Blue and Gold Illustrated

December 2019

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

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Page 24 of 47 DECEMBER 2019 25 2 Years in a row Notre Dame won its regular- season finale in California — a first since Stan- ford was permanently added to the schedule on an annual basis in 1997. Notre Dame ended last year's regular season with a 24-17 conquest of USC. The last time the Fighting Irish had back-to-back seasons in which they finished with a win in the final regular-season contest was 2000 at 5-7 USC (38-21) and then at Purdue (24-18) in 2001, a game that was moved to Dec. 1 because of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the country. 3 Seasons in succession Notre Dame achieved at least 10 victories: 10-3 in 2017, 12-1 in 2018 and 10-2 so far this year. The only other time that occurred was 1991 (10-3), 1992 (10-1-1) and 1993 (11-1). Keeping it in context, Notre Dame generally played 10 or fewer regular-season games until 1974 and didn't begin permanent 12-game regular-season schedules until 2006. 9 Straight wins in the month of November by Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish finished 4-0 last November and 5-0 this season, with its last such defeat coming at Stanford in the 2017 regular- season finale (38-20). This is the program's lon- gest November/December regular-season winning streak since achieving 10 in a row from 1953-55. 26 Turnovers forced by the Notre Dame — the most in head coach Brian Kelly's 10 seasons — after generating two more versus the Cardinal in the second half to set up scores. The previous standard had been 25 in his first season (2010). Notre Dame entered the game third in the country in turnovers forced, and it now tied with Alabama for fourth, behind only Florida Atlantic (29), Baylor (28) and Illinois (28). 33 Touchdown passes tossed by senior quar- terback Ian Book this season after adding four more versus the Cardinal (compared to only six interceptions in 12 games). The touchdown total is the second most in one season, eclipsed only by the 37 tossed by senior Brady Quinn during the 10-3 season in 2006. Quinn also held the No. 2 spot with 32 during the 9-3 campaign his junior year in 2005, until Book surpassed it. They are the only two Notre Dame quarterbacks to reach 30 in one season, with Everett Golson coming close in 2014 with 29. 45 Points scored by Notre Dame, the third most in the 34-game history of the series, behind only the 57-7 win in 2003 and the 48-20 victory in 1993, both also at Stanford. 516 Rushing yards this season by Book after garnering 29 more at Stanford on eight carries. He joins Tony Rice (1988 and 1989), Carlyle Holiday (2001), DeShone Kizer (2015) and Brandon Wimbush (2017) as the fifth Notre Dame quarterback to pass the 500-yard rushing mile- stone in a season, and is the only one with Kizer to amass more than 2,000 yards (and even 2,500) passing and 500 rushing in the same season. 1930 Marks the most recent season until now that Notre Dame posted a 5-0 mark exclusively in the month of November. That was head coach Knute Rockne's final year, which resulted in a second straight national title. BY THE NUMBERS BY LOU SOMOGYI 143 Career receptions by senior wideout CHASE CLAYPOOL, after catching three for 63 yards and two touchdowns in the win at Stanford. That moved him past former 2009-12 tight end and first-round draft pick Tyler Eifert for eighth place on the all-time Notre Dame receptions list. He is now one catch behind tying another first-round pick, Will Fuller (2013-15), on the all-time chart, although Fuller played only three seasons. PHOTO BY SPENCER ALLEN

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