Irish looking to reboundPublished 9:32am Wednesday, November 18, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – There a lot of things swirling around the Notre Dame football program these days, but the Fighting Irish are hoping to put that all aside on Saturday and get back on the winning track.
Notre Dame (6-4) will host Connecticut in the final home game of the 2009 season.
The Fighting Irish will wrap up the regular season the following week at Stanford.
Notre Dame needs to win one of the next two games to finish with a winning record.
Notre Dame and UConn will meet on the gridiron for the first time in the 121-year history of Irish football.
The Huskies are the 137th different opponent in Notre Dame football history. The Irish opened each of the last two seasons with victories over inaugural foes, San Diego State, 21-13, and Nevada, 35-0. Notre Dame has faced 67 of the other 120 teams currently competing at the FBS level.
The Irish have knocked off the last 12 opponents to make their first appearance in Notre Dame Stadium.
What to watch for Saturday
• Senior OT Sam Young owns a school record tying streak of 48 consecutive starts – dating back to the 2006 season opener at Georgia Tech. He has started every game of his Irish career and remains the only Notre Dame offensive lineman to have started every game since his freshman year. Former DB Tom Zbikowski (2004-07) and LB Maurice Crum, Jr. (2004-08) also share the school record for career starts with 48.
• The Irish offense has totaled at least 20 first downs in each of the first 10 games this year, the first time a Notre Dame offense has accomplished such a feat since 1974.
• Notre Dame ranks ninth in total offense and is on pace to record its highest ranking in that category since 1992 when the Irish offense ranked third in the nation.
• Sophomore TE Kyle Rudolph has been named one of the eight semifinalists for the 2009 John Mackey Award.
• Freshman LB Manti Te’o has recorded 45 tackles this year, tied for seventh-most ever by a Notre Dame freshman.
• Six fifth-year and 27 more fourth-year seniors will be honored at midfield of Notre Dame Stadium prior to Saturday’s kickoff.
• Junior HB Armando Allen, averaging 5.0 yards per carry, is on pace to record the highest per carry average by the leading Irish rusher since Julius Jones in 2003.
• Junior WR Golden Tate’s 74 receptions this season ranks fourth in Notre Dame single-season history. He is also only four catches shy of tying former All-American Jeff Samardzija’s single-season record.
• Junior QB Jimmy Clausen is littered throughout Notre Dame’s record book, ranking in the top three in 15 different career passing categories.
• Sophomore WR Michael Floyd ranks second among FBS active players in career receiving yards per game at 82.8 yards per game.
• Floyd and Tate each surpassed 100 yards receiving in the last two games and became the first Notre Dame duo to each eclipse 100 receiving yards together in consecutive games.
An Irish Victory This Week Would…
• Improve Notre Dame to 7-4 (.636) on the season.
• Improve Notre Dame to 5-2 (.714) this season inside Notre Dame Stadium.
• Improve Notre Dame to 1-0 (1.000) in the all-time series with Connecticut.
• Improve Notre Dame to 1-0 (1.000) in the all-time series against Connecticut at home.
• Improve Notre Dame to 57-23-1 (.710) all-time against the BIG EAST.
• Improve Notre Dame to 27-11 (.711) all-time against the BIG EAST at home.
• Improve Notre Dame’s all-time record to 838-288-42 (.735).
• Improve Notre Dame’s all-time record at Notre Dame Stadium to 307-100-5 (.751).
• Improve Notre Dame to 56-8-1 (.869) all-time in games when the opponent was making its first visit to Notre Dame Stadium.
• Improve Notre Dame to 102-11-4 (.889) in games versus all first-time visitors to Notre Dame (regardless of the site).
• Improve Weis’ Notre Dame record to 36-25 (.590) overall, 1-0 (1.000) against Connecticut and 3-3 (.500) against the BIG EAST.
• Improve Weis’ home record to 20-13 (.606) overall, 2-2 (.500) against the BIG EAST and 1-0 (1.000) against Connecticut.
• Improve Weis’ record to 11-9 (.550) in November games.
• Improve Weis’ record to 28-19 (.596) in afternoon games.
An Irish Defeat This Week Would…
• Drop Notre Dame to 6-5 (.545) on the season.
• Drop Notre Dame to 4-3 (.571) this season inside Notre Dame Stadium.
• Drop Notre Dame to 56-24-1 (.698) all-time against the BIG EAST.
• Drop Notre Dame to 26-12 (.684) all-time against the BIG EAST at home.
• Drop Notre Dame’s all-time record to 837-289-42 (.735).
• Drop Notre Dame’s all-time record at Notre Dame Stadium to 306-101-5 (.749).
• Drop Notre Dame to 55-9-1 (.854) all-time in games when the opponent was making its first visit to Notre Dame Stadium.
• Drop Notre Dame to 101-12-4 (.880) in games versus all firsttime visitors to Notre Dame (regardless of the site).
• Drop Weis’ Notre Dame record to 35-26 (.574) overall, 0-1 (.000) against Connecticut and 2-4 (.333) against the BIG EAST.
• Drop Weis’ home record to 19-14 (.576) overall, 1-3 (.250) against the BIG EAST and 0-1 (.000) against Connecticut.
• Drop Weis’ record to 10-10 (.500) in November games.
• Improve Weis’ record to 27-20 (.574) in afternoon games.
• UConn will become the 65th different team to visit Notre Dame Stadium (since its opening in 1930) when the Huskies face the Irish this week.
Notre Dame owns a 55-8-1 mark (.867) in games when the opponent was making its first visit to the Stadium. Thirteen of those teams previously had played at Notre Dame (prior to 1930), with the Irish owning a mark of 43-6-1 (.870) since 1930 versus teams making their first overall visit to Notre Dame.