April 16, 2011
-Saturday, April 16, 2011
-2:06 p.m. EST
-Notre Dame Stadium (80,795); Notre Dame, Ind.
-Versus national telecast with Tom Hammond (play-by-play), Mike Mayock (analysis), Shaun King (sideline), Rob Hyland (producer) and Pierre Moossa (director).
-Available through the Notre Dame athletics ticket office (574-631-7356). The cost is $12 for adults, $8 for youths (18 and under). Tickets purchased on gameday will cost $15 for adults, $10 for youths (18 and under).
-NewsTalk 960 WSBT-AM will air the game live with Darin Pritchett (play-by-play) and Rick Carter (analysis) on the call.
-This is the 82nd annual Blue-Gold spring football event, Notre Dame’s final controlled scrimmage of the 2011 spring season.
PROCEEDS OF THE GAME
-Proceeds from the Blue-Gold scrimmage benefit the scholarship fund of the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley, which is sponsoring Saturday’s game.
-A special VIP Brunch ticket offers fans a full day of activities with the Irish, including joining the squad for its pregame meal. The brunch will be held at 10:00 a.m. EST in the Joyce Center Fieldhouse (doors open at 9:15 a.m.). All those attending the brunch also will have exclusive access to an autograph session with the current players.
-There will be limited seats available in the Notre Dame Stadium press box where fans can have the same view as media covering Irish football. Fans seated in the press box receive a game program as well as the same press box lunch fare served to media (hot dogs, soup, popcorn, soft drinks). The press box is available any time after 11:00 a.m.
-Purchase limit of four total press box tickets. Due to limited quantities, the purchase of both Press Box and VIP Brunch Tickets is prohibited.
-A free-to-all interactive fan fest will take place from 10:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the Joyce Center South parking lot.
-All former Irish football players are invited back for the weekend.
-Much of the Blue-Gold crowd typically has been of the walk-up variety on gameday. The attendance when the game has been played at Notre Dame Stadium has been routinely at least 20,000 fans. Three of the five largest crowds have occurred in the last five years. Here are the five largest crowds in Blue-Gold game history:
RULES OF THE GAME
-The Blue-Gold Game features a matchup of teams selected by the Irish coaching staff prior to the contest. Notre Dame’s coaches will treat this like a real game and will be split between the sideline and coaches booth. There will be four 15-minute quarters. First half will be played with normal clock rules and the second half will feature two 15-minute running quarters. Officials may stop the clock at their discretion at any time for injuries, measurements, etc. Each team will be allowed three timeouts per half (clock will stop at each timeout). Halftime will last 15 minutes.
-Each team will dress in the home locker room.
-All turnovers are live ball situations. After a score by either team, the other team will start the next possession on the 30-yard line.
-No kickoffs or kickoff returns will be used as the ball will be placed at offense’s 30-yard line to start a possession. On punts, there will be no rush and no contact on return men.
-Field goals and extra points will be live.
-Some players may change teams during the course of the game, including senior RB Patrick Coughlin, sophomore DE Bruce Heggie, sophomore DB Bennett Jackson, sophomore WR Luke Massa, junior WR Nick Fitzpatrick, senior DB Nick Lezynski, freshman RB Tyler Plantz and senior NG Brandon Newman.
OTHER WEEKEND EVENTS AT NOTRE DAME
Friday, April 15
-Unveiling of The Shirt 2011, the official student section T-shirt – Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore front lawn, 4:00 p.m.
-Baseball vs. West Virginia – Frank Eck Stadium, 7:00 p.m. (Tickets Required)
Saturday, April 16
-Notre Dame Stadium Gates open at 11:30 a.m.
-Softball vs. Louisville (DH) – Melissa Cook Stadium, Noon and 2:00 p.m. (Free Admission)
-Women’s Lacrosse vs. Connecticut – Arlotta Family Stadium, Noon (Free Admission)
-Baseball vs. West Virginia – Frank Eck Stadium, 4:05 p.m. (Free Admission)
-Men’s Lacrosse vs. St. John’s – Arlotta Family Stadium, 7:00 p.m. (Free with Blue-Gold Game ticket stub)
Sunday, April 17
-Softball vs. Louisville – Melissa Cook Stadium, Noon (Free with Blue-Gold Game ticket stub)
-Baseball vs. West Virginia – Frank Eck Stadium, 1:05 p.m. (Free with Blue-Gold Game ticket stub)
KELLY’S WINNING WAYS
-In his first year at Notre Dame, Brian Kelly helped the Irish secure a 6-1 record when leading after three quarters and a 8-1 mark entering halftime with a lead.
-Since 2005 at Central Michigan, Kelly’s teams are 48-2 when leading after three quarters and 47-3 when taking the lead into halftime.
-Since 2006, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly has compiled the fifth-most wins of any active NCAA FBS coach. Kelly has gone on to win 51 contests (51-15 overall) to tie him with Frank Beamer of Virginia Tech over that span. The only coaches ahead of Kelly in that time frame are Chris Peterson of Boise State (61), Jim Tressel of Ohio State (55), Gary Patterson of TCU (55) and Bob Stoops of Oklahoma (54).
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-Since 2001, Kelly has totaled the fourth-most wins among all active FBS coaches. Kelly is 102-29 over the last 10 seasons and trails only Bob Stoops (109-26), Mack Brown (106-23) and Jim Tressel (105-22) for best coaching record this decade.
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-Brian Kelly ranks as the fifth most successful active NCAA FBS coach in winning percentage and seventh in victories. Here is a look at the top 10 winningest active coaches in the FBS (min. six years completed as FBS head coach, record at four-year colleges only):
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IRISH HOT DOWN THE STRETCH
-Prior to 2010, Notre Dame had not posted a four-game winning streak to end the season since 2005. The Irish captured their last five games of ’05.
-The Irish last posted an undefeated November in 2005. Notre Dame has only posted four undefeated Novembers over the last 15 years.
-The Irish owned a 3-10 mark in November over the previous three seasons entering 2010.
-Notre Dame entered its meeting with Miami riding a three-game winning streak. The Irish registered their fourth consecutive victory, which was the longest winning streak since 2006 when Notre Dame captured eight straight games.
-The Irish closed a season with four or more straight wins for the first time since 1992. Notre Dame closed the ’92 season with seven consecutive victories.
DEFENSE AWFULLY STINGY DOWN THE STRETCH
-In the final three games of the regular season, Bob Diaco’s defense limited teams averaging at least 31 points per game to 22 combined points – the fewest points allowed by a Notre Dame defense in three straight games since the 1993 season.
-Only four touchdowns were scored against the Irish defense in the final five games of last season.
-Notre Dame’s defense allowed just two offensive touchdowns over its last four games of 2010 (Tulsa, Utah, Army and USC) of the regular season. The Irish then held Miami out of the end zone over the first three quarters.
-Notre Dame’s rush defense was dominant over its last four games of 2010 (victories over Utah, Army, USC and Miami). The Irish limited the Utes, Black Knights, Trojans and Hurricanes to an average of 91.8 yards on the ground.
Defense Over The Final Four Games
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-Notre Dame held five opponents in 2010, Boston College (five yards), Western Michigan (37 yards), Utah (71 yards), USC (74) and Miami (87), to under 100 yards on the ground. The Irish had not held five opponents under 100 yards rushing in a game since the 2006 season when Notre Dame kept five opponents under the 100-yard rushing barrier, including three in back-to-back-to-back weeks.
-Notre Dame limited Utah, Army, USC and Miami on the ground to significant worse numbers than those teams average against everyone else on the 2010 schedule.
|UTAHVs.||Notre DameVs.||Everyone Else|
|Average Per Rush||2.4||4.9|
|ARMYVs.||Notre DameVs.||Everyone Else|
|Average Per Rush||3.1||4.7|
|USCVs.||Notre DameVs.||Everyone Else|
|Average Per Rush||2.6||5.3|
|MIAMIVs.||Notre DameVs.||Everyone Else|
|Average Per Rush||3.5||4.9|
-Notre Dame limited Miami to a season-low 87 yards rushing. The Hurricanes’ previous low total was 100 yards rushing in a 30-3 victory over Pittsburgh on Sept. 23. Miami has not been limited to fewer rushing yards in a game since Oct. 31, 2009 when Wake Forest held the Hurricanes to 26 yards on the ground.
DEFENSE SO IMPROVED
-Notre Dame drastically improved its defense in nearly every measurable defensive statistic in 2010. Here is a comparison between the 2010 Irish defense and the 2009 Notre Dame defense.
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-Bob Diaco’s defense was drastically better than the 2009 Notre Dame defense. The Irish allowed 5.69 fewer points per game, 40.5 fewer yards per game, averaged one half sack more per game and forced more turnovers in 2010 than 2009.
-The 2010 defense was dramatically improved compared to the 2009 defense in almost every statistical category: scoring defense (from 63rd in ’09 to 23rd in ’10), pass efficiency (82nd to 25th), rushing defense (89th to 50th) and total defense (86th to 50th).
-Notre Dame’s NCAA defensive rankings in total defense, rushing defense, passing defense and scoring defense improved by at least 22 spots in 2010 when compared to where the 2009 defense ranked. That marked just the first time since 1992 and only the second time in the last 30 years that an Irish defense jumped at least 20 spots in the NCAA rankings in each of those categories.
WINNING FORMULA PRETTY SIMPLE FOR IRISH -In the eight Notre Dame wins, the average run/pass ratio was 34.9/30.3. In the five losses, the ratio was 27.0/47.6
-Notre Dame was 5-0 last season in games it rushed more times than it passed and 3-5 in games it passed more than it ran.
-When Notre Dame opponents rushed more than they passed against the Irish, they were 5-1 but were 0-7 if they passed more than they rushed.
-In the eight Notre Dame wins, no team averaged more than 3.5 yards per rush but in the five losses, only one Irish opponent averaged fewer than 4.7 yards per carry.
-In 2010, Notre Dame averaged 126.6 rushing yards per game, however, the Irish averaged 140.1 rushing yards in games they won and only 104.0 yards rushing in games they lost.
-Notre Dame outrushed seven of its 13 opponents in 2010, including all four opponents to close the season. The Irish went 7-0 in those contests (Purdue, Boston College, Western Michigan, Utah, Army, USC and Miami). Notre Dame owns a 27-game winning streak when outrushing its opponent. The Irish have not lost a game when outrushing their foe since Dec. 28, 2004 when Notre Dame lost to Oregon State, 38-21, in the Insight Bowl.
-In those seven games, Notre Dame averaged 148.4 rushing yards on the ground. The Irish defense allowed a total of 84 points (12.0 per game) and only one team scored more than 17 (Western Michigan).
-In the six games Notre Dame did not outrush its opponent, the Irish allowed 29.8 points per game and the only game the Irish were outrushed AND the opponent scored fewer than 28 points was Notre Dames win against Pitt when the Panthers totaled 17 points.
-Notre Dame rushed for a season-high 196 yards on a season-high 48 carries in the Hyundai Sun Bowl rout of Miami (Fla.). The 196 yards rushing was the most for the Irish since rumbling for 255 yards against Washington State on Oct. 31, 2009. The 48 carries were the most for Notre Dame since the same contest.
-Since 1998, Notre Dame is 37-4 when it runs the ball for 200 yards, 55-11 when it runs the ball for 150 yards and 64-19 when it registers 38 or more carries in a game.
BYE WEEK IMPROVEMENTS
-In the first nine games of 2010, Notre Dame running backs rushed 254 times for 900 yards (average of 28 carries for 100 yards per game and 3.5 yard average).
Following the bye week, Irish running backs rushed 127 times for 617 yards (average of 32 carries for 154 yards and 4.9 yard average).
-Notre Dame’s offensive line allowed 17 sacks through the first nine games but only three sacks in the last four games.
SECURING THE ROCK
-Notre Dame running backs only lost two fumbles in 359 combined rushes and receptions in 2010 (sophomore RB Cierre Wood fumble following a reception and Armando Allen fumble following a rushing attempt). In fact, both fumbles occurred at Boston College so the Irish running backs did not lose a fumble in 12 of 13 games last year. Over the past two seasons, Tim Hinton-coached running backs at Cincinnati and Notre Dame have only lost one fumble in 630 rushing attempts.
IRISH OFFENSIVE LINE KEEP THE QUARTERBACK UPRIGHT
-Miami entered the Hyundai Sun Bowl matchup with Notre Dame ranked sixth in the FBS in sacks per game (3.08). The Irish did not allow a single sack in the game. The Hurricanes had registered at least one sack in 10 of their 12 regular season games.
-The Irish offensive line allowed 20 sacks over their 13 games in 2010, which averages out to 1.54 sacks per game. Notre Dame has not allowed fewer sacks per game since 1998 when the Irish allowed only nine sacks in 11 games or 0.82 per game (NCAA did not recognize stats from bowl games).
IRISH SHORT ON LAUNDRY
-Notre Dame was called for one penalty in the victory at USC. It marked the fourth time this season that the Irish were whistled for two penalties or less. Notre Dame was called for one penalty in the loss vs. Navy (Oct. 23) and two penalties in victories over Boston College (Oct. 2) and Purdue (Sept. 4). Notre Dame has not gone a complete game without a penalty since Nov. 15, 1997 at LSU.
-Notre Dame ranked tied for seventh in the FBS in penalties per game (4.46) and 15th in penalty yards per game (40.85).
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-Four returning veterans have changed jersey numbers for the 2011 spring season. Sophomore DB Bennett Jackson has donned No. 2, junior WR Robby Toma has sported No. 9, sophomore NG Louis Nix has also worn No. 9 and sophomore QB Tommy Rees has donned No. 11.
-A quintet of Irish players underwent position changes during spring practice. Freshman Brad Carrico, who played defensive line in high school, moved to offensive line. Sophomore Austin Collinsworth moved from wide receiver to safety. Sophomore Justin Utupo moved from outside linebacker to inside linebacker. Sophomore Bennett Jackson moved from wide receiver to defensive back. Sophomore Luke Massa moved from quarterback to wide receiver.
WALK-ON PLAYERS JOIN THE IRISH SQUAD THIS SPRING
Two walk-on Irish players also have been added to the 2011 spring roster. Freshman RB Tyler Plantz (Frankfort, Ill./Providence Catholic) is wearing No. 49 and freshman WR Ryan Liebscher (Colorado Springs, Colo./Cheyenne Mountain HS) is sporting No. 39.
SIX FOOTBALL STUDENT-ATHLETES APPROVED FOR FIFTH YEAR
-Six seniors on the University of Notre Dame football team have been approved to return for a fifth year by the school’s Faculty Board on Athletics.
-OT Taylor Dever, CB Gary Gray, OL Andrew Nuss, TE Mike Ragone, PK David Ruffer and S Harrison Smith have either already graduated or will graduate this May. The sextet will then enroll in the graduate studies program at Notre Dame.
TE’O PACKS A HAWAIIAN PUNCH
-Sophomore LB Manti Te’o was named to the 2011 Lott Trophy Watch List, Ronnie Lott and the Pacific IMPACT Foundation recently announced.
-Te’o paced the Irish last year with 133 tackles and his nine and a half tackles for loss ranked second on the team. He was named a second-team All-American by SI.com after the season and Te’o was also a semifinalist in 2010 for both the Bednarik Award (top collegiate defender) and Butkus Trophy (top collegiate linebacker).
-Off the gridiron, Te’o has excelled in the classroom and in the community. He has earned a 3.487 cumulative grade-point average at Notre Dame and has volunteered dozens of hours at a local youth center. While he was in high school, the former Eagle Scout volunteered his time at Hawaii Special Olympics and with the Head Start preschool program.
-Among FBS retuning players in 2011, Te’o ranks tied for eighth in total tackles (133), tied for eighth in assisted tackles (67), 12th in tackles per game (10.23) and 13th in solo stops (66).
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Harrison Smith LEADS ACTIVE IRISH SECONDARY
-Senior S Harrison Smith collected three interceptions in the first half alone of the Hyundai Sun Bowl. The three interceptions not only equaled a school record, but is also equaled the Sun Bowl record. Smith became 14th Notre Dame player to accomplish the feat and first since Shane Walton against Maryland in 2002. Buddy McClinton of Auburn had three interceptions in the 1968 Sun Bowl.
-Smith’s three interceptions was an Irish bowl game record. It bested Elmer Layden’s previous school record of two picks set against Stanford in the 1925 Rose Bowl.
-Smith finished 2010 with seven interceptions, which ranked fourth nationally in total picks and interceptions per game. Smith also joined Jayron Hosley of Virginia Tech and Marco Nelson of Tulsa as the only three players in the FBS in 2010 to record three interceptions in one game.
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-The seven interceptions not only rank tied for the sixth-most in school history, but are the most for an Irish player since Shane Walton had seven in 2002.
Interceptions – Season
-In the last 20 years, only one group of Notre Dame defensive backs have totaled more interceptions in a season than the 15 picks the 2010 group recorded (2002 group had 16 interceptions).
-The 11 touchdown passes against Notre Dame’s defense in 2010 tied for eighth-fewest in the country.
-The improved coverage and tackling by the Irish defensive backs under Chuck Martin and Kerry Cooks helped Notre Dame allow only 10.2 yards per completion in 2010, the fewest yards allowed by a Notre Dame defense since 1993. The 10.2 yards per completion average was seventh-best in the FBS in 2010.
JOHNSON, FLEMING ENJOYING THEIR SACK LUNCHES
-Notre Dame junior LB Darius Fleming (6.0, 11.5) and junior DE Ethan Johnson (5.0, 12.5) combined for 11.0 sacks in 2010 and 24.0 for their career.
-Fleming and Johnson are each gaining ground on both the season and career sack totals at Notre Dame. Sacks did not become an officially recognized statistics until 1982.
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BY LAND, CIERRE
-Junior RB Cierre Wood did not play as a freshman in 2009, but opened the 2010 campaign as the backup. He rushed for 58 yards on seven carries in the season-opener against Purdue, but managed just 19 yards on 10 carries over Notre Dame’s next four games.
-When Allen missed most of the Western Michigan game with injury, Wood stepped in and did not miss a beat. He ran for 94 yards on 11 rushes, including a 39-yard touchdown run.
-The 39-yard run was the longest by an Irish running back since Robert Hughes rumbled 45 yards at Stanford on Nov. 24, 2007. It was also the longest touchdown run by a Notre Dame running back since Ryan Grant registered a 46-yard touchdown run at Stanford on Nov. 29, 2003.
-Wood led the Irish in rushing with 603 yards on 119 carries, good for a 5.1 yard average per rush. He rushed for three touchdowns. Wood also collected 20 receptions for 170 yards and two receiving touchdowns. He added 15 kickoff returns for 300 yards and totaled 1,073 all-purpose yards (best on Irish).
-Wood averaged 5.1 yards per carry in 2010. Over the last 14 seasons, only one Notre Dame running back with at least 100 rushes in a single season posted a better yards per carry average than Wood (Julius Jones, 5.5 yards per carry in 2003).
-Wood registered 15 plays last season of 20 yards or more, including eight rushes, one reception and six kickoff returns. He recorded 21 rushes of 10 yards or more, 27 of his 119 carries resulted in a touchdown or first down, six of 17 rushing attempts on third down plays resulted in a touchdown or first down and eight of 20 receptions resulted in a touchdown of first down
-Against Tulsa on Oct. 31, 2010, Wood became the first Irish running back with two or more touchdown receptions in a game since Tony Fisher had a pair in a 42-28 victory over West Virginia on Oct. 21, 2000. He caught a six-yard touchdown pass from freshman QB Tommy Rees with 8:47 remaining in the third quarter to give Notre Dame a 27-18 lead. The touchdown was his fourth of the season, fourth of his career and fourth in the last three games (Tulsa, Navy and Western Michigan). Wood caught a lateral from freshman WR TJ Jones and raced 23 yards for a touchdown 1:21 to go in the first quarter to give the Irish a 13-12 lead. It was Wood’s first career touchdown reception.
-Wood started each of the last four regular season games in 2010 (Tulsa, Utah, Army and USC). He rushed for 387 yards on 76 carries over the span.
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-Wood finished the Army game with 88 yards rushing on 14 carries, good an average of 6.3 per rush. He registered 50 yards rushing on five carries during Notre Dame’s opening drive of the game.
-Wood led the Irish with 89 yards rushing on 15 carries in the victory at USC. He added a critical 26-yard run during Notre Dame’s fourth-quarter go-ahead touchown drive.
CRIST ESTABLISHED HIMSELF DESPITE LIMITED ACTION
-Junior QB Dayne Crist has made only nine career starts, all in 2010, and he entered the year following reconstructive knee surgery. Unfortunately, Crist was lost for the season after rupturing his patella tendon against Tulsa on Oct. 30. The injury occurred exactly one-day shy of the one-year anniversary of his torn ACL. -The signal caller completed 59.2% of his passes (174 of 294) for 2,033 yards and 15 touchdowns. Crist registered a passing efficiency of 129.3. He was ranked among the top 30 FBS quarterbacks in total passing yards (14th, 2,033), passing (22nd, 21.75 completions/game) and passing yards per game (27th, 254.13/game) prior to the injury.
-Here was a comparison between Crist and the more notable quarterbacks in Notre Dame history over their first eight career starts.
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-Only one quarterback in the FBS (Brandon Weeden of Oklahoma State) was ranked ahead of Crist in total passing yards that had started fewer career games prior to his season-ending injury against Tulsa. Weeden had thrown for 2,249 yards and started seven career games.
-There were only four quarterbacks (Weeden, Corey Robinson of Troy, Alex Carder of Western Michigan and Dan Persa of Northwestern) in the FBS that were ranked ahead of Crist in passing yards per game that had started fewer contests prior to his season-ending injury against Tulsa.
-There were only five quarterbacks (Carder, Weeden, Robinson, Persa and Matt Schilz of Bowling Green) in the FBS that were ranked ahead of Crist in passing that had started fewer games prior to his season-ending injury against Tulsa.
-There were only nine quarterbacks in the FBS ranked ahead of Crist in passing efficiency that had started fewer games than the Notre Dame junior (Robinson, Persa, Weeden, Carder, Tino Sunseri of Pittsburgh, Darron Thomas of Oregon, Geno Smith of West Virginia, Taylor Martinez of Nebraska and Ryan Katz of Oregon State) prior to his season-ending injury against Tulsa.
-Crist threw a touchdown pass in the first eight games of 2010 and his last nine games in an Irish uniform (which included the 2009 game against Washington State) before his season-ending injury against Tulsa (Crist played just one series). He registered at least two touchdown passes in four of those eight games. Crist twice threw three or more touchdown passes in 2010.
-Crist recorded a career-best 12 consecutive completions against Pittsburgh. The 12 straight completions was tied for the third-longest streak in school history. It was the longest streak by a Notre Dame quarterback since Brady Quinn connected on 14 straight passes against Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 2, 2006.
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-Crist surpassed the 300-yard passing barrier in consecutive weeks against Michigan State and Stanford. He completed for 25 of 44 passes for 304 yards and one touchdown against the Cardinal.
-Crist set career-highs in completions (32), attempts (55), passing yards (369) and touchdown passes (four) against Michigan State. No Irish quarterback has ever thrown for more touchdown passes in his first career start on the road. Crist’s 32 completions, 55 attempts and four touchdown passes rank tied for fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively, in Notre Dame single-game history.
-Crist eclipsed 300 yards passing for the first time in his career against the Spartans. He went 12 for 14 for 149 yards and two touchdowns in the third quarter alone. score, 21-21.
-Crist served as the quarterback for nine of Notre Dame’s 17 possessions in the game against Michigan. The Irish offense totaled 363 of their 535 yards in those series. Notre Dame also scored all 24 points of the contest in those series and averaged 8.9 yards per play compared to zero points and 4.8 yards per play in other eight series without Crist.
-Crist passed for 277 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in slightly more than one half of football against the Wolverines.
CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK
-Sophomore WR Theo Riddick still finished 2010 with 414 yards receiving, 40 catches and three touchdown receptions, each of which ranked second on the Irish, despite missing four games.
-Riddick was somewhat slow in his progression at wideout over Notre Dame’s first two games of 2010. He managed just four grabs for 52 yards vs. Purdue and Michigan, but the wide receiver found his form over a four-game stretch against Michigan State, Stanford, Boston College and Pittsburgh. Riddick totaled 33 receptions for 343 yards and three touchdowns (all team-highs over the four-game stretch). He managed just one catch against Western Michigan before he was sidelined by an injury.
-Riddick entered the Michigan State game with four receptions for 52 yards, but finished the contest with a career-high 10 catches for 128 yards and one touchdown. He registered his first career 100-yard receiving game. Riddick posted two grabs for 42 yards on Notre Dame’s opening scoring drive of the second half (an 18- and 24-yard grab). He hauled in a 15-yard touchdown pass from Crist with 1:29 to go in the third quarter to tie the score, 21-21.
-Riddick’s 10 receptions against Michigan State are tied for the ninth-most in single-game school history. In fact, his output is tied for the third-most ever by an Irish sophomore wideout. Notre Dame junior WR Michael Floyd also hauled in 10 catches against Navy on Nov. 7, 2009. Jim Seymour, who was a first-year player, but a sophomore elgibility wise, has the two highest outputs. He had games with 13 and 11 catches in 1966.
REES PIECES TOGETHER WIN FOR IRISH
-Freshman QB Tommy Rees was the ninth freshman quarterback to start for the Irish in the last 60 seasons (1951-present), joining Ralph Guglielmi (1951), Blair Kiel (1980), Steve Beuerlein (1983), Kent Graham (1987), Paul Failla (1991), Matt LoVecchio (2000), Brady Quinn (2003) and Jimmy Clausen (2007) in that elite club.
-Rees became the first Irish freshman quarterback to knock off a top 20 opponent since Blair Kiel helped Notre Dame get past No. 13 Miami, Fla., 32-14. Rees threw for the most touchdown passes (three) by a freshman in his first career start in school history. Rees also threw for the fourth-most yards ever by an Irish quarterback in his first start (second-most ever by a Notre Dame rookie quarterback in a victory).
-Rees was the first Irish rookie quarterback to ever throw four touchdown passes in a single game. The four touchdown passes against Tulsa is tied with numerous others for the sixth-most in single-game school history. Rees completed 33 of 54 passes for 334 yards – the most ever by a quarterback that did not start the game. His 300-yard game was the 35th in school history and second-ever by a Notre Dame freshman. Brady Quinn is the only other freshman signal caller to throw for at least 300 yards in a single game (350, Oct. 25, 2003 at Boston College).
-Rees became the first freshman quarterback in Notre Dame history to ever lead the Irish to a victory in a bowl game. He also was the first-ever, first-year starter (regardless of class) to lead Notre Dame to a bowl game victory.
-Prior to Rees, freshmen or sophomore quarterbacks who are first-year starters at Notre Dame had a tough history in bowl games. From 1972 through 2004, they were 0-6 while averaging only 13 points per game.
-They include 1972 sophomore Tom Clements (40-6 to Nebraska), 1980 freshman Blair Kiel (17-10 to Georgia), 1990 sophomore Rick Mirer (10-9 to Colorado), 1994 sophomore Ron Powlus (41-24 to Colorado), 2000 freshman Matt LoVecchio (41-9 to Oregon State) and 2004 sophomore Brady Quinn (38-21 to Oregon State). However, all but Quinn played a top-5 team.
-Jimmy Clausen was a sophomore QB in 2008 when the Irish crushed Hawaii 49-21 in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, but it was Clausen’s second season as a starter, not first.
-Rees set a single-season freshman school record with 12 touchdown passes in 2010. He also established a single-season freshman record in completions percentage (.610). Rees ranked among the top-five in the following categories for Irish freshman quarterbacks.
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TYLER’S EIFERT HAS NOT GONE UNNOTICED
-Sophomore TE Tyler Eifert played in the 2009 season opener as a freshman, but missed the remainder of the year after suffering back injury. He entered the 2010 campaign behind junior All-American and John Mackey Award candidate Kyle Rudolph.
-Eifert played somewhat sparingly in each of the first four games in 2010 (totaled one reception for 17 yards against Michigan) and then missed back-to-back games against Boston College and Pittsburgh.
-Eifert was forced into the starting lineup following Rudolph’s season-ending injury. He started seven consecutive games and made an immediate impact for the Irish.
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-Eifert’s top game of his career came in the defeat of Army. He recorded four catches for a career-best 78 yards and one touchdown. He hauled in a 31-yard touchdown pass from freshman QB Tommy Rees to give the Irish a 17-3 lead with 8:01 remaining before halftime. The touchdown reception was his second of the season and career. Eifert also had a 35-yard grab to setup senior RB Robert Hughes’ one-yard touchdown plunge that gave the Irish a 10-3 advantage.
-Eifert earned the John Mackey Tight End of the Week Award for his effort against Army.
-Eifert registered six receptions of 20 yards or more and 14 of his 23 catches resulted in a touchdown or first down in 2010. In fact, five of seven receptions on third down plays resulted in a touchdown or first down.
David Ruffer HAS PERFECT 20/20 VISION
-Senior PK David Ruffer converted the first 23 field goals of his career. The 23 straight field goals was the longest streak in school history.
-Prior to his only career miss against Miami (Fla.) in the Hyundai Sun Bowl, Ruffer was the only kicker in the FBS in 2010 still perfect in field goal attempts. He also was the only kicker in the FBS still perfect for his career. Ruffer still leads all active kickers in field goal percentage.
-Ruffer, who accumulated a 3.90 GPA in economics, was named to the 2010 First Team ESPN Academic All-AmericaÂ® Football Team. He became the 31st different Irish football player (37th overall selection) to be voted a first-team Academic All-American and the first since John Carlson in 2006. Ruffer gives the Irish football program 55 academic All-American honorees in program history, which ranks second best in the nation. Notre Dame ranks second all-time with 218 Academic All-Americans since the program’s inception in 1952. What’s more, 92 Irish student-athletes have earned the Academic All-America distinction during the past 11-plus years (2000-present), tops among any school in the country.
-Ruffer’s 23 straight field goals was the longest active streak in the FBS. The NCAA record for consecutive field goals converted is 30 by Chuck Nelson of Washington in 1981-82. He also holds the NCAA record for consecutive field goals made in a single season (25, 1982).
Most Consecutive Field Goals – Career
|1.||David Ruffer||(Pittsburgh 2009 – Miami 2010)||23|
|2.||Nick Tausch||(Michigan 2009 – Washington State 2009)||14|
|3.||Mike Johnston||(Michigan 1982 – Oregon 1982)||13|
|4.||John Carney||(Navy 1984 – Michigan 1985)||10|
|5.||Nicholas Setta||(USC 2000 – USC 2001)||9|
|Nicholas Setta||(Washington State 2003 – Purdue 2003)||9|
|D.J. Fitzpatrick||(Navy 2003 – BYU 2004)||9|
-Ruffer’s 18 field goals rank as the third-most in single-season school history.
Field Goals – Season
-Ruffer’s 18 straight field goals in one season is an Irish school record.
Most Consecutive Field Goals – Season
-Ruffer’s 12 kicking points this afternoon are a Notre Dame bowl record. His three field goals also equals another single-game Notre Dame bowl record (Scott Cengia had three in the 1997 Independence Bowl).
-Ruffer’s 50-yard field goal is tied for the sixth-longest in school history. Ruffer became the second Irish place kicker to ever register multiple field goals of 50 yards or longer in the same season. Harry Oliver had a pair of 50+ yard kicks in 1980. He also became the third kicker in school history to connect on multiple field goals of 50 yards or longer in his career.
Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley Scholarship Students for 2011
Nicholas Frecker, Wawasee High School
Katelin Hansen, Marian High School
Stephen Housman, Concord High School Frances Kelsey, St. Joseph’s High SchoolK. G. Koch, Marian High School
Claire Kucela, St. Joseph’s High School
Michael Prough, Northridge High School
Lindsay Renz, Plymouth High SchoolEllen Roof, St. Joseph’s High School
Denise Tarnowski, Lakeshore High School
Jamie Trost, The Indiana Academy
Emily Voorde, Marian High School
Connor Walsh, Penn High School
Thomas Wiegand, St. Joseph’s High School
Ivy Yen, Penn High School