Previewing The Purdue Game….
The Key Note: This marks the 123rd game Lou Holtz has coached at Notre Dame, moving him past Knute Rockne and making him the all-time leader in that category among Irish football coaches.
The Date: Saturday, September 14, 1996
The Time: 1:30 p.m. EST
The Site: Notre Dame Stadium (59,075/grass) in Notre Dame, Ind.
The Television Plans: NBC Sports national telecast with Tom Hammond (play-by-play), Bob Trumpy (analysis) and John Dockery (sideline reporter).
The Radio Plans: For the 29th consecutive season Notre Dame football games are broadcast nationally on radio by the Mutual/Westwood One Radio Network with Tony Roberts (play-by-play) and Tom Pagna (analysis), while sports director Larry Michaels serves as pregame and halftime host. The Mutual Network includes nearly 300 stations and many of the games receive worldwide exposure on the Armed Forces Radio Network.
The Injury Report:
DOUBTFUL: TB Randy Kinder (pulled right quadricep muscle Sept. 1, DNP vs. Vanderbilt);
OUT: K Kevin Kopka (arthroscopic knee surgery Aug. 20, out six-eight weeks), TB Jay Vickers (fractured shoulder in preseason, out approximately six weeks), CB Lee Lafayette (knee ligament injury during preseason, had Sept. 6 surgery, out for the season), DE Brad Williams (stress fracture of foot in preseason, out two weeks), C Jeff Kilburg (sprained knee Aug. 26, out three-four weeks).
The Sellouts:This marks the 125th consecutive home sellout at Notre Dame Stadium and the 173rd in the last 174 games dating back to the middle of the ’64 season.
The Series: Notre Dame vs. Purdue:Notre Dame leads the series 44-21, with two ties. The Irish bring a 10-game win streak (longest in series history by either team) vs. Purdue into this game–a skein that began in Lou Holtz’s first season in South Bend in 1986. Notre Dame has won 17 of the last 21 games in the series and 21 of the last 26. With its 21 victories, Purdue has won more games over Notre Dame than any team other than USC (23 wins). Purdue hasn’t beaten the Irish since a 35-17 Boiler triumph at Ross-Ade Stadium in 1985. At Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame leads the series 18-9. The Boilers haven’t won in Notre Dame Stadium since a 31-20 win over the second-rated Irish in 1974, with Notre Dame now having won nine straight vs. Purdue in its own facility.
The Coaches:Lou Holtz is in his 11th season with the Irish with an overall 209-92-7 record. His 26-year collegiate record includes three years at William & Mary (13-20, .394, 1969-71), four at North Carolina State (33-12-3, .719, 1972-75), seven at Arkansas (60-21-2, .394, 1977-83), two at Minnesota (10-12, .455, 1984-85) and 11 at Notre Dame (93-27-2, .770, 1986-95). Jim Colletto is in his sixth season at Purdue, with an overall 11-year record of 34-74-4, including 17-36-3 with the Boilers. He previously spent five years as head coach at Cal State Fullerton (1975-79).
The Last Meeting:Quarterback Ron Powlus tied his own Notre Dame single-game record with four touchdown passes and Randy Kinder burst 52 yards for the game-winning score — followed by a goal-line stand by the Irish defense — as Notre Dame held off Purdue 35-28 in ’95 in front of the second largest crowd in Ross-Ade Stadium history. Powlus threw TD passes to Derrick Mayes, Emmett Mosley, Scott Sollmann and Kinder as the Irish overcame an early 7-0 deficit to build a 28-13 lead, only to have Purdue tie it at 28 with 9:29 left. Purdue had a first down at the Irish 13 with just more than a minute remaining, but Notre Dame forced three incompletions, then held the Boilers short on fourth down.
Holtz vs. Purdue:Lou Holtz stands 11-1 in his career vs. Purdue (5-0 at Notre Dame Stadium), including wins in each of his first 10 seasons as Irish head coach. Holtz stood 1-1 vs. the Boilers while at Minnesota — and he’s 5-0 vs. Jim Colletto.
The Vanderbilt Review:Notre Dame rolled up advantages of 434-126 in total yards, 218 to two in net rushing yards and 25-5 in first downs, but a pesky Vanderbilt defense and four lost fumbles by the Irish limited Lou Holtz’s team to a 14-7 win over the Commodores in Vanderbilt Stadium Sept. 5. Vandy actually took the lead at 7-6 with 11 minutes left in the game on a 50-yard scoring play. The Irish then responded with a 75-yard, 14-play march that ended with a Marc Edwards three-yard scoring run and two-point conversion play with 4:59 remaining. Quarterback Ron Powlus set a personal high with his 19 pass completions on 32 attempts for 216 yards. The Irish defense was outstanding, sacking Vanderbilt five times, forcing three turnovers and permitting one net rushing yard in each half.
- Notre Dame has played in front of capacity crowds in 79 of its last 90 games, including 22 of the last 23 prior to a less-than-capacity crowd in the ’96 Orange Bowl vs. Florida State.
- During the Lou Holtz era, Notre Dame has returned 11 kickoffs, 11 punts (one blocked), 14 interceptions and three fumbles for touchdowns — compared to only one punt and three interceptions for opponents.
- Notre Dame has held 21 of its last 42 opponents to 100 or less rushing yards, including Vanderbilt (two yards) in 1996.
- Notre Dame’s rushing attack has ranked 20th or better nationally nine years running under Holtz:
Year Rushing Avg. NCAA Rank Rushing TDs1986 189.4 33rd 181987 252.1 14th 331988 258.0 11th 301989 287.7 8th 421990 250.3 12th 331991 268.0 5th 311992 280.9 3rd 341993 260.7 6th 361994 215.6 20th 181995 233.5 6th 291996 218.0 -- 1
Scouting the Irish Offense:
LINE — Notre Dame prospects up front bode well for a solid running game in ’96, despite the graduation loss of veterans Dusty Zeigler and Ryan Leahy from a year ago. With four of five ’96 starters tipping the scales at better than 300 pounds, the Irish depend on the experience of senior tackles Mike Doughty (19 career starts) and Chris Clevenger (16 career starts), senior guard Jeremy Akers (16 career starts), sophomore guard Mike Rosenthal (a future all-star for the Irish, he switched from tackle to become a starter at guard) and senior center Rick Kaczenski (12 consecutive starts). Plus, Doughty, Clevenger and Kaczenski all have another year of eligibility available, should they choose to apply for it. Others who figure to help vs. Purdue are Jerry Wisne at LG and Luke Petitgout at LT.
BACKS — The Irish boast a blue-chip parade of backs, led by QB Ron Powlus (“He’s the best quarterback I’ve been around,” says Lou Holtz of Powlus, who needs 11 TD passes in ’96 to break Rick Mirer’s Irish career record of 41), TB Randy Kinder (Notre Dame’s eighth-best career rusher at 2,048 yards; he missed Vanderbilt game with pulled right quadricep and is doubtful vs. Purdue) and Robert Farmer (10 for 41 vs. Vanderbilt in first career start) and unselfish FB Marc Edwards (1,294 career rushing yards; top returning receiver from ’95 with 25 for 361, 3 TDs; 22 for 84, 1 TD vs. Vanderbilt). Seven fumbles overall vs. Vanderbilt (four lost) prompted the Irish to move sophomore Autry Denson (695 rushing yards in ’95 as a rookie) back to TB for Purdue after he started at flanker vs. Vanderbilt.
RECEIVERS — If Notre Dame had a question mark on offense coming into ’96, it was at the wide receiver slots, especially following the loss of big-play artist Derrick Mayes from the split end spot. Senior split end starter Emmett Mosley is the most experienced of the wide receivers, with 34 career catches to his credit (6 for 55 vs. Vanderbilt; 17 for 268 in ’95). Helping to fill the void is all-around standout Autry Denson, who started at flanker vs. Vanderbilt but moves back to TB for Purdue. Denson’s switch to flanker was the most noteworthy position switch of the ’96 preseason. Also in the wide receiver mix are junior Malcolm Johnson (4 for 69), who figures to earn his first career start vs. Purdue, and freshmen Raki Nelson and Deke Cooper. Tight end is a strong point, with potential all-star Pete Chryplewicz (3 for 25 vs. Vanderbilt; 17 for 204, 1 TD in ’95) returning.
Scouting the Irish Defense:
LINE — Fifth-year veteran end Renaldo Wynn (29 career starts), probably Notre Dame’s most consistent defensive player in ’95 (7 tackles, 2 sacks vs. Vanderbilt), will be joined by two players who did not play at all in ’95. Senior DE Melvin Dansby (made first career start vs. Vanderbilt and had 5 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, a shared sack) missed all of ’95 after May ’95 neck surgery but possesses all-star potential. Noseguard Alton Maiden missed the ’95 campaign while improving his academic standing and made his first career start vs. Vanderbilt.
LINEBACKERS — Notre Dame appears in great shape here, with seniors Lyron Cobbins (15 career starts; Notre Dame’s leading tackler, interceptor and fumble recoverer in ’95) and Kinnon Tatum (77 tackles in ’95) inside, to go with senior Bert Berry (7 tackles, 2 sacks vs. Vanderbilt; 24 career starts) and sophomore Kory Minor (started 11 games as freshman in ’95) outside. All four are returning standouts and should have major impacts in ’96. Among others slated to make solid contributions are sophomores Bobbie Howard inside and Lamont Bryant outside.
BACKS — Like the wide receiving corps on offense, Notre Dame’s question on defense is in the secondary. Small but sticky junior CB regulars Allen Rossum (two int. returns for TDs in ’95) and Ivory Covington (made game-saving tackle on late two-point attempt by Army in ’95) anchor the group. Neither FS starter Jarvis Edison (1 int. vs. Vanderbilt; he scored a TD vs. Vanderbilt in ’95 after picking up a fumble on a kickoff) nor sophomore SS A’Jani Sanders (caused a fumble vs. Vanderbilt) had started a game before the ’96 opener — and the Vanderbilt game marked Sanders’ first-ever game appearance.
Scouting the Irish Kicking Game: Punter Hunter Smith had an average rookie season in ’95 (36.4 average) but improved those numbers to 42.8 on four kicks vs. Vanderbilt. Placekicker Scott Cengia (10 of 14 in career FGs) held a slight edge in that category over freshman Jim Sanson coming into the season, but it was Cengia who missed an early FG attempt vs. Vanderbilt and Sanson who came on to connect from 32 and 33 yards. Kickoff returner Allen Rossum is the fastest man on the Irish roster (’95 NCAA indoor track All-American in the 55 meters), while Autry Denson will augment his all-purpose role by returning punts. Look for Emmett Mosley to help at both spots.
The Spread Offense:Irish coach Lou Holtz unveiled a spread offense against Florida State in the ’96 Orange Bowl and promised to offer it again in ’96. Drawbacks to its developments were the absence of QB Ron Powlus during spring drills and the lack of a proven receiving corps. Even now, Holtz says one key to its potential use is the productivity at receiver. Holtz’s interest in the offense is based on utilization of Powlus’ talents — as well as the ability to make use of the formations without requiring substitutions.
The Kinder Chart:Here’s where Notre Dame veteran TB Randy Kinder stands on the Irish career rushing chart:
Notre Dame All-Time Rushing LeadersRank Name Years Att. Yards Avg. TD 1. Allen Pinkett 1982-85 889 4131 4.6 49 2. Vagas Ferguson 1976-79 673 3472 5.2 32 3. Jerome Heavens 1975-78 590 2682 4.5 15 4. Phil Carter 1979-82 557 2409 4.3 4 5. George Gipp 1917-20 369 2341 6.3 21 6. Tony Brooks 1987-91 423 2274 5.4 12 7. Emil Sitko 1946-49 362 2226 6.1 25 8. Randy Kinder 1993- 351 2048 5.8 15 9. Neil Worden 1951-53 476 2039 4.3 2910. Lee Becton 1991-94 347 2029 5.8 1211. Mark Green 1985-88 382 1977 5.2 1512. Marchy Schwartz 1929-31 335 1945 5.8 17
The Honorees:The list of 65 preliminary candidates for the 1996 Butkus Award as the top linebacker nationally includes three Irish players — seniors Lyron Cobbins and Bert Berry and sophomore Kory Minor. Both Cobbins and Berry made the ’95 preliminary list as well. The list will be trimmed to 10 semifinalists on October 17 and three finalists will be named November 14. The winner will be announced December 14. Also, FB Marc Edwards is a nominee for the Doak Walker Award presented to the top running back nationally.
1,000 Games and Counting: As Notre Dame played its 1,000th game in history in the Vanderbilt opener, here’s a quick review of just some of the numbers the Fighthing Irish have posted since an 8-0 setback to Michigan on November 23, 1887.
- Notre Dame leads the nation in winning percentage at .760 through 107 seasons. In fact the gap between the Fighting Irish and second place Michigan (.743) is the widest difference between any consecutive schools in the top 10. If Notre Dame, which hasn’t lost three consecutive regular season games in Lou Holtz’s 10 seasons, lost 17 consecutive games and Michigan won 17 consecutive games, the Irish still would lead the all-time NCAA standings.
- Notre Dame is tied with Oklahoma and Alabama for the most national championships won with 11. No other school has more than eight national titles.
- In 107 previous seasons, Notre Dame has had 12 perfect seasons, 22 undefeated seasons and 28 seasons where the Fighting Irish suffered just one loss. In 50 of 107 seasons Notre Dame has lost more than one game.
- Notre Dame leads the nation in consensus All-Americans with 77 (24 more than any other school) and Heisman Trophy winners with seven.
- Since 1981, Notre Dame has led the nation in football graduation percentage five times and is the only school to have been awarded special recognition by the College Football Association every season since 1982.
Fifth-Year Players: Notre Dame has seven fifth-year players on its team this year. They are: OG Jeremy Akers, ILB Joe Babey, TE Kevin Carretta, TE Pete Chryplewicz, NG David Quist, OLB Bill Wagasy and DE Renaldo Wynn. All seven players have earned their undergraduate degrees and are currently enrolled in graduate work. Chryplewicz is in the unique position to earn five monograms during his career. The tight end played in just two games during ’94 because of a wrist injury, but did earn a monogram for the season. Other players to earn five monograms in Irish history include current Notre Dame graduate assistant Justin Hall (1988-92) and defensive back Randy Harrison (1974-78).
Fighting Irish Captains: Notre Dame has three senior captains for the ’96 season: quarterback Ron Powlus, linebacker Lyron Cobbins and fullback Marc Edwards.
New Faces/Three New Coaches: There are three new faces on the Notre Dame coaching staff for ’96: Reciever coach Urban Meyer — an ’86 Cinncinati graduate, Meyer was previously at Colorado State for the past six seasons. Graduate assistant Justin Hall — a former Notre Dame offensive lineman who graduated in 1993. He spent the ’95 season as offensive line coach at Hiram (Ohio) College. Graduate assistant Jay Sawvel — a ’93 graduate of Mount Union (Ohio) College, he spent the previous two years as a graduate assistant at Eastern Kentucky.
Stadium Expansion: Notre Dame Stadium is currently undergoing an expansion and renovation which will put the capacity of the facility at 80,990 — an addition of nearly 22,000 seats from the current capacity of 59,075. The expansion, which will be completed for the 1997 home opener against Georgia Tech, is a 21-month project which cost a total of $50 million — all raised through bond sales. Casteel Construction, Inc. of South Bend is the general contractor, while Ellerbe Beckett, Inc., of Kansas City is the architect. The expansion will include a new three-story press box, a new natural grass field, expanded locker rooms for Notre Dame and visiting teams. The Notre Dame football team will permanently be housed in the stadium and dress there for all practices and games. A new, expanded training room also will be added to the Stadium. The ’96 campaign features use of the same 59,075 seats, though the concrete structures supporting the new sections already are in place and in full view. Construction has eliminated 750 parking spaces in the areas surrounding the Stadium, and access to seating sections during the ’96 season will come through newly-created entrances at the four corners of the Stadium.
The StadiumCam: The Notre Dame Office of Information Technologies has a web site at http://www.nd.edu/~jeremy/stadium/ that is better known as “Stadiumcam.” Under the direction of Jeremy McCarty and Tom Monaghan, two consultants and analysts in the Office of University Computing, this site features an up-to-date image of the expansion of Notre Dame Stadium. The site is updated every five minutes during the day and every half hour at night. The departments of computer science and electrical engineering have a site at http://lisa.ee.nd.edu/DomeCam/, which gives you a look at the Gold Dome of the Main Building, which is viewable 24 hours a day. For information on all facets of Notre Dame, the home page is at http://www.nd.edu/.
Holtz To Pass Career Games Coached Record: Notre Dame head coach Lou Holtz will pass a significant milestone this week against Purdue. When the Irish take the field against the Boilers, it will mark Holtz’s 123rd game as head coach at Notre Dame. The current record for games coached at Notre Dame is 122 set by Knute Rockne between 1918-30. Holtz is currently third for career wins at Notre Dame with 93 (93-27-2 overall), while Rockne had 105 and Ara Parseghian (1964-74) is second with 95. Holtz is in his 11th year in charge of the Irish program and has a 209-92-7 career record in 26 seasons. He led the Irish to the ’88 national championship and has brought Notre Dame to traditional New Year’s Day bowl games in each of the last nine years (five wins). His collegiate mark also includes stints at William & Mary (13-20 from 1969-71), North Carolina State (33-12-3 from 1972-75), Arkansas (60-21-2 from 1977-83) and Minnesota (10-12 from 1984-85).
Back To Culver: For the second straight season, the Notre Dame football team returned to the shores of Lake Maxinkuckee and the Culver Academies in Culver, Ind., for some of its ’96 preseason practice. The Irish arrived at Culver August 16, then began practice the next day on the first day the Irish could practice in pads. Notre Dame returned to campus following two practices at Culver August 22. In 1995, head coach Lou Holtz took the Irish off-campus for the first time in the history of the program for 10 days of preseason practice at Culver . The Culver Academics are located appoximately 40 miles south of South Bend.
The Schedule: Notre Dame’s 1996 slate brings up a few trends and notes of interest: * After taking on the most difficult schedule in the country in ’95 according to the NCAA — and recording wins over ranked opponents Texas, Washington and USC — Notre Dame’s ’96 agenda includes assignments against five teams that played in bowl games following the ’95 season. The ’96 Irish agenda ranked 31st in difficulty in the NCAA’s ’96 preseason charts. USC (9-2-1 and Rose Bowl champion), Texas (10-2-1 and a Sugar Bowl appearance), Ohio State (11-2 and a Citrus Bowl appearance), Washington (7-4-1 and a Sun Bowl appearance) and Air Force (8-5 and a Copper Bowl appearance) all qualified for ’95 postseason action. 1996 Irish opponents who finished in the final Associated Press top 25 for ’95 are Ohio State (sixth), USC (12th) and Texas (14th). * There are only two new names on the ’96 schedule — with Pittsburgh (2-9 in ’95) and Rutgers (4-7 in ’95) replacing Northwestern (10-2 in ’95) and Army (5-5-1 in ’95). Pitt returns to the schedule after a two-year absence, but the Panthers have played Notre Dame 55 previous times. The only other time Notre Dame and Rutgers met came in 1921.
Irish To Ireland: Notre Dame will play Navy on Nov. 2 Croke Park in Dublin, Ireland, in the Shamrock Classic. Croke Park is the home of the hottest Gaelic sporting event — all-Ireland football and hurling, but the Notre Dame vs. Navy contest is the first non-Gaelic sporting event ever to be played there. Croke Park has a capacity of 40,000, but additional seating and standing room only tickets put the capacity at 55,000. According to the Irish Tourist Board in the United States, the event may be the single largest tourist event in the history of Ireland. The game will be of special significance to Notre Dame athletic director Mike Wadsworth, who was the Canadian ambassador to Ireland form 1989 to 1994. Tour and ticket packages are available for the contest by calling the Notre Dame ticket office at (219) 631-7356. The Notre Dame-Navy series is the longest continuous intersectional rivalry in the country and has been played every year since 1927. Notre Dame’s only other international football game was played Nov. 24, 1979, when the Irish defeated Miami 40-15 at Tokyo National Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, Japan, in the third annual Mirage Bowl.
Pre-Season Picks: Here is where some Notre Dame players have been rated and picked on various pre-season All-America teams:
* The Sporting News College Football Yearbook
2nd among fullbacks — Marc Edwards
7th among offensive tackles — Mike Doughty
7th among inside linebackers — Lyron Cobbins
8th among outside linebackers — Kory Minor
8th among quarterbacks — Ron Powlus
15th among defensive ends — Renaldo Wynn
* Bob Griese’s College Football Yearbook
Second Team All-America — FB Marc Edwards
Second Team All-America –?OL Jeremy Akers
Second Team All-America –?DL Renaldo Wynn
First Team All-America — OLB Bert Berry
1st among fullbacks –?Marc Edwards
1st among emerging stars on offensive line — Mike Rosenthal
2nd among outside linebackers — Bert Berry
4th among emerging stars on defensive line — Antwon Jones
5th among quarterbacks — Ron Powlus
7th among inside linebackers — Lyron Cobbins
9th among offensive tackles — Mike Doughty
10th among all-purpose players — Emmett Mosley
12th among tight ends –?Pete Chryplewicz
15th among running backs — Autry Denson
First Team All-America — LB Lyron Cobbins
Third Team All-American — KR Emmett Mosley
Irish Finish 11th in Sears Directors’ Cup: A national championship in women’s soccer and a runnerup finish at the men’s and women’s NCAA combined fencing team championship helped Notre Dame place 11th in the 1995-96 Sears Directors’ Cup competition. Irish athletic teams also earned an 11th-place finish in the inaugural 1993-94 competition and were 30th in 1994-95. The Sears Directors’ Cup, sponsored by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and promoted by USA Today, annually recognizes the top Division I schools in 22 sports — nine for men, nine for woman plus two wild card sports for both men and women. Stanford won the 1995-96 competition followed by UCLA, Florida and Texas. Notre Dame’s finish was the highest of any school in the BIG EAST Conference. In 1995-96, Notre Dame enjoyed more success as an all-around athletic program. The fall season saw the women’s soccer team win the NCAA championship and the football team advance to its ninth straight appearance in a New Year’s Day bowl game. In addition, the women’s volleyball and men’s cross country teams participated in NCAA postseason play. The women’s basketball team played in the NCAA tournament and the men’s and women’s fencing team finished second at the NCAA tournament during the winter months. The spring season was highlighted by a trip to the NCAA quarterfinals by the women’s tennis team and NCAA appearances by the softball, lacrosse and baseball teams. In addition, representatives from men’s and women’s track, women’s swimming and men’s tennis took part in NCAA play. Notre Dame offers 25 different sports at the varsity level. Women’s lacrosse is making its debut this year, while women’s crew will be added to the list of Notre Dame sports for the ’97-’98 academic year.