ND-Utah live blog: Things to know before kickoff

Published 2:33 pm Saturday, November 13, 2010

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Indian summer seems to surrendered to fall as Notre Dame gets set to host Utah in the first meeting between the two schools.

Here are some of the things you need to know before the 2:40 p.m. kickoff:

  • Notre Dame has the 11th toughest schedule in the nation according to the latest figures from the NCAA. Irish final three opponents have a record of 18-8 and a winning percentage of .692.

  • Notre Dame is 4-1 on this date, including a 31-24 win over top-ranked Florida State in 1993. The Fighting Irish’s only loss on this date came in 1982 at the hands of No. 5 ranked Penn State.

  • Notre Dame owns 132 wins against Top 20 ranked opponents in its history. Its last win against a Top 20 opponent was in 2004 when it defeated Tennessee 17-14.

  • Notre Dame receivers coach Tony Alford will be coaching against his younger brother Aaron this afternoon, who is a member of the Utah coaching staff.

  • Utah is the 68th first-time visitor to Notre Dame Stadium. The Irish has not be the most gracious of hosts as it has won 55 of those contests. Tulsa of course is the latest first-time visitor to win at the stadium after defeating Notre Dame last week 28-27.

  • Today the Fighting Irish will honor 37 seniors who are playing their final “home” game at Notre Dame Stadium. The Irish technically have one last home game next week at Yankee Stadium in New York against Army.

  • For only the second time this season there was a pregame flyover. A pair of ND graduates were a pair of that event.

  • At halftime of today’s game, Notre Dame will honor its 2001 NCAA champion women’s basketball team, which is on campus this weekend celebrating its 10th anniversary.

  • The Utes are looking for their fourth straight nine-win season under coach Kyle Whittingham. Utah was 9-4 in 2007 and 13-0 in 2008. Last year the Utes were 10-3.

  • Today’s game against Notre Dame marks the latest Utah has played a non-conference team since 1998 when it defeated Utah State.

  • Utah is 1-3 against independents.

  • The Utes, who will join the Pac-10 next season, have a nine-game bowl streak, which is tied for the second-longest all-time. Florida State owns the mark at 11 straight bowl appearances (1985-96). Utah’s current streak is the longest in the country.