2019 Notre Dame Football Preview

Digital Edition

Blue & Gold Illustrated: 2019 Notre Dame Football Preview

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Page 5 of 163

4 ✦ BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED 2019 FOOTBALL PREVIEW LOU SOMOGYI U ntil 1988, Notre Dame Stadium had never hosted seven games at home in a season since its 1930 opening. Even in 1988 it occurred by accident when the road game at SMU had to be canceled because of the NCAA death penalty imposed on the Mustangs. Notre Dame then sched- uled Rice as the substitute at home. Seven home games didn't occur again until 1999, when Kansas was added for the Eddie Robinson Classic in the opener. Because of the permanent addition of a 12th regular-season game in 2006, the 2019 season will mark the eighth time Notre Dame hosts seven home games, this time with three first-time visitors: New Mexico (Sept. 14), Virginia (Sept. 28) and Bowling Green (Oct. 5). In years where there is a Shamrock Series outing — a la Syracuse in 2018 at Yankee Stadium — that is used as a seventh "home" game outside Notre Dame Stadium. The Fighting Irish are slated for only six home games in 2020, but seven again in 2021. The 1988 national title season still re- mains the lone one in which the Fighting Irish finished 7-0 at home. Year: 1988 Home Record: 7-0 This was highlighted by pulsating wins versus No. 9 Michigan (19-17) in the opener and then No. 1 Miami (31-30). The Wolver- ines would go on to win the Rose Bowl and finish No. 4 in the country. The defending na- tional champ Hurricanes had their 36-game regular-season winning streak snapped. Overall Result: 12-0 The most recent national title saw Notre Dame take advantage of its first-ever seven- game home slate. Year: 1999 Home Record: 5-2 Under third-year head coach Bob Davie, the Irish rallied from 30-14 and 24-3 defi- cits at home to defeat Oklahoma and USC, respectively. Overall Result: 5-7 Notre Dame finished 0-5 on the road, with four of the defeats coming by a total of 14 points. Year: 2006 Home Record: 6-1 Second-year head coach Charlie Weis' Irish were a popular preseason No. 1 pick, but a 47-21 blowout loss at home to Michi- gan in week three dropped the Irish to No. 12. They also needed a dramatic 11th- hour rally to defeat UCLA 20-17. Overall Result: 10-3 Notre Dame finished No. 17, the first time in 10 years it had back-to-back finishes in the AP top 25. Year: 2007 Home Record: 1-6 Notre Dame began 0-6 at home, the longest losing streak it had on its turf. It was outscored 129-31 in the first four, and then lost 46-44 in triple overtime to Navy, ending an NCAA- record 43-year winning streak versus the Mid- shipmen, followed by a 41-24 loss to Air Force. The streak ended with a 28-7 win versus Duke — a unique event in college football history with two 1-9 teams facing each other. Overall Result: 3-9 It was both the most losses at home and overall in one season at Notre Dame. Year: 2009 Home Record: 4-3 Weis' final season ended 1-3 inside Notre Dame Stadium with defeats to USC (34-27), BRINGING IT HOME 2019 marks the eighth time the Fighting Irish host seven games The current 11-game winning streak at home is the third longest since the dedication of Notre Dame Stadium in 1930. The Fighting Irish will have seven home games in 2019. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA UNDER THE DOME

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