Sept. 17, 2005
Saturday, Sept. 17, 2005 * Notre Dame Stadium * Notre Dame, Ind.
Weather information: Partly cloudy, 74 degrees with 49% humidity. Winds are variable at 5 m.p.h.
NOTRE DAME TEAM NOTES:
Notre Dame’s captains this afternoon were senior Brandon Hoyte (defense), junior Brady Quinn (offense) and junior Tom Zbikowski (special teams). The special team’s captain is selected by the Irish coaching staff week-to-week. Hoyte and Quinn were selected as season-long captains by their teammates. Michigan State won the toss and elected to receive. Notre Dame started the game defending the north end zone.
In overtime, Notre Dame won the toss and elected for overtime to be decided at the north end of the stadium.
Today’s game is the 180th consecutive sellout at Notre Dame Stadium (the first 130 coming at the old 59,075 capacity). The MSU game marks the 228th home sellout in the last 229 games (dating back to 1964). It also is the 174th sellout in the last 199 Irish games and the 38th in the last 40 games involving Notre Dame, dating back to the end of the 2001 season (only the 2003 game at Stanford and the 2004 Navy game were not sellouts).
This was Notre Dame’s first overtime game since the season opener in 2003 versus Washington State. The Irish won that game, 29-26. This is Notre Dame’s sixth overtime and the Irish are now 2-4 overall and 2-3 at Notre Dame Stadium. The overtime games: 1996 – Air Force 20, Notre Dame 17; at USC 27, ND 20; 2000 (both home games) – Nebraska 27, Notre Dame 24 and Notre Dame 34, Air Force 31; 2003 – at Notre Dame 29, Washington State 26; 2005 – Michigan State 44, Notre Dame 41.
Notre Dame leads the series with Michigan State by a 43-25-1 count, including a 26-12-0 record in Notre Dame Stadium. Michigan State has won more games in Notre Dame Stadium (12) than any other Irish opponent.
Michigan State has won seven of the past nine games in the series, including five consecutive wins in Notre Dame Stadium (23-7 in 1997, 23-13 in 1999, 17-10 in 2001, 22-16 in 2002 and 44-41 in overtime in 2005). Only Purdue (1954-62) has won five consecutive games in Notre Dame Stadium.
Michigan State’s touchdown at 11:38 (with 3:22 gone in the first quarter – Drew Stanton 20-yard touchdown pass to Matt Trannon) marked the earliest score against Notre Dame in the first three games. Pittsburgh scored at the 10:58 mark (4:02 into the game) in the season opener, also taking a 7-0 lead.
The 14 points given up by the Irish in the first quarter to Michigan State were more points than Notre Dame had surrendered (10) combined in the first quarter of the first two games of the season.
Michigan State’s 30-yard interception return for a touchdown by Sirdarean Adams was the first interception returned for a touchdown versus Notre Dame since Florida State’s Leroy Smith went 90 yards for a touchdown on Nov. 1, 2003.
The past two games at Notre Dame Stadium have seen the teams combine for 165 points (41-38 win by Pittsburgh, 44-41 win by Michigan State).
Notre Dame nearly saw four of its players total 100-plus receiving yards: Maurice Stovall (176), Jeff Samardzija (96), Anthony Fasano (93) and Matt Shelton (87).
NOTRE DAME INDIVIDUAL NOTES:
Notre Dame has seen 17 players make their Irish playing debut in the first three games of the season. James Bent, Justin Brown, David Bruton*, Maurice Crum, Jr., Casey Cullen, Paul Duncan*, Leo Ferrine, David Grimes*, LaBrose Hedgemon III, Joey Hiben*, Pat Kuntz*, Terrail Lambert, Steve Quinn * Asaph Schwapp*, Scott Smith*, Ronald Talley and Michael Turkovich*. * – indicates freshman Eleven of these players saw action last weekend at Michigan. Freshman Steve Quinn made his Notre Dame debut in the first quarter today versus Michigan State.
Junior WR Jeff Samardzija’s tied a Notre Dame record with three touchdown catches versus Michigan State. He is the seventh player to do it and the first since Tom Gatewood versus Purdue in 1970. Samardzija’s first touchdown in the first quarter made him the first Irish receiver to catch touchdowns in three consecutive games since since Malcolm Johnson had 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 is the first Irish receiver to have three straight games with touchdown catches to start the season since Derrick Mayes did it in 1994 versus Northwestern, Michigan and Michigan State. Mayes was kept out of the endzone in the fourth game of that season.
Samardzija’s two first-half touchdown catches marked the first time that a Notre Dame receiver had two touchdown catches in the first 30 minutes since Sept. 25, 2004, when Matt Shelton had a pair of TD grabs in the first quarter versus Washington. Shelton and TE Anthony Fasano each had two touchdown catches in that game. Samardziija’s six catches for 96 yards are career bests for the junior receiver (he had five receptions for 89 yards vs. Oregon State in the 2004 Insight Bowl).
TE Anthony Fasano’s 24-yard reception (his fourth of the game) in the second quarter was his longest catch of the season. With seven catches versus Michigan State, Fasano has moved into fourth on the all-time catches list for tight end with 60 catches, passing Tony Hunter (1979-82) and Mark Bavarro (1981-84) who each had 55 in their careers. He is two out of second behind Derek Brown and Dean Masztak, who each had 62.
Darius Walker posted his third straight game with 100-plus rushing yards (28 for 116).
Irish PK D.J. Fitzpatrick’s 48-yard field goal in the second quarter was the second-longest field goal of his career (longest outdoors). His longest was 50 yards in the Carrier Dome at Syracuse on Dec. 6, 2003.
QB Brady Quinn is the first Notre Dame player to have two 400-yard passing games in his career. As a sophomore in 2003, he threw for 432 yards versus Purdue on Nov. 2, 2004. His 487 yards today is a career-best and the second-highest total in Notre Dame football history. Joe Theismann holds the record with 519 yards versus USC on Nov. 28, 1970. Quinn’s five touchdown passes set a Notre Dame record.
Quinn today had career highs in attempts (60), completions (33), touchdowns (5) and yards passing (487).
Quinn moved into third on Notre Dame’s all-time completion list (400), passing Rick Mirer who had 377 completions during his career (1989-92). Quinn now trails only Ron Powlus (558) and Steve Beuerlein (473) on the all-time completion list at Notre Dame.
Quinn also moved into fourth on Notre Dame’s all-time yards passing list, with 5,044. The junior quarterback moved past Jarious Jackson (1996-99) who had 4,820 yards passing during his career. Quinn now trails Ron Powlus (7,602), Steve Beuerlein (6,527) and Rick Mirer (5,997) on the all-time list.
Quinn’s 33 completions surpassed his previous career-high of 29, set as a freshman versus Purdue (in ’03). His other previous career highs included 59 attempts and 29 completions (both at Purdue, in ’03).
Junior WR Maurice Stovall racked up a career-best 178 receiving yards (besting his 171 at Purdue in ’03) while his eight catches were one shy of that career-high (9, at Purdue in ’03).
Senior WR Matt Shelton (6 catches), junior DL Victor Abiamiri (7 tackles) and senior LB Corey Mays (6 tackles) had career-high statistical days.