catch)
TB Julius Jones
? NBC/Chevrolet MVP vs. Navy (19 rushes for 146 yards, 3 returns for 28)
C John Merandi
? Street & Smith’s and Walter Camp Football Foundation, First Team All- American
? Lindy’s, ranked seventh among centers
QB Jarious Jackson
? One of 25 finalists for Davie O’Brien Award
? The Sporting News, ranked fifth among all-purpose quarterbacks
? Street & Smith’s and Walter Camp Football Foundation, Honorable Mention All-American
? Lindy’s, ranked 24th among quarterbacks
? One of 16 finalists for the Unitas Award
? ABC/Chevrolet MVP vs. Michigan (passing: 20 for 40, 317 yards, TD, INT)
? ABC/Chevrolet MVP vs. Purdue (passing: 22 for 34, 267 yards, TD, INT)
? NBC/Chevrolet MVP vs. Oklahoma (passing: 15 for 21, 276 yds, 2 TDs, 0 INT, rushing: 15 for 107 yards, TD)
? NBC/Chevrolet MVP vs. Arizona State (passing: 10 for 17, 223 yds, 4 TDs, 0 INT, rushing: 9 for 93 yards, TD)
Notre Dame Defensive Line
? The Sporting News, ranked fifth in country
Notre Dame Secondary
? The Sporting News, ranked ninth in country
? Notre Dame and its ’99 opponents have similar “red-zone’ success, with the Irish totaling 155 red-zone points (converting 26-of-39 chances) while the first eight opponents have combined for a lower red-zone point total of 132 (27-of-32). Despite a conversion edge for the opponents, the Notre Dame “bend-but-don’t-break” defense has allowed just 16 red-zone touchdowns (in 32 opponent chances) while the Irish offense has cashed in 22 TDs after crossing the opponent’s 20-yard line (in 39 chances).
? Including the drive at Purdue that was halted when time ran out, Notre Dame has scored on just 17 of its last 29 red-zone chances (14 TDs, three FGs, four turnovers, six missed/blocked FGs, one failed fourth down and one time-expired).
? Despite scoring seven TDs in the ’99 opening win over Kansas, Notre Dame ventured into the “red zone” just three times (two defensive TDs, three long runs from scrimmage). The Irish scored two TDs and had a FG blocked in red zone chances vs. KU, which marched inside the Irish 20 just once (TD). The Irish scored TDs on all three red-zone chances at Michigan while UM had four FGs and two TDs in seven chances (missed FG). Notre Dame’s five chances at Purdue yielded three TDs, one FG and the final drive where time expired (Purdue cashed in all four chances, with two TDs and two FGs).
? Michigan State was 4-for-4 in the red zone (TD, 3 FGs) while the Irish had a TD, FG, one INT and two fumbles on five chances. Oklahoma turned both of its red-zone chances into passing TDs while the Irish had three rushing TDs, one passing TD and two missed FGs.
? Due to an assortment of big offensive scoring plays and an INT returned for a TD, the Irish had just three red-zone chances vs. ASU (rush TD, pass TD, missed FG). ASU had four chances, with two TDs , a FG and a missed FG. The Irish were 5-for-7 in the red zone vs. USC (2 FGs, 3 TDs, missed FG, turnover) while USC was 3-for-3 (2 TDs, FG). Notre Dame had two TDs and a missed FG in the red zone vs. Navy, which had a TD, FG and turnover in its three red-zone chances. At Tennessee, the Irish had two TDs, a FG miss and a failed fourth down on red-zone chances (UT had three TDs and was 1-2 on FGs).
? Notre Dame in ’98 came away with points in 41 of 45 red-zone chances (91.1 percent)-including TDs on 71 percent-while opponents posted points on just 72 percent of their chances (barely over half of the opposing chances, 22 of 43, produced TDs).
? The Irish converted nearly 20 percent more of their red-zone chances than their ’98 opponents (.911-.721) and were +69 in red-zone points (219-150).
|NOTRE DAME IN ’99||Category||’99 OPPONENTS|
|.564 (22/39)||TD Pct.||.500 (16/32)|
|155||Total Points (TD-6, FG-3)||132|
|.667 (26/39)||Scoring Pct.||.844 (27/32)|
1999 Notre Dame Opponent UPDATE
Below is a look at Notre Dame opponents’ recent results and upcoming games. Since ’77, when the NCAA started rating strength of schedule, Notre Dame’s schedule has been rated the most difficult five times in the last 21 years (’78, ’85, ’87, ’89 and ’95), with the ’99 schedule ranking 18th-toughest in the nation (as of Nov. 8), with a .585 opponent winning pct. (55-39) according to the NCAA formula (Alabama is first, at 58-25/.699). The NCAA formula compiles games vs. Division I-A schools and takes out the results vs. Notre Dame.
|Opponent||’99 Record||Nov. 6||Nov. 13|
|Kansas||4-6||W, 45-10, Baylor||at Oklahoma State|
|Michigan||7-2||W, 37-3, Northwestern||at Penn State|
|Purdue||6-4||L, 21-28, Wisconsin||Idle|
|Michigan State||7-2||W, 23-7, Ohio State||at Northwestern|
|Oklahoma||5-3||W, 37-0, Missouri||at Iowa State|
|Arizona State||5-4||W, 26-16, at USC||Stanford|
|USC||3-6||L, 16-26, Arizona State||Idle|
|Navy||3-6||W, 34-7, at Rutgers||Tulane|
|Tennessee||7-1||W, 38-14, Notre Dame||at Arkansas|
|Pittsburgh||4-5||L, 3-33, Miami||Notre Dame|
|Boston College||6-2||Idle||West Virginia|
|Stanford||5-3||Idle||at Arizona State|
1999 Opponents’ Combined Record (not including ND games): 58-39 (.597)
IRISH IN THE ’99 NFL
Notre Dame for the fifth straight season in ’99 had more former players on opening-day rosters in the NFL than any other school (42), ahead of Florida State (39), North Carolina (36), Penn State (33), Washington (33) and Florida (32). Former Notre Dame players occupied rosters on 23 different teams. Irish players currently in the NFL include nine offensive linemen, seven defensive backs, six defensive linemen, five wide receivers, four running backs, three linebackers, three tight ends, two quarterbacks, two punters and one kicker.
TE Derek Brown
OL Dusty Zeigler
QB Steve Beuerlein, RB Anthony Johnson
CB Tom Carter, DT Jim Flanigan, OL Jerry Wisne
OL Mike Doughty, DL Oliver Gibson
FB Marc Edwards, TE Irv Smith
FL Raghib Ismail
TE Pete Chryplewicz, LB Scott Kowalkowski
LB Bert Berry, CB Jeff Burris, WR Lake Dawson, P Hunter Smith
DT Renaldo Wynn
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
C Tim Grunhard
C Tim Ruddy, CB Shawn Wooden
NEW YORK GIANTS
OL Luke Petitgout, OL Mike Rosenthal
NEW YORK JETS
QB Rick Mirer
WR Tim Brown
CB Bobby Taylor, CB Allen Rossum
FB Jerome Bettis, S Travis Davis, WR Malcolm Johnson
ST. LOUIS RAMS
DT Paul Grasmanis, CB Todd Lyght
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
K John Carney, OL Aaron Taylor
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
DT Bryant Young, DT Junior Bryant, LB Anthony Peterson
SE Derrick Mayes, RB Ricky Watters
P Craig Hentrich
T Andy Heck
Notes: LB Pete Bercich opened on Minnesota’s injured list (non-53 roster player). Three former Irish players-TB Autry Denson (Miami), TB Robert Farmer (N.Y. Jets) and LB Kory Minor (San Francisco) have since been added to active NFL rosters.
JARIOUS JACKSON NOTES
Prior to the Oct. 9th ASU game, Jarious Jackson had passed for 240-plus yards in each of four straight games, becoming the first player to accomplish that feat in the storied history of Notre Dame quarterbacks. He had a career-best 302 passing yards as Michigan, followed by 267 at Purdue, 245 vs. Michigan State and 276 vs. Oklahoma.
? Jackson’s combined passing total of 1,090 yards in those games ranks as the second-best stretch over four games in Irish history, trailing only Joe Theismann’s 1,231 in 1970 (284 vs. Pittsburgh, 272 vs. Georgia Tech, 149 vs. LSU and an Irish record 526 vs. USC).
? Theismann followed up the USC game with 176 passing yards vs. Texas in the Cotton Bowl, for a record five-game total of 1,407 (Jackson’s 223 vs. ASU gave him 1,313 over a five-game stretch).
? Other top four-game passing totals at Notre Dame have included: 1,009 by Rusty Lisch in 1979 (160 vs. Georgia Tech, 227 vs. Air Force, 286 vs. USC, 336 vs. South Carolina), 995 by John Huarte during his 1964 Heisman Trophy-winning season (209 vs. UCLA, 300 vs. Stanford, 274 vs. Navy, 212 vs. Pittsburgh), and 947 by Steve Beuerlein in 1986 (119 vs. Air Force, 248 vs. Navy, 269 vs. SMU, 311 vs. Penn State).
? Jackson’s impressive passing streak included three opponents that were ranked in the AP poll at the time of the game, plus an MSU team that was ranked the next week. The other four players listed above faced just three ranked opponents combined in their four-game passing streaks: Theismann (LSU), Lisch (USC), Huarte (none) and Beuerlein (Penn State).
? Jackson’s combined passing yards over a two (569) and three-game (814) stretch ranked third at Notre Dame since 1970, behind Lisch (622, 848) and Beuerlein (580, 828).
JACKSON POSTS FIFTH 300-YARD PASSING GAME AT ND SINCE 1970
? Jarious Jackson’s 302-yard passing effort (18 of 29, TD, INT) at seventh-ranked Michigan on Sept. 4 represents just the fifth game with 300-plus passing yards by an Irish quarterback in 29 seasons (and first since ’91)-dating back to the USC game on Nov. 28, 1970, when Joe Theismann threw for an Irish record 526 yards (33 of 58) versus the unranked Trojans.
? The only other Irish quarterbacks to throw for 300-plus yards since 1970 are: Rusty Lisch (336 vs. unranked South Carolina in ’79, 24 of 43, TD, INT), Joe Montana (358 at third-ranked USC in ’78, 20 of 41, TD), Steve Beuerlein (311 vs. third-ranked Penn State in ’86, 11 of 20, TD), and Rick Mirer (303 yards vs. unranked Navy in ’91, 17 of 27, 3 TDs, INT).
? Career-best passing games for other noteworthy Irish QBs since 1970 include: Tom Clements (287 vs. Purdue in ’72) and Ron Powlus (293 at Purdue in ’97).
JACKSON, IRISH RIDE ROLLERCOASTER IN LOSS AT MICHIGAN
? Notre Dame fifth-year quarterback Jarious Jackson posted career high totals in the game at Michigan for completions (18 of 29, bested by 22 completions at Purdue) and passing yardage (302), with four of his completions and 78 of the passing yards coming on the frantic final drive.
? Jackson’s 18 completions included eight “big plays” (passes of 18-plus yards), highlighted by a 47-yard sideline catch-and-run by tailback Tony Fisher and a 36-yard strike to Raki Nelson on third and 10 in the final minute of play.
? Jackson’s day included a twisting 12-yard TD run in the closing moments of the first half and a 20-yard TD pass to Jabari Holloway on a fourth-and-one crossing play with 4:08 left to play. On the flip side, Jackson threw a costly interception at the Michigan 38-yard line (early in the fourth quarter), had several errant pitchouts (the Irish maintained possession on each play) and was sacked four times for 41 yards.
? Michigan’s Lloyd Carr had postgame praise for Jackson, saying, “Jarious Jackson has the heart of a lion. He’s some kind of great football player. There’s no quit in him.”
OFF AND RUNNING
? Jarious Jackson ignited the win over Kansas with a 38-yard touchdown run, then the longest TD run of his career and second-longest run overall (he had a 43-yarder versus Baylor in ’98).
? Jackson scampered for the two longest runs of his career vs. ASU, burning the Sun Devils defense for 44 yards on one play before scoring on a 48-yard option keeper later in the game (he pushed his career-best run mark to 57 yards with a long TD run vs. Navy).
Senior quarterback Jarious Jackson (Tupelo, Miss.) was elected captain of the 1999 Notre Dame football team, the third time in 32 seasons that Notre Dame has featured a single football captain (joining Mike Kovaleski ’86 and Rodney Culver ’91).
AN EFFICIENT SEASON
Due in part to a solid TD-to-INT ratio (13/6), Notre Dame senior Jarious Jackson was 9-2 as a starter in 1998 and ranked 13th in the nation with a 149.50 passing efficiency rating. That QB rating ranks second among Irish QBs in the ’90s (behind Kevin McDougal’s 151.29 in ’93) and marked the eighth time in the last nine seasons that an Irish QB has finished in the NCAA top 20.
Jackson became the ninth straight Notre Dame QB to see the Irish win in his first start, after leading Notre Dame in ’98 to the 36-20 win over then-No. 5 Michigan.
HITTING THE CENTURY MARK
Jackson’s 100 rushing yards vs. Stanford in ’98 represented the most yards on the ground by an Irish QB since Tony Rice ran 26 times for 141 yards and two TDs, vs. Penn State on Nov. 18, 1989 … Jackson also had three rushing TDs in the ’98 Stanford game-most by an Irish QB in 32 seasons, since Paul Hornung ran for three TDs (and kicked the PATs) in a 21-14 win over North Carolina on Nov. 17, 1956.
JACKSON IN THE IRISH RECORD BOOK
? Jarious Jackson continues to make his mark in the Notre Dame single-season record book, with his ’99 passing yards per game (220.7) ranking second (behind Joe Theismann’s 242.9 in 1970) while his .596 completion pct. in 1999 is close to Kevin McDougal’s record (.616, 1993).
? His 147.9 career passing efficiency rating ranks second in Irish history (behind McDougal’s 154.4) while his .575 career completion percentage is tied with Ron Powlus for second in the Irish record book and is tied with Powlus for first among passers with more than 200 attempts.
? His low interception total (6) in ’98 produced an “interception avoidance” ratio of 0.0319 INTs per attempt, ranking among the top eight in Irish single-season history.
? Jackson’s career interception ratio of .0382 is fourth all-time at Notre Dame while his 9.11 yards per passing attempt ranks third. His career mark of 15.8 yards-per-completion also ranks third in Irish history.
? Jackson’s 188 passing and 113 rushing attempts in ’98 produced 301 total offense attempts, ninth-most in Irish history. He has 341 total plays in ’99 (225 pass, 116 rush), good for third all-time behind Powlus (344 in 1997) and Theismann (391 in 1970). Jackson is on pace for 455 total offense attempts, which would shatter Theismann’s record (Theismann averaged 39.1 plays over the course of 10 games in 1970 while Jackson is averaging 37.9 in 1999).
? He had six games with 200-plus yards of total offense in ’98, ranking behind only Theismann (8 in 1970) and Huarte (7 in 1964) among the all-time Irish quarterbacking greats. Jackson nearly matched Huarte with a seventh 200-plus yard game but came up a yard shy versus Baylor (133 passing, 66 rushing).
? Jackson’s 2,181 yards of total offense in ’98 (1,740 passing, 441 rushing) ranks fourth all-time at Notre Dame, behind former greats Theismann (2,813 in 1970), Rick Mirer (2,423 in 1991) and Steve Beuerlein (2,246 in 1986). He already has 1,986 yards in total offense for 1999 and is on pace for a record 2,648 (which would rand second).
? During the past two seasons, Notre Dame is 8-0 when Jarious Jackson has rushed for 60-plus yards, 7-1 when he has totaled more than 260 yards of total offense (with the lone loss coming in the final minute at Michigan) and 4-0 when he has completed 63-plus percent of his passes.
JACKSON’S TOP SINGLE-GAME EFFORTS
(italics – ND loss, rankings based on AP poll at time of game, min. 14 carries for avg. list)
|Opponent (Date), Comp.-Att.-TD-Int.||Yards|
|1.||at #5 Michigan (9/4/99), 18-29-0-0||302|
|2.||LSU (11/21/98), 13-21-2-1||276|
|3.||Oklahoma (10/2/99), 15-21-2-0||276|
|4.||Army (10/24/98), 17-31-1-1||270|
|5.||USC (10/16/99), 19-30-1-1||257|
|6.||Michigan State (9/18/99), 15-26-1-1||245|
|7.||at #20 Purdue (9/11/99), 24-40-1-1||237|
|8.||Arizona State (10/9/99), 10-17-4-0||223|
|Opponent (Date), Carries||Yards|
|1.||Oklahoma (10/2/99), 15||107|
|2.||Stanford (10/3/98), 18||100|
|3.||Arizona State (10/9/99), 9||93|
|4.||Kansas (8/28/99), 12||85|
|5.||LSU (11/21/98), 21||80|
|6.||Navy (10/30/99), 13||74|
|7.||#7 Michigan (9/5/98), 16||62|
|8.||vs. Navy (11/14/98), 11||61|
|Opponent (Date), Pass-Rush||Yards|
|1.||Oklahoma (10/2/99), 276-107||383|
|2.||LSU (11/21/98), 276-80||356|
|3.||Arizona State (10/9/99), 223-93||316|
|4.||at #5 Michigan (9/4/99), 302-(-1)||301|
|5.||Army (10/24/98), 270-19||289|
|6.||USC (10/16/99), 257-20||277|
|7.||Navy (10/30/99), 200-74||274|
|8.||Stanford (10/3/98), 163-100||263|
COMPLETION PCT. (min. 14 att.)
|Opponent (Date), Comp.-Att.-TD-Int.||Pct.|
|1.||vs. Navy (11/14/98), 12-14-1-0||.857|
|2.||Stanford (10/3/98), 11-15-0-1||.733|
|3.||Oklahoma (10/2/99), 15-21-2-0||.711|
|4.||USC (10/16/99), 19-30-1-1||.633|
|5.||at #5 Michigan (9/4/99), 18-29-0-0||.620|
|6.||LSU (11/21/98), 13-21-2-1||.619|
|7.||at #20 Purdue (9/11/99), 24-40-1-1||.600|
|8.||Arizona State (10/9/99), 10-17-4-0||.588|
|Opponent (Date), Att.-Yds-TD-Int.||Comp.|
|1.||at #20 Purdue (9/11/99), 40-237-1-1||24|
|2.||USC (10/16/99), 30-257-1-1||19|
|3.||at #5 Michigan (9/4/99), 29-302-0-0||18|
|4.||Army (10/24/98), 31-270-1-1||17|
|5.||Navy (10/30/99), 33-200-2-2||15|
|Oklahoma (10/2/99), 21-276-2-0||15|
|Michigan State (9/18/99), 26-245-1-1||15|
|Opponent (Date), Comp.-Yds-TD-Int.||Att.|
|1.||at #20 Purdue (9/11/99), 24-237-1-1||40|
|2.||Navy (10/30/99), 15-200-2-2||33|
|3.||Army (10/24/98), 17-270-1-1||31|
|4.||USC (10/16/99), 19-257-1-1||30|
|at Michigan State (9/12/98), 12-165-0-2||30|
|6.||at #5 Michigan (9/4/99), 18-302-0-0||29|
|7.||Michigan State (9/18/99), 15-245-1-1||26|
PASSING YARDS/ATT. (min. 14 att.)
|Opponent (Date), Att.-Yards-TD-Int.||Avg.|
|1.||LSU (11/21/98), 21-276-2-1||13.1|
|2.||vs. Navy (11/14/98), 14-159-1-0||11.4|
|3.||at #5 Michigan (9/4/99), 29-302-0-0||10.4|
|4.||Stanford (10/3/98), 15-163-0-1||10.9|
|5.||at Boston College (11/7/98), 21-210-2-0||10.0|
|6.||Michigan State (9/18/99), 15-26-1-1||9.4|
PASS YARDS/COMP. (min. 14 att.)
|Opponent (Date), Comp.-Yds-TD-Int.||Avg.|
|1.||Arizona State (10/9/99), 10-17-4-0||22.3|
|2.||LSU (11/21/98), 13-276-2-1||21.2|
|3.||at Boston College (11/7/98), 10-210-2-0||21.0|
|4.||at #5 Michigan (9/4/99), 18-302-0-0||16.8|
|5.||Michigan State (9/18/99), 15-245-1-1||16.3|
|Army (10/24/98), 17-270-1-1||16.3|
|Opponent (Date), Yards||Att.|
|1.||LSU (11/21/98), 80||21|
|2.||USC (10/16/99), 20||18|
|Stanford (10/3/98), 100||18|
|4.||#7 Michigan (9/5/98), 62||16|
|5.||Oklahoma (10/2/99), 107||15|
|at #5 Michigan (9/4/99), -1||15|
JACKSON IN THE IRISH CAREER RECORD BOOK
|1.||Kevin McDougal, 1990-93||154.4|
|2.||Jarious Jackson, 1996-||147.9|
|1.||Kevin McDougal, 1990-93||.622|
|(112 of 180)|
|2.||Jarious Jackson, 1996-||.575|
|(256 of 445)|
|Ron Powlus, 1994-97||.575|
|(558 of 969)|
|4.||Joe Theismann, 1968-70||.570|
|(290 of 509)|
|5.||Steve Beuerlein, 1983-86||.556|
|(473 of 850)|
|1.||Ron Powlus, 1994-97||.0278|
|(27 of 969)|
|2.||Rick Mirer, 1994-97||.0329|
|(23 of 698)|
|3.||Kevin McDougal, 1990-93||.0333|
|(6 of 180)|
|4.||Jarious Jackson, 1996-||.0382|
|(17 of 445)|
|5.||John Huarte, 1962-64||.0431|
|(11 of 255)|
|1.||Kevin McDougal, 1990-93||9.58|
|(180 for 1726)|
|2.||John Huarte, 1962-64||9.20|
|(255 for 2343)|
|3.||Jarious Jackson, 1996-||9.11|
|(445 for 4053)|
|4.||Joe Theismann, 1968-70||8.67|
|(509 for 4411)|
|1.||George Izo, 1957-59||17.3|
|(121 for 2085)|
|2.||John Huarte, 1962-64||17.0|
|(138 for 2343)|
|3.||Jarious Jackson, 1996-||15.8|
|(256 for 4053)|
FOOTBALL PROGRAM NOTES
? Notre Dame opened the 1999 season by outscoring Kansas 14-0 in the third quarter but was outscored 10-0 in the third quarter at Michigan and 8-7 at Purdue, with no third-quarter points by either team in the MSU game, a 14-7 Irish third-quarter edge vs. OU, a 14-7 Irish edge in the ASU game, a 7-3 third quarter vs. USC and 7-7 vs. Navy (yielding a positive third-quarter margin of 137-69 over the past 19 games).
? Notre Dame forced 40 turnovers in ’98 (after forcing only 21 in ’97) and has forced 21 in ’99 (four in the Kansas game, none at Michigan, two at Purdue, two vs. MSU, one vs. OU, six vs ASU, three vs. USC, three vs. Navy).
IRISH ALREADY ACCUSTOMED TO CLOSE FINISHES
The Irish finished 9-3 in ’98 based mainly on their ability to win the close games:
? Michigan – came back to win 36-20 after trailing 13-6 at the half.
? Purdue – used two Tony Driver interceptions in the last two minutes and Jim Sanson’s game-winning field goal with 57 seconds left for a 31-30 win.
? Army – needed a career-long, 48-yard field goal from Sanson with 1:06 left.
? Boston College – thwarted BC on four rushes from inside the five in the final two minutes to hold onto 31-26 win. Bobbie Howard stopped the first two rushes, followed by Jimmy Friday’s memorable goalline stop and Deke Cooper’s fourth-down tackle (all four runs were by BIG EAST career leading rusher Mike Cloud).
? LSU – Jarious Jackson’s 10-yard pass to Raki Nelson with 1:27 left to play provided the final margin (39-36).
In 1999, the Irish lost their first two close games before winning the next three:
? Michigan – Notre Dame and Michigan traded dramatic TD drives in the final few minutes (with UM surging ahead 26-22), with the Irish nearly scoring again before time expired at the Michigan 12-yard line.
? Purdue – Purdue used a pair of late field goals to take a 28-23 lead but the Irish drove to the Boilermakers’ one-yard line … before again seeing time expire.
? Oklahoma – The Irish rallied from a 30-14 deficit with 10 minutes left in the third quarter, fashioning three straight TD drives en route to a 34-30 win.
? USC – Notre Dame overcame a 24-3 third-quarter deficit to win 25-24, with Jabari Holloway recovering a Jarious Jackson fumble in the end zone to cap the winning drive.
? Navy – The Irish drove in the closing minutes for a 28-24 win, with Bobby Brown narrowly converting a first down on fourth-and-10 before Jarious Jackson completed a 16-yard, third-and-10 pass to Jay Johnson for the winning score.
LIVING ON THE EDGE
? Over the past three seasons, Notre Dame is 11-5 in games decided by a touchdown or less, with losses to No. 6 Michigan (21-14) and USC (20-17) in 1997, vs. Georgia Tech in the 1998 Gator Bowl (35-28), and in 1999 at seventh-ranked Michigan (26-22) and 20th-ranked Purdue (28-23).
? The Irish posted close wins over Georgia Tech (17-13), Navy (21-17), No. 22 West Virginia (21-14) and Hawaii (23-22) in the ’97 season before beating Purdue (31-30) and Army (20-17) on late field goals in ’98, turning in a goalline stand to hold off Boston College (31-26) and rallying to beat LSU (39-36). The Irish have added close wins in 1999 vs. Oklahoma (34-30), USC (25-24) and Navy (28-24).
? Included in the above 16 games is an 10-3 mark in games decided by 1-5 points.
? Notre Dame came out on the winning end of seven straight close games (decided by 1-7 points)-stretching from Nov. 1, 1997, to Nov. 21, 1998-before losing its next three close games (vs. Georgia Tech, Michigan and Purdue), followed by the wins over Oklahoma, USC and Navy.
? Nine of Notre Dame’s last 11 games have been decided by 10 points or less, including the 39-36 win over LSU in ’98, the 10-0 loss at USC, the 35-28 Gator Bowl loss to Georgia Tech, all three ’99 losses (26-22 at Michigan, 28-23 at Purdue, 23-13 versus Michigan State) and the ’99 wins over Oklahoma (34-30), USC (25-24) and Navy (28-24).
ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT NOTES
IRISH STUDENT-ATHLETES AGAIN MAKE THE GRADE
? Notre Dame is No. 1 when the college football teams in the Sept. 1 wire service rankings are reranked by graduation rate, and the overall graduation rate of the University’s athlete’s third among the nation’s Division I-A colleges and universities, according to the latest annual report compiled by the NCAA.
? The 1999 NCAA Graduation-Rates Report, the ninth such survey issued by the association, covers students who enrolled between 1989 and 1992 at 312 Division I institutions, including 112 in Division I-A. The NCAA bases graduation rates on the raw percentage of student-athletes who entered an institution and graduated within six years. Students who leave or transfer, regardless of academic standing, are considered nongraduates.
? Using the NCAA formula, Notre Dame graduated a four-year average of 88 percent of its student-athletes, third only to Duke and Northwestern Universities at 91 and 90 percent, respectively (Among student-athletes who complete all four years of athletic eligibility at Notre Dame, i.e., not considering those who leave or transfer, 99 percent earn their degree). The national average for Division I-A schools is 58 percent.
? Notre Dame graduated 85 percent of all men competing in varsity athletics, fourth behind Duke, Northwestern and Stanford Universities. Among women, Notre Dame’s 94-percent graduation rate is bettered only by Northwestern and Boston College, both at 96 percent.
? Fighting Irish football players graduated at a 78-percent rate, seventh overall but tied for first with Penn State among the current top 25 programs in the polls.
? Among the Big East Conference institutions, the 83-percent graduation rate of the Notre Dame men’s basketball program is second only to St. John’s University at 92 percent.
? Notre Dame graduated 78 percent of its African-American student-athletes, ranking behind only Duke, Vanderbilt, Northwestern and Stanford.
NOTRE DAME RANKS THIRD ON SPORTING NEWS “REPORT CARD”
? The University of Notre Dame athletic program ranks third in the nation among 112 NCAA Division I programs, according to a survey by The Sporting News in which schools were graded according to standards ranging from on-field to academic performance.
? Notre Dame received two A’s, an A- and a B for a 3.67 grade-point average. The Irish finished behind only Penn State (3.92) and North Carolina (3.75). Rounding out the top 10 behind Notre Dame were Stanford, Florida, Duke, Purdue, Virginia, Nebraska and Michigan State.
? Schools were rated based on grades in four areas: “Do We Play Fair?” (Notre Dame received an A) – number of teams sponsored, their success rates, graduation rates for all sports and Title IX compliance, “Do We Graduate?” (Notre Dame received an A) – graduation rates for classes entering from 1989-92, based on the most recent statistics published by the NCAA, “Do We Rock?” (Notre Dame received an A-) – fan support, attendance, merchandise sold, size of athletic budget, number of teams and points awarded in Sears Directors’ Cup competition, “Do We Win?” (Notre Dame received a B) – wins, regular-season conference championships, conference tournament championships, rank in The Sporting News polls and performance in NCAA tournaments.
? The survey is the cover story in the September 13 issue of The Sporting News. Here’s how the top five teams ranked in each category:
|1. Penn State||A||A||A||A-||3.92|
|2. North Carolina||B+||A-||A||A||3.75|
|3. Notre Dame||A||A||A-||B||3.67|
Notre Dame joined the University of Michigan and the University of Miami in a unique distinction concerning recent draft selections in the four traditional ‘major’ professional sports. Over the course of the 1998 and 1999 pro drafts, Notre Dame, Michigan and Miami were the only schools in the nation that produced a first-round selection in three of the four major sports.
Notre Dame pitcher Brad Lidge was a first-round selection of the Houston Astros in the ’98 Major League Baseball draft (with the 17th pick) while forward Pat Garrity was a first-round pick in the ’98 National Basketball Association draft (the Milwaukee Bucks took him with the 19th pick but Garrity went to the Phoenix Suns in a three-team trade with Dallas).
Notre Dame completed the ‘two-year trifecta’ in the ’99 National Football League draft, when the New York Giants selected offensive lineman Luke Petitgout with the 19th pick of the first round.
Notre Dame nearly pulled off an unmatched four-sport sweep by placing a first rounder in the ’99 National Hockey League draft, but center David Inman slipped to the second round, as the 59th pick by the New York Rangers.
Michigan produced ’98 first rounders in the NFL, NHL and NBA drafts, in addition to a ’99 NHL first-round pick. Miami had a first-round NFL pick in both ’98 and ’99, plus a first-rounder in the ’98 MLB and ’99 NBA drafts.
FOOTBALL PROGRAM NOTES
EARLY-SEASON START FOR THE IRISH
? The Aug. 28 game with Kansas marked the earliest start to a season in the 111-year history for Notre Dame football.
? The Irish are playing seven home games for the first time since 1988-a year in which Notre Dame finished 12-0 and was consensus national champions.
? In addition to the 1999 Eddie Robinson Classic game versus Kansas, Notre Dame has played one other exempt, preseason game sanctioned by the NCAA. The Irish defeated Virginia, 36-13, in the 1989 Kickoff Classic (in East Rutherford, N.J.).
RECENT IRISH RUSHING HISTORY
Notre Dame’s rushing attack has ranked 20th or better in 11 of the last 12 years:
|Year||Rushing Average||NCAA Rank||Rushing TDs|
STILL A TOUGH TICKET
Including the 1999 lottery figures, here are the 10-highest demanded games (based on total tickets requested by contributing alumni) in Notre Dame Stadium history:
Irish Sell Out for 34th Consecutive Year In 1998
The University of Notre Dame finished 11th nationally in attendance among all NCAA Division I-A football-playing institutions in 1998. The Irish averaged 80,012 fans (the full capacity of the expanded Notre Dame Stadium) for its six ’98 home games. The ’98 season marked the 34th consecutive season that every seat has been sold for every home game. Notre Dame also ranked eight nationally for 1997 season home attendance, with the average increase of 21,150 fans per game in ’97 compared to ’96 representing the second-highest increase nationally, behind Stanford’s 21,154 that was helped by the Oct. 4 crowd of 75,651 (compared to the average of 56,937) when the Irish played the Cardinal in Palo Alto.
? All seven ’99 Notre Dame home football games are sold out. That’s no surprise, considering 148 straight games at Notre Dame Stadium – and 196 of the last 197 back to ’64 – have been sellouts (including the 1999 Navy game).
? The 1997-99 seasons have produced nine of the 10 highest number of ticket requests in Notre Dame history, thanks to the availability of nearly twice as many tickets through the alumni lottery (33,779 in ’98, 16,000 prior to ’97). The 1999 home game with USC attracted 46,658 requests from alumni, ranking fourth all-time (see chart at left). Contributing alumni are graduates who have contributed at least $100 to the University within the last calendar year.
? Ticket requests for ’97-the first year of the expanded Notre Dame Stadium-increased by 90,000 for six games, compared to the highest previous figure. Thousands more contributing alumni received tickets in ’97 and ’98 compared to any previous year. Additional tickets were made available to parents of current students, and an alumni family game was designated, providing alumni the chance to order more than the customary two tickets. All University staff also now have the opportunity to obtain tickets.
? The increase of nearly 21,000 seats provided 16,000 more to the lottery, 3,000 to faculty and staff and 2,000 to University allotments, including trustees, advisory councils, alumni board, alumni clubs, and major benefactors.
BIG CROWDS EVERYWHERE
Including the upcoming Tennessee game, Notre Dame has played in front of capacity crowds in 116 of the last 134 games (with a near-sellout on Nov. 28, 1998 at USC). Each of the first 10 regular-season games involving Notre Dame during the 1998 season was played in front of a sellout crowd, in addition to the first nine games in 1999.