Blue and Gold Illustrated

June-July 2019

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

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Page 6 of 55 JUNE/JULY 2019 7 UNDER THE DOME 1 Night game at home this year (USC Oct. 12) for Notre Dame after playing a school-record three at Notre Dame Stadium in 2018. Head coach Brian Kelly — now entering his 10th sea- son with the Fighting Irish — is 32-17 (.653) overall in night games, including 9-4 (.692) at home. However, Notre Dame was a perfect 7-0 last season under the lights, giving it the school's second-longest winning streak at night. The longest is 11, beginning with a win at Rice on Oct. 13, 1973, and conclud- ing with a shutout defeat at eventual national champion Miami (20-0) on Sept. 24, 1983. 4.32 Time senior cornerback TROY PRIDE JR. posted in the 40-yard dash during Notre Dame's own private combine workouts at the end of spring. The second- fastest clocking was by sophomore wide receiver Braden Lenzy at 4.40. One of the more surprising times was 4.54 by sophomore linebacker Jack Lamb, who was coming off an ankle injury late in the spring that prevented him from playing in the Blue- Gold Game April 13. 7 Ranking of Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly in CBS Sports' annual and cumulative top Power Five coaches (65 in all) this May. A year ago at this time in the same poll he was No. 27, which shows the wonders of a berth into the College Football Playoff with a 12-0 regular season. The top 10 featured Alabama's Nick Saban, Clemson's Dabo Swinney, Washington's Chris Petersen, Oklahoma's Lincoln Riley, Texas A&M's Jimbo Fisher, Georgia's Kirby Smart, Kelly, TCU's Gary Patterson, Stanford's David Shaw and Florida's Dan Mullen. 9 Notre Dame players selected in the first round of the last eight NFL Drafts, beginning with wide receiver Michael Floyd and safety Harrison Smith in 2012 and continuing this spring with defensive tackle Jerry Tillery. This is es- pecially significant because in the previous 17 drafts from the 1995-2011, the Fighting Irish had only four: defensive end Renaldo Wynn (1997), offensive tackle Luke Petitgout (1999), center Jeff Faine (2003) and quarterback Brady Quinn (2007). Notre Dame also had nine first-rounders in the four drafts from 1991-94. 25th Pick overall projected for senior drop end Julian Okwara in CBS Sports' 2020 NFL mock draft, to the Philadelphia Eagles, done by Chris Trapasso. If Okwara, classified as one of the nation's top pass rushers in 2019, is indeed selected in the first round, it would mark the first time since 1975 with Mike Fanning (No. 9 overall) and 1976 with Steve Niehaus (No. 2) that the Fighting Irish would have defensive linemen drafted in the first round in back-to-back years. Tackle Jerry Tillery became the first this year since end Renaldo Wynn in 1997. 59 Career starts returning along Notre Dame's 2019 offensive line, led by senior right guard Tommy Kraemer's 19 among five different players with at least five starts. This is a little below last year's 65 (52 of them by fifth-year seniors Alex Bars and Sam Mustipher). More amazing is that everyone pro- jected to start along this year's line still has at least one year of eligibility remaining in 2020, with projected sophomore starting center Jarrett Patterson entering this season with four years left. That means if this unit has reasonable health in 2019, it could be at nearly 120 next year. 8,000 Tickets allotted to Notre Dame for the showdown at Georgia Sept. 21. The amount matches what Notre Dame gave to Georgia in the Bull- dogs' 20-19 victory at Notre Dame Stadium in 2017 — although approximately 30,000 red-clad faithful actually made it inside the arena. Sanford Stadium in Athens has a capacity of 92,746. ✦ BY THE NUMBERS PHOTO BY ANGELA DRISKELL

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