Blogging with the Notre Dame Football Team at the Hawai’i Bowl
|1 -December 19, 2008|
|2 -December 20, 2008|
|3 -December 21, 2008|
|4 -December 22, 2008|
|5 -December 23, 2008|
|6 -December 24, 2008|
Wednesday, December 24
- Armando Allen’s 96-yard kickoff return was the longest in Hawai’i Bowl history and the longest in Irish bowl history — as well as the first since Vontez Duff in 2002 (versus Navy).
- Through three periods Clausen was 22 of 25 for 401 yards and five TDs.
- Eight sacks (through early fourth period) is Weis-era record.
- Clausen finished 22 of 26 which is best-ever (.846) bowl completion percentage by an Irish quarterback.
- At 42-7 Notre Dame had its most points ever in a bowl game.
- Clausen’s four TD passes (through 35-7 in third period) are most ever in a bowl game by an Irish player.
- Clausen finished the first half 18 of 21 for 300 yards passing.
- Clausen and Tate (137 receiving yards) already have set bowl records for individual passing and receiving yards.
- Clausen already has more passing yards in the first half than in any half in his career (he had 221 vs. Stanford in ’08).
- Tate’s 69-yard scoring reception (Notre Dame’s longest play from scrimmage this year) put him over 1,000 yards receiving for the year (only four other players have passed 1,000 – and three of the five have come under Charlie Weis (Tate, Maurice Stovall and Jeff Samardzija, who did it twice).
- Notre Dame’s kickoff coverage has been so good all year that the 37-yard return by Hawai’i marked the longest allowed by the Irish this season (previous long was 29).
- With the score at 14-0 (10:25 of the second period), Clausen was 12 of 14 for 143 yards and arguably should have been 14 for 14 based on catchable drops by David Grimes and Golden Tate.
- Sign in the stands – “All I want for Christmas is a Notre Dame bowl win”
- Irish outgained the Warriors 128-24 in the first period – with Jimmy Clausen completing eight of nine throws for 101 yards.
- Robert Hughes’ TD run in the first period (3:07 mark) was his first since the Navy game. The 87-yard scoring drive was longest for the Irish since a 91-yarder against Pittsburgh.
- Hawai’i’s first six plays of the game were passes before a sack by Kerry Neal. That Warrior possession overall featured seven passes and the sack.
- Less than two minutes into the game, the Irish already had three first downs.
- The Hawai’i team took the field to the “Hawai’i Five-O” theme – after doing its traditional pregame war chant about 20 minutes prior to kickoff.
- Weis made a late decision to work from the press box. Ironically, only a glass panel separated him from Pinkett, who was part of the radio crew in the booth next door.
- The pregame flyover featured four military helicopters.
- The trip home will take various forms since, unlike most bowl trips, there is no charter flight returning to South Bend. Everybody is flying home commercial – beginning tonight with 38 players leaving on two different US Airways flights at 11:30 and 11:55 p.m. Then, there are 68 people (staff and families) on a 5:00 p.m. American flight direct to Chicago on Christmas Day. Finally, there are 11 players on a Delta flight to Atlanta on the 26th. Beyond that, players, staff and families selected their own times and dates to fly home over the next week.
- The blue Irish jerseys for the game tonight have player names on the backs – renewing a tradition from the Ara Parseghian years when Irish teams did not have names on the backs of their jerseys during the regular season but added them for bowl games. It also becomes a nice personal touch for the players who are allowed to keep their bowl jerseys. It’s the first time an Irish team has worn names on its jerseys since the Cotton Bowl against Texas A&M that ended the 1987 season (Tim Brown’s final game as a collegian).
- Forecast for kickoff today – sunny and 82 degrees.
- There’s a Cheesecake Factory a few blocks from the team hotel – and its general manager is from South Bend (actually, a Mishawaka High School grad). It’s said to be the largest (14,000 square feet) and largest-grossing Cheesecake Factory anywhere.
- Irish coaches and on-field staff wore specially made (by adidas), blue, Hawaiian-print aloha shirts — festooned with both Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl and interlocking ND logos.
- The Notre Dame team and travel party left extra time to travel to Aloha Stadium today because police escorts are not allowed in Hawai’i – and battled heavy traffic on H1 West.
- ESPN, which owns the Hawai’i Bowl, played host to a pregame VIP tailgate party.
- The Irish team entered Aloha Stadium a little less than two hours before gametime – with Christmas carols playing on the PA system.
- Today’s officials are from the Mid-American Conference.
- It’s a throwback day for Notre Dame ISP Radio Network analyst Allen Pinkett who played in this stadium 24 years ago in the Aloha Bowl (he rushed for 136 yards and caught a 17-yard TD pass).
- The view back form the press box is a perfect view of the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor.
- Hots dogs and soup in the press box? Hardly. The media fare included sushi, oriental noodles and egg rolls.
- With his knee problems making it tough to stand for a full afternoon of football, Charlie Weis was to make a game-time decision whether to work from the sideline or the press box.
- Jimmy Clausen’s 15.42 yards per pass attempt was an overall Notre Dame record (min. 20 pass attempts). Carlyle Holiday had 12.95 vs. Navy in 2002.
- Clausen’s .846 completion percentage was the second best in college football history in a bowl game, given the minimum of 20 attempts. Only one better was Mike Bobo of Georgia vs. Wisconsin in 1998 Outback Bowl when he was 26 of 28.
- Notre Dame’s team completion percentage of .857 was best in NCAA history in a bowl game (given min. of 25 attempts).
- Clausen’s pass efficiency was a career-high 277.63. That is a Notre Dame bowl game record.