Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 9, 2019

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

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Page 22 of 55 NOV. 9, 2019 23 2 Notre Dame has not lost two games in a row since ending the horrid 4‑8 season with back‑to‑back defeats to Virginia Tech (34‑31) and at USC (45‑27). Since then, the Fighting Irish are 28‑6 (.824 winning percentage), be‑ hind only four Power Five teams: Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Oklahoma. 5 Games played by senior cornerback Donte Vaughn after starting against Virginia Tech. That means he will not be allowed to apply for a fifth sea‑ son of eligibility in 2020, which was a tentative plan. Thus, it appears Vaughn, Troy Pride Jr. and Shaun Crawford all are in their final seasons at cornerback this season, with Crawford previously stating he has no desire to apply for a sixth season. 16 Consecutive victories at home by the Fighting Irish, the third‑longest winning streak since the opening of Notre Dame Stadium in 1930. It trails only the 28 from 1942‑50 and 19 from 1987‑90. With victories against Navy (Nov. 16) and Boston College (Nov. 23), it would also mark the first time since 1987‑89 that Notre Dame finished unscathed at home in back‑to‑back seasons. 29 Seconds remaining when senior quarterback Ian Book raced for the game‑winning seven‑yard touchdown on third‑and‑goal for the 21‑20 victory. It marked the first time Notre Dame won a game by scoring a touchdown with less than one minute (or even 30 seconds) remaining since Sept. 12, 2015, when reserve quarterback DeShone Kizer found Will Fuller on a 39‑yard score with 12 seconds left to rally from a 27‑26 deficit to a 34‑27 victory at Virginia. 130 Teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision, and Notre Dame became the last to not score when it reached the red zone. It happened on the second series of the first quarter when Book's pass from the Virginia Tech 17‑yard line was intercepted by Hokies linebacker Max Hollifield. Notre Dame entered the game 24 of 24 once it reached or penetrated inside the opponent's 20‑yard line — and a remarkable 21 of those red‑zone situa‑ tions resulted in touchdowns (11 rushing and 10 passing). After the intercep‑ tion, it happened two more times. Notre Dame junior running back Jafar Armstrong lost a fumble near the 1‑yard line that was returned for a 98‑yard touchdown by Virginia Tech, and junior kicker Jonathan Doerer missed a 35‑ yard field goal attempt in the fourth quarter. Yet the Fighting Irish overcame such inefficiency by scoring touchdowns on their other three red‑zone opportunities to finish 3 of 6 overall. 1,273 Carries by Notre Dame running backs before losing a fumble, when Armstrong lost it on a hit that was returned by safety Divine Deablo for a 98‑yard touchdown to help tie the game with nine seconds remaining until halftime. Fighting Irish running backs had not lost a fumble since Nov. 21, 2015 during a 19‑16 victory versus Boston College in Fenway Park. It had been the longest streak in the nation. 1947-49 Marked the last years that Notre Dame won every game in November at least two straight seasons (the 1948 team under Frank Leahy had a tie with USC in December). The Fighting Irish were 4‑0 in November last year, and are seeking to finish 5‑0 in the month for the first time since Knute Rockne's final season in 1930. BY THE NUMBERS BY LOU SOMOGYI 8 Touchdown receptions by Notre Dame tight ends this season after junior Cole Kmet tallied his fifth and sophomore TOMMY TREMBLE his third during the victory against Virginia Tech. That ties the single‑season school record by tight ends set in 2013 when Troy Niklas grabbed five and Ben Koy‑ ack added three. PHOTO BY ANDRIS VISOCKIS

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