Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 17, 2018

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 24 of 55 SEPT. 17, 2018 25 -7 Rushing yards by senior quarterback Bran- don Wimbush on 11 carries, with four sacks playing a major role. It was his lowest ground out- put in any game of his career after rushing for 803 yards last season, the second most ever by a Notre Dame signal-caller in a season. The previous low was one yard on 16 carries — also in the second game last season, a 20-19 loss to Georgia. 1 Touchdown allowed by the Notre Dame de- fense in each of the first two games (with Michigan also scoring on special teams in the opener). This is the first time since 1996, Lou Holtz's final season as head coach, the Fighting Irish defense did not permit more than one touch- down apiece in the first two games to the opposing offense. 2-0 This is the fourth time in the last seven years Notre Dame has started 2-0 (2012, 2014, 2015 and now). That might not sound like much — but consider that in the 15 seasons from 1997-2011 it occurred only four times. Only once in those 15 years did it reach 3-0 (2002). 5 This is the second of at least five consecutive years known so far that Notre Dame will face an opponent from the Mid-American Conference, which is becoming a staple of the 12-game regular season schedule. The Irish hosted Miami (Ohio) in 2017, and after Ball State this season it has Bowling Green (Oct. 5, 2019), Western Michigan (Sept. 19, 2020) and Toledo (Sept. 11, 2021), with future games against the MAC likely to be an- nounced later. 7 Consecutive victories at home by Notre Dame, which began last September against Miami (Ohio) and has included three victims that were ranked from Nos. 11-14. That ties for the second longest home-winning streak in head coach Brian Kelly's nine seasons. The longest is 10 in row from 2011-13. 16 Games since the last time a Notre Dame safety recorded an interception — and it was two by junior Jalen Elliott, both of which set up touchdowns. The first came in the second quar- ter, and the next came on the opening possession of the third quarter. The most recent interception by an Irish safety prior to the two by Elliott was by current rover Drue Tranquill, when he played safety, in the 11th game of 2016, a 34-31 loss to Virginia Tech. Last year marked the first time since going to two-platoon football in 1964 a Notre Dame safety recorded no interceptions during the season. 34.5 Points Notre Dame was favored by entering the contest, the highest in the Kelly era. The previous standard was 28.5 against Massachusetts in 2015, a 62-27 Fighting Irish victory. 62-15-1 Re co rd p o ste d by t h e F i g h t i n g I r i s h a ga i n s t first-time visitors, as Ball State was, in Notre Dame Stadium, which opened in 1930. Six dif- ferent opponents since 2009 recorded a victory in their first trip ever to Notre Dame Stadium: Connecticut (2009), Tulsa (2010), South Florida (2011), Louisville (2014), Virginia Tech (2016) and Georgia (2017). The Cardinals were the 146th different opponent overall Notre Dame has played. 119 Receiving yards by senior Miles Boykin, a career high, as were his six receptions, all of them coming in the second half. His previous standards for most catches and yards in a game were three grabs for 102 yards in the Citrus Bowl victory versus LSU that earned him MVP honors. BY THE NUMBERS BY LOU SOMOGYI 4 Passes broken up by junior corner- back JULIAN LOVE, a notable career high given that he set the single-season school record with 20 last year. He had three apiece last season against North Car- olina State, Wake Forest, Stanford and LSU. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

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