Nov. 9, 2009
ABC national telecast with Brent Musburger (play-by-play), Kirk Herbstreit (analysis) and Lisa Salters (sideline).
ISP Sports is the exclusive national rights-holder for Irish football radio broadcasts. ISP manages, produces and syndicates the Irish national football radio network. Notre Dame games will be broadcast by Don Criqui (play-by-play), former Irish great Allen Pinkett (analysis) and Jeff Jeffers providing pre-game, sideline and postgame reports. This broadcast can be heard live on SIRIUS Satellite Radio (channel 159) and XM Satellite Radio (channel 117).
All Notre Dame games may be heard in South Bend on Sunny 101.5 FM and NewsTalk 960 WSBT-AM.
Notre Dame has played in front of sellout crowds in 72 of its last 83 games away from home. In fact, the Irish have played in front of sellouts in 217 of their previous 251 games, including 92 of their last 103 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 games at Purdue and in San Antonio against Washington State were not sellouts).
Notre Dame (und.com), Pittsburgh (pittsburghpanthers.com)
Live in-game statistics will be provided through CBS College Sports Gametracker via each school’s respective official athletic website.
Pittsburgh is ranked eighth in the AP poll and ninth in the coaches poll. Notre Dame is unranked in both polls.
Saturday will mark the 65th meeting between Notre Dame and Pittsburgh, with the Irish holding a 44-19-1 series lead. The teams first played in 1909, ’11 and ’12 (all at Pittsburgh’s legendary Forbes Field), with Notre Dame blanking Pittsburgh in all three contests. The series resumed from 1930-37 before taking a five-year break. It picked up again from 1943-54, took ’55 off, and then played every year in a 23-season stretch (1956-78) before taking a four-year hiatus. They met in 1982 and ’83, 1986-92, ’96, ’97, ’99, 2001-05 and ’08 (more on the series history on pages 27-31).
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Senior OT Sam Young owns a streak of 47 consecutive starts — dating back to the 2006 season opener at Georgia Tech. He has started every game of his Irish career and is 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) own the school record for career starts with 48.
AN IRISH VICTORY THIS WEEK WOULD…
- Improve Notre Dame to 7-3 (.700) on the season.
- Improve Notre Dame to 3-1 (.750) this season away from Notre Dame Stadium.
- Improve Notre Dame to 45-19-1 (.700) in the all-time series with Pittsburgh.
- Improve Notre Dame to 26-9-1 (.736) in the all-time series against Pittsburgh on the road.
- Improve an unranked Notre Dame squad to 16-7 (.696) all-time against Pittsburgh.
- Improve an unranked Notre Dame squad to 11-3 (.786) all-time against Pittsburgh on the road.
- Improve an unranked Notre Dame squad to 5-3 (.625) all-time against a ranked Pittsburgh squad.
- Improve an unranked Notre Dame squad to 4-1 (.800) all-time against a ranked Pittsburgh squad on the road.
- Improve Notre Dame to 11-6 (.647) all-time against Pittsburgh when the Panthers are ranked.
- Improve Notre Dame to 6-2 (.750) all-time against Pittsburgh when the Panthers are ranked on the road.
- Improve Notre Dame to 57-22-1 (.719) all-time against the BIG EAST.
- Improve Notre Dame to 31-10-1 (.750) all-time against the BIG EAST on the road.
- Improve Notre Dame’s all-time record to 838-287-42 (.736).
- Improve Notre Dame’s all-time road record to 292-142-22 (.664).
- Improve Weis’ Notre Dame record to 36-24 (.600) overall, 2-1 (.667) against Pittsburgh and 3-2 (.600) against the BIG EAST.
- Improve Weis’ road record to 13-9 (.591) overall, 2-0 (1.000) against Pittsburgh and 2-0 (1.000) against the BIG EAST.
- Improve Weis’ record to 12-8 (.600) in November games.
- Improve Weis’ record to 9-5 (.643) in night games.
AN IRISH DEFEAT THIS WEEK WOULD…
- Drop Notre Dame to 6-4 (.600) on the season.
- Drop Notre Dame to 2-2 (.500) this season away from Notre Dame Stadium.
- Drop Notre Dame to 44-20-1 (.685) in the all-time series with Pittsburgh.
- Drop Notre Dame to 25-10-1 (.708) in the all-time series against Pittsburgh on the road.
- Drop an unranked Notre Dame squad to 15-8 (.652) all-time against Pittsburgh.
- Drop an unranked Notre Dame squad to 10-4 (.714) all-time against Pittsburgh on the road.
- Drop an unranked Notre Dame squad to 4-4 (.500) all-time against a ranked Pittsburgh squad.
- Drop an unranked Notre Dame squad to 3-2 (.600) all-time against a ranked Pittsburgh squad on the road.
- Drop Notre Dame to 10-7 (.588) all-time against Pittsburgh when the Panthers are ranked.
- Drop Notre Dame to 5-3 (.625) all-time against Pittsburgh when the Panthers are ranked on the road.
- Drop Notre Dame to 56-23-1 (.706) all-time against the BIG EAST.
- Drop Notre Dame to 30-11-1 (.726) all-time against the BIG EAST on the road.
- Drop Notre Dame’s all-time record to 837-288-42 (.735).
- Drop Notre Dame’s all-time road record to 291-143-22 (.662).
- Drop Weis’ Notre Dame record to 35-25 (.583) overall, 1-2 (.333) against Pittsburgh and 2-3 (.400) against the BIG EAST.
- Drop Weis’ road record to 12-10 (.545) overall, 1-1 (.500) against Pittsburgh and 1-1 (.500) against the BIG EAST.
- Drop Weis’ record to 11-9 (.550) in November games.
- Drop Weis’ record to 8-6 (.571) in night games.
FOURTH QUARTER MAGIC
- Notre Dame did it again. The Irish 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 now 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 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.
- Notre Dame found themselves 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 foruth quarter. He completed 13 of 21 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns over the final 15 minutes of the contest.
- Notre Dame has become quite accustomed to nailbiting finishes. The Irish played in six consecutive games decided by seven points or less prior to the rout of Washington State.
- Notre Dame has now played in seven games this season decided by seven points or less and the Irish are 4-3 in those games. The seven games decided by seven points or less in a single season ties the school record. The 1990 Notre Dame squad also 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 equals 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 hasn’t happened in the 120-year history of Notre Dame football. The previous single-season school record for consecutive games decided seven points or less came during the 1939 season when the Irish started the season 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 has 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) and 1998 (4-1) 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. Charlie Weis is 12-9 (.571) in games decided by seven points or less.
DOWN TO THE WIRE
- Six of Notre Dame’s eight 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 24-27 vs. Nebraska (2000) L 33-36 vs. Pittsburgh (2008) W 34-31 vs. Air Force (2000) L 44-46 vs. Navy (2007) L 20-27 at USC (1996) L 41-44 vs. Michigan State (2005) L 17-20 vs. Air Force (1996) W 29-26 vs. Washington State (2003)
- 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.
NOTRE DAME IN NOVEMBER
- Notre Dame is 309-118-28 (.710) 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 116-63-16 (.636) in road games during November.
- The Irish are 50-12-5 (.784) in November neutral games.
- Notre Dame has gone 10-8 (.556) in November under head coach Charlie Weis.