Previewing The Ohio State Game….

The Key Note: This marks Ohio State’s first visit to Notre Dame Stadium in 50 years.

The Date: Saturday, September 28, 1996

The Time: 1:30 p.m. EST (2:30 p.m. EDT)

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), with Cris Collinsworth also on site for pre-game production.

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:
PROBABLE: OT Mike Doughty (lower back spasms vs. Texas)

QUESTIONABLE: TE Pete Chryplewicz (ankle sprain vs. Texas), FB Jamie Spencer (ankle sprain vs. Texas)

OUT: SS A’Jani Sanders (medial collateral knee ligament injury vs. Texas, scheduled for MRI this week, out indefinitely), 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).

The Series: Notre Dame vs. Ohio State:Notre Dame leads it 2-1, following victories in ’35 and ’36 and Ohio State’s win in ’95. The 1935 game qualified as the “Game of the Century” in Ohio Stadium. Both teams came in unbeaten, though Ohio State was considered a heavy favorite. The Buckeyes led 13-0 at halftime and maintained that lead heading into the final period. Notre Dame scored early in the fourth quarter to make it 13-6, then notched another TD with less than three minutes to go to make it 13-12. Ohio State fumbled the ball away and after a long run by Andy Pilney (he left the game on a stretcher with torn cartilage in his knee), Bill Shakespeare threw to Wayne Millner for the winning points in the final seconds. In 1936 in Notre Dame Stadium, the Irish thwarted an early Buckeye attempt with a Joe Gleason interception after Ohio State reached the Notre Dame three. The Irish took over, then had their ensuing punt blocked out of the end zone for a safety. Notre Dame’s points in the 7-2 Irish win came on a second-period scoring run by Bunny McCormick. The second half was played in a torrential rain.

The Last Meeting:Seventh-rated Ohio State took full advantage of three consecutive Irish turnovers and overcame a 20-14 third-period deficit with a second-half rally that defeated 15th-rated Notre Dame 45-26 in front of a record crowd of 95,537 in ’95 at Ohio Stadium. Eddie George rushed for 207 yards and two touchdowns, Bobby Hoying tied an Irish opponent record with four TD passes (two to Terry Glenn) and the Buckeyes rolled up 533 total yards. Randy Kinder led the Irish with three TDs and a career-high 143 rushing yards. The Irish led until a muffed punt return late in the third period by Emmett Mosley, an interception by Ohio State’s Shawn Springs and a fumbled snap that Ohio State recovered–with the Bucks turning all three miscues into three-play TD drives.

Irish vs. Big Ten:Notre Dame stands 28-6-1 vs. Big Ten teams during the 11-year Lou Holtz era, including one string of 14 straight Irish wins. Holtz stands 37-17-1 overall vs. the Big Ten in his 27 years as a head coach. He’s 0-3 vs. Ohio State, thanks to losses in 1984 (35-22) and 1985 (23-19) during his tenure at Minnesota.

The Coaches:
Lou Holtz is in his 11th season with the Irish with an overall 211-92-7 (.692) record. His 27-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 (95-27-2, .774, 1986-96).
John Cooper is in his ninth season at Ohio State, with an overall 20-year record of 149-68-6 (.682), including 67-28-4 (697) with the Buckeyes. He previously served as head coach at Tulsa (1977-84) and Arizona State (1985-87).

The Angle:Lou Holtz’s final season as an assistant coach came in 1968 when he served as secondary coach at Ohio State under Woody Hayes. The Buckeyes won the national championship in ’68 and Holtz became the head coach at William & Mary beginning in 1969.

The Texas Review:Notre Dame overcame a fourth period deficit for the second time on the road in ’96 as Jim Sanson’s 39-yard field goal as time ran out handed ninth-rated Notre Dame a 27-24 win over sixth-rated Texas before a record crowd of 83, 312 in Austin. The Irish first overcame an early 14-3 deficit to take a 17-14 halftime edge. Then, trailing 24-17 with seven minutes remaining, LB Lyron Cobbins intercepted a Texas pass at the Longhorn 34 for the only turnover of the afternoon. Eight plays later, on fourth and goal from the six, Autry Denson — who finished with a career-high 158 rushing yards — scored to tie the contest. Notre Dame’s defense held Texas and forced a 21-yard punt. Then, Denson ran for 22 and Ron Powlus completed two passes, the last of 10 yards to Malcolm Johnson to the Texas 22 with five seconds left. From there, Sanson hit the gamewinner — marking the first time Notre Dame won a game on the final play since John Carney’s field goal at USC in ’86 in Lou Holtz’s first season with the Irish did the trick.

Vs. the Top 10:Notre Dame stands 9-3-1 in Notre Dame Stadium in games played against Associated Press top 10 opponents during the Lou Holtz era (compared to 11-11 away, for 20-14-1 overall in Holtz era):

  1986  Michigan (#3)        L      23-24        Penn State (#3)      L      19-24  1987  Alabama (#10)        W       37-6  1988  Michigan (#9)        W      19-17        Miami (#1)           W      31-30  1989  Pittsburgh (#7)      W       45-7  1990  Michigan (#4)        W      28-24        Miami (#2)           W      29-20  1992  Michigan (#6)        T      17-17        Boston College (#9)  W       54-7  1993  Florida State (#1)   W      31-24  1994  Michigan (#6)        L      24-26  1995  USC (#5)             W      38-10  1996  Ohio State (#4)    ?????  

Two of the wins have come against top-rated opponents, while all three previous losses and the tie have come against Big Ten opponents.

NCAA Stat Rankings This Week: Through games of Sept. 21, 1996

TEAM RANKINGS (top 50 rankings only)Category                  Notre Dame             Ohio StateRushing Offense           13th at 241.7          2nd at 343.0Passing Offense                                  14th at 274.0Total Offense             22nd at 437.33         1st at 617.0Scoring Offense           50th at 25.3           1st at 71.0Rushing Defense           9th at 60.0            32nd at 108.5Pass Efficiency Defense   30th at 101.7          2nd at 53.64Total Defense             8th at 213.7           4th at 169.0Scoring Defense           9th at 10.3            2nd at 3.5Punt Returns                                     11th at 16.6Kickoff Returns           1st at 41.3            13th at 26.5  Net Punting                                      3rd at 44.0Turnover Margin                                  4th at +2.5    INDIVIDUAL RANKINGS (top 50 rankings only)Rushing                    Autry Denson           Pepe Pearson                           36th at 94.33          24th at 111.0                                                  Joe Montgomery                                                  46th at 88.5Total Offense              Ron Powlus                               33rd at 205.0    Punting                    Hunter Smith                           47th at 40.92Punt Returns                                      David Boston                                                  7th at 18.17                                                  Shawn Springs                                                  8th at 16.75Field Goals                Jim Sanson                           27th at 1.33                                       Scoring                    Autry Denson           Pepe Pearson                            48th at 8.0            2nd at 18.0                                                  David Boston                                                             6th at 12.0                                                  Josh Jackson                                                  27th at 9.5                                                  Michael Wiley                                                  33rd at 9.0All-Purpose Running        Autry Denson           Pepe Pearson                           126.67                 138.0

Irish Items:

The Irish in ’96 are 3-0 for the first time since ’93 and the sixth time under Holtz. A victory vs. Ohio State would make the Irish 4-0 for the first time since 1993 and the fourth time under Holtz.
Notre Dame has played in front of capacity crowds in 81 of its last 92 games, including 22 of the last 23 prior to a less-than-capacity crowd in the ’96 Orange Bowl vs. Florida State. Both the crowds at Vanderbilt and Texas in ’96 were record figures for those stadia.
The 1998 Notre Dame-Navy football game is headed for the Washington Redskins’ new 78,600-seat stadium to open in 1997 in Prince George’s County, Maryland.
During the Lou Holtz era, Notre Dame has returned 12 kickoffs, 11 punts (one blocked), 14 interceptions and three fumbles for touchdowns – compared to only one punt (in ’86) and three interceptions for opponents.
The Irish have scored right before the end of the first half in each of their three games to date:
Vanderbilt — Notre Dame took over at its own three with 4:19 left and drove 82 yards in 14 plays to a 33-yard Jim Sanson field goal with :05 left in the first half.
Purdue — Notre Dame took over at its own 44 with :43 left and drove 56 yards in five plays, with Autry Denson catching a 10-yard TD pass from Ron Powlus with :02 left in the first half.
Texas — Notre Dame took over at its own 37 with 2:37 left and drove 63 yards in seven plays, with Powlus throwing to Marc Edwards for a three-yard score with :27 left in the first half.
Notre Dame has held 22 of its last 44 opponents to 100 or less rushing yards, including Vanderbilt (two yards) and Purdue (44 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          29*1996       241.7        13th          6

Stats and Rankings Through Three Games:Notre Dame’s eight TD drives in ’96 have averaged 70.0 yards and 9.25 plays each, with two of the drives vs. Purdue covering 90 and 92 yards. Against Texas, the Irish ran seven or more plays on eight of their 11 possessions.

Here are a few measures of how effective Notre Dame’s defense has been so far in ’96:

Against Vanderbilt, the Irish limited Vandy to one drive of more than five plays (that was eight), 10 of the Commodore 14 possessions produced six yards or less and three produced negative yardage.
Against Purdue, the Irish held the Boilers to seven straight drives producing nine yards or less at one stretch, limited Purdue to only one drive of more than six plays and produced two with negative yardage.
Against Texas, the Irish held the Longhorns to eight of 11 possessions with seven or fewer plays, three drives with negative yardage and six possessions producing 16 yards or less (including only 111 net yards in the second half).

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 (21 career starts) and Chris Clevenger (18 career starts), senior guard Jeremy Akers (17 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 (14 consecutive starts). Plus, Doughty, Clevenger and Kaczenski all have another year of eligibility available, should they choose to apply for it. Akers started at LG vs. Vanderbilt in the opener, sophomore Jerry Wisne got the nod vs. Purdue, then Akers returned to the lineup vs. Texas. Luke Petitgout played much of the way vs. Texas at RT after Doughty left in the second period with lower back spasms. This unit has helped the Irish average 241.7 rushing yards per game and has allowed Ron Powlus to be sacked only twice in three games.
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 nine TD passes to break Rick Mirer’s Irish career record of 41; he’s 51 of 88 for 581, 2 TDs, 1 int. in ’96), TB Randy Kinder (Notre Dame’s eighth-best career rusher at 2,099 yards; he missed Vanderbilt and Purdue games with pulled right quadricep, then returned to help with 51 yards on eight carries vs. Texas) and Robert Farmer (19 for 101, 1 TD, including 10 for 41 vs. Vanderbilt in first career start, and an 18-yard TD run on his only first-half carry vs. Texas) and unselfish FB Marc Edwards (1,392 career rushing yards; top returning receiver from ’95 with 25 for 361, 3 TDs; 45 for 182, 2 TDs rushing in ’96; 7 catches for 72, 1 TD in ’96). The Irish started sophomore Autry Denson at flanker vs. Vanderbilt, but the loss of Kinder and seven fumbles overall vs. Vanderbilt (four lost) prompted the Irish to move him to TB to start vs. Purdue and Texas. He remains the leading Irish rusher and scorer (58 for 283, 3 TDs; 4 catches for 70, 1 TD) after carrying for a career-high 158 yards vs. Texas, including a six-yard scoring run on fourth down to tie the game at 24 in the fourth period.
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 (10 for 102 in ’96, including 6 for 55 vs. Vanderbilt; 17 for 268 in ’95). Also in the wide receiver mix are junior Malcolm Johnson (11 for 168 after making his first career starts at SE vs. Purdue and Texas), and freshman Raki Nelson (4 for 38). Tight end is a strong point, with potential all-star Pete Chryplewicz (11 for 104, including a career-high 5 vs. Purdue for 52; 17 for 204, 1 TD in ’95) returning.

Scouting the Irish Defense:
LINE – Fifth-year veteran end Renaldo Wynn (31 career starts), probably Notre Dame’s most consistent defensive player in ’95 (15 tackles, 2.5 sacks, one tackle for loss, including 7 tackles, 2 sacks vs. Vanderbilt), is 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 — then had 7 tackles and a stop for loss vs. Purdue) missed all of ’95 after May ’95 neck surgery but possesses all-star potential. Noseguard Alton Maiden (4 tackles vs. Purdue) 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 (17 career starts; Notre Dame’s leading tackler, interceptor and fumble recoverer in ’95; made key interception in final minutes vs. Texas to set up tying TD) and Kinnon Tatum (team-leading 8 tackles vs. Purdue and team-high 11 vs. Texas; leads Irish with 25 tackles in ’96; 77 tackles in ’95) inside, to go with senior Bert Berry (7 tackles, 2 sacks vs. Vanderbilt; 4 tackles, 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss vs. Purdue; 6 tackles, a PBU and TFL vs. Texas; 26 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 (11 tackles vs. Texas; two int. returns for TDs in ’95) and Ivory Covington (10 tackles vs. Texas; made game-saving tackle on late two-point attempt by Army in ’95) anchor the group. Neither FS starter Jarvis Edison (7 tackles vs. Purdue; 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; 4 tackles, 2 PBU vs. Purdue) had started a game before the ’96 opener – and the Vanderbilt game marked Sanders’ first-ever game appearance. However, the Irish probably will look to Benny Guilbeaux this week at strong safety after Sanders suffered a knee ligament injury early vs. Texas and is out indefinitely. With Shannon Stephens moving to wide receiver and Deke Cooper switching to free safety, the Irish now have only seven healthy defensive backs on scholarship.

Scouting the Irish Kicking Game: Punter Hunter Smith had an average rookie season in ’95 (36.4 average) but has improved those numbers to 40.9 so far in ’96. 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. Then Sanson took center stage with his game-winning 39-yarder vs. Texas as time ran out, leaving him at four of five for ’96. Kickoff returner Allen Rossum (his 99-yard return vs. Purdue marked the fourth-longest in Irish history) 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 has delivered on his promise 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 Irish used the attack extensively vs. Purdue, with 10 different receivers catching balls.

The Kinder Chart:Here’s where Notre Dame veteran TB Randy Kinder stands on the Irish career rushing chart:

Notre Dame All-Time Rushing Leaders  Rank  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-     359   2099   5.8   15   9.   Neil Worden      1951-53   476   2039   4.3   29  10.   Lee Becton       1991-94   347   2029   5.8   12  11.   Mark Green       1985-88   382   1977   5.2   15  12.   Marchy Schwartz  1929-31   335   1945   5.8   17

1,002 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 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 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 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.

Inside The 20 In 1996:Here’s what has happened during the 1996 season when Notre Dame and its opponents moved inside the opposing 20-yard line:

Notre DameVanderbilt  Missed FG, FG, FG, TD                    3 of 4Purdue      TD, Interception, TD, TD, Missed FG, TD  4 of 6  Texas       FG, TD, TD, TD                           3 of 4  TOTAL       8 TDs, 3 FGs, 2 Missed Field Goals,                                1 Interception       11 of 14 (.786)                    OpponentsVanderbilt  None                                     0 of 0Purdue      Missed Field Goal                        0 of 1  Texas       TD, TD, TD                               3 of 3  TOTAL       3 TDs, 1 Missed Field Goal               3 of 4 (.750)

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).

43 Former Irish Appear on ’96 NFL Rosters:Notre Dame has nine more of its former football players participating in the National Football League in 1996 than any other college or university. Forty-three former Notre Dame football players appeared on ’96 opening day active rosters of NFL teams, according to figures released by the league. Notre Dame placed more players on opening-day rosters than any other school – with Miami second with 34, followed by Tennessee (33), and Florida State and Penn State (32 each). Here are the former Fighting Irish now active in the pros (R indicates rookie):

ARIZONA CARDINALS – TE Oscar McBride, LB Devon McDonald; BUFFALO BILLS – CB Jeff Burris, OL Dusty Zeigler (R); CAROLINA PANTHERS – QB Steve Beuerlein, S Pat Terrell, FL Raghib Ismail, RB Anthony Johnson; CHICAGO BEARS – DT Jim Flanigan, DT Paul Grasmanis (R), T Andy Heck; DETROIT LIONS – LB Scott Kowalkowski; GREEN BAY PACKERS – P Craig Hentrich, G-T Lindsay Knapp, SE Derrick Mayes (R), G Aaron Taylor. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS – S Travis Davis, TE Derek Brown; KANSAS CITY CHIEFS – WR Lake Dawson, C Tim Grunhard; MIAMI DOLPHINS – C Tim Ruddy, CB Shawn Wooden (R); MINNESOTA VIKINGS – LB Pete Bercich, S Rod Smith; NEW ORLEANS SAINTS – TE Irv Smith, RB Ray Zellars; OAKLAND RAIDERS – WR Tim Brown; PHILADELPHIA EAGLES – RB Ricky Watters, CB Bobby Taylor; PITTSBURGH STEELERS – DT Oliver Gibson, RB Jerome Bettis. ST. LOUIS RAMS – LB Cedric Figaro, CB Todd Lyght; SAN DIEGO CHARGERS – K John Carney, CB Willie Clark; SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS – LB Anthony Peterson, DE Junior Bryant, DT Bryant Young; SEATTLE SEAHAWKS – QB Rick Mirer; TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS – LB Demetrius DuBose, RB Reggie Brooks; WASHINGTON REDSKINS – CB Tom Carter, OL Bob Dahl.

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:
Receiver coach Urban Meyer – an ’86 Cincinnati 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 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, 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

Holtz Passes Career Games Coached Record: Notre Dame head coach Lou Holtz passed a significant milestone in the Irish win Sept. 14 against Purdue. When the Irish took the field against the Boilers, it marked Holtz’s 123rd game as head coach at Notre Dame. The previous record for games coached at Notre Dame was 122 by Knute Rockne between 1918-30. The Irish players presented Holtz with a framed game program cover, ticket and press credential in the locker room after the game. Holtz is currently tied for second for career wins at Notre Dame with 95 (95-27-2 overall), while Rockne had 105 and Ara Parseghian (1964-74) also had 95. Holtz is in his 11th year in charge of the Irish program and has a 211-92-7 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).

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 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.

More Ohio State Notes:First-year Irish receiver coach Urban Meyer is a former Ohio State assistant. He coached Buckeye tight ends in ’86 and receivers in ’87 under Earle Bruce . . . The ’95 and ’96 meetings between Notre Dame and Ohio State are the only ones slated between the two teams for the time being. Ohio State took Michigan’s place on the Irish slate these two years, and the Wolverines return indefinitely in ’97 . . . Students from both Notre Dame and Ohio State benefit from the Glenna R. Joyce Scholarships, established in 1961 to reward students from the Columbus area interested in attending either school. The scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic achievement, character and financial need. A luncheon will be held at Notre Dame Saturday morning for all current and former Joyce Scholars and those individuals will be honored on the field prior to the game . . . This game marks the 126th straight sellout at Notre Dame Stadium and the 174th in the last 175 games dating back to the middle of the ’64 season . . . Ohio natives on the ’96 Irish roster of scholarship players include senior starting FB Marc Edwards (Norwood), sophomore NG Antwon Jones (Piqua), freshman TE Dan O’Leary (Westlake) and sophomore FS Mario Strayhorn (Cincinnati) . . . More than 70 members of Notre Dame’s 1966 national championship team are on campus this weekend for the 30th reunion of that landmark season. They will be honored at halftime of the game.

Honors and Awards:Here are honors and awards won by members of the ’96 Irish squad:

  OLB Bert Berry    - One of 65 preliminary candidates for the 1996 Butkus Award presented to the top college linebacker in the country  ILB Lyron Cobbins - One of 65 preliminary candidates for the 1996 Butkus Award presented to the top college linebacker in the country  TB Autry Denson   - NBC Sports/Chevrolet Notre Dame MVP vs. Purdue (15 rushes for 66 yards 2 TDs; 3 catches for 61 yards, 1 TD)                    - ABC Sports/Chevrolet Notre Dame MVP vs. Texas (24 rushes for career-high 158 yards, 1 TD)  FB Marc Edwards   - Nominee for Doak Walker Award presented to the top college running back in the nation  OLB Kory Minor    - One of 65 preliminary candidates for the 1996 Butkus Award presented to the top college linebacker in the country  QB Ron Powlus     - One of 11 candidates for Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award presented to top college quarterback in the nation