Nov. 23, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
5:00 p.m. PT
Stanford Stadium (50,000)
- Notre Dame has played before a sellout in 73 of its last 84 games road games. In fact, the Irish have played in front of sellout crowds in 218 of their previous 252 games, including 93 of their last 104 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).
ABC split national telecast with Brent Musburger (play-by-play), Kirk Herbstreit (analysis) and Lisa Salters (sideline). The game will be broadcast reverse mirror on ESPN2 and online at ESPN360.com.
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), Stanford (gostanford.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 Stanford are ranked in the AP or coaches poll, but the Cardinal are receiving votes in each poll.
Notre Dame and Stanford will play one another for the 24th time in series history. The Irish hold a 17-6 (.739) edge in the series, including a 28-21 victory in the last season’s meeting in South Bend. The Irish have captured each of the last seven games with the Cardinal.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
- Notre Dame junior WR and Biletnikoff Finalist Golden Tate, who already owns the single-season school record for receptions and receiving yards, is 87 yards shy of former All-American Jeff Samardzija’s school record for career receiving yards. He has tied Tom Gatewood’s (1970) single-season school record for 100-yard receiving games. Tate has also recorded a touchdown reception in seven consecutive games. He is one game shy of Samardzija’s school record of eight straight games with a touchdown catch.
AN IRISH VICTORY THIS WEEK WOULD…
- Improve Notre Dame to 7-5 (.583) on the season.
- Improve Notre Dame to 3-2 (.600) away from Notre Dame Stadium this season.
- Extend Notre Dame’s winning streak against Stanford to eight games overall and four at Stanford Stadium.
- Improve Notre Dame to 18-6 (.750) in the all-time series with Stanford.
- Improve Notre Dame to 7-4 (.636) in the all-time series against Stanford on the road.
- Improve Notre Dame to 83-43-6 (.652) all-time against the Pac-10 Conference.
- Improve Notre Dame to 33-25-1 (.568) all-time against the Pac-10 Conference on the road.
- Improve Notre Dame’s all-time record to 838-289-42 (.735).
- Improve Notre Dame’s all-time road record to 292-143-22 (.663).
- Improve Weis’ Notre Dame record to 36-26 (.590) overall, 5-0 (1.000) against Stanford and 11-5 (.688) against the Pac-10 Conference.
- Improve Weis’ road record to 13-10 (.565) overall, 6-2 (.750) against the Pac-10 Conference and 3-0 (1.000) against Stanford.
- Improve Weis’ record to 12-10 (.545) in November games.
- Improve Weis’ record to 9-6 (.600) in night games.
- Improve Notre Dame’s all-time record in the regular season finale to 65-44-12 (.587).
AN IRISH DEFEAT THIS WEEK WOULD…
- Drop Notre Dame to 6-6 (.500) on the season.
- Drop Notre Dame to 2-3 (.400) away from Notre Dame Stadium this season.
- Snap Notre Dame’s winning streak against Stanford at seven games overall and three at Stanford Stadium.
- Drop Notre Dame to 17-7 (.708) in the all-time series with Stanford.
- Drop Notre Dame to 6-5 (.545) in the all-time series against Stanford on the road.
- Drop Notre Dame to 82-44-6 (.644) all-time against the Pac-10 Conference.
- Drop Notre Dame to 32-26-1 (.551) all-time against the Pac-10 Conference on the road.
- Drop Notre Dame’s all-time record to 837-290-42 (.734).
- Drop Notre Dame’s all-time road record to 291-144-22 (.661).
- Drop Weis’ Notre Dame record to 35-27 (.565) overall, 4-1 (.800) against Stanford and 10-6 (.625) against the Pac-10 Conference.
- Drop Weis’ road record to 12-11 (.522) overall, 5-3 (.625) against the Pac-10 Conference and 2-1 (.667) against Stanford.
- Drop Weis’ record to 11-11 (.500) in November games.
- Drop Weis’ record to 8-7 (.533) in night games.
- Drop Notre Dame’s all-time record in the regular season finale to 64-45-12 (.579).
- Notre Dame’s five losses have come by a total of 21 points.
- The Irish are tied for second in the FBS with five losses by seven points or less. Only one team in the FBS has more heartbreaking losses. In fact, only one other team, Connecticut, to whom the Irish lost in overtime last week, has had every loss of its season decided by seven points or less.
|Team||Tough Losses||Overall Losses|
Notre Dame’s five losses by seven or fewer points equal the most heartbreaking defeats in Irish single season history. The 1960 and 1986 Notre Dame squads also dropped five games by seven points or less.
|Year||Tough Losses||Overall Losses|
- 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 nine games this season decided by seven points or less. The nine 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.
- No team in the FBS has played in more games decided by seven points or less this season.
- Nine of Notre Dame’s 11 games this season have not been ultimately decided until the final minute of regulation or overtime.
- 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 (4-5) 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 junior QB Jimmy 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.
DOWN TO THE WIRE
- Notre Dame, Air Force, Navy, Wake Forest and SMU are the only schools this season to have played in multiple overtime games.
- Notre Dame played in its second overtime game of the season against Connecticut. The Irish lost, 33-30, to even their record at 1-1 in overtime games this season. Notre Dame drops to 3-7 all-time in overtime games.
- With the victory over Washington earlier this season, Notre Dame snapped its three-game losing streak in overtime games. The Irish had not won an overtime game since 2003.
- Nine of the 10 Irish overtime contests have come at Notre Dame Stadium.
L 30-33 vs. Connecticut (2009)
W 37-30 vs. Washington (2009)
L 33-36 vs. Pittsburgh (2008)
L 44-46 vs. Navy (2007)
L 41-44 vs. Michigan State (2005)
W 29-26 vs. Washington State (2003)
W 34-31 vs. Air Force (2000)
L 24-27 vs. Nebraska (2000)
L 17-20 vs. Air Force (1996)
L 20-27 at USC (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)
Oct. 21, 2006 at Notre Dame 20, UCLA 17 (0:27))
Nov. 14, 1992 at Notre Dame 17, Penn State 16 (0:19))
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. 16, 2000 at #21 Notre Dame 23, #13 Purdue 21
Sept. 26, 1998 at #23 Notre Dame 31, Purdue 30
Sept. 26, 1981 at Purdue 15, #13 Notre Dame 14
Sept. 25, 1971 #2 Notre Dame 8, at Purdue 7
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.
Connecticut 33, Notre Dame 30 (2ot)
Jimmy Clausen was 30 of 45 passing for 329 yards for Notre Dame. Golden Tate had nine catches for 123 yards and Michael Floyd had eight catches for 104 yards. This loss was Notre Dame’s fifth loss by a touchdown or less this season.
NOTRE DAME IN NOVEMBER
- Notre Dame is 309-120-28 (.708) all-time during the month of November.
- The Irish are 143-44-7 (.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 11-10 (.524) in November under head coach Charlie Weis.
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 49, senior OC Eric Olsen 30, junior QB Jimmy Clausen 27 and senior SS Kyle McCarthy 24.
ON THIS DATE
Notre Dame has played 15 previous games in its history on Nov. 28. The Irish are 9-5-1 all-time on the date. The Irish were ranked inside the top 25 on seven occasions, including among the top 10 in each of the last five games.
|1895||W||Chicago Physicians & Surgeons||32-0||H|
|1901||W||South Bend Athletic Club||22-6||H|
|1907||W||St. Vincent’s (Chicago)||21-12||A|
|1912||W||Marquette (Comiskey Park)||69-0||N|
|1931||L||Army (Yankee Stadium)||0-12||N|
|1942||W||(8) USC (14)||13-0||A|
|1953||W||(2) USC (20)||48-14||A|
|1963||L||Syracuse (3:28) (Yankee Stadium)||7-14||N|
|1964||W||(1) USC (1:33)||17-20||A|
|1970||L||(4) USC (R)||28-38||A|
|1987||L||(10) Miami (2)||0-24||A|
|1992||W||(5) USC (NT) (19)||31-23||A|
|1998||L||(9) USC (NT)||0-10||A|
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. R indicates game was played in rain. S indicates game was played in snow.
Nov. 28, 1964: Notre Dame loses to USC, 20-17, on a last second pass play. The loss crushed the Irish hopes for a National Championship season. Questionable calls, the norm at the Coliseum, proved crucial in the loss. One mystery off-sides call negated an Irish touchdown that would have given Notre Dame a 24-13 lead. Ara Parseghian would find humor in the fact that the Irish dominated the game for more than three quarters. “I like to think our record in 1964 was 9 and 3/4 and 1/4.”
Nov. 28, 1970: Joe Theismann passes for an incredible 526 yards in a driving rain storm, as the Irish lose to the Trojans 38-28 at the Coliseum. The 526 yards passing remain the Notre Dame school record, as well as the USC opponent record.
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. 28 Opponent||’09 Record||Nov. 28|
|Nevada||8-3||at Boise State*||Boston College||7-4||at Maryland|
|Michigan||5-7||—||Washington State||1-10||at Washington|
|Michigan State||6-6||—||Navy||8-3||at Hawaii|
|Purdue||5-7||—||Pittsburgh||9-1||at West Virginia*|
|USC||7-3||UCLA||Stanford||7-4||vs. Notre Dame|
* Friday, November 27
Opponents’ combined 2009 record: 71-60 (.542); NCAA recognized strength of schedule numbers do not include games played against FCS foes
- Notre Dame’s strength of schedule stands tied for 49th (60-54 for .526). Stanford is 82nd at 53-58 (.477).
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.
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.||Mike Anello, DB||Sr. Orland Park, Ill.|
|Sergio Brown, DB||Sr. Maywood, Ill.||Jimmy Clausen, QB||Jr. Westlake Village, Calif.|
|Michael Floyd, WR||So. St. Paul, Minn.||Kerry Neal, DE||Jr. Bunn, N.C.|
|Kyle McCarthy, SS||Sr. Youngstown, Ohio||Eric Olsen, OC||Sr. Staten Island, N.Y.|
|Kyle Rudolph, TE||So. Cincinnati, Ohio||John Ryan, DE||Sr. Westlake, Ohio|
|Brian Smith, LB||Jr. Overland Park, Kan.||Scott Smith, LB||Sr. Highland Park, Ill.|
|Sam Young, OT||Sr. Coral Springs, Fla.|
HOW DO THEY STACK UP?
|Average weight of the offensive and defensive lines:||Average height of the receivers and the secondaries:|
|Notre Dame OL 315.0 lbs. vs. Connecticut DL 263.8 lbs.||Notre Dame WR/TE 6′ 2 1/3″ vs. Connecticut DB 5′ 11 1/2″|
|Notre Dame DL 273.8 lbs. vs. Connecticut OL 316.6 lbs.||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 it 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.
IRISH ATHLETES AGAIN SET PACE IN 2009 NCAA GRADUATION SUCCESS RATE SURVEY
- Nineteen of 22 athletics programs at the University of Notre Dame compiled graduation rates of 100 percent, and none were below 93 percent, according to the fifth year of Graduation Success Rate measurements developed by the NCAA.
- None of the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly NCAA Division I-A) programs in the country had a higher percentage of 100 GSR scores than did Notre Dame with its .863 figure (19 of 22). This marked the fourth time in the five years of the survey that Notre Dame has ranked number one in percentage of teams with 100 scores.
- Here are the top institutions in that category (these are the only 11 institutions with 50 or more percent of their sports registering 100 marks):
|Institution||Percentage||100 Scores/Sports Rated|
|1. Notre Dame||.863||19/22|
|2. Boston College||.785||22/28|
|4. Wake Forest||.714||10/14|
|8. U.S. Naval Academy||.500||10/20|
- In football, Notre Dame achieved a 96 GSR rating, tying Duke for the highest figure among FBS schools.
|3.||93||U.S. Naval Academy|
|8.||87||U.S. Air Force Academy|
|9.||86||U.S. Military Academy|
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’ 61 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 42 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 18 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 has eclipsed 300 yards passing in a game six times in 2009 – a school record. Quinn owned the previous mark with five 300-yard passing games in a single season (2005).
- 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.
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 four 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 61 games). The Irish managed 500 yards or more of total offense 10 times over the previous 110 games before his arrival.
OFFENSE PILING UP YARDAGE
- The offense has been the highlight of the 2009 Notre Dame football season thus far. The Irish are currently 11th in the country in total offense (452.2) and could be 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 322.0 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.
- Notre Dame totaled 452 yards of total offense against Connecticut. It marked the sixth time this season that the Irish surpassed 450 yards of total offense.
HOW IMPROVED? TOPS IN THE FBS
- Entering this weekend’s action, Notre Dame’s 209.93 yards-per-game improvement for the Irish offense this season when compared to 2007 rates as the best in the nation. Here is a look at the top five most improved offenses over the two-year span:
- Entering this weekend’s action, Notre Dame’s 97.10 yards-per-game improvement for the Irish offense this season when compared to 2008 rates as the eighth-best in the nation. Here is a look at the top 10 most improved offenses from last year:
|5. Texas A&M||78||12||4091||340.92||7||11||5052||459.27||71||118.35|
|8. Notre Dame||65||13||4616||355.08||11||11||4974||452.18||54||97.10|
|9. Utah State||84||12||4011||334.25||24||11||4733||430.27||60||96.02|
BY LAND, SEA AND MOST DEFINITELY AIR
- Sophomore WR Michael Floyd and junior WR Golden Tate both registered 100-yard receiving games for the third consecutive week against Connecticut, marking the first time in school history the Irish have had a pair of receivers eclipse 100 yards in three straight weeks. The duo was the first to turn the trick in back-to-back weeks as well. It is the fourth time this season the duo has accomplished the feat in the same game (Tate and Floyd notched 100-yard games against Navy, Michigan and Pittsburgh). Oddly, the Irish have lost all four contests.
- Notre Dame has posted multiple receivers with 100-yard games 12 different times in school history and 10 have come under Weis’ tutelage.
- Floyd and Tate have teamed up for five 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 then school record of 78 in 2006 (Tate has since eclipsed the record with 83 in 2009). The feat has been accomplished in 11 different seasons, eight of which came under Weis’ guidance.
- Tate now has 1,295 yards receiving this season, which tops Samardzija’s previous school record total of 1,249 from the 2005 season. Tate has 2,506 career receiving yards, which ranks third best in Notre Dame career history. He also ranks fourth on the all-time career receptions list with 147.
- Tate, who already owns the single-season school record for receptions and receiving yards, has a great chance to eclipse the career record for receiving yards this weekend against Stanford. He is just 87 yards shy of Samardzija’s school record.
- Tate has registered eight 100-yard receiving games in Notre Dame’s first 11 contests. He equalled Tom Gatewood’s (1970) single-season school record for 100-yard receiving games. No other FBS player has more 100-yard receiving games than Tate.
- Tate now has 14 career 100-yard receiving games, which is a school record. He moved past Tom Gatewood (1969-71) for the career record.
- Tate’s 12 receiving touchdowns this season rank tied for third in single-season Notre Dame history. He now stands alone in second all-time with 23 career touchdown receptions.
- Tate has registered a touchdown reception in seven consecutive games. He is now one game shy of former Irish All-American Jeff Samardzija’s school record of eight straight games with a touchdown catch.
- Tate has scored a touchdown, by either rushing, receiving or punt return, in 10 consecutive games. He failed to score a touchdown in the season opening victory over Nevada. The streak of 10 straight games with a touchdown is the longest in a single season for a Notre Dame player since Autry Denson had touchdowns in the first 10 games of the 1998 season. Denson actually had a touchdown in 11 consecutive games when you include the final regular season contest of 1997 (Denson was held without a touchdown in the 1997 Independence Bowl, but bowl statistics did not officially count until the 2002 season).
- Floyd opened the season with 320 receiving yards over the first two games, including 189 and three touchdowns against Nevada in the season opener. He was then injured in the second quarter of the third game and proceeded to miss the next five games with a broken collarbone, but he has not missed a beat since returning for the Navy game.
- Floyd has surpassed the 100-yard receiving mark in all three contests (Navy, 141; Pittsburgh, 107; UConn, 104). He has played in five full games (six games total) and has 100 or more yards in each of those five games. Floyd’s five 100-yard receiving games is tied for fourth in single-season history, while his nine career 100-yard receiving games rank tied for third best (Floyd has played in 17 games over his career).
- 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).