Oct. 10, 2005
Notre Dame (4-1) vs. USC (5-0)
Notre Dame – 9th AP, 9th USA Today, 8th Harris
USC – 1st AP, 1st USA Today, 1st Harris
The Date and Time:
Saturday, Oct. 15, 2005, 2:38 p.m. EST (12:30 p.m. PDT in Los Angeles, 3:30 p.m. EDT in New York)
Notre Dame Stadium (80,795), Natural Grass
The Tickets: They’re all sold and it is the 181st consecutive sellout at Notre Dame Stadium (the first 130 coming at the old 59,075 capacity). The USC game marks the 229th home sellout in the last 230 games (dating back to 1964). It also is the 175th sellout in the last 200 Irish games and the 40th in the last 43 games involving Notre Dame, dating back to the end of the 2001 season.
The TV Plans: NBC national telecast with Tom Hammond (play-by-play), Pat Haden (analysis), Lewis Johnson (sideline), David Gibson (producer) and John Gonzalez (director).
The Radio Plans: For the 38th consecutive season all Notre Dame football games are broadcast on approximately 300 stations in 50 states by Westwood One with Tony Roberts (play by play) and former Irish running back Allen Pinkett (analysis). This broadcast can be heard live on SIRIUS Satellite Radio (channel 147 for the USC game) as well.
A live broadcast from the Notre Dame student station, WVFI, also is available via the Notre Dame official athletics website at www.und.com (subscription service). All Notre Dame home games may be heard in South Bend on U93-FM (92.9) with pre-game analysis featuring Sean Stires, Brian Noe, Vince DeDario and Colin Burns. The post-game show is hosted by Jack Nolan and features former Notre Dame players Reggie Brooks and Mirko Jurkovic. See page 17 of this notes package for more information on Irish football radio and television shows.
Real-Time Stats: Live in-game statistics will be provided through College Sports Online’s Gametracker at www.und.com or www.usctrojans.com.
Two-Minute Drill (what you need to know about this weekend’s Notre Dame – USC matchup) –
â€¢ Notre Dame and USC are meeting for the 77th time. The Irish lead the all-time series 42-29-5. This is the fifth time Notre Dame will face a top-ranked USC team, with the Trojans winning all four previous meetings (1962, `67, `72 and 2004).
â€¢ Saturday’s game will be Notre Dame’s 25th against the number-one team in the Associated Press ranking. The Irish are 8-15-1 (.354) in those meetings, but have won three of the last five.
â€¢ The Irish – Trojan matchup this weekend marks the first visit to Notre Dame Stadium by a No. 1 team since Nebraska earned a 27-24 overtime victory in 2000. It is the latest visit in a season since No. 1 Florida State saw its 16-game win streak end 31-24 on Nov. 13, 1993.
â€¢ Notre Dame boasts three wins in Notre Dame Stadium against a No.1 ranked team: 26-6 over Northwestern in 1936, 31-30 over Miami in 1988 and 31-24 over Florida State in 1993.
â€¢ Notre Dame is coming off a bye week, its first of the 2005 season. The Irish are 26-4 (.867) coming off a bye week since 1984 and 59-13-2 (.811) coming off a bye week since 1900.
â€¢ Notre Dame will face its fourth ranked team in six games this weekend (according to the AP rankings), marking the fifth time (2003, `00, 1979, `53) in the program’s history that has occurred. The Irish have already defeated No. 23 Pittsburgh, No. 3 Michigan and No. 22 Purdue. Only the 1953 team was able to defeat all four ranked teams in its first six games.
â€¢ Notre Dame is currently ninth in the country in total offense (504.20 yards per game), a height the team has not reached since the 1996 team finished the season ranked 10th. USC is even more efficient on offense, entering Saturday’s game ranked first in the country with an average of 640.40 yards per game.
â€¢ The Irish offense has piled up 500 yards in four games this season and is the first Notre Dame team to post four such performances since the 1996 team, who also achieved 500 yards in four games.
â€¢ Junior QB Brady Quinn is ranked 11th in the country in pass efficiency (156.35) and fourth in total offense (339.60). He is on a three-game streak of 300-yard passing performances entering this weekend’s game and has tied the Notre Dame record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass with 10.
â€¢ Junior WR Jeff Samardzija has caught the nation’s attention with eight touchdown passes in Notre Dame’s first five games and several highlight-reel receptions. The Valparaiso, Ind., native is the first Notre Dame player to catch a touchdown pass in a season’s first five games and is one off the all-time record (six, Malcolm Johnson, 1996) for consecutive games with a touchdown reception. He also is just three behind Derrick Mayes’ record for single-season touchdown receptions (11, 1994).
â€¢ Notre Dame has achieved its highest ranking (ninth in the AP and USA Today top 25) since the team was ranked No. 4 on Nov. 2, 2002.
â€¢ With a 4-1 record, the 2005 Notre Dame team is just the second Irish squad since 1998 to post four victories in the team’s first five games of the year. The 1998 team started 4-1, while the 2002 team began the season 5-0.
2005: The Charlie Weis Era Begins
The 117th season of Notre Dame football is the first in the tenure of head coach Charlie Weis, who has started his career with four road victories in his first five games, including wins over three ranked opponents.
Weis is looking to become the eighth non-interim Notre Dame head football coach since 1913 to begin his career with at least five wins in his first six games (Tyrone Willingham, 6-0; Dan Devine, 5-1; Ara Parseghian, 6-0; Terry Brennan, 5-1; Frank Leahy, 5-0-1; Hunk Anderson, 5-0-1; Jesse Harper, 6-0) this weekend against USC. He would become just the second to accomplish this feat since 1964.
Weis was named the 28th head football coach in Notre Dame history on Sunday, Dec. 12, 2004. A 1978 Notre Dame graduate, Weis takes the reins of the Irish program after a highly-successful career as an assistant coach in the National Football League.
The owner of four Super Bowl champion rings as products of a stellar 15-season career as an NFL assistant, Weis is a widely-respected disciple of professional coaching standouts Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick. He came to Notre Dame after excelling as offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots, where he played an integral role in New England’s victories in three of the last four Super Bowls.
Weis is the first Notre Dame graduate to hold the football head coaching position at his alma mater since Hugh Devore (a ’34 graduate) served as interim coach in 1963 and is the first Notre Dame graduate to serve as the Irish football coach on a full-fledged basis since Joe Kuharich (a ’38 graduate who coached at Notre Dame from 1959 through ’62).
A veteran of 26 seasons in coaching, Weis coached nine seasons with the Patriots, including five as offensive coordinator. He helped produce four Super Bowl championships (New York Giants following the 1990 season, Patriots following ’01, ’03 and ’04 seasons), five conference titles and seven division crowns.
Notre Dame – USC Series Notes
â€¢ Notre Dame and USC will be meeting for the 77th time. The Irish lead the all-time series 42-29-5, including a 23-10-1 mark at Notre Dame Stadium. The teams have met twice at a neutral site (Soldier Field in Chicago) in 1927 and 1929.
â€¢Notre Dame’s 42 wins over USC are the most for any Trojan opponent. California is second with 30 wins over USC.
â€¢ The Irish compiled an unbeaten streak of 13 games against USC from 1983-1995. The Irish won 11 straight games from `83-`93, but a 17-17 tie in 1994 (at USC) ended the run. The Irish won the next year and a Trojan 27-20 overtime victory in 1996 (Lou Holtz’s final game as Irish coach) ended the 13-game run.
â€¢ From 1972 to 1979, both teams were ranked at least as high as 14th in each series meeting. In the eight-game run, USC compiled a 6-2 record, but the two Notre Dame victories (1973, 1977) marked national championship seasons for the Irish.
â€¢ It’s not unheard of for a national title to be at stake for one of the combatants in this rivalry. Six times Notre Dame has entered the USC game with a shot at a national crown, only to be defeated (1938, 1948, 1964, 1970, 1974 and 1980) and a seventh chance was damaged by a tie in 1948. Notre Dame ruined USC’s national title dreams three times: 1947 (38-7), 1952 (9-0) and 1988 (27-10).
â€¢ This will be the fifth time Notre Dame will face a top-ranked USC team. The Trojans have won all four previous encounters by an average of 24 points when ranked number one (25-0 in 1962, 24-7 in 1967, 45-23 in 1972 and 41-10 in 2004). Notre Dame has been ranked No. 1 in seven of the meetings, going 5-2 in those contests (the last two times in `88 and `89).
â€¢ USC’s current three-game win streak against Notre Dame is tied for the second longest by the Trojans in the series. USC won three games in a row from 1970-72 and 1974-76. The Trojan’s best winning streak against the Irish was a five game run from 1978-1982.
â€¢ Notre Dame is 9-2 in its last 11 games against USC in Notre Dame Stadium. USC’s victories in that span came in 1998 (20-17) and 2003 (45-14). Some notable Irish wins during that 11-game run:
– 28-24 victory over #9 USC in 1989 (Irish ranked #1 at the time)
– 38-10 victory over #5 USC in 1995 (Irish ranked #17 at the time)
– 25-24 victory in 1999 (USC leads 24-3 before a furious comeback gave Notre Dame the victory)
â€¢ At least one team has been ranked in the AP Top 25 in 58 of the 66 (88 percent) meetings since 1936 (the first season of AP national rankings), while both teams have been ranked a total of 27 times.
Notre Dame – USC Series History
This rivalry began in 1926, when legendary Irish head coach Knute Rockne became the first Midwestern coach to take a team to the West Coast (Notre Dame won that game, 13-12) and the teams have meet all but three seasons since (taking 1943-45 off due to travel restrictions during World War II).
â€¢ Notre Dame has won eight Associated Press national titles while USC has won five.
â€¢ The Irish have been selected as a national champion by at least one legitimate poll in 19 seasons, USC lists 16 such campaigns.
â€¢ Notre Dame began the 2005 season second on the all-time winning percentage and total victories lists. USC is not far behind in ninth and 10th place, respectively.
â€¢ Instantly recognizable coaches have stalked the sidelines for each team. Knute Rockne, Frank Leahy, Ara Parseghian, Dan Devine and Lou Holtz for Notre Dame. Howard Jones, John McKay, John Robinson and Pete Carroll for USC.
Notre Dame Versus the Pac-10 Conference
â€¢ Notre Dame has won 65 percent of its games versus Pac-10 Conference opponents, with a winning series record versus nine of the Pac-10 teams and an overall mark of 73-38-6 (.649) in 117 games. Most of those games (76) have come versus USC (42-29-5) while the Irish have faced Stanford (13-6-0) 19 times.
â€¢ Notre Dame has played a handful of games vs. California (4-0), Washington (6-0), Arizona (2-1), Oregon (1-0-1), Oregon State (0-2) and UCLA (2-0). Notre Dame and Arizona State met for the first time in 1998, while the Irish met Oregon State for the second time in the 2004 Insight Bowl. Notre Dame played its first-ever game against Washington State in 2003, downing the Cougars, 29-26 in overtime.
â€¢ The 117 games against Pac-10 teams is the second-most for the Irish against any conference. The Big Ten Conference (236) represents the most games played against Notre Dame, followed by the Pac-10 and and the ACC (101).
â€¢ Notre Dame already has faced one Pac-10 team this season, winning 36-17 at Washington. The Irish also will face Stanford (Nov. 26) later this season.
Last Time At Notre Dame Stadium vs. USC
USC scored 31 unanswered points to break away from an early tie and defeat Notre Dame, 45-14, at Notre Dame Stadium. It was the second consecutive win for the Trojans over the Irish and it was only the second time in the last 11 visits that USC had left South Bend victorious. Trojan quarterback Matt Leinart turned in a stellar performance, completing 26 of 34 passes for 351 yards. USC amassed 551 yards of total offense and held the ball for more than 33 minutes.
Senior running back Julius Jones shone in defeat for the Irish, piling up 84 yards on 18 carries, including a 22-yard run in the first quarter that tied the game at 7-7. Sophomore tight end Anthony Fasano caught four passes for 33 yards and his first-ever touchdown, a diving two-yard grab that evened the score at 14-14 late in the first period. USC set the tone for this game from the outset, moving 80 yards in eight plays before Leinart found Keary Colbert on an 18-yard touchdown strike at the 12:25 mark. Colbert finished with eight catches for 120 yards in the contest.
Following Jones’ score, the Trojans needed four plays to regain the lead, with Reggie Bush doing much of the work on a 58-yard TD run. Jones took some of the sting out of that score by returning the ensuing kickoff 51 yards to give the Irish good field position. The runback also made Jones the school’s career leader in kickoff returns and kickoff return yardage, passing 1987 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown on both lists. Fasano capitalized on Jones’ return with his two-yard TD catch moments later.
That, however, would be the last bright spot for Notre Dame, as USC put together its third 80-yard drive of the opening quarter, covering that distance in 10 players before Mike Williams caught a seven-yard touchdown pass from Leinart to cap the march. Williams wound up with nine receptions for 112 yards, making USC the first Irish opponent to have two 100-yard receivers in the same game since 1999.
Notre Dame had a pair of chances to tie the score in the second quarter, but came away empty both times. The Irish drove to the USC 35-yard line three minutes into the period, but lost the ball on downs. Then, after junior free safety Quentin Burrell recovered a Leinart fumble near midfield, Notre Dame could only get as far as the Trojan 44-yard line before having to punt the ball away. That unwanted trend continued into the second half for the Irish, as they punted on seven consecutive possessions, while USC built its lead and sealed the win.
Notre Dame vs. Number One
Saturday’s game with USC will be Notre Dame’s 25th meeting all-time against an opponent ranked number one in the Associated Press college football rankings since the AP began its national collegiate football poll in 1936. The Irish have a record of 8-15-1 (.354) in the previous 24 meetings. The eight victories is the most by any school (Miami, Purdue and USC are second with seven, Oklahoma is third with six). This is the first time Notre Dame will face a No. 1 opponent since the loss 41-10 to the Trojans in Los Angeles last season. It is the first Notre Dame game against a No. 1 team at home since a 27-24 overtime loss to Nebraska on Sept. 9, 2000. Four times Notre Dame has clashed with Trojan teams ranked number one, with USC winning all four of those contests (the only previous one at Notre Dame Stadium came in 1967).
SEE PDF FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF NOTRE DAME MATCHUPS WITH NUMBER-ONE TEAMS
With Notre Dame moving into the top 10 this week in all three major polls, this weekend’s game becomes just the second matchup between a top-10 Irish team and a top-10 opponent since 1997.
The last meeting occurred in 2002, when No. 7 Notre Dame met No. 6 USC in the Los Angeles Coliseum. The Trojans earned a 44-13 victory in the contest. The most recent meeting between two top-10 teams at Notre Dame Stadium came in 1996, when No. 4 Ohio State earned a 29-16 victory over No. 5 Notre Dame.
SEE PDF FOR COMPLETE LIST OF TOP-10 MATCHUPS
Four Ranked Teams in Six Games
As No. 1 USC enters Notre Dame Stadium this Saturday, it will mark the fifth time in Notre Dame history that the Irish will face four ranked teams in its first six games of the season (according to the AP rankings). The Irish have already taken on #23 Pittsburgh, #3 Michigan and #22 Purdue – and walked away with a victory in each of those first three contests.
Notre Dame faced a similar challenge in 2003, 2000, 1979 and 1953. The 1953 team (W, 28-21 at #6 Oklahoma; W, 24-14 vs. #15 Pittsburgh; W, 27-14 vs. #4 Georgia Tech; W, 38-7 vs. Navy) is the only Irish squad to win all four games.
Notre Dame’s Solid Start in 2005
Notre Dame has claimed victories over three ranked opponents on the road this season – and all three victories occurred on the opponent’s home field. That marks the first time Notre Dame has defeated three ranked teams on the road since 2002 (vs. #21 Maryland, at #18 Air Force, at #11 Florida State), but the first time since 1990 that feat has been achieved on the opponents’ home fields (at #24 Michigan State, at #9 Tennessee, at #18 USC).
The three ranked victories also occurred in the first five games of the year. The 2005 season marks the 11th time Notre Dame has faced three ranked opponents in its first five games of the season – and the ’05 season is the first time since 1980 (vs. #13 Miami, vs. #14 Michigan and vs. #9 Purdue) that the team has won all three such games in five attempts (1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003).
Notre Dame has a penchant for ending impressive winning streaks in football, contributing to the program’s great tradition. USC will enter Saturday’s game with a 27-game win streak. Here is a list of games in which the Irish have put an end to an especially impressive winning streak maintained by an opponent:
1946 – Notre Dame 0, Army 0 – 25 games
Notre Dame snaps the Cadets’ 25-game victory string at Yankee Stadium. Johnny Lujack’s late solo tackle of Army’s Doc Blanchard remains the indelible image from this contest. The Irish also avenged 59-0 and 48-0 defeats to Army and thwarted the Cadets’ chances for a third straight national title.
1953 – Notre Dame 27, Georgia Tech 14 – 31 games
Notre Dame rushes for 323 yards to end Georgia Tech’s 31-game win streak in Notre Dame Stadium. The four touchdowns scored by ND marked the most for a Georgia Tech opponent during the streak and Ralph Guglielmi’s touchdown pass is the first against the Yellow Jackets in 22 games. The Irish also win despite the loss of head coach Frank Leahy, who fainted due to a lower chest muscle spasm while walking to the dressing room at halftime.
1957 – Notre Dame 7, Oklahoma 0 – 47 games
The most remarkable streakbreaking performance by the Irish, as Notre Dame entered the game unranked and twice beaten. Dick Lynch scores the lone touchdown in the game as Notre Dame ends the Oklahoma 47-game run on the Sooners’ home turf (Owen Field). The 47-game streak still ranks as the longest in college football history.
1971 – Notre Dame 24, Texas 11 – 30 games
The sixth-ranked Irish end Texas’ bid for two consecutive perfect seasons in the Cotton Bowl. Joe Theismann accounts for three scores in the first 16 minutes of the game while Walt Patulski and Mike Kadish shut out the potent Texas offense in the second half, forcing nine fumbles (five recovered by Notre Dame).
1973 – Notre Dame 23, USC 14 – 23 games
Eric Penick’s 85-yard run in the third quarter keys No. 8 Notre Dame’s triumph that ends No. 6 USC’s run. The victory is a pivotal triumph in Notre Dame’s national championship season.
1988 – Notre Dame 31, Miami 30 – 36 games
Despite giving up 424 passing yards to Miami’s Steve Walsh, Notre Dame forces seven turnovers and ends the Hurricanes’ 36-game run and 20-game streak on the road. Pat Terrell posted the memorable play in this contest, batting away a two-point conversion attempt with 45 seconds to play.
1993 – Notre Dame 31, Florida State 24 – 16 games
Notre Dame also had won 16 games entering the contest and the Irish built a 21-7 halftime lead and eventually held on down the stretch. Notre Dame piles up 239 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns in the contest. Shawn Wooden knocks down a Charlie Ward pass as time runs out to ensure the victory.
Streak Busters II
While the Notre Dame football team has its share of memorable streak busting performances, the entire Notre Dame athletics department owns its share of notable victories:
Jan. 19, 1974 – Dwight Clay’s jumper provides the winning points as the Notre Dame men’sbasketball team halts UCLA’s 88-game win streak (still the NCAA record) in a 71-70 thriller.
Oct. 2, 1994 – The Notre Dame women’s soccer team plays to a 0-0 tie against perennial power North Carolina in St. Louis, stopping UNC’s 92-game win streak (still the NCAA record).
Jan. 15, 2001 – The Notre Dame women’s basketball team stuns Connecticut, 92-76, to halt UConn’s 30-game win streak and help vault the Irish to the national title.
June 7, 2002 – The Notre Dame baseball team ends top-ranked Florida State’s 25-game win streak (10-4) in the first game of an NCAA Super Regional series.
Jan. 30, 2005 – The Irish women’s basketball team strikes again, posting a 65-59 win at Connecticut to snap the Huskies’ 112-game home court win streak (dating back to 1993). It also was the first loss at Gampel Pavilion in 55 games for UConn.
GameDay At Notre Dame
ESPN’s College GameDay program is making its seventh appearance on Notre Dame’s campus this weekend and first since 2000. The Irish are 3-3 all-time when GameDay is present outside Notre Dame Stadium and 7-8 overall in the 15 times that the traditional college football program has appeared at any Irish contest, regardless of site. This will be the second Notre Dame – USC matchup highlighted by the program, as the 1995, 38-10, victory by the Irish played host to GameDay.
Notre Dame is also unique, as it hosted the first of GameDay show on the road at the 1993 matchup between No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 1 Florida State.
SEE PDF FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF GAMEDAY’S APPEARANCES AT NOTRE DAME
All-time, the higher-ranked team is 89-39 when GameDay is present at the site of the game.
Coming Off a Bye Week
Notre Dame has won more than 80 percent of its games (59-13-2, .811) when it plays after a bye week (since 1900). The Irish have an even higher percentage (26-4, .867) playing after an off week since 1984.
SEE PDF FOR A COMLETE LIST OF NOTRE DAME’S GAMES AFTER A BYE WEEK SINCE 1984
Irish First-Year Head Coaches
As Charlie Weis continues his first season at the helm of the Irish, here are a few notes on Notre Dame’s head coaches in their inaugural years (see page 13 for a recap of each coaching debut season in ND history).
â€¢ The 27 previous head football coaches in Notre Dame history have combined to amass a 168-60-12 (.700) record in their first years at the helm.
â€¢ Weis is the first coach to begin his Irish career by beating two ranked opponents in his first two games. The only other attempt was by Terry Brennan in 1954 (won 21-0 vs. #4 Texas, lost 27-14 vs. #19 Purdue).
â€¢ Weis is the first coach to begin his Notre Dame tenure with two victories on the road and on the opponent’s home field since Knute Rockne in 1918 (at Case Tech, at Wabash). Hunk Anderson faced his first two games away from Notre Dame in `31 (at Indiana, vs. Northwestern at Soldier Field – a win and a tie, respectively) and Dan Devine also started with two games away from South Bend in `75 (vs. Boston College at Foxboro, at Purdue – both wins).
â€¢ The two most recent Irish head coaches (Bob Davie; 7-6 in 1997, Tyrone Willingham; 10-3 in 2002) posted winning records in their first seasons. The last Irish coach to turn in a sub – .500 season in his first year is Lou Holtz, whose `86 team finished 5-6.
â€¢ The longest winning streak for a Notre Dame head coach to begin his career with the Irish is nine games, by Harper (1913-14) and Parseghian (`64).
â€¢ Since 1913, four Notre Dame coaches – Layden, Parseghian, Holtz and Willingham – have taken over the program the year after their predecessors were either .500 or below. All but Holtz, who went 5-6 in `86, posted winning records in their first seasons and the quartet had a combined 30-13 record in such seasons. The `04 Irish went 6-6 under Willingham.
First-Year Players Seeing Significant Time
Through the first five games of the 2005 season, Notre Dame has seen 24 players make their Irish playing debut. Included in the 24 players are 10 true freshmen from Notre Dame’s 15-player class signed last year. The complete list of players that have played for the first time this season: James Bent, Justin Brown, David Bruton*, Maurice Crum, Jr., Casey Cullen, Paul Duncan*, Leo Ferrine, David Fitzgerald, David Grimes*, LaBrose Hedgemon III, Ray Herring*, Joey Hiben*, Pat Kuntz*, Terrail Lambert, Ashley McConnell, Marty Mooney, Steve Quinn * Asaph Schwapp*, Dwight Stephenson, Jr., Scott Smith*, Ronald Talley and Michael Turkovich*, Anthony Vernaglia.
* – indicates true freshman
Offense Piling Up Yardage
The offense has been the highlight of the 2005 Notre Dame football season thus far. The Irish are currently ninth in the country in overall offense (504.20) and are on pace for the most prolific offensive season since the team ended the 1996 season ranked 10th in total offense. Currently, the Irish are averaging 329.8 passing yards per game, on pace to break the Notre Dame record of 252.7 set in 1970 (Notre Dame finished that season ranked eighth in the country in passing offense and second overall with a school-record 510.5 total yards per game).
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 (502 at Pittsburgh, 594 vs. Michigan State, 560 at Washington, 621 at Purdue) – marking the first time the Irish have posted four or more 500-yard performances since the 1996 season.
Here is a breakdown of Notre Dame’s 500-plus games, season by season, since 1990 –
1990: 502 vs. Purdue, 542 vs. Air Force
1991: 650 vs. Michigan State
1992: 561 vs. Northwestern, 509 vs. Michigan State, 580 vs. Purdue, 521 vs. Pittsburgh, 576 vs. Boston College
1993: 539 vs. Pittsburgh, 535 vs. BYU, 604 vs. Navy
1994: 547 vs. Purdue
1995: 503 vs. Purdue, 511 vs. Texas, 514 vs. Air Force
1996: 650 vs. Washington, 544 vs. Boston College, 565 vs. Pittsburgh, 648 vs. Rutgers
1997: 520 vs. Boston College
1999: 566 vs. Oklahoma, 524 vs. Navy
2003: 512 vs. Stanford
2004: 536 vs. Purdue
Keep an Eye on Third Down
Notre Dame is ranked 18th in the nation and is averaging a solid 47 percent on third down this season (36 of 77), while holding its opponents to 30 percent (20 of 67), which is ranked 17th in the nation.
Notre Dame Putting Up Points
Notre Dame has scored over 40 points in three of its first five games this season. The last Irish team to accomplish that feat was the 1992 team, which defeated Northwestern 42-7, Michigan State 52-31 and Purdue 48-0. The last time Notre Dame scored 40 points in a game three times in a single season was 2000, when the team beat Navy 45-14, West Virginia 42-28 and Rutgers 45-17.
Red Zone Turnovers
Notre Dame has forced its opponent into five turnovers during 19 red zone visits this season. The Irish have caused three fumbles and intercepted two passes inside their own 20-yard line this season. Overall, Notre Dame’s opponents are 13 for 19 in red zone chances with 10 touchdowns and three field goals. The Irish are 22 for 23 with 19 touchdowns and three field goals.
Quinn and the Notre Dame Record Book
Junior QB Brady Quinn, in his third full year as the Irish starter, already has made a lasting mark on the Irish football record book. Here is a quick overview at some of his accomplishments and rankings all-time at Notre Dame (see pages 9, 11 and 13 for several career ranking breakdowns for Quinn):
Touchdowns, Single Game – 5 – vs. Michigan State, the school record, breaking the previous mark of four which was held by seven different individuals in nine different games.
Completions, Single Game – 33 – vs. Michigan State, matched Joe Theismann’s school record from the 1970 game at USC.
Yards, Single Game – 487 – vs. Michigan State, second all-time behind Theismann’s 526 at USC in `70.
Yards, Career – 6,038 – becoming just the third Irish quarterback to throw for better than 6,000 yards, Quinn stands 489 yards behind Steve Beuerlein for second on the all-time list. Ron Powlus is the career yardage leader with 7,602 (Quinn trails Powlus by 1,564 yards).
Touchdown Passes, Career – 39 – already third on the all-time list behind Rick Mirer (41) and Ron Powlus (52).
Avg. Passing Yards Per Game, Career – 208.2 – currently first on the all-time list ahead of Powlus (172.7).
Quinn also is well ahead of the pace to set the single-season passing yardage record for the Irish. At his current pace (324.2 yards per game), he would total 3,566 yards. The single-season record is held by Jarious Jackson, who threw for 2,753 yards in 1999. Averaging 250 yards per game for the rest of the season he would end up with 3,121 yards. The Dublin, Ohio, native has the possibility of becoming Notre Dame’s first 3,000-yard single-season passer.
Since 1950, a Notre Dame quarterback has thrown for 300 yards or more 14 times. Junior QB Brady Quinn is responsible for five of those performances – the most for any single Notre Dame quarterback. Quinn has thrown for 350 (vs. Boston College, 2003), 432 (vs. Purdue, 2004), 487 (vs. Michigan State, 2005), 327 (at Washington, 2005) and 440 (at Purdue, 2005).
Quinn is the only Notre Dame quarterback to throw for over 400 yards three times in a career (in fact, he is the only one to do it twice) – and in Notre Dame’s last game at Purdue he became the first Irish signalcaller to throw for more than 300 yards in three consecutive games and the only Irish QB to throw for over 300 yards three in one season.
SEE PDF FOR A COMPLETE BREAKDOWN OF QUINN’S PERFORMANCES IN 2005
Quinn On A Streak
Junior QB Brady Quinn has thrown a touchdown pass in his last 10 games played (and started) for the Irish, matching John Huarte’s record set in 1964. The Dublin, Ohio, native has totaled 21 scoring tosses during the run.
Quinn’s touchdown passes over the last 10 games –
2005 – 3 at Purdue, 1 at Washington, 5 vs. Michigan State, 2 at Michigan, 2 at Pittsburgh
2004 – 2 vs. Oregon State (Insight Bowl), 1 at USC, 3 vs. Pittsburgh, 1 at Tennessee, 1 vs. Boston College
Quinn Throws Five
Junior QB Brady Quinn became the first Notre Dame quarterback to throw five touchdown passes in a single game against Michigan State on Sept. 17. Quinn finished the game 33 of 60 for 487 yards, five touchdowns and one interception. It ranks as the second-best individual statistical performance by a Notre Dame quarterback – just behind Joe Theismann’s 33-for-58, 526-yard peformance at USC in 1970. Unfortunately, both games ended up in the loss column for the Irish.
Quinn’s touchdown passes vs. Michigan State:
18 yards to Jeff Samardzija, first quarter, 5:14
31 yards to Samardzija, second quarter, 8:43
6 yards to Darius Walker, third quarter, 1:23
7 yards to Maurice Stovall, fourth quarter, 12:29
4 yards to Smardzija, fourth quarter, 2:31
Quinn, Statistically Speaking
Brady Quinn’s exceptional start to the 2005 season has provided several statistical highlights for the junior QB.
â€¢ He reached the 6,000-yard passing barrier quicker than any Irish quarterback in history (29 games). Ron Powlus reached 6,000 yards in 34 games (and, like Quinn, he passed 6,000 yards at Purdue) and Steve Beuerlein racked 6,000 yards in 40 games.
â€¢ His 13 touchdown passes are the most for any Irish quarterback over the course of a season’s first five games. Ron Powlus threw 12 touchdown passes in the first five games of the 1994 season, while Rick Mirer threw 10 scoring passes in the first five games of 1991.
â€¢ Quinn’s 283 passing yards in the first half at Purdue two weeks ago are the most ever for an Irish quarterback in a game’s first 30 minutes.
â€¢ He completed 11 consecutive passes during the second and third quarter of the Purdue game – marking the second time he has accomplished that feat this season. He completed 11 straight at Pittsburgh as well. Those two streaks are good for third on the all-time list behind Jarious Jackson (12 vs. Navy, 1998) and Ron Powlus (14 vs. Michigan State, 1997).
In 2005, junior quarterback Brady Quinn has become just the 13th signal-caller in Notre Dame history to start under center for three years. The following is a list of Quinn’s predecessors, along with their stats (when available) from their third starting season. In the 12 seasons played by three-year starting Irish quarterbacks, prior to Quinn’s `05 season, the group amassed a 90-30-4 combined record.
Quinn is poised to become the most prolific passer of the three-year starter group. He needs just 322 yards to surpass Ron Powlus for single season yards (1942) and three touchdown passes to move past Rick Mirer (15).
SEE PDF FOR A COMPARISON OF THIRD-YEAR STARTING QUARTERBACKS
Walker Off To A Great Start
Sophomore RB Darius Walker started the 2005 season with four consecutive 100-yard performances. He ran for an even 100 yards at #23/25 Pittsburgh (42-21 Irish victory), posted 104 yards in a 17-10 victory at #3/3 Michigan, rushed for 116 yards against Michigan State (44-41 OT loss) and had a career-high 128 yards at Washington on Sept. 24. Purdue ended Walker’s streak of 100-yard games at four by holding him to 80 yards on 23 carries.
The effort against Washington made Walker the first Irish running back to start the season with four consecutive 100-yard rushing performances. The last Notre Dame running back to rush for over 100 yards in four straight games was Randy Kinder, who rushed for 100 yards against Purdue (142), Vanderbilt (110), Texas (129) and Ohio State (143) in 1995.
SEE PDF FOR A BREAKDOWN OF WALKER GAME-BY-GAME IN 2005
Walker Expanding His Game
While sophomore Darius Walker set the Notre Dame freshman rushing record last season (786 yards in `04), he was limited in his role in the Irish passing game (10 catches, 74 yards). He has already eclipsed those numbers in 2005, posting 17 catches (fourth on the team) for 116 yards and two touchdowns.
Jinx?, What Jinx?
Sophomore running back Darius Walker set a Notre Dame freshman rushing record in 2004 with 786 yards, eclipsing the mark of 756 Jerome Heavens set in 1975, en route to earning third-team Freshman All-America honors from The Sporting News. If Walker stays on the pace he set in his first season with the Irish, he will be primed to turn in one of the finest statistical seasons ever by an Irish sophomore.
SEE PDF FOR A COMPARISON OF SECOND-YEAR RUNNING BACKS
Hoyte Impressive in First Five Games
Senior defensive captain LB Brandon Hoyte has been a force for the Notre Dame football team over the course of the season’s first five games. Embracing his new role as a playmaker in defensive coordinator Rick Minter’s scheme, Hoyte leads the team with 42 tackles, 10.5 tackles for a loss and four sacks. He also has broken up two passes and forced a fumble. A preseason selection for the 2005 Butkus Award Watch List, Hoyte posted eight tackles (six solo) and and three tackles for a loss at Washington on Sept. 24.
Hoyte is currently ranked fifth in the country for tackles-for-loss, averaging 2.1 per game –
National Leaders, Tackles-for-loss per game:
1. Elvis Dumervil, Louisville, 3.30
2. Ryan Neill, Rutgers, 2.6
3. Stephen Tulloch, North Carolina State, 2.25
4. Chris Mineo, UTEP, 2.13
5. Brandon Hoyte, Notre Dame, 2.10
Steven Nicolas, South Florida, 2.10
Junior Jeff Samardzija has caught at least one touchdown pass in all five Notre Dame games this season (eight total).
Samardzija Five Play
Junior WR Jeff Samardzija entered the 2005 campaign without a touchdown catch, but has since caught at least one scoring toss in each of this season’s first five games. The two-sport athlete (who was a top-line starting pitcher for the Irish baseball team last season) becomes the first Irish receiver to begin the season with five consecutive games with touchdown catches.
Samardzija, who also serves as the team’s holder on field-goal attempts, tied a Notre Dame record with three touchdown receptions versus Michigan State. He is the seventh player to do it and the first since Tom Gatewood versus Purdue in 1970. Samardzija’s two touchdown grabs at Purdue made him the first Irish receiver to catch touchdowns in five consecutive games since Malcolm Johnson posted a Notre Dame record six TD catches in six straight midseason games (Arizona State, Army, Baylor, Boston College, Navy and LSU) from Oct. 10 through Nov. 11, during the 1998 season.
Samardzija, Statistically Speaking
Junior WR Jeff Samardzija has started the season off in impressive fashion, leading the team with 28 catches for 499 yards and eight touchdowns. He is ranked 19th in the country in receiving yards per game (99.9) and could become Notre Dame’s first 1,000-yard receiver since 1970 (Tom Gatewood, 1,123 yards). Samardzija is currently on pace for 1,097 receiving yards this season.
He is already threatening the single-season touchdown total. His eight scoring receptions are tied for third on the all-time list –
Touchdown Receptions in a Season –
Rank Name Total Season
1. Derrick Mayes 11 1994
2. Jack Snow 9 1964
3. Jeff Samardzija 8 2005
Jim Seymour 8 1966
Tom Gatewood 7 1970
6. Tom Gatewood 7 1970
Older and Wiser
The 2005 Notre Dame offensive line is one of the most experienced units in school history. With the entire starting group from a year ago still in the fold, the Irish offense boasts almost 100 combined career starts on the line. Entering the 2005 season, senior tackle Mark LeVoir started the last 24 Notre Dame games and led the veteran group in starting assignments. Seniors Bob Morton and Dan Stevenson were a close second with 22 starts each, while junior Ryan Harris had 19 starts to his credit and junior John Sullivan was the junior man of the group with 12. Here is a look at the 10 most experienced offensive line units to wear the blue and gold since `85, with the `05 group added in for comparison.
Year Starts Heading Into Season
Three Over 150
In the last three games, vs. Michigan State, at Washington and at Purdue, a Notre Dame player has compiled over 150 yards receiving in each contest. Senior Maurice Stovall caught eight passes for 176 yards against MSU, while junior Jeff Samardzija nabbed eight passes for 164 yards at Washington and seven passes for 153 yards at Purdue. Stovall and Samardzija’s efforts mark the first time a Notre Dame team has seen three 150-yard performances in a season.
Don’t Forget the Anniversary
The 2005 football season marks the 75th anniversary of the opening of fabled Notre Dame Stadium. The Irish have played 381 games in that facility to date and own a 287-89-5 (.760) record in the “House that Rockne Built.”
The Irish were 3-3 in Notre Dame Stadium in `04, running their home record to 91-29 (.758) over the last 20 years.
The most wins in a season by the Irish at home is seven by the `88 national championship team and the longest home winning streak in Notre Dame football history is 28 games (from 11/21/42 through 9/30/50).
In `55, the Stadium’s 25th anniversary, Notre Dame went 8-2 on the season for coach Terry Brennan, including a 4-0 home record; the Irish turned in a 9-2-1 overall record and a 5-0 home mark to commemorate Notre Dame Stadium’s 50th anniversary in `80.
Irish Face Another Loaded Schedule
With the updates of the AP and USA Today/Coaches Poll, Notre Dame will continue to face one of the toughest schedules in the nation (rankings are AP/USA Today and Harris Interactive):
â€¢ Notre Dame is the only team that will play three games against top four teams from the preseason polls – #1/1 USC (Oct. 15), #5/4 Tennessee (Nov. 5) and #3/3 Michigan (W, 17-10).
â€¢ Notre Dame is the only school that will face three teams that were in the top 10 of both preseason polls this season.
â€¢ Notre Dame will play games against six teams ranked in the top 25 this season at least once this season. The Irish have already defeated #23/25 Pittsburgh 42-21, #3/3 Michigan 17-10 and #22/20/22 Purdue. Notre Dame also will face #1/1/1 USC and #17/18/21 Tennessee. Michigan State, unranked before its victory over the Irish, has moved into #16/17/15 in the current national rankings.
In Front of the Nation
In 2004, the Notre Dame football team once again received more network television exposure and played in more highly-rated games than any other program in college football.
The Irish played in the highest-rated network game of the `04 regular season (and the highest-rated regular-season game overall in two seasons) in its `04 regular-season finale at USC. That game, televised by ABC Sports, received a 6.3 Nielsen rating and was seen in 6.898 million households.
Overall, Notre Dame played in six games that ranked among the top 25 highest-rated network telecasts and no other school played in more than five (Tennessee and Georgia each played in five).
Including Notre Dame’s last game at Purdue, the Irihs have a remarkable streak of 153 consecutive games (more than 12 full seasons) that have been carried by either NBC (81), ABC (44), CBS (14) or ESPN (13). You have to go all the way back to the `92 season to find a Notre Dame game that wasn’t on one of those four networks.
The streak will continue throughout the 2005 season as well. All six remaining games this season are scheduled to be broadcast on NBC or ABC.
In Front of a Full House
Notre Dame has played in front of sellout crowds in 176 of its previous 202 games, including 44 of its last 48 games dating back to the end of the Fiesta Bowl at the end of the 2000 season (the `01 and `03 games at Stanford, last year’s game vs. Navy at the Meadowlands and this season’s game at Washington were not sellouts). At Michigan in `03, the Irish and Wolverines attracted the largest crowd in NCAA history (111,726), marking the third time in the history of the series that an NCAA attendance record has been set. It also represented the seventh time in the last four seasons that Notre Dame has been part of establishing a new stadium attendance record (at Nebraska and Texas A&M in `01; at Air Force and Florida State, home vs. Boston College in `02, vs. Oregon State in the Insight Bowl in `04 – the game set a Bank One Ballpark record for football configuration). Notre Dame and Michigan played before an over-capacity 111,386 at Michigan Stadium two weeks ago. This season’s Washington was played before less than a capacity crowd as 71,473 witnessed the Irish defeat the Huskies, 36-17, at Husky Stadium (capacity: 72,500) in Seattle.
At Purdue, the Irish and Boilermakers played before 60,491 football fans, a Ross-Ade Stadium record (since the renovation of the facility in 2003).
On the `Fas’ Track to Success
Senior tight end Anthony Fasano turned in a breakout 2004 season for the Irish, catching 27 balls for 367 yards and four touchdowns. Against Purdue, the 6-4, 257-pound Fasano hauled in a career-high eight passes for a career-high and Notre Dame tight end-record 155 yards in `04 and was named John Mackey National Tight End of the Week. His 27 catches in ’04 tied him with former Irish standout Pete Chryplewicz for the fifth-highest single-season total by a tight end.
SEE PDF FOR SEVERAL DIFFERENT STATISTICAL BREAKDOWNS ON FASANO
Already in the Books
In 2004, Notre Dame wide receiver Matt Shelton cemented his name in the lore of Notre Dame football last season by setting a single-season record for average yards per reception. Shelton’s average of 25.8 yards per catch eclipsed Tony Hunter’s mark of 25.6 from the 1979 campaign. Here’s a look at the top five single seasons in school history in terms of yards per reception.
Player Avg. Year
1. Matt Shelton 25.8 2004
2. Tony Hunter 25.6 1979
3. Jim Morse 22.1 1956
4. Raghib Ismail 21.8 1990
4. Kris Haines 21.8 1978
The record for most receptions by a pair of classmates at Notre Dame is 210, achieved by the 1966-68 combination of Jim Seymour (138) and Bob Gladieux (72). A prolific 2005 season by seniors Rhema McKnight and Maurice Stovall could eclipse that standard. Entering this weekend’s contest, McKnight has 103 career catches and Stovall 84 for 187 total – needing 23 catches combined to reach the record. It should be pointed out, however, that both McKnight and Stovall played as freshmen – Seymour and Gladieux piled up 210 catches in just three years of varsity action.
National Award Watch Lists
Maxwell award –
In June, Irish junior quarterback Brady Quinn was one of 53 players named to the 2005 Maxwell Award Watch List. The award, presented by the Maxwell Football Club, is given annually to the college football player of the year.
Quinn has thrown for over 1,500 yards (1,621) in Notre Dame’s first five games. He has added 13 touchdowns (including a Notre Dame single-game record five against Michigan State), completed over 65 percent of his passes (65.3) and is averaging 324.2 passing yards per game.
Quinn threw for 2,586 yards in `04, his second as the starting quarterback for Notre Dame. His sophomore season ended up as the best second-year campaign ever for an Irish quarterback, finishing second in ND history on the single-season passing list behind Jarious Jackson’s 2,753 yards in `99. Quinn’s attempts (353) and completions (191) last season stand atop the single-season lists at Notre Dame. He accounted for 20 touchdowns (17 passing, three rushing) in `04.
Starting the last 26 consecutive games at quarterback for Notre Dame, Quinn already has posted the top freshman and sophomore statistical seasons in school history. He currently ranks third all-time on the Notre Dame passing yardage list, just 489 yards behind Steve Beuerlein for second place.
The Maxwell Award is named after Robert W. “Tiny” Maxwell, a Philadelphia native and former All-American guard at Swarthmore and Chicago who went on to a career that included professional football, coaching and sportswriting.
Notre Dame has seen four different players earn the Maxwell Award a total of five times in the football program’s history. Tight end Leon Hart was the initial recipient in 1949, followed by HB John Lattner (1952 and `53), LB Jim Lynch (1966) and DE Ross Browner (1977).
MACKEY AWARD –
On Aug. 1, Anthony Fasano was named to the 2005 John Mackey Award Watch List which is given annually to the nation’s best collegiate tight end.
Fasano is tied for second on the team in `05 with 23 catches for 249 yards (10.8 avg.). He is averaging 49.8 receiving yards per game.
Fasano is coming off his most productive season in 2004. As a junior, he finished second on the team with 27 catches for 367 yards and four touchdowns. Proficient in pass catching, route running and blocking, Fasano is poised for a breakout year in Notre Dame’s new offense under the direction of head coach Charlie Weis and offensive coordinator Michael Haywood.
Fasano caught four passes for 60 yards in the ’04 season opener against BYU and continued to be a reliable force in the Irish offense throughout the campaign. He exploded for career highs in catches and yards against Purdue, nabbing eight receptions for a Notre Dame tight end-record 155 receiving yards.
He was named the John Mackey National Tight End of the Week for his performance against Purdue.
The Verona, N.J., native, one of 20 players on the watch list, also caught two touchdown passes against Washington and added scoring receptions at Tennessee and against Oregon State in the Insight Bowl.
Fasano also was a key contributor in 2003. As a sophomore, he caught 18 passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns. He did not play during his freshman season in 2002.
NFL Hall of Famer John Mackey is considered to be the best to have played the tight end position. The award honors his leadership and career of excellence.
The John Mackey Award has been presented since 2000, with four NFL players as alumni: Dallas Clark of Iowa (’01), Daniel Graham of Colorado (’02), Kellen Winslow, Jr. of Miami (FL) (’03) and Heath Miller of Virginia (’04).
The Nassau County Sports Commmission, a non-profit organization to enhance quality of life by “Improving Life through Sports” and promote “Healthy Sports for Healthy Kids,” presents this national football award as a tribute to Nassau County sports legend and native John Mackey.
GROZA AWARD –
D.J. Fitzpatrick has been named to the Lou Groza Award Preseason Watch List as one of 30 preliminary candidates for the annual award recognizing college football’s finest placekicker.
Fitzpatrick is a perfect 23 for 23 in PATs this season. He has missed one of seven field-goal attempts (from 48 yards against Michigan State) and has posted a punting average of 40.7 – pinning four kicks inside the opponent’s 20-yard line and launching a 60-yard punt at Michigan.
Fitzpatrick is entering his third season as the primary placekicker and punter for the Fighting Irish and is coming off an excellent season in 2004 in which he connected on 11 of 15 field goal attempts (73.3 percent), including a long of 47 yards. He scored 64 points on the season while making 34 of 35 conversion attempts. A proven performer in pressure situations, Fitzpatrick has made 25 of 32 attempts inside 50 yards for his career. He already ranks eighth in Notre Dame history for career field goals made with 25.
Kickers on the Lou Groza Award Preseason Watch List were chosen based on statistics from the 2004 season and 2005 preseason expectations. However, all Division I-A kickers are eligible for consideration for the award. A panel of more than 300 experts votes on the award, including Division I-A head coaches, sportswriters and sportscasters, conference representatives, professional kickers and all previous Groza Award finalists.
The 20 semi-finalists for the Lou Groza Award will be announced on Monday, Oct. 31, 2005, with the naming of the three finalists two weeks later on Monday, Nov. 14, 2005. The three finalists are recognized during the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award Banquet and Silent Auction on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2005, at the Palm Beach Gardens Marriott and the winner is announced on Thursday, December 8, 2005, during the ESPN Home Depot College Football Award Show in Orlando, Fla.
The award, now in its 14th year, is named for National Football League (NFL) Hall-of-Fame kicker Lou Groza, who played 21 seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Groza won four NFL championships with Cleveland and was named NFL Player of the Year in 1954. Nicknamed “The Toe,” Groza helped usher in the idea that a player could be used exclusively for kicking.
BUTKUS AWARD –
Senior linebacker and defensive team captain Brandon Hoyte has been named one of 65 candidates on the 2005 Butkus Award watch list. The award honors the nation’s top collegiate linebacker.
Hoyte has been a terror to opposing offenses this season. He leads the team with 42 tackles (including a team high 12 with 10 solos at Michigan), 10.5 tackles for a loss and four sacks. He also has broken up two passes and forced a fumble in 2005.
A fifth-year senior in 2005, Hoyte is a two-time academic all-district honoree with 205 career tackles, six career sacks and four forced fumbles (including three in 2004). A native of Parlin, N.J., Hoyte is a leader both on and off the field for the Irish.
Hoyte finished second on the team in tackles last season, making 74 stops (38 solo) along with eight tackles for loss and three sacks. Projected as a starter on the outside for the Irish this season, Hoyte is poised to end his Irish career with an outstanding senior campaign.
Named a freshman All-American by The Sporting News in 2002, Hoyte has collected more than 50 tackles in each season (57 in ’02, 74 in ’03, 74 in ’04).
Making the Grade
The last four seasons of Notre Dame football have produced some impressive semesters in the classroom for the Notre Dame football team. In fact, the Irish had a 2004 spring semester in which the team’s 104 players combined for a 2.96 grade-point average that ranks as the program’s best semester GPA on record (dating back to 1992). The Notre Dame football program’s top six semester GPAs since `92 were all posted in the seven semesters prior to the fall of `04, including the three semesters from fall of `02 to fall of `03 (2.84 in fall of `02, 2.79 in spring of `03 and 2.82 in fall of `03). The football program’s second-best semester GPA of the past 12 years came in the spring of `02 (2.90), followed by a 2.80 in the spring of `01 and a 2.69 in the fall of `01. Upon closer examination, the 2004 spring semester saw 11 Irish football players post a Dean’s List GPA (sliding scale, based on major), while 21 turned in a semester GPA of 3.4-plus and more than half (53) had a GPA of 3.0 or better. In addition, two players – former DE Kyle Businscak and senior LB Brandon Hoyte – received Academic All-District V honors in `03, marking Budinscak’s third selection and Hoyte’s second to the prestigious squad. Budinscak followed up with another All-District V honor in `04.
Taking Care of Business Off the Field, Too
The American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) annually honors the school with the highest graduation rate based on a particular entering freshman football class, and Notre Dame has won the award six times, most recently in 2001 with its 100-percent graduation rate (22 of 22 entering freshmen from `96 earned their degrees within five years). The `01 award followed Notre Dame’s previous honors in `82, `83, `84, `88 and `91. Notre Dame also holds the distinction of producing the first 100-percent rate in a single year when 24 of 24 student-athletes from the entering class of `82 earned their degrees within a five-year period (and 16 of those 24 did so within four years). Only eight other times has a school registered a 100-percent graduation rate. The `88 award had special meaning, as it was the first time a school won the national championship on the football field – as Notre Dame did, finishing 12-0 after a Fiesta Bowl win over unbeaten West Virginia – and in the classroom. Including the special mention category, the Irish have received some sort of recognition in 23 of the 24 years the award has been presented, with Duke next at 21.
All, other than this weekend’s, 2005 pep rallies will be held in the Joyce Center Arena (south dome) on Fridays before Saturday home games, beginning at 6:00 p.m. (EST). The football team enters the arena at 6:30 p.m.
For the USC game, the pep rally has been moved into Notre Dame Stadium to accomodate the expected overflow crowd. The general public is asked to enter through Gates C and D. The Notre Dame student body should enter through Gate E. Gates open at 5:00 p.m.
Beginning this season, all of Notre Dame’s pep rallies will be broadcast live (video and audio) on www.und.com for subscribers to “Fighting Irish All-Access.”
“Notre Dame Experience” Returns for 2005 Season
For years, the Joyce Center has been the “pregame meeting place” for several thousand Notre Dame alumni. In an effort to add to this tradition, the Notre Dame athletics department is providing an interactive fan experience for each of the 2005 home football games in the Joyce Center Fieldhouse (north dome). For the fourth consecutive season, the “Notre Dame Experience” will combine with the Notre Dame Alumni Association Hospitality Center with interactive inflatables, photo booths, autograph sessions, football trivia and stage activities. Gates open three hours prior to kickoff and admission is free.
Tickets Available for 2005 Football Kickoff Luncheons
Tickets are now on sale for all the 2005 Notre Dame Kickoff Luncheons, held in the Joyce Center Fieldhouse (north dome) on the Friday prior to home football games. The luncheons feature head coach Charlie Weis and Irish players and assistant coaches, plus special guests and other attractions.
Tickets are $18 each, with a handling fee of $3 – there are 10 seats per table – and if you wish to sit as a group at the same table with other guests, please return all reservations in one envelope. Checks should be made payable to “University of Notre Dame” and mailed to: Athletics Business Office, 112 Joyce Center, Notre Dame, IN, 46556. Telephone and credit card reservations are not accepted. A printed reservation form is available on Notre Dame’s athletics web site – www.und.com. The October 14 USC luncheon is sold out.
Notre Dame Athletics Continues Relationship with SIRIUS Satellite Radio
After a successful debut season in 2004, SIRIUS Satellite Radio will continue to offer Notre Dame football, and selected men’s/women’s basketball, games on its nationwide service.
Go to www.sirius.com for more information on the service. The Notre Dame – USC match up can be heard on the following SIRIUS channels –
Oct. 15 vs. USC 147 (home team broadcast) â€¢ 143 (visiting team broadcast)
Inside the Irish Huddle DVD
Legendary Notre Dame Quarterbacks, a project dedicated to the lore and history of University of Notre Dame football and its rich quarterbacking tradition, is beginning its existence with the release of a DVD, Inside the Irish Huddle, Stories from the Legendary Notre Dame Quarterbacks.
The DVD is now available and can ordered on NDQB1.com, the official website of the Legendary Notre Dame Quarterbacks.
Inside the Irish Huddle, made in association with Indianapolis and Chicago based Pathway Productions, includes interviews with and collegiate highlights of some of the most high-profile players and coaches in Notre Dame and college football history. Joe Montana, Joe Theismann, Paul Hornung, Johnny Lujack, Tom Clements and Terry Hanratty are just a few of former players featured on Inside the Irish Huddle.
The project is spearheaded by former Irish quarterback Blair Kiel (1980-83).
Notre Dame Stadium Update
Thanks to funding by the Notre Dame Monogram Club, Notre Dame Stadium features a new look for its 75th anniversary this season.
â€¢ Positioned in the 195 portals of the original Stadium walls (now visible in the lower bowl concourse), there now are individual, four-by-10-foot, mesh banners with old-school, black-and-white photos highlighting Notre Dame’s 11 consensus national-championship seasons, its 139 first-team football All-Americans, its seven Heisman Trophy winners, its five national-championship coaches and its eight representatives in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
â€¢ Hanging from the ceiling around the lower concourse are 15 full-color, 12-by-15-foot banners – 10 of them featuring action shots of members of the 2005 Irish squad, and five featuring the 75th anniversary logo for Notre Dame Stadium. In addition, there will be four other five-by-eight-foot representations of the logo within the Stadium.
â€¢ One addition visible from inside the Stadium is a sign on the facing of the wall just above the tunnel – it reads “Irish” and includes the Monogram Club logo.
â€¢ Attached to light polls on Moose Krause Circle surrounding the Stadium and in the Stadium and Joyce North and South parking lots are 100 two-by-four foot pole banners, all of them featuring various Notre Dame marks and phrases – including combinations of Irish, We Are ND, a shamrock, the leprechaun, University of Notre Dame, Here Come the Irish, Fighting Irish, a gold helmet and the 75th anniversary Stadium logo.
â€¢ In addition, there are plans over the next few years to theme the entry gates at the Stadium – with the intention of creating specific recognition of Notre Dame’s national championships, its All-Americans, its Heisman Trophy winners and its national championship coaches. The first gate to be completed will be Gate B. It will recognize the Irish Heisman winners and will be completed later this fall.
Most of the signage and design work is being handled by Sport Graphics, Inc., in Indianapolis, Ind. Additional work for the gate designs is by the Rockwell Group in New York, N.Y.
Irish Football on the Printed Page
This fall, three new books about Fighting Irish football have debuted. The Spirit of Notre Dame, by Jim Langford and Jeremy Langford, officially went on sale during the last week of August. Detailing both athletic and student/alumni stories from the University, the book is said to be “the absolute essential title for the millions of people who have a place in their heart for the Fighting Irish.” The book is a production of The Doubleday Broadway Publishing Group and can be bought on www.randomhouse.com.
South Bend Tribune and Notre Dame football beat writer Eric Hansen has seen the release of his new book, Notre Dame, Where Have You Gone?. Hansen catches up with former Fighting Irish football players, from the All-Americans to the walk-ons to the one-play wonders to the once-tragic figures. The book is available for order at www.sportspublishinginc.com.
The third offering comes from Senior Associate Athletic Director for Media Relations at Notre Dame – John Heisler. Echoes of Notre Dame Football, The Greatest Stories Ever Told, was edited by the former long-time sports information director. A member of the CoSIDA Hall of Fame, Heisler’s book stitches together the best columns from the best columnists. It not only recounts the greatest moments in Notre Dame lore, it also tracks the chronological progression sportswriting styles from the esoteric to the ultra-modern. The book is available by calling 800-335-5323 or by sending an e-mail to WebOrders@triumphbooks.com. The book also features a foreword by Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis.
Kevin White Radio Show
Look for the Kevin White Show for the next 30 weeks on ESPN 1000 AM radio in Chicago.
The hour-long program debuted Sept. 4 in its sixth season – with first-night guests including former Irish football-walk-on Dan “Rudy” Ruettiger (subject of the 1993 movie “Rudy”), former Irish placekicker Harry Oliver (he kicked a 51-yard field goal 25 years ago this week to help Notre Dame beat Michigan 29-27 in 1980), and current Irish hockey coach Jeff Jackson.
Guests regularly will include familiar names from all facets of college athletics.
The show features White, Notre Dame’s director of athletics, and ESPN 1000’s Dave Juday. It can be heard regularly at 11:00 p.m. Central time on Sunday.
Sponsors of the show include Gatorade, Xerox, adidas, Comcast, McDonald’s, Chase, Coca-Cola, Sirius Satellite Radio, Jordan Industries and Sayers Computer Source.
The show can be heard in more than 30 states around the country on ESPN 1000 in Chicago.
Katrina Collection Update
ollections taken up throughout the University of Notre Dame community in recent weeks–in the student residence hall chapels and dining halls and even the football stadium–have raised $240,171 for the relief of victims of the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe.
A collection in the Notre Dame Stadium during the football game with Michigan State raised $195,871. Collections also have been taken up at Masses in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart and in the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore but have not yet been tabulated.
Funds raised in the University’s Katrina collections are being distributed among Catholic Charities USA; Catholic parishes in the Gulf region which are administered by Notre Dame’s founding religious order, the Congregation of Holy Cross; and regional parochial schools participating in Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) volunteer teacher program.
The University will continue to accept donations throughout the semester. Contributions may be sent to: Notre Dame Katrina Collection, P.O. Box 198, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556-0198.
As per the instant replay guidelines, USC has decided not to use the instant replay system for this weekend’s game.
Notre Dame will utilize the Big Ten Conference instant replay system during all other home games this season. The opposing team is given the option of agreeing to use the system as well, and it will only be implemented if both teams decide to utilize the system.
â€¢ The Big Ten instant replay model and the NFL instant replay system are different. In the Big Ten model, only the Big Ten Technical Advisor, working in the press box, can stop a game to review a play. Unlike the NFL model, in the Big Ten neither the coaches nor the game officials on the field may ask for a review.
â€¢ In order for a play to be changed the Technical Advisor must have indisputable video evidence that an error occurred. Television broadcast of the game will be the sole source of whether there is indisputable video evidence.
â€¢ The replay system will not guarantee that all officiating mistakes are identified and corrected.
â€¢The types of plays that are reviewable include plays that are governed by the sideline, goal line, end zone and end line, passing plays, and other detectable infractions, such as forward progress with respect to first down.