Oct. 31, 2006
(#10 USA Today / #11 AP) Notre Dame (7-1) vs. North Carolina (1-7)
The Date and Time
Saturday, Nov. 4, 2006, at 2:43 p.m. EDT
Notre Dame Stadium (80,795, grass surface) in Notre Dame, Ind.
The game is officially sold out making it the 191st consecutive sellout at Notre Dame Stadium. Since 1966, every Notre Dame home football game has been a sellout except one – a 1973 Thanksgiving Day game vs. Air Force. The Irish have now played in front of sellouts in 239 of their last 240 home games.
The TV Plans
NBC national telecast with Tom Hammond (play-by-play) and Pat Haden (analysis), Lewis Johnson (sideline), David Gibson (producer) and John Gonzalez (director). NBC will stream a live 30 minute pre-game and post-game show on NBCSports.com.
The Radio Plans
For the 39th consecutive season all Notre Dame football games are to be broadcast on approximately 300 stations in 50 states by Westwood One with Don Criqui (play-by-play) and former Irish running back Allen Pinkett (analysis) with Jeff Jeffers providing pre-game, halftime and post-game reports. This broadcast can be heard live on SIRIUS Satellite Radio (channel 159 for the North Carolina game) and it will be streaming live on the Notre Dame official athletics website at www.und.com.
All Notre Dame home games may be heard in South Bend on U93-FM (92.9) and WDND-AM (1490) with pre-game analysis featuring Sean Stires and Vince DeDario. The post-game show is hosted by Jack Nolan and features former Notre Dame players Reggie Brooks and Mirko Jurkovic. See page 11 of this notes package for more information on Irish football radio and television shows.
Live in-game statistics are available through CSTV’s Gametracker via each school’s official athletic website.
Web Sites Notre Dame (www.und.com)
North Carolina (www.tarheelblue.com)
Two-Minute Drill â€¢ No. 10/11 Notre Dame returns to Notre Dame Stadium this weekend for a meeting with North Carolina. The matchup is the first between the Irish and Tar Heels since 1975. North Carolina (1-7) is the second ACC opponent for Notre Dame in 2006. The Irish defeated Georgia Tech, 14-10, in the season opener. Notre Dame enters the contest following its decisive 38-14 victory over Navy last weekend. The Tar Heels lost 24-17 to Wake Forest a week ago. â€¢ Notre Dame and North Carolina will play for the 17th time in series history on Saturday. The Irish hold a convincing 15-1-0 (.938) edge in the all-time series with the Tar Heels, including a current five-game winning streak. Notre Dame and North Carolina have not met on the gridiron since 1975 (see pages 2-5 for more information on the series). â€¢ Streaks on the line this weekend: consecutive games started (Brady Quinn, 41) … consecutive games with a completion (Brady Quinn, 44) … consecutive passes without an interception (Brady Quinn, 169) … consecutive games with a touchdown pass (Brady Quinn, 7) … consecutive games with a reception (Darius Walker, 23; Jeff Samardzjia, 21).
A Win This Weekend Would…
… make Notre Dame 8-1 for the first time since 2002.
… be the sixth straight victory for the Irish.
… be the sixth consecutive victory over North Carolina and 11th straight victory in Notre Dame Stadium.
… improve Notre Dame to 16-1-0 in the all-time series with North Carolina.
… improve the Irish to 11-0-0 in the all-time series with the Tar Heels in Notre Dame Stadium.
… improve a ranked Irish squad to 11-0-0 all-time against North Carolina.
… improve Notre Dame to 14-1-0 all-time against an unranked Tar Heel squad.
… improve Weis’ record to 17-4 overall and 2-0 against the Atlantic Coast Conference.
… improve Weis’ home record to 9-3.
… improve Weis’ record to 5-0 in November games.
… improve Weis’ record to 11-4 in afternoon games.
… improve Notre Dame’s all-time record to 819-267-42.
… improve Notre Dame’s all-time record against the Atlantic Coast Conference to 74-27-2.
A Loss This Weekend Would…
… make Notre Dame 7-2 for the first time since 2000.
… snap Notre Dame’s winning streak at five games.
… snap the Irish’s winning streak over North Carolina at five games overall and 10 games in Notre Dame Stadium.
… drop Notre Dame to 15-2-0 in the all-time series with North Carolina.
… drop the Irish to 10-1-0 in the all-time series with the Tar Heels in Notre Dame Stadium.
… drop a ranked Irish squad to 10-1-0 all-time against North Carolina.
… drop Notre Dame to 13-2-0 all-time against an unranked Tar Heel squad.
… drop Weis’ record to 16-5 overall and 1-1 against the Atlantic Coast Conference.
… drop Weis’ home record to 8-4.
… drop Weis’ record to 4-1 in November games.
… drop Weis’ record to 10-5 in afternoon games.
… drop Notre Dame’s all-time record to 818-268-42.
… drop Notre Dame’s all-time record against the Atlantic Coast Conference to 73-28-2.
A Quick Look at North Carolina
â€¢ North Carolina enters the matchup with Notre Dame riding a five-game losing streak. The Tar Heels have been outscored 163-51 over the span. The Irish will be the fourth ranked opponent for North Carolina this season. The Tar Heels lost to then 16th-ranked Virginia Tech (35-10), then 19th-ranked Clemson (52-7) and 24th-ranked Wake Forest (24-17). North Carolina also dropped its season-opener, 21-16, to a then unranked Rutgers.
â€¢ The Tar Heels were beaten by No. 23 Wake Forest, 24-17, in Chapel Hill last weekend. North Carolina took a 17-14 lead into the fourth quarter, but were unable to hold on for the victory. Ronnie McGill scored a touchdown and rushed for 117 yards on 29 carries in the loss. Joe Dailey and Cam Sexton split the quarterback duties for the Tar Heels. Dailey went 13-for-19 for a 156 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. Sexton went 6-for-10 for 80 yards. Brooks Foster and Jesse Holley were tied for the team-lead with four catches. Foster had 49 yards receiving with a long of 35, while Holley had 42 yards with a long of 15. Kareen Taylor led the defensive effort with a team-high eight tackles. North Carolina limited the Demon Deacons to just 289 total yards.
â€¢ North Carolina enters Saturday’s game with the 83rd-ranked rushing offense, 84th-ranked passing offense, 99th-ranked total offense and 108th-ranked scoring offense. The Tar Heels are averaging 118.88 yards per game on the ground, 174.63 yards in the air, 293.50 total yards and 15.25 points per game. McGill leads the Tar Heel ground game with 523 yards (65.4/game). McGill has rushed for six touchdowns and ranks 69th in the NCAA in rushing yards per game. Dailey has completed 61.3 percent of his passes (57-for-93) for 557 yards, two touchdowns and seven interceptions. Sexton has completed 42.2 percent of his passes (57-for-135) for 840 yards, four touchdowns and eight interceptions. Foster has been the favorite target for Tar Heel quarterbacks with 28 catches and 326 yards.
â€¢ The Tar Heels’ defense has also struggled mightily this season. North Carolina ranks 93rd in total defense (376.38/game), 108th in scoring defense (32.63/game) and 115th in rush defense (205.13/game). The Tar Heels pass defense has been solid though. They allow only 171.25 yards per game, 35th in the nation. UNC has totaled 12 sacks. Taylor leads the team with 48 tackles. L Edwards has a team-high 4.5 tackles for loss, while H Taylor has 3.0 sacks.
â€¢ North Carolina’s kicking game has been the team’s strongest unit this season. Conor Barth is 6-for-6 on field goal attempts this season, including 3-for-3 from outside 40 yards. D Wooldridge is averaging 40.9 yards per punt and has dropped 13 inside the 20-yard line.
Notre Dame – North Carolina Series Notes
â€¢ Notre Dame and North Carolina will play for the 17th time in series history on Saturday. The Irish hold a convincing 15-1-0 (.938) edge in the all-time series with the Tar Heels, including a current five-game winning streak. Notre Dame and North Carolina have not met on the gridiron since 1975.
â€¢ The Irish and Tar Heels will renew a rivalry that started during the 1949 season. The top-ranked Notre Dame squad routed North Carolina, 42-6. The two would meet each of the next seven seasons — all Irish victories. The series took a year off in 1957, but started up again for three consecutive years in 1958. In all, the Irish and Tar Heels faced one another 12 times over a 14-year period (1949-62).
Notre Dame vs. The ACC
â€¢ Notre Dame is 73-27-2 (.723) against current Atlantic Coast Conference teams. The Irish already defeated Georgia Tech from the ACC earlier this season. The Irish have had more success against members of the ACC than any other major conference. The Irish have a .500 or better record against eight of ten ACC teams Notre Dame has faced.
â€¢ Notre Dame’s 102 games against the ACC ranks as the third-most contests against a conference trailing the Big Ten (338) and Pac-10 (115).
â€¢ The Irish are playing two ACC schools in the same season for the first time since 2002 (Maryland, Florida State and North Carolina State) and only the second time since 1982. Next year, Notre Dame will play three ACC schools as it opens the season hosting Georgia Tech before renewing acquaintances with Boston College and Duke.
â€¢ Notre Dame has faced North Carolina 16 times (15-1-0), tied for the third most meetings by the Irish against any ACC school. The 15 victories are tied for the second most victories for Notre Dame over an ACC foe. Notre Dame has faced Georgia Tech 33 times (27-5-1). Miami has collided with the Irish 23 times (15-7-1), while Boston College (9-7) has also played Notre Dame 16 times. It should be noted that all of Notre Dame’s meetings with Miami and Boston College occurred prior to their moves to the ACC.
â€¢ Notre Dame has played a handful of games versus Florida State (2-4), Duke (2-1) and Clemson (1-1). Additionally, the Irish met three ACC opponents only once. They beat Virginia in the 1989 Kickoff Classic, Maryland in the 2002 Kickoff Classic but lost to NC State in the 2003 Gator Bowl.
â€¢ Notre Dame has posted a 41-9-0 (.820) record against ACC opponents in Notre Dame Stadium.
Notre Dame-North Carolina Connections
â€¢ Notre Dame has a penchant for ending impressive winning streaks in football, contributing to the program’s great tradition. However, the magic is not limited to the football program. The women’s soccer team ended the longest streak in all of NCAA sports and it came against North Carolina.
Oct. 2, 1994: ND women’s soccer plays to a 0-0 tie vs. perennial power North Carolina in St. Louis, stopping UNC’s 92-game win streak (still NCAA record) … one year later, the Irish claimed the national title with College Cup wins over the Tar Heels and Portland.
â€¢ North Carolina head coach John Bunting served as a co-captain in 1971 when the Tar Heels not only went 9-3 and won the Atlantic Coast Conference championship, but made their last visit to Notre Dame Stadium.
â€¢ Notre Dame’s roster features two players from the state of North Carolina. North Carolina’s roster does not feature a player from the state of Indiana.
â€¢ Freshman DB Raeshon McNeil will renew acquaintances with three former teammates from Davie County H.S. McNeil played along side sophomore SS Cooter Arnold, freshman LB Logan Buchanan and senior LB David Wolldridge.
â€¢ Junior DB William David Williams hails from Raleigh, N.C. and Millbrook H.S. — some 30 miles from the UNC campus.
â€¢ Fourth-year Notre Dame women’s basketball assistant coach Jonathan Tsipis is a 1996 graduate of North Carolina.
â€¢ Assistant AD for compliance, Lisa Deibler, spent the better part of nine years in a similar role at North Carolina.
On This Date
Notre Dame has played 15 games in its history on Nov. 4. The Irish are 10-4-1 all-time on this date. The Irish have won their last five games played on Nov. 4 and have not lost on this date since the 1961 season. Notre Dame had fad faced Navy in its last eight games played on Nov. 4.
Nov. 4, 1905: Bill Downs scored six touchdowns, second most in single-game school history, to lead the Irish to a 71-0 rout of DePauw.
Nov. 4, 1978: Vegas Ferguson rushed for 219 yards on 18 carries in a 27-7 victory over Navy in Cleveland. The 219-yard rushing effort ranks as the seventh best in Notre Dame single-game rushing history. The 12.2 yards per carry also ranks fourth best in Irish history.
The Last Meeting
No. 15 Notre Dame 21, North Carolina 14
Oct. 11, 1975, Chapel Hill, N.C.
(Joe Doyle, S.B. Tribune) – Ted Burgmeier did not start the game for Notre Dame Saturday. Neither did Joe Montana. But these sophomores ended it for North Carolina with an incredible 80-yard touchdown connection that gave the Irish a tremendous victory in what might have been the greatest rally in school history.
Forty years ago, Notre Dame rallied from a 13-0 deficit to spill Ohio State, 18-13, with all three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. But this young Notre Dame team went the Irish of 1935 three points better — 21 points in the final 11:30 of play to erase a 14-0 lead by the surprising Tar Heels.
A record 49,500 in Keenan Stadium watched in disbelief as a sputtering Irish attack failed time and again against the host Tar Heels. And when the Irish came up with a bad center snap on a punt, North Carolina scored a third period touchdown. Later on in that period, the Tar Heels connected on a 39-yard touchdown pass for their 14-0 lead.
Then good fortune, Irish luck or whatever came to Notre Dame. Rick Slager engineered a 65-yard touchdown march that ended with Al Hunter scoring with 11:26 to play. A two-point conversion pass failed and Carolina held a 14-6 lead. It was still that way with 6:04 remaining.
Enter Montana, the baby-faced Monongahela, Pa., sophomore, who got two quick first downs to the North Carolina 41. Down the sideline went Dan Kelleher. Up went Montana’s arm. Kelleher grabbed the pass and raced down the sideline to the 2.
On the next play, Hunter slashed over tackle again. It was 14-12, but Montana had the answer. He rifled a two-point conversion pass to tight end Doug Buth, who had never caught a pass for Notre Dame. It was 14-14 with 5:18 to play. Sports writers were checking the record books for the last tie game. But the Irish weren’t through.
North Carolina drove to the Irish 24, but place kicker Tom Biddle missed a 41-yard field goal attempt — his third miss of the day. And the Irish had the ball at the 20 with 1:19 left.
Montana missed a pass that new father Mark McLane dropped. Then Burgmeier cut down the left sideline in a patter designed to get a first down or more but also out of bounds to kill the clock.
Safetyman Jeff Caldwell was close. But Burgmeier spurted past him and won the foot race to the goal for an 80-yard play with 1:03 left and after Pat McLaughlin kicked the point, the Irish fought off a last minute flurry of passes for an incredible 21-14 victory.
The 15th-ranked Irish won their fourth victory in five starts, but it was far from easy. The temperature was 79 degrees and there was hardly a breathe of fresh air moving in the idyllic stadium in the Carolina forests.
Burgmeier gave up his starting job to freshman Kris Haines because the Irish wanted Ted to double up as a defensive back.
“We could not use him there,” said assistant coach Paul Shoults. “He was worn out from those long patterns on offense. But I am glad he had the speed to break that one.”
Montana started last week’s game against Michigan State but Slager opened against the Tar Heels. Though he hit on 11 of 21 passes, Slager couldn’t get the Irish on the scoreboard until he engineered a 65-yard march that began late in the third quarter.
Last Week Against Navy
â€¢ Notre Dame converted on its 15th fourth down of the season in the first quarter touchdown drive. At the time, the Irish were 15-for-19 on fourth down this season – good for a .789 conversion percentage. Notre Dame entered the game tied for fifth in the NCAA in fourth down efficiency.
â€¢ The 36-yard touchdown pass from senior QB Brady Quinn to sophomore WR David Grimes was the ninth play for Notre Dame this season that exceeded 30 yards. The Irish added their 10th of the season, a 33-yard touchdown pass from Quinn to McKnight just before halftime. Five of the 10 plays have gone for touchdowns. Grimes was the sixth different Irish receiver to register a touchdown reception this season.
â€¢ Notre Dame jumped out to a 10-0 lead after the first quarter and then added 14 points in the second quarter. The Irish have scored at least 10 points in a quarter on nine different occasions this season. The 24 first half points are the most for Notre Dame since scoring 28 in the opening 30 minutes against Purdue earlier this season. In fact, the Irish have scored 24 or more points in a half 18 different times under second year head coach Charlie Weis.
â€¢ Senior QB Brady Quinn conducted a scoring drive on Notre Dame’s final possession of the first half for the sixth time this season. Quinn went 5-for-6 for 64 yards and a 33-yard touchdown pass to senior Rhema McKnight. Over the six scoring drives (Georgia Tech, Penn State, Michigan, Stanford, UCLA and Navy) in the waning minutes of the first half in 2006, Quinn is a remarkable 34-for-40 for 341 yards passing, four touchdown passes and a touchdown run.
â€¢ The Irish converted another fourth down play midway through the third quarter. It was Notre Dame’s 16th fourth down conversion this season. Senior TE John Carlson, who converted both fourth downs with receptions, has given the Irish first downs on four fourth down plays this season (tied with Darius Walker for the team-high).
â€¢ Notre Dame eclipsed the 30-point barrier for the fifth time in 2006. The Irish have scored 30 or more points 15 times under Weis (Navy was his 20th as Irish head coach). The Irish have scored 30 or more points in 17 of the last 22 meetings with Navy. Notre Dame has scored more points against the Midshipmen (2,178) than any of its other 134 opponents in school history.
â€¢ The Irish were not forced to punt in a game for the first time this season and first time since Nov. 12, 2005 against Navy. Notre Dame ran 62 plays over 10 drives Saturday and 70 plays over nine drives in last season’s meeting. The Irish have gone 140 plays against Navy without being forced to punt – dating back to a D.J. Fitzpatrick punt in the fourth quarter of a 27-9 Irish victory in 2004.
â€¢ Notre Dame allowed 211 yards rushing and 14 points in the first half. The Irish not only held the Midshipmen scoreless in the second half, but also limited the Navy option attack to just 60 yards on the ground in the second half.
â€¢ The 24-point margin of victory (38-14) is tied for the second largest victory under second year head coach Charlie Weis (largest margin of victory was 26 points last season against BYU).
â€¢ Notre Dame held Navy scoreless in the third and fourth quarter Saturday afternoon. It marked the 12th and 13th quarters this season that the Irish have held an opponent without any points for an entire period.
â€¢ Notre Dame set season-highs with yards per pass attempt (11.8), total yards (471) and yards per play (7.6). â€¢ The Irish rushed for 176 yards this afternoon. That rushing effort ranks as the sixth-best game on the ground in the Charlie Weis era.
Senior QB Brady Quinn
… recorded his second touchdown rush of 2006 and sixth of his career … the 19-yard run was his longest career touchdown rush and longest rush from scrimmage since Nov. 27, 2004 … posted his 13th career game (fifth in ’06) with at least three touchdown passes … has totaled 21 touchdown passes in the past seven games, after failing to throw a TD pass in the opener versus Georgia Tech … extended his own school record of consecutive passes without an interception to 169 pass attempts … broke Ron Powlus’ (1994-97) previous school record of 43 straight games with a completion (Quinn has completed a pass in 44 consecutive games) … moved past Andrew Walter of Arizona State (2001-04) for 19th place all-time in NCAA Division I-A history for pass attempts … moved past Joe Montana (1978) for ninth most passing yards in single-season history … moved past Ron Powlus (1997) for 10th most total yards in single-season history … moved past Ron Powlus (182, 1997) for fourth most completions in single-season history … moved past Jarious Jackson (184, 1999) for third most completions in single-season history … moved past John Huarte (1964) for eighth most passing yards in single-season history … moved past Ron Powlus (1997) for seventh most passing yards in single-season history … moved past Rick Mirer (1991) for sixth most passing yards in single-season history … moved past Rick Mirer (1991) and Ron Powlus (1994) for second most touchdown passes in single-season history … moved past Rick Mirer (1992) for ninth most total yards in single-season history … moved past John Huarte (1964) for eighth most total yards in single-season history … moved past Joe Montana (1978) for seventh most total yards in single-season history … moved past Gino Guidugli (2001-04) of Cincinnati for 19th place all-time in career touchdown passes in NCAA Division I-A history … moved past Ron Powlus (298, 1997) for fifth most pass attempts in Notre Dame single-season history … moved past himself (191, 2004) for second most completions in Notre Dame single-season history … moved past Steve Beuerlein (1986) for fifth most passing yards in Irish single-season history … moved past Steve Beuerlein (1986) for sixth most total yards in Irish single-season history … moved past Steve Stenstrom (1991-94) of Stanford for 31st place all-time in passing yards in NCAA Division I-A … moved past Charlie Frye (2001-04) of Akron for 18th place all-time in pass attempts in NCAA Division I-A
Junior RB Darius Walker
… moved past Nick Eddy (1964-66) for fifth place in career receiving yards for an Irish running back … moved past Bob Scarpitto (1959) and Bob Gladieux (1967) for 10th place in single-season receiving yards by a Notre Dame running back … moved past Raghib Ismail (1988-90) for eighth place in career non-quarterback total yards … eclipsed 100 yards for the third time this season and 11th time in his career … moved past Jerome Heavens (1975-78) for fifth place all-time in career rushes … eclipsed his own previous school record (43) for receptions by a running back in single-season history
Senior TE John Carlson
… moved past Mark Bavaro (1984) for fifth place in single-season receptions by a Notre Dame tight end … moved past Ken MacAfee (1976) for fourth most receptions by a tight end in single-season history … moved past Ken MacAfee (1976) for fourth place in single-season receiving yards by tight end … moved past Tony Hunter (1982) for third place in single-season receiving yards by tight end
Senior WR Rhema McKnight
… moved past Tony Hunter (1979-82) for seventh place all-time in career receiving yards … his second quarter touchdown reception was his eighth of the season and 15th of his career … his fourth quarter touchdown reception was his ninth of the season and 16th of his career … registered two touchdown catches in a single game for the first time in his career … moved into a tie for fourth place (Jack Snow, 1964) for fourth most touchdown catches in single-season history … moved into a tie with Jim Seymour (1966-68) for fifth most touchdown receptions in career history
Senior DE Victor Abiamiri
… moved into tie with Bryant Young (1990-93) for sixth in Notre Dame career sacks history … moved past Brandon Hoyte (2002-05) for seventh in Notre Dame career tackles for loss history … moved into tie with Ryan Roberts (1999-02) for fifth in Irish career sacks history
Sophomore WR David Grimes
… recorded his first career touchdown catch on a 36-yard strike late in the first quarter … the reception was also the longest catch of his career (previous career-long grab was a 20-yard catch against Michigan earlier this season)
Senior TB/LB Travis Thomas
… recorded his second touchdown run of the season and seventh of his career … the rush was his first carry since a one-yard scoring burst against Penn State earlier this season
Senior SS Tom Zbikowski
… registered a season and career-high 14.0 tackles … the 14.0 tackles ties Maurice Crum, Jr.’s season-high for Notre Dame
Senior DL Derek Landri
… registered a season-high and career-high 11.0 tackles
Freshman RB James Aldridge
… rushed 12 times for 29 yards, both career-highs
Quinn Near Perfect Last Five Games; Possibly Best Five Game Stretch of Career
Senior QB Brady Quinn has been nearly flawless the past five games — all Irish victories. Quinn is completing 67-percent (121-for-181) of his passes for 1,466 yards, 15 touchdowns and just one interception. He currently owns the nation’s longest streak of consecutive passes without an interception at 169 (besting his own Notre Dame school record). Quinn has a 161.22 passing efficiency rating over the stretch of games.
Quinn had a similar stretch of games in 2005 that helped him move into Heisman consideration. Over games against BYU, Tennessee, Navy, Syracuse and Stanford, Quinn completed 66.7 percent (120-for-180) of his passes for 1,748 yards, 18 touchdowns and three interceptions.
One of Nation’s Best Not Needed Against Navy
Senior P Geoff Price ranks fifth in the NCAA in punting at 45.3 yards per punt. That average would break Notre Dame’s previous school record for average yards per punt (44.9) set by Craig Hentrich in 1990. While Price has proven to be a weapon for the Irish this season, anytime Notre Dame can get through an entire game without his services is a definite positive. The Irish were not forced to punt last weekend against Navy. It marked the first time Notre Dame failed to punt in a game since Nov. 12, 2005 against the Midshipmen. Notre Dame ran 62 plays over its 10 drives last weekend and ran 70 plays over nine drives in last season’s meeting. The Irish have gone 140 plays against Navy without being forced to punt – dating back to a D.J. Fitzpatrick punt in the fourth quarter of a 27-9 Irish victory in 2004.
â€¢ Notre Dame has held the time of possession advantage in six of its eight games this season (all victories), including besting Navy last weekend 30:39-29:21. The game against the Midshipmen marked the slimmest advantage in time of possession of those six games. Since Weis arrived at Notre Dame, the Irish are 13-2 when winning the time of possession battle.
â€¢ Notre Dame have won just three times since the start of 2005 when it did not have the ball longer than its opponent (3-2).
â€¢ The Irish held a decisive advantage in time of possession in their win against Purdue earlier this season. Notre Dame held the ball for 38:21. It was the longest the Irish held possession since controlling the ball for 38:40 against USC in 2005.
Irish Rushing Defense Holds Navy Well Below Its Average
Navy came into the game with Notre Dame last weekend ranked second in the NCAA in rushing averaging 316.6 yards per game. The Midshipmen were also averaging 5.4 yards per carry. The Irish did allow Navy 271 yards on the ground, but only 60 came after halftime. Notre Dame also limited the Midshipmen to 4.8 yards per carry, including 3.0 ypa after halftime.
Clock Winding Down, Brady At His Best
Notre Dame senior QB Brady Quinn has conducted scoring drives to close the first half in six of the Irish’s eight games this season. Against Navy last weekend, he went 5-for-6 for 64 yards and a 33-yard touchdown pass to senior Rhema McKnight. Over the six scoring drives (Georgia Tech, Penn State, Michigan, Stanford, UCLA and Navy) in the waning minutes of the first half in 2006, Quinn is a remarkable 34-for-40 for 341 yards passing, four touchdown passes and a touchdown run. Quinn registered one against Stanford and then led Notre Dame to a field goal drive last weekend against UCLA. He was 7-for-8 for 62 yards and added 14 yards rushing along the way against the Bruins. Against Stanford, he was 5-of-6 for 47 yards and a 15-yard touchdown to senior WR Rhema McKnight on the 68-yard scoring drive. With Notre Dame trailing Georgia Tech, 10-0, and just under five minutes to go in the first half in the season opener, Quinn led the Irish on a 14 play, 80-yard scoring drive. He went 5-of-8 for 39 yards and also added 23 yards rushing on the drive, capped off by his five-yard touchdown scamper. Quinn was even more impressive in his two scoring drives against Penn State and Michigan. Both within the no-huddle, two-minute offense, he spearheaded Notre Dame’s seven play, 69-yard and 1:17 march just before halftime against the Nittany Lions. Quinn was 5-of-5 for 58 yards and a touchdown strike on the drive. He was equally impressive running the two-minute drill late in the second quarter against the Wolverines. Quinn went 7-of-7 for 71 yards and a touchdown during the Irish’s eight play, 72-yard and 2:10 drive.