Nov. 16, 2009
DATE: Saturday, November 21, 2009
TIME: 2:42 p.m. EST
LOCATION: Notre Dame, Ind.
SITE (CAPACITY): Notre Dame Stadium (80,795)
- Saturday is the 212th consecutive sellout at Notre Dame Stadium. Since 1966, every home football game for the Irish has been a sellout except one – a 1973 Thanksgiving Day game vs. Air Force. Notre Dame has now played in front of sellouts in 260 of its last 261 home games.
- Notre Dame has played in front of sellout crowds in 217 of its previous 251 games, including 92 of its last 103 contests dating back to the 2001 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl (the ’01, ’03, ’05 and ’07 games at Stanford, the ’04 game vs. Navy at the Meadowlands, the ’05 and ’08 games at Washington, the ’07 game at UCLA, the ’08 Hawai’i Bowl and this season’s game at Purdue and in San Antonio vs. Washington State were not sellouts).
NBC national telecast with Tom Hammond (play-by-play), Pat Haden (analysis), Alex Flanagan (sideline), Rob Hyland (producer) and David Michaels (director).
ISP Sports is the exclusive national rights-holder for Notre Dame football radio broadcasts. ISP manages, produces and syndicates the Irish national football radio network. Games are broadcast by Don Criqui (play-by-play), Allen Pinkett (analysis) and Jeff Jeffers (sideline). This broadcast can be heard live on SIRIUS Satellite Radio (channel 159) and XM Satellite Radio (channel 117). u All Notre Dame games may be heard in South Bend on Sunny 101.5 FM and NewsTalk 960 WSBT-AM.
Notre Dame (und.com), Connecticut (uconnhuskies.com)
Live in-game statistics will be provided through CBS College Sports Gametracker via each school’s respective official athletic website.
Neither Notre Dame nor UConn are ranked in the AP or coaches poll.
Notre Dame and UConn will meet on the gridiron for the first time in the 121-year history of Irish football. The Huskies are the 137th different opponent in Notre Dame football history. The Irish opened each of the last two seasons with victories over inaugural foes, San Diego State, 21-13, and Nevada, 35-0. Notre Dame has faced 67 of the other 120 teams currently competing at the FBS level. The Irish have knocked off the last 12 opponents to make their first appearance in Notre Dame Stadium.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
- Senior OT Sam Young owns a school record tying streak of 48 consecutive starts — dating back to the 2006 season opener at Georgia Tech. He has started every game of his Irish career and remains the only Notre Dame offensive lineman to have started every game since his freshman year. Former DB Tom Zbikowski (2004-07) and LB Maurice Crum, Jr. (2004-08) also share the school record for career starts with 48.
NOTRE DAME SENIORS
Notre Dame will honors its 33 seniors on Saturday in their final game inside Notre Dame Stadium. The Irish will recognize each individual senior prior to kickoff for the first time in recent memory.
AN IRISH VICTORY THIS WEEK WOULD…
- Improve Notre Dame to 7-4 (.636) on the season.
- Improve Notre Dame to 5-2 (.714) this season inside Notre Dame Stadium.
- Improve Notre Dame to 1-0 (1.000) in the all-time series with Connecticut.
- Improve Notre Dame to 1-0 (1.000) in the all-time series against Connecticut at home.
- Improve Notre Dame to 57-23-1 (.710) all-time against the BIG EAST.
- Improve Notre Dame to 27-11 (.711) all-time against the BIG EAST at home.
- Improve Notre Dame’s all-time record to 838-288-42 (.735).
- Improve Notre Dame’s all-time record at Notre Dame Stadium to 307-100-5 (.751).
- Improve Notre Dame to 56-8-1 (.869) all-time in games when the opponent was making its first visit to Notre Dame Stadium.
- Improve Notre Dame to 102-11-4 (.889) in games versus all first-time visitors to Notre Dame (regardless of the site).
- Improve Weis’ Notre Dame record to 36-25 (.590) overall, 1-0 (1.000) against Connecticut and 3-3 (.500) against the BIG EAST.
- Improve Weis’ home record to 20-13 (.606) overall, 2-2 (.500) against the BIG EAST and 1-0 (1.000) against Connecticut.
- Improve Weis’ record to 11-9 (.550) in November games.
- Improve Weis’ record to 28-19 (.596) in afternoon games.
AN IRISH DEFEAT THIS WEEK WOULD…
- Drop Notre Dame to 6-5 (.545) on the season.
- Drop Notre Dame to 4-3 (.571) this season inside Notre Dame Stadium.
- Drop Notre Dame to 0-1 (.000) in the all-time series with Connecticut.
- Drop Notre Dame to 0-1 (.000) in the all-time series against Connecticut at home.
- Drop Notre Dame to 56-24-1 (.698) all-time against the BIG EAST.
- Drop Notre Dame to 26-12 (.684) all-time against the BIG EAST at home.
- Drop Notre Dame’s all-time record to 837-289-42 (.735).
- Drop Notre Dame’s all-time record at Notre Dame Stadium to 306-101-5 (.749).
- Drop Notre Dame to 55-9-1 (.854) all-time in games when the opponent was making its first visit to Notre Dame Stadium.
- Drop Notre Dame to 101-12-4 (.880) in games versus all first-time visitors to Notre Dame (regardless of the site).
- Drop Weis’ Notre Dame record to 35-26 (.574) overall, 0-1 (.000) against Connecticut and 2-4 (.333) against the BIG EAST.
- Drop Weis’ home record to 19-14 (.576) overall, 1-3 (.250) against the BIG EAST and 0-1 (.000) against Connecticut.
- Drop Weis’ record to 10-10 (.500) in November games.
- Improve Weis’ record to 27-20 (.574) in afternoon games.
- UConn will become the 65th different team to visit Notre Dame Stadium (since its opening in 1930) when the Huskies face the Irish this week. Notre Dame owns a 55-8-1 mark (.867) in games when the opponent was making its first visit to the Stadium. Thirteen of those teams previously had played at Notre Dame (prior to 1930), with the Irish owning a mark of 43-6-1 (.870) since 1930 versus teams making their first overall visit to Notre Dame.
- The six teams that have travelled to South Bend for the first time and come away with a victory at Notre Dame Stadium include (AP poll began in 1936): USC (1931), Texas (1934), Iowa (1940), Missouri (1972), No. 14 Clemson (1979) and No. 20 Florida State (1981). Michigan (1942) and Penn State (1982) also won their first games at Notre Dame Stadium but previously had played the Irish at Cartier Field.
- Since the 1981 loss to Florida State, 12 consecutive opponents have lost in their first trip to South Bend: Colorado (1984), Mississippi (1985), Boston College (1987), BYU (1992), Vanderbilt (1995), Rutgers (1996), West Virginia (1997), Arizona State (1999), Texas A&M (2000), Washington State (2003), San Diego State (2008) and Nevada (2009).
- Eight teams that were ranked at game time in the AP top-25 poll (which began in 1936) have lost in their first visit to Notre Dame, with the Irish being lower ranked in four of those games:
|#9 Army (lost to top-ranked ND in ’47, 27-7)||#7 LSU (lost to #2 ND in ’70, 3-0)|
|#20 North Carolina (lost to #1 ND in ’50, 14-7)||#10 Alabama (lost to #18 ND in ’76, 21-18)|
|#4 Oklahoma (lost to #10 ND in ’52, 27-21)||#22 West Virginia (lost to unranked ND in ’97, 21-14)|
|#10 Syracuse (lost to unranked ND in ’61, 17-15)||#23 Texas A&M (lost to unranked ND in ’00, 24-10)|
- The Notre Dame football program has played home games versus a total of 116 different teams, at primarily old Cartier Field (pre-1930) or Notre Dame Stadium, with an overall home record of 101-11-4 (.888) in games versus all first-time visitors to Notre Dame (regardless of the site).
- Notre Dame has become quite accustomed to nailbiting finishes. The Irish played in six consecutive games decided by seven points or less earlier this season and now have played in eight games this season decided by seven points or less. The eight games decided by seven points or less in a single season is a school record. The 1990 Notre Dame squad had played in seven such games, including the Orange Bowl.
- No team in the FBS has played in more games decided by seven points or less this season.
- The streak of six consecutive games decided by a touchdown or less for Notre Dame equalled the school record. Notre Dame last played in six consecutive games decided by seven points or less in 1983-84, when they went down to the wire with Pittsburgh (L, 16-21), Penn State (L, 30-34), Air Force (L, 22-23), Boston College (W, 19-18 in 1983 Liberty Bowl), Purdue (L, 21-23) and Michigan State (W, 24-20). No Irish team has ever played seven straight games decided by a touchdown or less.
- Six straight football games in a single season decided by seven or fewer points? It hadn’t happened in the 120-year history of Notre Dame football prior to this season. The previous single-season school record for consecutive games decided seven points or less came during the 1939 season when the Irish started the year with five games in that fashion (W 3-0 vs. Purdue, W 17-14 vs. Georgia Tech, W 20-19 vs. SMU, W 14-7 vs. Navy, W 7-6 vs. Carnegie Tech).
- With its late-game heroics against Washington, Notre Dame captured three consecutive games by seven points or less. The last time the Irish won three straight games by a touchdown or less came in 2002 during Tyrone Willingham’s first season: 24-17 vs. Purdue; 25-23 vs. No. 7 Michigan; 21-17 at Michigan State.
- Prior to the 2002 streak, the last time it happened was Nov. 8-22, 1941, when rookie head coach Frank Leahy led the Irish to narrow wins over No. 6 Navy (20-13), No. 8 Northwestern (7-6) and USC (20-18).
- The Notre Dame record for consecutive wins by seven points or less is five, the first five games of the 1939 season (Sept. 30-Oct. 28) under head coach Elmer Layden.
- The recent Irish streak marked just the fifth time Notre Dame had won three straight games by seven points or less. The others are the aforementioned streak in 2002, the last three games of 1941, the first five games of 1939 and the last three games of the 1937 season (Nov. 13-27).
- The Notre Dame record for wins by seven points or less in a season is six, set in 1939 when that club had a 6-1 record in games decided by seven or less. The 1937 team was 5-1-1 and the 2002 club was 5-1-0 in games decided by seven or less, while the 1929 (4-0), 1940 (4-1), 1974 (4-0), 1990 (4-3), 1997 (4-2), 1998 (4-1) and 2009 (4-4) teams all had four wins by seven or less over the course of the season.
- As for winning percentage in games decided by seven points or less, the 1929 and 1974 teams were both 4-0, while the 1926, 1928, 1954 and 1957 teams finished 3-0.
- One item of note on the greatness of Knute Rockne: he was 20-3-5 (.804) in games decided by seven points or less over his Notre Dame career, including 16-0-2 (.944) over his last seven years.
FOURTH QUARTER MAGIC
- Notre Dame rallied from behind in the fourth quarter to upend Boston College. Notre Dame trailed 16-13 with 9:16 remaining in the fourth quarter before a pair of junior RB Armando Allen runs gained 13 yards and junior QB Jimmy Clausen found junior WR Golden Tate for a 36-yard touchdown with 8:12 left. The Irish defense did the rest, forcing a three-and-out and two interceptions on the Eagles’ final three drives of the game.
- Notre Dame has registered four come-from-behind, fourth-quarter victories this season – a first in Irish football history. The previous record for fourth-quarter, comeback victories was three (set on numerous occasions).
- The Irish have actually rallied from five fourth quarter deficits this season, but were not able to hold off Michigan on Sept. 12.
- Notre Dame rallied from fourth quarter deficits in four consecutive games (winning three) against Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue and Washington. The Irish had four fourth quarter comebacks during the 1999 season. Notre Dame also had three fourth quarter comebacks in each of the 1990, 1997, 2000, 2002 and 2003 seasons.
- The previous school record for consecutive fourth quarter comebacks was three during the 2000 season. Interestingly enough, those three straight fourth quarter comebacks to open the 2000 season came under the guidance of three different quarterbacks (Arnaz Battle, Gary Godsey and Matt LoVecchio).
- Notre Dame nearly pulled off another fourth quarter come-from-behind victory against No. 8 Pittsburgh. The Irish trailed the Panthers, 20-3, entering the fourth quarter and then 27-9 with less than 10 minutes remaining in the contest. Notre Dame’s junior WR Golden Tate hauled in an 18-yard touchdown catch with 9:10 left and then returned a punt 87 yards for another touchdown to bring the Irish within five points, 27-22. Notre Dame failed on a two-point conversion following Tate’s punt return, but did get the ball back with just under three minutes left in regulation. The Irish quickly moved out to their own 42-yard line on three completions from Clausen, but an illegal chop block, an incompletion and an overturned incompletion turned fumble ended any Notre Dame hopes.
- Notre Dame found itself trailing Navy 21-7 heading into the fourth quarter and 23-14 with one minute remaining in the fourth quarter, but the Irish managed a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns to nearly post another thrilling, last second victory. Notre Dame drew within two points, 23-21, but was unable to come away with an onside kick with 24 seconds left.
- Irish junior signal caller Jimmy Clausen did his part in the fourth quarter. He completed 13 of 21 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns over the final 15 minutes of the contest.
- Notre Dame nearly pulled off its fourth consecutive fourth quarter come-from-behind victory against No. 4 USC. The Irish trailed the Trojans, 34-14, with just under 11 minutes remaining in the contest before the Irish caught fire. Notre Dame scored a pair of touchdowns and drove all the way to the Trojans’ four-yard line trailing 34-27, but was unable to get the tying touchdown.
- The comeback would have been the greatest fourth quarter rally since the Irish stormed past Houston in the 1979 Cotton Bowl behind Joe Montana, erasing a 22-point fourth-quarter deficit for a 35-34 win.
- Clausen is now 65-for-105 for 881 yards with 11 touchdowns (two on the ground) and one interception in the final quarter and overtime this season.
DOWN TO THE WIRE
- Seven of Notre Dame’s nine games this season have not been ultimately decided until the final minute of regulation or overtime.
- With the victory over Washington, Notre Dame snapped its three-game losing streak in overtime games. The Irish had not won an overtime game since 2003.
- Notre Dame improved to 3-6 in overtime in school history. Eight of the nine Irish overtime contests have come at Notre Dame Stadium.
|W 37-30 vs. Washington (2009)||L 41-44 vs. Michigan State (2005)||L 24-27 vs. Nebraska (2000)|
|L 33-36 vs. Pittsburgh (2008)||W 29-26 vs. Washington State (2003)||L 20-27 at USC (1996)|
|L 44-46 vs. Navy (2007)||W 34-31 vs. Air Force (2000)||L 17-20 vs. Air Force (1996)|
- Prior to the victory over Washington, Notre Dame had never won a game in overtime the week following a victory in the last minute of regulation in its storied history.
- Notre Dame has now won four games in its storied history by scoring a touchdown in the last 30 seconds of regulation. Here is that list of games:
|Sept. 26, 2009 Notre Dame 24, at Purdue 21 (0:25)||Nov. 14, 1992 at Notre Dame 17, Penn State 16 (0:19)|
|Oct. 21, 2006 at Notre Dame 20, UCLA 17 (0:27)||Jan. 1, 1979 Notre Dame 35, Houston 34 (1979 Cotton Bowl) (:00)|
- Notre Dame has now won 17 games all-time in overtime or with less than 25 seconds remaining in regulation and only five of those have come on the road.
- The Irish have never registered a longer drive (72 yards) to win a game on the road with less than 25 seconds to go in the contest in school history than it did at Purdue.
- Notre Dame scored with just 24.8 seconds remaining on the clock at Purdue. It is the latest the Irish have scored to secure a victory on the road since 1997 when Scott Cengia booted a field goal with five seconds left to secure a 23-22 victory at Hawaii.
Michigan 38, Notre Dame 34
The Wolverines scored a go-ahead touchdown with 11 seconds left to secure a 38-34 victory over the Irish.
Notre Dame 33, Michigan State 30
The Irish regained the lead with 5:18 to go in regulation on junior WR Golden Tate’s 33-yard touchdown catch, but the Spartans drove to Notre Dame’s 18-yard line before senior SS Kyle McCarthy’s interception at the four-yard line with 57 seconds left secured the victory.
Notre Dame 24, Purdue 21
Junior QB Jimmy Clausen completed a two-yard touchdown pass to sophomore TE Kyle Rudolph with 24.8 seconds to play, and Notre Dame rallied for a 24-21 win over Purdue. Clausen led the Irish on a 12-play, 72-yard drive. He went 6-for-9 on the drive for 69 yards, including the go-ahead touchdown pass.
Since the series with Purdue resumed in 1946, there have been just five games where the winning points were scored in the final five minutes. Ironically, three have come on the date of Sept. 26. Here is a list of those five games:
|Sept. 26, 2009 Notre Dame 24, at Purdue 21||Sept. 26, 1981 at Purdue 15, #13 Notre Dame 14|
|Sept. 16, 2000 at #21 Notre Dame 23, #13 Purdue 21||Sept. 25, 1971 #2 Notre Dame 8, at Purdue 7|
|Sept. 26, 1998 at #23 Notre Dame 31, Purdue 30|
Notre Dame 37, Washington 30 (ot)
Notre Dame waited even later than the last minute to pull out this finish. Junior RB Robert Hughes scored on a 1-yard run in overtime and junior FS Harrison Smith and senior SS Kyle McCarthy jarred the ball loose from Washington receiver D’Andre Goodwin near the goal line on fourth-and-19 as the Fighting Irish beat the Huskies 37-30.
USC 34, Notre Dame 27
Junior QB Jimmy Clausen nearly executed another thrilling fourth-quarter rally, but came up four yards short as No. 6 USC held on for a 34-27 victory against No. 25 Notre Dame. On Clausen’s first pass into the end zone, sophomore TE Kyle Rudolph made a juggling catch but was out of bounds. The second was knocked down by Josh Pinkard and the Trojans started celebrating thinking the game was over. But the officials ruled there was 1 second left. Clausen fired to junior WR Duval Kamara, who slipped and couldn’t get a hand on it.
Notre Dame 20, Boston College 16
Junior WR Golden Tate caught 11 passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns to lead Notre Dame to a 20-16 victory over Boston College, ending a six-game losing streak to the Eagles. The Irish came up with three interceptions in the second half, the final one with 98 seconds left. The last five games Notre Dame has played were decided in the final minute.
Navy 23, Notre Dame 21
Notre Dame scored with 24 seconds left on a 31-yard pass from junior QB Jimmy Clausen, his second of the fourth quarter, to junior WR Golden Tate to cut the lead to two, but the ensuing onside kick went out of bounds. Clausen was 37 of 51 yards passing for 452 yards, all career highs. The 37 completions are a school record and the yardage was the fourth best in school history.
No. 8 Pitt 27, Notre Dame 22
Pittsburgh to opened up an 18-point lead in the fourth quarter before Notre Dame rallied behind two touchdowns by star junior WR Golden Tate, but the Panthers held on for a 27-22 victory. The Irish trailed, 27-9, with 12:44 remaining after Dion Lewis’ 50-yard touchdown run. Tate, one of college football’s most dynamic talents, nearly brought the Irish back. He ended with nine catches for 113 yards in his second 100-yard game against Pitt in as many seasons. Called the best player Pitt has faced all season by coach Dave Wannstedt, Tate caught an 18-yard touchdown pass from Clausen to cut it to 27-16 with 9:10 remaining. Tate then ran right up the middle of Pitt’s punt coverage unit on an 87-yard touchdown return less than two minutes later.
NOTRE DAME IN NOVEMBER
- Notre Dame is 309-119-28 (.708) all-time during the month of November.
- The Irish are 143-43-7 (.759) in November home games.
- Notre Dame has an all-time mark of 116-64-16 (.633) in road games during November.
- The Irish are 50-12-5 (.784) in November neutral games.
- Notre Dame has gone 10-9 (.526) in November under head coach Charlie Weis.
ON THIS DATE
Notre Dame has played 12 previous games in its history on Nov. 21. The Irish are 8-3-1 all-time on the date. The Irish were ranked inside the top 25 on seven occasions, including seven of the last nine games.
|1936||W||(11) Northwestern (1)||26-6||H|
|1953||T||(1) Iowa (0:06-ND) (20)||14-14||H|
|1959||W||Iowa (3:25) (16)||20-19||A|
|1970||W||(2) LSU (2:54) (7)||3-0||H|
|1981||L||Penn State (3:48) (13)||21-24||A|
|1987||L||(7) Penn State||20-21||A|
|1998||W||(10) LSU (1:27)||39-36||H|
Beginning with the 1936 season, the number in front of the opponent name indicates Notre Dame’s ranking in the Associated Press poll coming into the game. The number following the opponent name indicates its ranking. 0:00 indicates the amount of time remaining when the deciding points were scored.
Nov. 21, 1931: In one of the greatest comebacks in Trojan football history, USC rallied from a 14-0 deficit with six minutes to play. In the final minute, John Baker kicked a 23 yard field goal to beat the Irish 16-14. After the game, USC coach Howard Jones took his entire team to visit the grave of his friend Knute Rockne in Highland Cemetery. In the chill November evening, they paid silent tribute to the fallen Irish coach. The streak of twenty-six undefeated games had been broken.
Nov. 21, 1953: Head coach Frank Leahy’s final Notre Dame team began the season ranked first in the country. The Irish defeated four ranked teams in their first five games, and were 8-0 still atop the polls by the time Forest Evashevski brought his 20th-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes to Notre Dame Stadium on Nov. 21.
Notre Dame’s offense sputtered throughout the first half trailing Iowa 7-0 late in the second quarter. The Irish finally got going, but found themselves on the Hawkeye 12-yard line in the waning seconds of the half without any timeouts remaining. The Notre Dame players knew exactly how to respond.
Irish left tackle Frank Varrichione let out a blood-curdling scream and collapsed to the turf, seemingly suffering a very sudden and mortal injury. Under existing college football rules, the officials were obligated to stop the clock and allow Varrichione to be helped off the field.
The Irish offense took advantage of the stoppage in play to line up, and on the final play of the half, Ralph Guglielmi threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Dan Shannon, tying the score.
Notre Dame trailed Iowa 14-7 in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter. Again, the Irish were driving towards the Hawkeye end zone. Again Notre Dame was out of timeouts.
According to Leahy’s script, this time it was the job of the right tackle to “suffer” an injury. So with six seconds remaining in the game and the ball on Iowa nine, Art Hunter took his turn.
The officials stopped the clock and again, Guglielmi threw to Shannon in the end zone. Don Schaefer’s extra point allowed Notre Dame to escape with a 14-14 tie.
Unfortunately, another 1953 practice no longer in existence today probably cost the ’53 Irish a unanimous national championship. Notre Dame rebounded from the tie against Iowa to finish the season with a 9-0-1 record. Although Notre Dame’s policy prohibited playing in bowl games during that era, Maryland did play in the Orange Bowl. Oklahoma, which Notre Dame had defeated in the season opener, beat the Terrapins 7-6.
2009 NOTRE DAME OPPONENT UPDATE
Below is a look at Notre Dame opponents’ upcoming games. Since 1977, when the NCAA started rating strength of schedule, Notre Dame’s schedule has been rated the most difficult five times (1978, 1985, 1987, 1989 and 1995).
|Opponent||’09 Record||Nov. 21||Opponent||’09 Record||Nov. 21|
|Nevada||7-3||at New Mexico State||Boston College||7-3||North Carolina|
|Michigan||5-6||Ohio State||Washington State||1-9||Oregon State|
|Michigan State||6-5||Penn State||Navy||8-3||Bye|
|Washington||3-7||Bye||UConn||4-5||at Notre Dame|
Opponents’ combined 2009 record: 68-55 (.553); NCAA recognized strength of schedule numbers do not include games played against FCS foes
Notre Dame’s strength of schedule stands tied for 37th (58-49 for .542). Connecticut is ninth at 52-35 (.598).
UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME GRADUATES
The 2009 Notre Dame roster features eight players who have already earned their undergraduate degree from the University. They all graduated from Notre Dame in May of 2009. Here is a list of the graduates on the 2009 Notre Dame football team.
- OT Paul Duncan: degree in management-entrepreneurship from the Mendoza College of Business.
- QB Evan Sharpley: degree in history from the College of Arts and Letters.
- CB Mike Anello: degree in finance from the Mendoza College of Business.
- S Ray Herring: degree in sociology from the College of Arts and Letters.
- S Kyle McCarthy: degree in finance from the Mendoza College of Business.
- LB Scott Smith: degrees in management from the Mendoza College of Business and sociology from the College of Arts and Letters.
- WR Barry Gallup: degree in finance from the Mendoza College of Business.
- OG Chris Stewart: degree in history from the College of Arts and Letters.
- Notre Dame’s eight graduates is tied with Auburn, Penn State, Texas Tech, UNLV, Miami, Fla. and East Carolina for the fourth-most graduates on a 2009 FBS roster.
ONLY THE BIG BOYS
Notre Dame is one of just four NCAA FBS programs to have not faced a non-FBS opponent since the current setup was established in 1978. The three other remaining schools that have yet to play a non-FBS opponent are USC, UCLA and Washington. The list shrunk from five following Michigan State’s contest with Montana State on Sept. 5.
The following players extended active starting streaks last week: senior OT Sam Young 48, senior OC Eric Olsen 29, junior QB Jimmy Clausen 26 and senior SS Kyle McCarthy 23.
LEADERSHIP COMMITTEE ’09
Junior QB Jimmy Clausen, senior SS Kyle McCarthy, senior OC Eric Olsen and senior LB Scott Smith have been selected captains of the 2009 Notre Dame football team.
Voting was conducted Friday, Aug. 14, with the results announced to the team by head coach Charlie Weis. Clausen and Olsen will captain the offense, McCarthy will serve as the defensive captain and Smith will represent the special teams. The results from the vote also helped form the leadership committee.
|Player, Pos.||Cl.||Hometown||Player, Pos.||Cl.||Hometown|
|James Aldridge, FB||Sr.||St. Louis, Mo.||Eric Olsen, OC||Sr.||Staten Island, N.Y.|
|Mike Anello, DB||Sr.||Orland Park, Ill.||Kyle Rudolph, TE||So.||Cincinnati, Ohio|
|Sergio Brown, DB||Sr.||Maywood, Ill.||John Ryan, DE||Sr.||Westlake, Ohio|
|Jimmy Clausen, QB||Jr.||Westlake Village, Calif.||Brian Smith, LB||Jr.||Overland Park, Kan.|
|Michael Floyd, WR||So.||St. Paul, Minn.||Scott Smith, LB||Sr.||Highland Park, Ill.|
|Kyle McCarthy, SS||Sr.||Youngstown, Ohio||Sam Young, OT||Sr.||Coral Springs, Fla.|
|Kerry Neal, DE Jr. Bunn, N.C.|
HOW DO THEY STACK UP?
Average weight of the offensive and defensive lines:
Notre Dame OL 315.0 lbs. vs. Connecticut DL 263.8 lbs.
Notre Dame DL 273.8 lbs. vs. Connecticut OL 316.6 lbs.
Average height of the receivers and the secondaries:
Notre Dame WR/TE 6′ 2 1/3″ vs. Connecticut DB 5′ 11 1/2″
Notre Dame DB 6′ 0 1/2″ vs. Connecticut WR/TE 6′ 2 1/2″
NO TURNOVERS = VICTORY (USUALLY)
- Notre Dame is 54-4-1 since 1985 when its does not commit a turnover. The Irish are 14-4 in turnover-less games under head coach Charlie Weis. Notre Dame had an amazing 41-game unbeaten streak (40-0-1) in games without a turnover snapped in 2004 against USC. Prior to that game, the last time a Notre Dame team lost a game without committing a turnover was a 34-30 loss at Penn State on Nov. 12, 1983.
- Two of Notre Dame’s six victories in 2009 have been keynoted by errorless outings in the turnover department as the Irish collected wins over Nevada (35-0) and Boston College (20-16) while not losing the ball via a turnover.
CHARLIE AND THE IRISH OFFENSIVE FACTORY
- Fifth year head coach Charlie Weis came to Notre Dame with a tremendous reputation as one of the premier offensive minds in all of the NFL. The Irish saw immediate results in 2005, setting 11 school records, including passing yards (3,963), touchdown passes (32, bested in 2006 and equalled in 2008), total offense yards (5,728) and total points (440). Notre Dame has surpassed the 40-point barrier on 13 different occasions in Weis’ 60 games as head coach. Prior to his arrival, Notre Dame had eclipsed 40 points just 14 times in its previous 108 contests. In addition, the Irish had 83 separate 100-yard receiving games over their first 116 seasons of football, but Notre Dame has had 40 under Weis. To put those numbers in perspective, Notre Dame averaged a 100-yard receiving effort every 13 games before Weis. Under Weis, the Irish are recording a 100-yard receiving effort a little better than every other game.
- Notre Dame quarterbacks eclipsed the 300-yard passing mark in a single-game on just 13 occasions prior to Weis’ arrival in South Bend (or the first 116 years of Irish football). Under his tutelage, Notre Dame quarterbacks have thrown for 300 or more yards in 17 different games. To truly understand that remarkable shift in passing success, Irish quarterbacks had a 300-yard game once every nine years prior to his arrival. Since 2005, Notre Dame signal callers have averaged a 300-yard passing game nearly once every three games.
- Junior QB Jimmy Clausen recently passed for at least 300 yards in four consecutive games, a first in Notre Dame history. It began with 401 at Hawaii last December, followed by efforts of 315 (Nevada), 336 (Michigan) and 300 (Michigan State) this season. Former All-American QB Brady Quinn, another Weis protege, had three consecutive 300 yard passing games during his record setting 2005 season.
- Clausen threw for a then career-high 422 yards and junior WR Golden Tate added a career-high 244 yards receiving in Notre Dame’s overtime victory over Washington. Clausen and Quinn, both under Weis, are the only two Irish quarterbacks to eclipse 400 yards passing more than once in a career. Clausen and Tate’s efforts rank eighth and second, respectively, on the all-time passing yards and receiving yards list in Notre Dame single-game history.
- In fact, nine of the top 10 single-game passing efforts and four of the top 10 single-game receiving efforts have come under Weis.
OFFENSE PILING UP YARDAGE
- The offense has been the highlight of the 2009 Notre Dame football season thus far. The Irish are currently ninth in the country in total offense (452.20) and are on pace for the highest ranking offensive season since the team ended the 1992 season ranked third in total offense. Currently, the Irish are averaging 321.30 passing yards per game and could break the school record of 330.3 set in 2005. Notre Dame finished that season ranked fourth in the country in passing offense and 10th overall in total offense at 477.3 yards per game. The school record for total offense yards per game is 510.5 set during the 1970 season.
- Notre Dame had eclipsed 5,000 total yards in a season just five times over its 116 years of football entering 2005. The Irish have registered 5,000 yard seasons twice under Weis. The 2009 edition is well on its way to giving Weis a third season with 5,000 or more total yards.
FORTUNE 500 OFFENSE
- One measuring stick for offensive production is games in which the team compiles over 500 yards of total offense. Notre Dame has accomplished that feat four times this season. The 2005 offense set the school record for 500-yard games with seven.
- Notre Dame opened the season with 510 yards of total offense against Nevada. The Irish have since exceeded that total in three different games (530 against Washington, 592 against Washington State and 512 against Navy).
- The Irish have eclipsed 500 yards of total offense in 11 games under Weis, including two of the last three games. Notre Dame posted back-to-back games with 500 yards or more of total offense against Washington State and Navy – first time since 2005 games against Washington and Purdue. The Irish actually recorded three straight games with 500 yards of total offense in 2005 – a feat Notre Dame fell short of against Pittsburgh.
- Here is a breakdown of Notre Dame’s 500-plus games in four comparable seasons:
1970 (six): 633 vs. Purdue, 513 vs. Michigan State, 600 vs. Navy, 574 vs. Army, 606 vs. Pittsburgh, 557 vs. USC
1992 (five): 561 vs. Northwestern, 509 vs. Michigan State, 580 vs. Purdue, 521 vs. Pittsburgh, 576 vs. Boston College
2005 (seven): 502 at Pittsburgh, 594 vs. Michigan State, 560 at Washington, 621 at Purdue, 511 vs. BYU, 505 vs. Navy, 663 at Stanford
2009 (four): 510 vs. Nevada, 530 vs. Washington, 592 vs. Washington State, 512 vs. Navy
- Notre Dame piled up 510 and 490 yards, respectively, over its first two games of this season. The 1,000 total yards were the most for the Irish over the first two weeks of a season since the Irish registered 1,051 yards of total offense to open the 1974 campaign.
- Notre Dame racked up 530 yards of total offense against Washington. The 530 yards were the most for the Irish since they rolled up 663 yards at Stanford to close the 2005 regular season.
- Notre Dame surpassed that 530 total just a couple weeks later. The Irish rolled up 592 yards of total offense in the rout of Washington State (fourth most in the Weis era).
- Notre Dame has registered 500 or more yards of total offense in 11 different games under Weis (a span of 60 games). The Irish managed 500 yards or more of total offense 10 times over the previous 110 games before his arrival.
BY LAND, SEA AND MOST DEFINITELY AIR
- Sophomore WR Michael Floyd and junior WR Golden Tate both registered 100-yard receiving games for the second consecutive week against No. 8 Pittsburgh, marking the first time in school history the Irish have had a pair of receivers eclipse 100 yards in consecutive weeks. It is the third time this season the duo has accomplished the feat in the same game (Tate and Floyd notched 100-yard games against Navy and Michigan). Oddly, the Irish have lost all three contests.
- Notre Dame has posted multiple receivers with 100-yard games 11 different times in school history and nine have come under Weis’ tutelage.
- Floyd and Tate have teamed up for four such games over their careers – surpassing the previous school record of three 100-yard receiving games by a duo (Maurice Stovall and Jeff Samardzija in 2005).
- Notre Dame has had eight players register 56 or more receptions in a single season. Five of those eight players have come during the Weis era, including former All-American WR Jeff Samardzija’s school record of 78 in 2006. The feat has been accomplished in 11 different seasons, eight of which came under Weis’ guidance.
- Tate now has 1,172 yards receiving this season, which ranks second best in single-season school history. He only trails Jeff Samardzija’s total of 1,249 from the 2005 season. Tate has 2,383 career receiving yards, which ranks fourth best in Notre Dame career history. He also moved into a tie for fourth on the all-time career receptions list (Jim Seymour, 1966-68, 138). Tate’s 74 catches this season rank fourth-best in single-season school history.
- Six of the top eight best individual receiving yard seasons have come under Weis.
- The 1,000-yard receiving barrier in a single season has been eclipsed seven times in Notre Dame history. Five of those seven seasons have come since Weis’ arrival in 2005.
- The Irish had four players catch at least five passes against Navy: sophomore WR Michael Floyd (10), junior WR Golden Tate (9), junior RB Robert Hughes (6) and senior WR Robby Parris (5). The last time Notre Dame had at least four players with 5+ catches was against North Carolina last season (junior RB Armando Allen 7, Floyd 6, Tate 5 and junior WR Duval Kamara 5).
TEAM RECORDS IN JEOPARDY
Notre Dame is on pace to break several team single-season offensive records from the modern era this season. Here is an overview of the team records that could be threatened fall this season:
|Record||Number (Year)||2009||Record||Number (Year)||2009|
|Pass Attempts||471 (2006)||372||Pass Attempts Per Game||37.8 (2005)||37.2|
|Pass Completions||294 (2005)||248||Pass Completions Per Game||24.5 (2005)||24.8|
|Completion Percentage||.648 (2005)||.667||Lowest Interception Percentage||.015 (2006)||.013|
|Passing Yards||3,963 (2005)||3,213||Passing Yards Per Game||330.2 (2005)||321.3|
|Touchdown Passes||37 (2006)||23||Total Offense Attempts||945 (2005)||713|
|Total Offense Yards||5728 (2005)||4522||Total Offense Yards Per Game||510.5 (1970)||452.2|
|Total Offense Yards Per Attempt||6.59 (1991)||6.34||First Downs||314 (2005)||251|
|First Downs Per Game||29.2 (1968)||25.1||First Downs By Passing||169 (2005)||139|
MORE ON WEIS’ OFFENSE
- Notre Dame has registered three of its top four passing seasons in school history under Weis. The Irish averaged 330.3 yards (1st) in the air in 2005, 264.7 (2nd) in 2006 and 245.4 (4th) in 2008. Notre Dame has averaged 321.3 yards per game passing so far in 2009.
- The Irish have eclipsed 475 or more total yards in 15 games under Weis, including seven of Notre Dame’s last 11 games (Notre Dame still managed 437 yards in one of those contests). Weis has served as offensive coordinator and play caller for each of those games.
- Notre Dame ranks tied for third in the FBS in total first downs with 250. The Irish recorded 31 and 32 first downs, respectively, against Washington State and Navy. The 63 combined first downs were the most for Notre Dame over a two-game span since playing Washington and Purdue in 2005.
- Notre Dame racked up 27 first downs against Michigan and USC – the most by an Irish squad since Oct 7, 2006 against Stanford – before eclipsing that total in the rout of Washington State.
- The Irish followed up the offensive outburst against Michigan with an equally impressive output against Michigan State. Notre Dame registered 25 more first downs.
- Notre Dame has totaled at least 20 first downs in each of its first 10 games this season. The Irish have not opened a season with 10 consecutive games of 20 or more first downs since 1974 when Notre Dame totaled 20+ first downs in all 11 regular season games.
IRISH OFFENSE MOVES THE CHAINS
- Notre Dame ranks eighth in the nation in passing efficiency. The Irish have a 156.97 quarterback rating. Notre Dame also ranks 11th in time of possession (32:30), tied for third in first downs (25.00/gm), fifth in passing offense (321.30/gm), ninth in total offense (452.20/gm) and 46th in scoring offense (29.30/gm).
- Prior to sophomore WR Michael Floyd and junior RB Armando Allen’s injuries that caused each to miss the Purdue game, Notre Dame was the only offense among all 120 FBS schools that had a running back rank among the top 20 in rushing yards per game, two wide receivers rank among the top 20 in receiving yards per game and a quarterback rank among the top 20 in passing yards per game. Floyd ranked seventh (119.33 ypg), junior QB Jimmy Clausen ranked eighth (317.0 ypg), Allen ranked tied for 15th (108.67 ypg) and junior WR Golden Tate ranked 20th (100.33 ypg).
- The quartet has also made its fair share of big plays already in 2009. Clausen has 38 completions over 20 yards, Tate has 16 20+ yard receptions, Floyd has collected 10 passes over 20 yards and Allen has ripped off 12 runs of at least 10 yards. Sophomore Kyle Rudolph has even added four receptions over 20 yards from the tight end position.
- Notre Dame did not have a single three-and-out in the victory over Michigan State. In fact, the Irish had just four three-and-outs over their first three games and three came against Michigan.
- The Irish did not have a three-and-out in the rout of Washington State or against Navy, but did have two in the loss at No. 8 Pittsburgh. Notre Dame has recorded four games this season without a single three-and-out drive. Here is a look at how Notre Dame compares to the rest of the country in terms of three-and-outs.