Oct. 15, 2005

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2005 Notre Dame Football In-Game Notes
Notre Dame vs. USC
Saturday, Oct., 15, 2005 * Notre Dame Stadium * Notre Dame, Ind.

Weather information: Sunny, 62 degrees with 39% humidity. Winds are out of the West-Northwest at 20 m.p.h., gusting to 25-30 m.p.h. during the afternoon.


Notre Dame’s captains this afternoon were senior Brandon Hoyte (defense), junior Brady Quinn (offense) and junior Trevor Laws (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.

USC won the toss and elected to defer to the second half. Notre Dame will receive with USC defending the north end zone.

Today’s game 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 39th in the last 41 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).

The USC game was the most requested game by media and fans alike. The Notre Dame Sports Information Office issued a record 954 media credentials for the game, the most since the Nebraska game in 2000 when the previous high of 821 was set (in the expanded press box configuration). The high for the old press box was 810 for the 1993 Florida State game. Approximately 75 stools were added to the main press box today for additional seating. The game was also the most requested ticket in the history of the Notre Dame Alumni ticket lottery. Interest in the game included an estimated 45,000 fans at Friday night’s pep rally held in Notre Dame Stadium.

Reggie Bush’s 36-yard touchdown run in the first quarter was the first rushing touchdown given up by the Irish in the first quarter this season. It was also the longest touchdown run versus the Irish this season.

USC’s 14 first-quarter points (two runs) equals the most points given up by the Irish in the first quarter this season. Michigan State (two touchdown passes) also scored 14 points in the first quarter.

USC’s second-quarter interception marked the sixth time this season Notre Dame has forced its opponent into a turnover in the red zone (three fumbles, three interceptions, 21 attempts by opponents as of Chinedum Ndukwe’s interception). After that play, opponents had scored 11 TD’s in 21 trips to the red zone, kicked three field goals, turned the ball over six times and were held on fourth down once.

Notre Dame’s 21-first half points against USC were the most for the Irish against the University of Southern California since 2000 when the Irish also had 21. The last time the Irish had more points in the first half versus the Trojans was 1993 when they had 28.

Notre Dame became the first team to intercept two Matt Leinhart passes since the final game of the 2003 season when Oregon State intercepted a two passes versus the Trojan quarterback.

The four touchdown runs by USC marked the first time this season that Notre Dame’s defense surrendered more than two in a game. Purdue rushed for a pair of fourth-quarter TD runs on Oct. 1. Reggie Bush’s career-high three-touchdown game is the most for an opponent since Syracuse’s Walter Reyes had five touchdown runs on Dec. 6, 2003.

When Notre Dame failed to score in the third quarter versus USC, it marked just the third quarter this season that the Irish did not get on the scoreboard. Notre Dame also failed to score in the fourth quarter vs. Pittsburgh and the third quarter against Michigan.

The 160 yards gained by USC’s Reggie Bush were the most rushing yards by an individual versus the Irish this season. He is the first back to gain over 100 yards in a game against the Irish since Syracuse’s Walter Reyes had 189 yards on Dec. 6, 2003. USC gained 175 yards on 31 carries, the most the Irish defense has given up this season (previous high was 24 carries for 164 yards by Purdue).

Notre Dame has won – or been in the postion to win – in six of its last seven games versus the top-ranked team in the AP poll. The wins include: 31-30 vs. Miami (10/15/88), 21-6 vs. Colorado (Orange Bowl, 1/1/90) and 31-24 vs. Florida State (11/15/93). Notre Dame held a 6-3 halftime lead in the Orange Bowl rematch vs. Colorado (1/1/91) and later led, 9-3, in the third quarter, but the Buffaloes pulled out a 10-9 win. The 2000 season saw Notre Dame twice tie the score against top-ranked Nebraska (7-7, 21-21), but the Huskers won in overtime, 27-24 (9/9/2000). The only game in that stretch that Notre Dame did not have a chance to win was last season’s 41-10 loss to USC.

The 31 points given up by USC were the most points surrendered by the Trojans in 28 games since a 34-31 loss to California on 9/27/03. That game was also USC’s last loss.

Notre Dame’s previous loss in the final seconds of a game came in 1999 when Mike Biselli made a 22-yard field goal as time expired to give Stanford a 40-37 win at Stanford. This marks the 13th time in the program’s history that a game involving Notre Dame has had the winning points scored with three seconds or less in a game (seven wins, six losses).


Travis Thomas’ 16-yard touchdown run in the first quarter was his third touchdown of the year and equaled the longest run of his career. He also tied his career-best rushing total, gaining 52 yards on 18 carries.

With his touchdown catch in the second quarter, Jeff Samardzija becomes the first receiver in Notre Dame’s history to record a touchdown pass in each of the first six games of the season. Samardzija’s touchdown grab equals the Notre Dame record of six straight games with a touchdown set by Malcolm Johnson when he recorded 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 is now tied for second on Notre Dame’s all-time single-season touchdown list with nine touchdowns. He is tied with Jack Snow who had nine in the 1964 season. The record belongs to Derrick Mayes (11) and was set in 1994.

Samardzija’s 32-yard touchdown catch vs. USC was his sixth catch of 30+ yards this season. Three others produced touchdowns; 31 yards vs. Michigan State, 52 yards at Washington and 55 yards at Purdue. The other two 30+ yard catches were 43 yards against Washington and 41 yards versus Purdue.

Samardzija finished one yard shy of posting his third consecutive game with 100-plus receiving yards.

Tom Zbikowski’s 60-yard punt return for a touchdown in the second quarter was the first punt returned by a Notre Dame player for a touchdown since Vontez Duff returned one 73 yards versus Maryland on Aug., 31, 2002 in the Kickoff Classic at Giants’ Stadium.

With his interception in the end zone in the second quarter, junior safety Chinedum Ndukwe has now been involved in seven turnovers this season. He has two interceptions, four fumble recoveries and forced one fumble in six games this season.

Anthony Fasano’s 36-yard reception in the third quarter was his longest reception of the season. With three catches in the game, Fasano now has 26 catches on the season and 71 for his career to rank second on the all-time receiving list for tight ends. For the season, Fasano’s total of 26 catches for 329 yards is the second-best total for catches and yards for the Irish in their third season. Ken MacAfee is the all-time leader with 128 catches for his career and had the single-best season in his third year with 34 catches for 483 yards.

D.J. Fitzpatrick’s 32-yard field goal with 14:50 left in the fourth quarter for Notre Dame gave him five consecutive field goals dating back to a 48-yard miss against Michigan State. His consecutive streak was snapped later in the fourth quarter when he missed a 35-yard attempt with 7:28 left on the clock. On the season, Fitzpatrick has converted seven of nine field goal tries.

Junior QB Brady Quinn has thrown a touchdown pass in his last 11 games played (and started) for the Irish, breaking John Huarte’s record of 10 set in 1964. The Dublin, Ohio, native has totaled 22 scoring tosses during the run.

Quinn’s touchdown passes over the last 11 games –
2005 -1 vs. USC, 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’s 35 pass attempts give him 883 for his career, moving past Steve Beuerlein (850; ’83-’86) into second place in the Notre Dame record book behind Ron Powlus (969; ’94-’97).

Quinn’s 19 completions give him 473 for his career, tying Beuerlein for second in that category (Powlis had 558 completions).

Quinn extended his Notre Dame record for career games with 250-plus passing yards to 10 (264).

Quinn set the Notre Dame record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass (11), besting John Huarte’s 10 set in 1964.