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Irish Go After Fourth Straight Win At Boston College

Oct. 22, 2001

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The following is a partial excerpt from the Notre Dame football release. To view the complete release, please see the PDF version.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (3-3) vs. Boston College Eagles (5-2)

The Date and Time: Saturday, Oct. 27, 2001, at 7:45 p.m. EDT (6:45 p.m. EST in South Bend).

The Site: Alumni Stadium (45,000/Artificial Turf) in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

The Tickets: They’re all sold with this game marking the 134th sellout in the last 156 games involving Notre Dame, including the first 10 games of 1998, the first 11 in ’99, the first five in ’00 and the first seven in ’01.

The TV Plans: ESPN national telecast with Ron Franklin (play-by-play), Mike Gottfried (analysis), Adrian Karsten (sideline) and Ed Placey (producer).

The Radio Plans: For the 34th consecutive season, all Notre Dame football games are broadcast nationally on radio by Westwood One with Tony Roberts (play-by-play), former Irish running back Allen Pinkett (game analysis) and Paul Hornung (pregame/halftime analysis). The Westwood One 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. All Notre Dame football games are heard on WNDV-AM and -FM in South Bend and are also carried live in the Chicago market on ESPN Radio 1000 with on-site pre and post-game from all home games at Notre Dame Stadium featuring Dave Wills, Ed Farmer and former Irish great Dave Duerson.

Real-Time Stats: Live in-game statistics are available for the Boston College game, via the Notre Dame (www.und.com) and Boston College (www.bceagles.com) athletic websites.

Websites: Notre Dame (www.und.com), Boston College (www.bceagles.com).

The Head Coach
Fifth-year Irish head coach Bob Davie owns a 33-22 (.600) career record at Notre Dame. Davie was one of three finalists for the 2000 Football News Coach of the Year Award and was one of 10 finalists for the 1998 Walter Camp Foundation/Street and Smith’s Coach of the Year Award. The 2001 season marks Davie’s eighth 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. The University announced on Dec. 5, 2000, that Davie signed a five-year contract to continue coaching the Irish through the 2005 season.

The Injury Update (as of Oct. 21)
Out
Senior OT John Teasdale Neck stinger – preseason (out one week)

Questionable
Junior CB Jason Beckstrom Hamstring vs. USC

Probable
Senior FL Arnaz Battle Fractured right fibula (leg) vs. Michigan State (DNP last four games)
Senior TB Tony Fisher Hamstring vs. West Virginia (limited playing time vs. USC)
Senior SS Ron Israel Hamstring vs. Pittsburgh (DNP vs. USC)
Junior TB Julius Jones Achilles vs. West Virginia

NOTRE DAME-BOSTON COLLEGE SERIES NOTES

  • Notre Dame and Boston College are meeting for the 13th time on the gridiron, with the Irish holding a 9-3 edge in the series. This will be the fourth time the two teams have played at Alumni Stadium, with Notre Dame winning on two of its previous three visits to Chestnut Hill.
  • This series features a matchup of the only two Catholic universities playing Division I-A college football.
  • The winner of Saturday’s game will claim the Frank Leahy Memorial Bowl and the Ireland Trophy.
  • For more on the Notre Dame-Boston College series, please see page 3 of this notes package.

Notre Dame’s Probable Starting OFFENSE

Pos. No. Player Notes
SE 21 Javin Hunter Has more catches in ’01 (28) than first three years at ND (26)
LT 78 Jordan Black Started all 12 games in ’00, most experience on line
LG 79 Sean Mahan Shared time with Jim Jones in ’00, played in all 12 games
C 52 Jeff Faine Lindy’s ranks him as the third-best center nationally
RG 65 Sean Milligan Started games against Nebraska,Pittsburgh, WVU and USC
RT 75 Kurt Vollers Moved back to RT for Pittsburgh, WVU and USC games
TE 84 John Owens Made first career catch at A&M after playing DL most of ’00
FL 6 David Givens Multipurpose player who can run, catch, pass and return kicks
QB 7 Carlyle Holiday NBC Chevrolet Player of Game vs. USC (231 yds. total off.)
FB 36 Tom Lopienski Rated 12th among fullbacks by The Sporting News
TB 12 Tony Fisher Logged 22 carries for 119 yards and two TDs vs. WVU
or 22 Julius Jones Has scored five touchdowns in last three games

Notre Dame’s Probable Starting DEFENSE

Pos. No. Player Notes
LE 98 Anthony Weaver Team-high seven tackles (2 TFL) vs. West Virginia
DT 60 Darrell Campbell Has recorded 14 tackles and two sacks this season
NG 94 Andy Wisne Career-high six tackles (1 TFL) against Michigan State
RE 95 Ryan Roberts Career-high nine tackles (4 TFL, three sacks) vs. USC
ILB 51 Tyreo Harrison ABC/Chevrolet Player of the Game at A&M with 14 tackles
ILB 33 Courtney Watson Ranked 17th in nation with 12.67 tackles per game in ’01
OLB 30 Rocky Boiman Came up with three tackles and a sack vs. USC
LCB 34 Vontez Duff Picked up first interception of the season vs. USC
FS 28 Donald Dykes Had 13 tackles against Nebraska in first career start
SS 20 Gerome Sapp Has started two of the last three games for the Irish
RCB 42 Shane Walton Matched career high with seven tackles vs. USC

Notre Dame’s Probable SPECIALISTS

Pos. No. Player Notes
PK/KO 13 Nicholas Setta Has made all 20 kicks this season (12 PAT, eight FG)
P 17 Joey Hildbold Ray Guy Award candidate, #14 in nation with 44.3 avg. in ’01
HLD 80 Adam Tibble Second year as holder for Setta
SNP 53 John Crowther Walk-on who snaps on field goals, PATs and punts
PR/KR 22 Julius Jones Ranked 25th in the nation at 26.4 yards per kickoff return
34 Vontez Duff Averaging 25.8 yards per kickoff return (three over 30 yards)

THE IRISH TRAVEL PLANS
Notre Dame will be headquartered at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel, 1657 Worcester Road, Framingham, MA 01701, (508) 270-1955. The Irish are scheduled to depart by charter flight on Friday at 1:00 p.m. EST, arriving in Boston at approximately 4:00 p.m. EDT. A brief walk-through at Alumni Stadium will be held at 4:30 p.m. EDT on Friday.

IF NOTRE DAME WINS …

  • Notre Dame will pick up its fourth consecutive win, marking the fifth time the Irish have put together a four-game winning streak under head coach Bob Davie.
  • The Irish will claim their fifth win in the last six meetings with Boston College, and their 10th win in 13 all-time games against the Eagles.
  • Notre Dame will earn its third straight victory at Alumni Stadium.
  • The Irish would win their sixth consecutive game against a BIG EAST Conference opponent and improve to 20-4 against BIG EAST teams since 1990 (10-2 in the Bob Davie era).
  • Notre Dame would notch its 75th victory over a current member of the BIG EAST, its second highest win total over one conference behind the Big Ten (205 victories).
  • Notre Dame will stretch its winning streak in the month of October to 17 games and move to 18-2 overall in October under head coach Bob Davie.

IF BOSTON COLLEGE WINS …

  • The Eagles will garner their fourth series victory over the Irish in 13 tries, and their second in four games at Alumni Stadium.
  • Boston College will notch its first home win over Notre Dame since a 30-11 upset of the eighth-ranked Irish in 1994.
  • Notre Dame will lose its first game in the month of October since a last-minute 20-17 setback to USC on Oct. 18, 1997.

NOTRE DAME-BOSTON COLLEGE SERIES HISTORY

  • Notre Dame leads its series with Boston College 9-3, including a 2-1 mark in games played at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill.
  • The series has been continuous since 1992 this will be the 10th consecutive meeting.
  • The first game of the series was held at Foxboro Stadium in 1975 (a 17-3 Irish win in Dan Devine’s first game as head coach) while the other neutral-field game in the series was at Memphis, Tenn., in the 1983 Liberty Bowl (a 19-18 win for the Irish over the 13th-ranked Eagles).
  • Eleven of the previous 12 games in the series have seen at least one team ranked in that week’s Associated Press poll, with the higher-ranked team holding an 8-3 edge. Saturday’s game will mark just the second time in the series that both teams will be unranked at kickoff the Irish won the only other game in the series between unranked teams (a 52-20 victory in 1997).
  • Since the current series began in 1992, Notre Dame’s six wins over Boston College from 1992-2000 are the third most by an Eagles opponent (behind only Miami’s eight and Virginia Tech’s seven) and the most by a non-conference opponent.
  • The winner of this game earns the Frank Leahy Memorial Bowl, given by the Notre Dame Club of Boston, and the Ireland Trophy, presented by Notre Dame student government. The Ireland Trophy is intended to inspire a spirit of sportsmanship and friendly competition between the schools.

THE LAST TIME NOTRE DAME AND BOSTON COLLEGE MET
The Irish posted their best rushing day under head coach Bob Davie highlighted by a career-high 196 yards from Tony Fisher as Notre Dame improved to 7-2 with a 28-16 win over visiting Boston College. After Julius Jones left the game with a first-quarter injury, Fisher proceeded to produce the best running game for an Irish player since Reggie Brooks gained 227 yards against USC in 1992 and the 11th-best single-game individual rushing total in Notre Dame history. Terrance Howard also added 84 yards to the Irish total of 380 net rushing yards the most since 426 vs. Boston College in 1996. Anthony Weaver’s second INT of the season on BC’s second play following the opening kickoff was followed three plays later by a one-yard TD run from Jones. After a BC field goal, Fisher capped off a 98-yard drive with a 37-yard TD scamper to give the Irish a 14-3 lead at halftime. The Irish drove the opening kickoff of the second half 65 yards before Fisher scored his second TD from one yard out for a 21-3 lead. The Eagles replied with a touchdown drive of their own to pull within 21-10. After the Irish drove to the BC five-yard line, kicker Nicholas Setta and holder Adam Tibble successfully faked a field goal attempt, as Tibble ran the option with a pitch to Setta, who darted untouched into the end zone. Boston College scored a TD with 5:04 left, but failed on its two-point conversion, and Ron Israel’s interception with 48 seconds left sealed the Irish win.

NOTRE DAME-BOSTON COLLEGE CONNECTIONS

  • BC offensive line coach David Magazu has past coaching experience with several members of the Irish coaching staff offensive coordinator Kevin Rogers, defensive coordinator Greg Mattison receivers coach Joker Phillips and cornerbacks coach David Lockwood.
  • Magazu coached the offensive line at Navy from 1987-89, with Mattison coaching the defensive line from ’87-’88 and Rogers coaching the running backs in ’87-’88 and the quarterbacks in ’89.
  • Magazu earlier spent the ’81 season as offensive tackles/tight ends coach at Western Michigan, with Mattison serving as defensive coordinator at WMU from ’81-’86.
  • Magazu also spent two seasons (’95-’96) as the offensive line coach at Kentucky, working alongside Phillips, who was tutoring the Wildcat receivers at the time.
  • Magazu and Lockwood served on the same coaching staff at Memphis during the ’97 and ’98 seasons Magazu was the Tigers’ co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, while Lockwood worked with UM’s secondary.
  • Fourth-year Irish offensive line coach Dave Borbely and BC offensive coordinator Dana Bible were on the same staffs at Stanford from ’95-’97 (Borbely as OL coach, Bible as offensive coordinator).
  • First-year Notre Dame graduate assistant coach John DeFilippo is the son of current Boston College director of athletics Gene DeFilippo.
  • Second-year Boston College associate athletic director/sports information director Michael Enright served as associate sports information director at Notre Dame from 1992-2000.
  • Notre Dame has two players on its current roster who are from the state of Massachusetts freshman C Zachary Giles (Marshfield/Marshfield HS) and junior walk-on OL/TE Chris Mahoney (Westford/Bishop Guertin HS).
  • Boston College has three Indiana natives on its current roster, all of whom hail from Indianapolis senior WR DuJuan Daniels (Bishop Chatard HS), freshman DE Mathias Kiwanuku (Cathedral HS) and freshman OT Jeremy Trueblood (Cathedral HS). Several Notre Dame and Boston College players hail from the same hometown and/or high school, among them:
  • Notre Dame senior LB Rocky Boiman and Boston College senior OL John Richardson were teammates at St. Xavier HS and are both Cincinnati natives. Eagle freshman DL Pat Ross also attended St. Xavier, while BC sophomore OT Leo Bell (Moeller HS) is also a native of Cincinnati.
  • Notre Dame junior TE Gary Godsey (Jesuit HS) and freshman CB Dwight Ellick (Wharton HS), and BC junior LB Marco Williams (Hillsborough HS) all hail from Tampa, Fla.
  • Irish senior C JW Jordan and BC sophomore DB Brian Flores were teammates at Brooklyn Poly Prep.
  • Notre Dame junior P Joey Hildbold, a native of Centreville, Va., and BC sophomore QB Kevin Kiley were teammates at Robinson HS, the same school which also produced Eagle redshirt freshman OG Robert Bennett.
  • Irish sophomore FL Omar Jenkins and Boston College junior P/K Kevin McMyler were teammates at Jesuit HS in Dallas.
  • Notre Dame sophomore QB Jared Clark and BC freshman LB Jon Misiewicz are both products of Cardinal Mooney HS in Sarasota, Fla. Irish junior LB Courtney Watson (Riverview HS) also hails from Sarasota.
  • Notre Dame sophomore LB Mike Goolsby and BC freshman LB Patrick McShane lined up together at Joliet (Ill.) Catholic HS.

NOTRE DAME VS. BIG EAST TEAMS

  • Notre Dame has won more than 72 percent of its games (74-28-2) vs. teams that currently make up the BIG EAST Conference, with 59 of those 104 games coming vs. former independent Pittsburgh.
  • The Irish own a winning series record against all six BIG EAST teams they have faced.
  • Notre Dame owns more victories over BIG EAST opponents (74) than any other conference except the Big Ten (205).
  • Notre Dame is 19-4 (.826) against BIG EAST teams since 1990, including a run of eight consecutive victories from 1995-98.
  • The Irish have won their last five games against BIG EAST schools, including two wins this season a 24-7 victory over Pittsburgh on Oct. 6, and a 34-24 win over West Virginia on Oct. 13.
  • The last Notre Dame-Miami game took place 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 school-record five field goals to help the sixth-ranked Irish upset the No. 2 Hurricanes, 29-20, at Notre Dame Stadium.
  • Notre Dame capped its 1988 national championship season with a 34-21 win in the Sunkist Fiesta Bowl over third-ranked West Virginia.
  • Notre Dame’s last game versus Syracuse came in 1963, a 14-7 home victory for the Orangemen.
  • The Irish have never faced Temple or Virginia Tech on the gridiron.

IRISH STRONG IN OCTOBER
Notre Dame enters the Boston College game with a 16-game winning streak in October, dating back to a 20-17 loss to USC in 1997. The Irish have a 17-2 (.895) mark in October under fifth-year head coach Bob Davie. Since the 1988 season, Notre Dame is 48-7 (.873) in October and was 32-7 (.821) in October in the 1990s.

IRISH defense GETTING ITS POINT ACROSS
One of the strengths of this year’s Notre Dame squad has been its play on the defensive side of the ball. The Irish rank in the top 35 in the country in four defensive statistical categories, according to the latest NCAA rankings released Sunday. Notre Dame is ninth in pass defense (162.67 yards per game), 12th in total defense (284.0), 26th in scoring defense (19.17 points per game), and 32nd in rush defense (121.33). Individually, junior LB Courtney Watson ranked 17th in the nation at 12.67 tackles per game when the first of four individual NCAA defensive statistics reports were released Oct. 2 (the next update comes out Oct. 30).

IRISH PICK UP SACKS BY THE BUSHEL
Against a strong USC offensive unit, Notre Dame put together one of its best defensive performances of the year, especially against the Trojans’ solid passing game. Much of the Irish success against USC could be traced to its highly-effective pass rush, which resulted in five sacks, the most by Notre Dame since they logged six sacks last season at Michigan State (the most in the Bob Davie era). By comparison, the Irish had charted only eight sacks through their first five games of the 2001 season. Senior RE Ryan Roberts sparked the Notre Dame defense with perhaps his best day in an Irish uniform, recording a career-high nine tackles, including four tackles for loss and three sacks.

NOTRE DAME GIVING OPPONENTS GOLD RUSH FEVER
One of the reasons for Notre Dame’s current three-game winning streak has been its improved rushing game. The Irish have averaged better than 267 yards per game on the ground over the last three weeks, including a season-high 345 yards on 69 carries against West Virginia. It was the highest rushing output by the Irish since they rolled up 380 yards against Boston College on Nov. 11, 2000. But perhaps more impressively, Notre Dame’s 69 carries were the most since Sept. 21, 1991, when it rushed 76 times in a 49-10 win over Michigan State.

The Irish have used their strong rushing game to power their way into the end zone this season. Eleven of the 12 touchdowns Notre Dame has scored this year have come on the ground, including their last 10 scores. Leading the way has been junior TB Julius Jones, who has found pay dirt five times in the last three games, including two-TD efforts against both Pittsburgh and West Virginia.

HOLIDAY AN EMERGING THREAT IN IRISH BACKFIELD
Sophomore QB Carlyle Holiday has made only four starts in his Notre Dame career, but already he is taking on the look of a grizzled veteran. He is 3-1 as a starter, guiding the Irish to wins over Pittsburgh, West Virginia and USC while directing a Notre Dame attack which has averaged more than 350 yards of total offense over the last three weeks.

However, unlike most quarterbacks, Holiday has done much of his damage with his legs, averaging 116.7 yards on almost 19 carries per game during Notre Dame’s current three-game winning streak. He has also reeled off four runs of 30 yards or more, including a 67-yard touchdown scamper against Pittsburgh, the longest scoring run by an Irish quarterback since Arnaz Battle raced 74 yards late in a 48-13 win over Kansas on Aug. 28, 1999.

Holiday also posted back-to-back 100-yard outings against Pittsburgh (122 yards) and West Virginia (130 yards), becoming the first Irish quarterback since 1980 to top the century mark in consecutive games. By contrast, Notre Dame’s top two career rushing leaders among quarterbacks – Tony Rice and Jarious Jackson – each ran for over 100 yards only twice in their careers. Holiday nearly made it three straight 100-yard games against USC, finishing with 98 yards on 18 carries.

For the season, Holiday leads the team with 401 yards rushing on 80 carries, good for sixth on the school’s single-season QB rushing chart. If he finishes as the team leader in rushing, he would be only the third Notre Dame quarterback since 1918 to lead the Irish in that category – Paul Hornung ran for a team-high 420 yards in 1956, while Rice topped the squad with 700 yards rushing in ’88 and a school-record 884 yards on the ground in ’89.

HUNTER PROVES TO BE RELIABLE OPTION FOR IRISH
Senior SE Javin Hunter has turned out to be a dependable outlet for Notre Dame this season, averaging more than four catches per game through the first six games of the 2001 campaign. All together, he has 28 catches this season, two more than he had in his first three years with the Irish combined. Also, he has come up with at least three receptions in every Notre Dame game this season, becoming the first Irish wideout in four years to have three-or-more catches in the first six games of a campaign. Bobby Brown and Malcolm Johnson were the last Notre Dame receivers to put together a similar streak, turning the trick during the ’97 season.

SETTA RIGHT ON TARGET THIS SEASON
Junior PK Nicholas Setta remains one of Notre Dame’s top offensive weapons this season, thanks to his accuracy from various distances. Setta has not missed on 20 placement kicks this season (12 PATs, eight field goals), including a perfect four-of-four on field goal attempts from 40 yards or more. In addition, Setta has now made 44 consecutive extra points dating back to last season’s win over Stanford, the fourth-longest PAT streak in school history. And, Setta has a field goal in Notre Dame’s last eight regular-season games, tying Harry Oliver (1980) and Dave Reeve (1975-76) for the second-longest streak in school history. John Carney holds the record with field goals in 11 straight games during the ’86 season. Setta has also converted nine consecutive field goals in regular-season play going back to last year’s win over Rutgers, putting him only four shy of the Irish single-season and career records held by Mike Johnston in ’82.

MANY HAPPY RETURNS FOR NOTRE DAME
Not only have the Irish had success with their kicking game, but they have also done well returning kicks this season. Notre Dame ranks 22nd in the nation in kickoff returns, averaging a solid 24.4 yards per return, and 28th in the land in punt returns with a healthy 11.6 yards per runback. Junior KR Julius Jones has been the primary return specialist for the Irish this season, ranking in the top 30 in the country in both kickoff and punt returns. Notre Dame may have discovered a second kick return threat in its victory over USC, as sophomore Vontez Duff averaged almost 30 yards on three kickoff returns against the Trojans. Duff is averaging 25.8 yards per kickoff runback this season and has seen three of his five returns go for at least 30 yards.

ELAM KEEPING OPPONENTS HONEST
Sophomore SS Abram Elam has been a force on the defensive side of the ball during Notre Dame’s three-game winning streak. The native of Riviera Beach, Fla., has two interceptions (the first of his career), forced two fumbles and recovered another, and picked up 10 tackles, including two sacks – all in the last three games. In addition, of the five turnovers Elam has accounted for, three have led to a total of 17 Irish points, including his forced fumble late in the fourth quarter against USC – it led to a five-yard TD run by Julius Jones that salted away a 27-16 win for Notre Dame.

LIKE NIGHT AND DAY
Notre Dame has appeared reborn in its last three games, rebounding from its 0-3 start with wins over Pittsburgh, West Virginia and USC. Upon closer inspection, the Irish have improved in several categories over the last three weeks, when compared with the first three games of the season.

NOTRE DAME ON THE SMALL SCREEN
With the Boston College game slated to be shown on ESPN, the Notre Dame football team will be playing its 107th consecutive game on one of four major networks (NBC, ABC, CBS or ESPN).That’s a streak that includes eight full seasons (1993-2000) as well as the first seven games of the 2001 season. The last time the Irish didn’t appear on one of those four networks was Oct. 31, 1992, when Notre Dame downed Navy, 38-7, at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. That game was only shown locally in the South Bend area on WNDU-TV.

HILDBOLD KICKING UP A STORM
Junior P Joey Hildbold, a 2001 Ray Guy Award candidate, has made a statement to the award committee with his performances this season. Against Michigan State and Texas A&M, Hildbold averaged better than 50 yards per punt, including a career-high 50.5 yards on six punts at Texas A&M. In both cases, Hildbold narrowly missed the school record of 51.6 by Joe Restic against Air Force in 1975. Hildbold’s season average of 44.3 (35 punts, 1,551 yards) is good for 14th in the nation in the latest NCAA rankings, and puts him within striking distance of the Irish single-season record currently held by Craig Hentrich (44.9 yards in 1990). In addition, Hildbold’s three-year average of 40.9 yards per punt (5,924 yards on 145 punts) puts him in a tie for third place on the Notre Dame career list with Vince Phelan, with both players just behind Hunter Smith, who averaged 41.2 yards per punt from 1995-98.

JONES AN ALL-PURPOSE THREAT FOR THE IRISH
Junior TB Julius Jones has been one of Notre Dame’s top all-around threats this season, whether it be in the backfield or returning punt and kickoffs. The native of Big Stone Gap, Va., leads the Irish in all-purpose yardage at 138.5 yards per game, good for 23rd in the nation according to the latest NCAA statistical reports released Sunday. He has been a major threat as a kick returner, ranking 27th in the country in punt returns (11.67 yards per game) and 25th in kickoff returns (26.4), highlighted by his 53-yard punt return against Michigan State and 58-yard kickoff return against West Virginia, both of which led to Notre Dame scores. Jones has also been solid in the Irish backfield, ranking second on the team with 362 yards this season. He has been especially strong in Notre Dame’s last three games, averaging 85.3 yards rushing and scoring five touchdowns, leading the Irish to three consecutive wins. For the season, Jones stands second on the team with 30 points scored.

WATSON RANKS AMONG NATION’S TOP TACKLERS
Junior LB Courtney Watson is ranked 17th in total tackles per game with 12.67 (38 total) according to the latest NCAA defensive statistics released Oct. 2. He recorded double digits in tackles in each of his first three games this season after logging only 11 tackles in the first two years of his Notre Dame career. Watson also notched a career-high 18 tackles against Nebraska, earning Chevrolet Player of the Game honors. His 18 stops against the Huskers were the most by an Irish defensive player since Melvin Dansby also recorded 18 against Navy in 1997.

SCOUTING THE IRISH OFFENSE
Line – The Irish return three talented and experienced players on the offensive line in senior tackles Jordan Black and Kurt Vollers and junior center Jeff Faine. All three are viable candidates for postseason honors. Black is in his third season as the starter at the left tackle position, playing in 26 games and accumulating more than 550 minutes of playing time. Vollers and Faine are starting for the second straight year on the offensive line, with Vollers splitting time between right guard and right tackle, and Faine toiling at center. Vollers has seen action in 30 games, starting 20, while Faine has played in 18 games, amassing nearly 500 minutes of playing time.

The preseason question for the Irish came at the guard positions after the graduation of both Jim Jones and third-team The Sporting News All-American Mike Gandy, a third-round draft pick of the Chicago Bears. Senior Sean Mahan started at left guard and junior Sean Milligan at right guard against Nebraska, then Vollers moved in at right guard against Michigan State and Texas A&M before Milligan returned to the position in the last three games against Pittsburgh, West Virginia and USC. Mahan played in 11 games in ’00, seeing increased playing time as the season progressed, while Milligan cracked the starting lineup against Nebraska, Pittsburgh, West Virginia and USC. Junior Brennan Curtin has also been a solid contributor on the line, making the first two starts of his career at right tackle against Michigan State and Texas A&M.

Backs – Sophomore Carlyle Holiday (61-38-392, 4 INT, 80 carries for 401 yards, 2 TD) made his first career start against Texas A&M, and has averaged 116.7 yards rushing in his last three outings against Pittsburgh, West Virginia and USC (all Notre Dame wins). Sophomore Matt LoVecchio (60-30-250, 1 TD, 3 INT in 2001) began the season as the starting QB for the Irish after winning his first seven games as a starter for the Irish in 2000. LoVecchio posted impressive numbers last year, throwing 11 touchdown passes and only one interception, while smashing the Notre Dame record for interception avoidance percentage at .0080. Sophomore Jared Clark briefly saw action at Texas A&M and is also in the quarterback mix in a reserve capacity.

A trio of tailbacks – seniors Tony Fisher (67-344, 3 TD) and Terrance Howard (11-24, 1 TD) and junior Julius Jones (97-362, 5 TD) – gives the Irish a talented and diversified running attack. Fisher, a 2001 Doak Walker Award candidate, played all 11 games last year, running up 607 yards on 132 carries (4.6 yard avg.). Fisher also is a threat with his hands as he caught 12 passes, including three for touchdowns in ’00. He rushed for two touchdowns against West Virginia, the fourth time he has rushed for two TDs in his career. Jones, a potential All-America candidate, returns as the team’s leading rusher from ’00 (657 yards on 162 carries) and has scored five touchdowns in Notre Dame’s last three games (wins over Pittsburgh, West Virginia and USC). Howard received a lot of work in the spring as both Fisher and Jones were held out of spring drills. He adds a combination of quickness and power, averaging 5.7 yards a carry in ’00. With Fisher and Jones hobbled by injuries, Howard saw additional playing time against USC, scoring his first touchdown of the season against the Trojans.

The fullback position includes seniors Tom Lopienski (6-7), Jason Murray (2-3) and Mike McNair. Lopienski has played in 27 games in his career, carrying the ball 37 times and catching 10 passes, while Murray saw action in eight games in ’00 and has played in four games in ’01, carrying twice for three yards against USC. McNair has fought through injuries the past two seasons, but after an impressive spring could make a significant contribution in ’01.

Receivers – Even after the loss of Joey Getherall, these are the most competitive spots on the Irish depth chart. Senior flanker David Givens (19-189) was Notre Dame’s leading receiver in 2000, averaging 12.4 yards a catch. Givens also hauled in seven passes for 66 yards against Nebraska and added five catches for 39 yards against Pittsburgh. Senior split end Javin Hunter (28-304, 1 TD) is the Irish big-play threat, averaging 19.7 a catch in ’00, and grabbing a career-high eight balls versus Texas A&M. He has caught at least three passes in all six of Notre Dame’s games in ’01. Senior flanker Arnaz Battle (3-23) made his debut at flanker for the Irish against Nebraska, catching two balls, but he has missed the last four games with a fractured right fibula (leg) suffered against Michigan State. He is expected to return for the Boston College game. Sophomore receivers Lorenzo Crawford, Omar Jenkins (6-64) and Ronnie Rodamer also could contribute, along with freshman Carlos Campbell. Jenkins logged a career-high four catches against Michigan State. The tight end position is a question mark for the Irish after the departures of All-Americans Jabari Holloway (fourth-round draft pick of New England Patriots) and Dan O’Leary (sixth-round pick of the Buffalo Bills). Senior John Owens (2-18) and junior Gary Godsey have both been converted to the tight end position after playing defensive line and quarterback, respectively, in 2000. Both players are over 270 pounds, are excellent blockers and have good hands. Owens also picked up his first career reception against Texas A&M and added another catch against West Virginia.

SCOUTING THE IRISH DEFENSE
Line – The Irish defensive line is one of the most experienced and deepest units on the roster. An all-star candidate, senior captain and three-year starter at left end, Anthony Weaver (29 tackles, 10 for loss, three sacks, one INT, one forced fumble) has had impressive games this season against Nebraska (eight tackles, two for loss, one sack, one forced fumble), Pittsburgh (five tackles, three for loss, one sack, one INT) and West Virginia (seven tackles, two for loss). Junior Darrell Campbell (13 tackles, three for loss, two sacks, one forced fumble) took over the tackle position after the graduation of B.J. Scott, picking up four tackles, two for losses, against Pittsburgh. Senior Andy Wisne (16 tackles, two for loss) has moved into the starting nose guard position this season and recorded a career-best six tackles against Michigan State. After making seven starts last season, senior end Ryan Roberts (20 tackles, five for loss, four sacks) returned to the starting lineup in ’01, beginning with the Pittsburgh game. He put together his best game against USC, rolling up career highs of nine tackles, four tackles for loss and three sacks against the Trojans. Senior captain Grant Irons (11 tackles, three for loss, one sack in 2001), who missed most of last season after suffering a shoulder injury against Nebraska, started the first three games of 2001, sat out the Pittsburgh game with a sprained ankle, before returning off the bench for the WVU and USC games. Junior Cedric Hilliard (nine tackles, three for loss, one sack) contributes in a reserve role at nose guard, while sophomore Kyle Budinscak (five tackles) made the first career start at defensive tackle against West Virginia.

Linebackers – Two of three starters return among the Irish linebackers, seniors Rocky Boiman (third on the team in tackles with 58, including eight for loss in ’00) and Tyreo Harrison (46 tackles and one fumble recovery last year). Boiman (28 tackles, seven for loss, two sacks, one fumble recovery in ’01) anchors the outside spot, while Harrison (team-high 55 tackles, five for loss in ’01) is in his second season starting at the inside linebacker position. Boiman recorded a career-high 11 tackles versus Texas A&M, while Harrison had a career-high 14 stops against the Aggies. Harrison added a team-high 11 tackles against USC. Junior LB Courtney Watson (50 tackles, nine for loss, one sack, one fumble recovery), who came into the ’01 season with 11 career tackles, recorded a team-high 18 tackles against the Huskers, earning ABC Chevrolet Player of the Game honors for the Irish. He then added 10 tackles against Michigan State and Texas A&M and ranked 17th nationally at 12.67 tackles per game (as of Oct. 2). Sophomore Derek Curry (two tackles, one for loss) backs up Boiman on the outside, while junior Justin Thomas and sophomore Mike Goolsby play behind Watson and senior Carlos Pierre-Antoine (two tackles) spells Harrison.

Backs – Fifth-year strong safety Ron Israel (18 tackles, one for loss) and senior cornerback Shane Walton (23 tackles, one for loss, one INT, one forced fumble, one blocked kick) return to anchor the secondary. Israel logged a career-best nine tackles in the first two games of ’01, but suffered a hamstring injury prior to the Pittsburgh game, saw limited action against West Virginia and did not play against USC. Walton is in his second season as the starting right cornerback after playing in 10 games in ’00 and is one of Notre Dame’s most improved players considering he did not even play football his freshman season, instead starring on the Irish men’s soccer team. He tied his career high with seven tackles against USC. Sophomore Vontez Duff (15 tackles) took over the starting right cornerback slot beginning with the Pittsburgh game, the first starting assignment of his career. He picked up his first interception of the season and chalked up three tackles against USC. The reserves include junior Jason Beckstrom (nine tackles), who made his first start of the season against West Virginia but was injured in the USC game, senior Clifford Jefferson (12 tackles, two for loss), who has seen action at right cornerback in four games, starting three (did not play vs. Pittsburgh and WVU) after starting all 12 games and recording 77 tackles with eight pass breakups in ’99, and serving as Notre Dame’s top reserve (and starting two games) in ’00, and sophomore Preston Jackson at left cornerback. Senior free safety Donald Dykes (32 tackles, one for loss, two fumble recoveries) made his first start against Nebraska and had a career-high 13 tackles after recording only 18 stops all of last year. He came up with a critical fumble recovery in the fourth quarter against USC, leading to a game-clinching TD for the Irish. Other key players include Jim Thorpe Award candidate junior SS Gerome Sapp (18 tackles), who is rated the 11th-best strong safety in the country by The Sporting News and has started two of the last three games for the Irish, junior FS Glenn Earl (11 tackles), who was injured in the season opener against Nebraska, missed the Michigan State and Texas A&M games, but has played in the last three games in a reserve role, and sophomore Abram Elam (18 tackles), who had an interception and fumble recovery against Pittsburgh, and added another interception and forced a fumble against USC.

SCOUTING THE IRISH SPECIAL TEAMS
P Joey Hildbold and K Nicholas Setta return, giving the Irish one of the best kicking tandems in the nation. Hildbold, a Ray Guy Award candidate, was voted one of the top three punters in the nation by Street and Smith’s after averaging 40.9 yards a kick in ’00, including 22 inside the 20. Hildbold is 14th in the nation at 44.3 yards per punt after averaging a career-best 50.5 per kick against Texas A&M. Setta continues to make improvements after going 8-for-14 in his first season as the Irish placekicker, converting all eight of his field-goal attempts this season and matching his career long with a 47-yarder against Texas A&M. Setta also handles all kickoff duties this season. In the return game, junior All-American Julius Jones handles both kickoff (25th in the nation at 26.4 yards a kick return this season) and punt return (27th in nation at 11.67 yards per return) duties for the Irish, ranking second in school history with 1,294 kickoff return yards. In addition, sophomore cornerback Vontez Duff has returned kicks this season, averaging 25.8 yards on five kickoff returns and going at least 30 yards on three of his five runbacks. Seniors David Givens and Terrance Howard also have experience as kick return specialists. After blocking four punts last season, Notre Dame was once again up to its old tricks when senior CB Shane Walton blocked a Nebraska punt at the beginning of the fourth quarter, eventually leading to Notre Dame’s only touchdown of the game.

THE 2001 CAPTAINS
OLB Rocky Boiman, FL David Givens, DE Grant Irons and DE Anthony Weaver serve as captains for the 2001 season. All are first-time captains, except Irons who becomes only the 13th two-time captain in Notre Dame history and the first since Ron Powlus did it for the 1996 and ’97 seasons. Other multiple-time captains for the Irish include: Edward Prudhomme (1888-1889), Frank Keough (1893-1894), Jack Mullen (1897,1998 and 1899), Louis (Red) Salmon (1902-1903), Leonard Bahan (1918-1919), Pat Filley (1943-1944), Bob Olson (1968-1969), Bob Crable (1980-1981), Phil Carter (1981-1982), Ned Bolcar (1988-1989) and Ryan Leahy (1994-1995).

NUMBER CHANGES
The Irish made three number changes from the 2001 media guide rosters as senior special teams player Chad DeBolt has changed from No. 24 to No. 58, senior snapper John Crowther has switched from No. 56 to No. 53 and freshman TE Matt Root has gone from No. 89 to No. 83.

THE 2001 SCHEDULE

  • Notre Dame once again play one of the nation’s toughest schedules as it faces seven teams that appeared in bowl games in 2000 (Nebraska, Purdue, Texas A&M, Boston College, West Virginia, Tennessee and Pittsburgh).
  • Four of Notre Dame’s 2001 opponents are ranked in both the Associated Press and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Polls (Nebraska – 3/3, Tennessee – 9/9, Stanford – 20/22 and Purdue – 24/20). Three other teams (Texas A&M – RV/24, Michigan State and Boston College) also received votes in one or both of the major polls this week.
  • Prior to the 2001 season, the Irish schedule was voted the sixth toughest out of 116 schools by Sports Illustrated (No. 4/5 UCLA had the fifth toughest schedule according to SI, while Irish opponent USC had the toughest).
  • According to the latest NCAA rankings (as of Oct. 21), Notre Dame has the 26th toughest schedule in the nation. These rankings take into account the cumulative performance of all Irish opponents (past and future) during the 2001 season.

WEAVER, IRONS AND JONES EARN PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA HONORS
Senior DE Anthony Weaver was a second-team preseason All-America choice by Athlon – and junior TB Julius Jones also earned second-team recognition from Athlon as a kick returner. Street and Smith’s rated Jones a second-team kickoff returner and senior Grant Irons a second-team defensive end. Weaver was also named the 13th best player in the country according to Mel Kiper’s top 30 players for the 2001 season.

FIVE EARN PRESEASON HONORABLE MENTION ALL-AMERICA HONORS
Street and Smith’s listed senior Tony Fisher among running backs, senior Jordan Black among offensive linemen, senior Anthony Weaver among defensive linemen, senior Rocky Boiman among linebackers and junior Joey Hildbold among punters as preseason honorable mention All-America selections. Street & Smith’s also rated Fisher as one of 11 candidates for the Doak Walker Award as the top running back in the country and Hildbold as one of three candidates for the Ray Guy Award as the top punter in the nation.

IRISH PLAYERS RANK HIGH IN LINDY’S AND THE SPORTING NEWS
Lindy’s rated junior center Jeff Faine as the number-three center in the country, while The Sporting News had Faine seventh. Lindy’s rated Anthony Weaver 18th and Grant Irons 15th among defensive end, with The Sporting News putting Irons 10th and Weaver 16th. The Sporting News rated Julius Jones 15th among running backs, senior Tom Lopienski 12th among fullbacks, senior Jordan Black 14th among offensive tackles, senior Rocky Boiman 14th among outside linebackers and junior Gerome Sapp 11th among strong safeties.

POSITION UNITS AND FRESHMAN RANK NATIONALLY AS WELL
Athlon rated the Irish running backs as the fourth-best group in the nation. Lindy’s listed the Irish defensive line as eighth best. The Sporting News put Notre Dame’s offensive backfield seventh.

Athlon listed the Notre Dame freshman class as the 12th-best in the country, while Lindy’s had the Irish rookies 14th.

TB TONY FISHER NAMED TO DOAK WALKER AWARD WATCH LIST
For the second consecutive season, Irish TB Tony Fisher has been named to the Doak Walker Award Watch List. The Doak Walker Award, named in honor of the late SMU running back, is given annually to the top running back in the nation.

GEROME SAPP NAMED TO THORPE AWARD WATCH LIST
Junior SS Gerome Sapp was named to the Jim Thorpe Award watch list. The Thorpe Award is given annually to the nation’s top defensive back.

WEAVER AND FAINE NAMED TO LOMBARDI AWARD WATCH LIST, FAINE TO RIMINGTON TROPHY LIST
DE Anthony Weaver and C Jeff Faine, along with 79 other players nationally, were named to the updated Rotary Lombardi Award watch list. Weaver made a strong case for the award against Nebraska with eight tackles, including two for loss, one sack and one forced fumble. The Lombardi Award is given annually to the nation’s top lineman or linebacker. Faine was also one of 15 players named to the watch list for the Rimington Trophy, which is awarded to the nation’s top center.

COACHING IN THE CLUTCH
Knute Rockne owns the best career winning percentage among Notre Dame coaches in games decided by seven or fewer points, at 21-1-5 (.870). Among Irish coaches with 14-plus “close games,” the other top winning percentages in tight games belong to Elmer Layden (22-7-3, .734), Frank Leahy (17-5-8, .700), Ara Parseghian (13-6-4, .652), Dan Devine (15-9-1, .620), Bob Davie (14-10, .583) and Lou Holtz (20-18-2, .525).

TICKET UPDATE
All six of Notre Dame’s home football games for 2001 are sold out, with demand for tickets to the Oct. 13 Notre Dame-West Virginia game ranking highest in the history of Notre Dame Stadium. The sellouts are based on demand from contributing alumni (contributions to the University of $100 or more in the previous calendar year earn alumni the ability to apply for two tickets to any home or away contests), with approximately 33,000 tickets per home game available via a game-by-game lottery system.

The Notre Dame ticket office received requests for 59,368 tickets for the West Virginia game, breaking the record of 57,048 from the 1997 Notre Dame-USC game in the first year of the expanded Notre Dame Stadium.

Demand for the 2001 West Virginia game was based on parents of current Notre Dame students being guaranteed four tickets for that contest — plus contributing alumni having the opportunity to apply for four tickets instead of the usual two, based on its designation as an alumni family game.

Other high demand games for 2001 included Michigan State (48,404 requests – based on senior alumni designation that guarantees two tickets to all alumni out of school 35 or more years – which made it third all-time in terms of demand), USC (47,127 requested, making it seventh all-time) and Tennessee (43,843 requests).

There also were nearly 17,000 requests for tickets to the Sept. 8 road game at Nebraska. Notre Dame received 4,000 tickets for that contest, which attracted a Memorial Stadium-record 78,118 fans.

The six guaranteed sellouts for 2001 mean the final home game in ’01 on Nov. 17 against Navy will mark the 161st consecutive sellout at Notre Dame Stadium and the 209th in the last 210 home games.

BIG CROWDS
Notre Dame has played in front of capacity crowds in 133 of its previous 155 games. Each of the first 10 regular-season games involving Notre Dame during the ’98 season?and the first 11 in ’99?was played in front of a sellout crowd. The first five games of 2000 were played before capacity crowds and nine of 12 overall, and the first six contests in ’01 have all been sold out.

Besides being sellouts, all six of Notre Dame’s games this year have come in front of stadium record crowds. The Irish played in front of 78,118 fans at Nebraska, welcomed Notre Dame Stadium-record crowds of 80,795 for the Michigan State, Pittsburgh, West Virginia and USC games, and took the field before 87,206 at Texas A&M, setting a Kyle Field, Big 12 Conference and state of Texas record in the process.

NOTRE DAME EXCELS IN ACADEMICS AS WELL AS ON THE FIELD
Notre Dame will receive the 2001 American Football Coaches Association’s Academic Achievement Award, which is presented annually by the Touchdown Club of Memphis.

Notre Dame recorded a 100 percent graduation rate for members of its football squad when all 20 members of its freshman class of 1995 earned a degree. Vanderbilt also recorded a 100 percent rate to share the 2001 award with Notre Dame.

Notre Dame won the award for the sixth time (previously in 1982,1983, 1984-tie, 1988, 1991). Notre Dame’s six awards are second most behind the 10 won by Duke University.

Notre Dame has earned honorable mention status 14 times.

The 2001 AFCA Academic Achievement Award will be presented to Notre Dame and Vanderbilt at the AFCA Kickoff Luncheon during the Association’s 2002 convention in San Antonio, Texas.

In addition to the 2001 AFCA Academic Achievement Award, the 2000 Notre Dame football squad had its most successful semesters in the classroom in the history of the program, based on final grades from the 2001 spring semester and the 2000 fall semester. In the spring, Notre Dame finished with a combined team grade-point average of 2.75, the highest combined GPA on record, besting the previous high of 2.67 set during the 2000 fall semester.

TWO-SPORT STANDOUTS
Notre Dame has three athletes who are two-sport standouts with the Irish:

  • Cornerback Shane Walton is less than three years removed from earning all-BIG EAST honors as a freshman forward on the ’98 Irish men’s soccer team. Walton entered the 2000 season as Notre Dame’s starter at right cornerback and finished with 29 tackles, one tackle for a loss, two interceptions – including a 60-yard INT return for a touchdown against Purdue’s Drew Brees – and three passes deflected. Walton joined the Irish football squad in the spring of ’99 and saw action in three games in the secondary during the ’99 season. He played in nine games overall with 61 appearances on special teams, earning his second Notre Dame monogram in as many years and in as many sports. This season, Walton blocked a punt against Nebraska to set up an Irish TD, and picked off a pass against Pittsburgh to help keep the high-powered Panther offense in check.
  • Walk-on Chad DeBolt made 72 special teams appearances in ’00 – including a season-high 13 vs. USC – and was one of just four walkons on the usual travel list. He recovered a blocked punt vs. Rutgers and blocked a punt vs. USC – both of which led to Irish TDs. This season, he has made 40 special teams appearances and also charted one tackle in Notre Dame’s wins over Pittsburgh and West Virginia.

DeBolt also stars for the Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team which advanced to the NCAA Final Four in 2001. The Waterloo, N.Y., native played in all 16 games for the Irish in ’01 recording one goal, while scooping up 60 ground balls. For his career, he has one goal and 118 ground balls.

  • Kicker Nicholas Setta, who finished sixth at the Illinois state track and field meet in the high jump and was the top hurdler in the state, competed for Irish head coach Joe Piane and the Notre Dame track and field program last winter. Setta ran middle distance for the Irish and competed at the 2001 BIG EAST Indoor Track and Field Championships. On the gridiron, Setta has connected on all 20 of his kicks this season (eight FG, 12 PATs), stretching his streak of consecutive PATs made to 44, the fourth-longest in school history. He also tied his career best with a 47-yard field goal at Texas A&M.

FORMER IRISH GREAT DAVE DUERSON
Former Notre Dame football All-American Dave Duerson is still extremely involved with the University in a number of capacities. A former team captain, Duerson was named to the Notre Dame Board of Trustees in 2001, and was the winner of the 2001 Rev. Edward F. Sorin, C.S.C., Award from the Notre Dame Alumni Association. The Sorin Award is presented annually to a graduate who has embodied “the values of Our Lady’s University” in his service to the community. The president of Fair Oaks Farms, Inc., a Wisconsin-based international meat supplier that in 1999 was ranked 64th among Black Enterprise 100 companies, Duerson previously served as a member of the advisory council for the University’s Mendoza College of Business and currently is first vice president of the Notre Dame National Monogram Club (he will serve as president from June 2003-June 2005). He also is a member of the athletic department’s student development mentoring program.

NOTRE DAME RECEIVES A GRACIOUS COMMITMENT
The University of Notre Dame has received a commitment of $300,000 from Jim and Billy Carroll of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to endow athletic grants-in-aid at the University. Jim Carroll is the current president of Notre Dame’s national Monogram Club.

The Carrolls’ gift will help further the University’s goal of providing each Olympic sport with the full number of grants-in-aid permitted by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

“We aspire to excellence in everything we do, both in academics and athletics. Our aims for this grants-in-aid initiative are to give every sport at Notre Dame the means to excel and to place our athletic program among the contenders for the annual Sears Directors Cup, which recognizes overall athletic achievement,” said William P. Sexton, vice president for University relations, in acknowledging the commitment. “The Carrolls’ gift is a most generous contribution toward this effort, and we greatly appreciate this leadership support from our Monogram Club president.”

Notre Dame’s 11th place finish in the 2000-01 Sears Directors Cup matched its previous best performance in the competition. Stanford University, a perennial top finisher, won the cup.

Billy and Jim Carroll both are graduates of Marist High School in Atlanta, Ga. Jim Carroll went on to become captain of the 1964 Notre Dame football team, the first coached by Ara Parseghian. Playing inside linebacker, he was named to several All-America teams. After being graduated from the University in 1965, he played professional football with the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins.

The Carroll brothers have been in the automobile dealership business in Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida since 1967. They own insurance and real-estate holding companies and a restaurant in Cooper City, Fla.

Athletic grants-in-aid are the financial awards provided to student-athletes under NCAA regulations. The grants cover tuition, room and board, and books.

2000-01 NOTRE DAME ATHLETIC RESUME HIGHLIGHTS
Notre Dame experienced its most successful season as an athletic department in 2000-01 highlighted with an 11th place Sears Directors’ Cup finish and its fifth consecutive BIG EAST Conference Commissioner Trophy. Here are some highlights from the 2000-01 season:

  • Women’s basketball 2001 NCAA Champions, track and field’s Ryan Shay won the 10,000 meters at the 2001 NCAA Track and Field Championships, fencing was third at NCAAs and two other teams (women’s soccer and men’s lacrosse) advance to the NCAA Final Four
  • Four teams ranked number one at some point in season – women’s soccer, women’s basketball, men’s fencing and baseball
  • 31 athletic All-Americans
  • Sixteen of possible 22 teams achieved national rankings (no polls for men’s and women’s indoor or outdoor track) and ten teams achieved highest ranking in history of program
  • Top NCAA finishes include 1st in women’s basketball, 3rd in men’s and women’s fencing combined, national semifinals in women’s soccer and men’s lacrosse, 9th in men’s cross country
  • Three national players of the year – Anne Makinen in women’s soccer, Ruth Riley in women’s basketball, Michelle Dasso in women’s tennis

IRISH FINISH 11th IN SEARS DIRECTORS CUP
Notre Dame finished 11th in the final set of sports standings released in the 2000-2001 Sears Directors’ Cup all-sports competition, matching its highest finish ever. Spring NCAA competition earned the Irish points based on their semifinal appearance in men’s lacrosse (75 points), a third-round appearance in women’s tennis (50 points), a second-round showing in men’s tennis (30 points), regional appearances in both softball and baseball (50 and 30 points respectively), and a 21st-place finish in men’s track and field (63 points), giving Notre Dame 764.5 total points for 2000-2001. Winter sports points came from Notre Dame’s NCAA championship in women’s basketball (100 points), a third-place finish in fencing (80 points), a second-round finish in men’s basketball (30 points), a 37th-place finish in women’s swimming (31 points) and a 58th place finish in women’s indoor track and field (23.5 points). Notre Dame earned 202 points during the fall sports season, thanks to the Irish women’s soccer team’s NCAA semifinal finish, the men’s cross country team finishing ninth at the NCAA championships, the football team’s final ranking of 16, plus the volleyball team advancing to the NCAAs . Stanford (1,359 points) won the competition, followed by UCLA, Georgia, Michigan and Arizona. In previous years in which the Sears Directors’ Cup competition has been held, Notre Dame has finished 11th in 1993-94, 30th in ’94-’95, 11th in ’95-’96, 14th in ’96-’97, tied for 31st in ’97-’98, 25th in ’98-’99 and 21st in 1999-2000.

NOTRE DAME ONCE AGAIN A FAN FAVORITE
Notre Dame ranked first and Florida State second in ESPN’s “College Sports Fan Favorite Football Team” Poll. The Irish pulled in top billing with 7.1 percent, followed by Florida State at 5.4 percent. Michigan (4.7%), Penn State (4.3%) and Ohio State (3.8%) rounded out the top five. Notre Dame and Florida State also were the only two schools named in all four regions listed in the poll.

FRIDAY FOOTBALL KICKOFF LUNCHEONS
Tickets are available for the 2001 Notre Dame Football Kickoff Luncheons in the Joyce Center Fieldhouse (north dome). The luncheons will be held the same day and time (Friday at noon EST) before every Irish home football game this season. The 2001 Notre Dame Football Luncheons are sponsored by the Notre Dame Athletic Department and the speaking program each week includes a combination of special guests, head coach Bob Davie, members of the coaching staff and members of the Irish squad, in addition to video features. Tickets are $18 each (plus $3 handling charge per order) and are available by calling (219) 272-2870.

PEP RALLIES
All 2001 football pep rallies will be held on Fridays prior to home games in the Joyce Center Arena (south dome), with planned start times of 7:00 p.m.

TENNESSEE KICKOFF TIME CHANGES TO 2:30 P.M.
Kickoff for the Nov. 3 Notre Dame-Tennessee game at Notre Dame Stadium has been changed to 2:30 p.m. EST. Tickets and most schedules list it at its original 1:30 p.m. start.

LOCATIONS ANNOUNCED FOR 2002 AND 2004 NOTRE DAME-NAVY GAMES
The Naval Academy announced Oct. 10 that PSINet Stadium in Baltimore will play host to the 2002 Notre Dame-Navy game, and Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., will play host to the 2004 Notre Dame-Navy contest. It will be the first time the series will be played at PSINet Stadium, home of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens. Notre Dame and Navy have played five times at Giants Stadium, with the Irish winning all five encounters, including a 38-7 win in their most recent visit in 1992. The Notre Dame-Navy matchup is the longest continuous intersectional rivalry in the country – the two teams will square off for the 75th time this season on Nov. 17 at Notre Dame Stadium.

ORDER YOUR MEDIA GUIDES AND YEARBOOKS TODAY
The 2001 edition of the Notre Dame Media Guide is available for $10 (plus postage and handling) by calling the Notre Dame Hammes Bookstore at 219-631-6316. This year’s edition features 480 pages of facts, figures and historical notes about Notre Dame football. The 1981, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1994, 1996, 1998, 1999 versions of the media guide were voted best in the nation by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

This season marks the eighth edition of the Notre Dame Football Yearbook-an official publication by the University of Notre Dame athletic department. The 1994, ’95, ’96, ’97 and ’98 and 2000 editions were voted best in the nation in the special publications competition sponsored by the College Sports Information Directors of America. The yearbook, published with Host Communications, numbers more than 150 pages, including game action shots of returning Irish players and coaches, plus photo coverage of the Irish award winners and campus scenes. It’s a collector’s item that’s perfect for autographs – with an emphasis on outstanding color photography unavailable in any other publication. The yearbook is priced at $8 (plus $4 for postage and handling) and can be ordered by calling 1-800-313-4678 or by writing to: Notre Dame Programs, 904 N. Broadway, Lexington, KY 40505.

SEVERAL NOTRE DAME TEAMS VISIT NEW ENGLAND THIS WEEK …
Besides the Irish football team, a handful of other Notre Dame teams are scheduled to be in action in the New England area this week. On Tuesday, the nationally-ranked Irish women’s soccer team heads to Yale for a 7:00 p.m. EDT game. On Wednesday, the Notre Dame men’s soccer squad will visit BIG EAST Conference foe Providence for a 2:00 p.m. EDT match. On Friday, the Irish hockey team travels to Boston College for a 7:00 p.m. EDT contest. On Saturday, the Notre Dame men’s soccer team will play at BIG EAST rival Connecticut and the hockey team will head to Northeastern – both games will start at 7:00 p.m. EDT. And on Sunday, the nationally-ranked Irish volleyball team will compete at Providence beginning at 2:00 p.m. EST.