10 Receptions this year for 144 yards and two touchdowns by Miami (Ohio) senior tight end Ryan Smith, who is on the John Mackey Award Watch List. Smith is the grandson of 1953 Notre Dame Heisman Trophy winner John Lattner. Entering this season, Smith had 57 career catches, 10 of them touchdowns.
9 Turnovers forced by Notre Dame (five fumbles and four interceptions) this year to tie for 15th nationally so far. Eight of those turnovers have resulted in touchdowns, including a "pick six" by sophomore cornerback Julian Love last week at Michigan State, while out-scoring its opponents 56-3 after turnovers. The Irish generated only 14 turnovers all of last season to rank 104th (and had only 14 in 2015 as well). Miami (Ohio) is tied with Notre Dame in turnovers forced this year with three fumbles and six interceptions.
8 Touchdowns permitted by the Irish defense during the 3-1 start. A year ago at this time during the 1-3 beginning, Notre Dame had allowed a school record 19 TDs in the first four contests, resulting in the unprecedented in-season firing of then defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder after four games.
7 Ranking of Notre Dame nationally in rushing yards per game with 293.3. If the Irish maintain that pace, it would be the highest at the school since the school record 350.2 output per contest by the 1973 national champions coached by Ara Parseghian.
6 Notre Dame ranks 6th from the bottom in punt return yardage this season with two yards on nine attempts, or an average .0.22 yards per game. The five teams below them — Arkansas, East Carolina, Marshall, Oregon State and Tulsa — all have zero yardage. In a way, it’s a positive that punt returns are the main topic of angst again (like during the 12-1 season in 2012) as opposed to the entire defense or the red-zone offense and running game.
5 Different Notre Dame players who have rushed for touchdowns through four games this season after having four through 12 games in 2016. Junior quarterback Brandon Wimbush’s seven rushing touchdowns lead the way and rank fourth nationally. Only Georgia Tech’s Taquon Marshall has more rushing TDs among signal-callers with eight.
4 This is Miami (Ohio) head coach Chuck Martin’s fourth season at Oxford — after having spent four seasons at Notre Dame from 2010-13 under Brian Kelly, first as the safeties coach and recruiting coordinator before shifting to offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach his last two seasons. The Irish were 37-15 during that time with the life-long ardent Notre Dame fan, highlighted by advancing to BCS National Title game in January 2013.
3 Miami (Ohio) is one of three opponents making its first visit to Notre Dame Stadium this season. Georgia already did on Sept. 9, and then North Carolina State will enter on Oct. 28. The Irish have lost their last two such meetings, to the Bulldogs earlier this month and Virginia Tech last November. Overall, they are 59-15-1 versus first-time visitors, but have lost six since 2009.
2 Schools today who share the memory of Ara Parseghian. He graduated from Miami (Ohio) in 1949 as a three-sport star and coached the RedHawks from 1951-55, compiling a 39-6-1 record and their first finish in the national rankings (No. 15 his final season), while also picking up his master’s degree at the school. At Notre Dame from 1964-74, Parseghian was 95-17-4 with two consensus national titles (1966 and 1973) and a share of a third (1964). His widow, Katie, will present the colors today prior to the National Anthem. Both schools have items on their helmets in memory of Parseghian.
1 Notre Dame is one of 17 schools to share the No. 1 ranking in red zone offense efficiency, scoring all 19 times it has penetrated the opponent’s 20-yard line. More noteworthy is 17 of the 19 opportunities resulted in a touchdown. Only Oregon has had more scores there via the running route, 19 to Notre Dame’s 14.