Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 14, 2020

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

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Page 12 of 55 NOV. 14, 2020 13 UNDER THE DOME THEY SAID IT THEY SAID IT "We just believed so strongly in Coach [Charlie] Weis and his game plan. The difference to now was we hadn't had success the years prior, not just against USC, but against all those other teams. But we'd shown enough dominance that season that led us to believe we could win the game. And I still believe, if that timeout gets called or some- body's pushing back on [Matt] Leinart, we would have won that game." — Former Notre Dame offen- sive lineman Ryan Harris on Notre Dame's 34-31 loss to USC in 2005 (The Athletic) "Campus is a little different. You don't feel the same kind of vibe you normally would. That's been the case all year. It just feels like another week for us with our preparation. That's all that matters. It'd be nice to have the other trappings that go with it. But there's enough noise here about this game. Our guys hear it and understand it, have to make sure they're not distracted by it. "The pandemic has made it a little different. But when they step on that field and know who they're playing, they have a great deal of respect for Clemson. They want to be in these kinds of games. That's why they come to Notre Dame. There's a great deal of excitement. There's a great deal of excitement even without all the other things going on. They know that's going on, so there's enough excitement going into the game." — Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly on the excitement on campus being somewhat subdued because of the COVID-19 pandemic "First, we needed to establish a baseline for where exactly Notre Dame has been 'rated' over the past decade. If you rank every team in the country by how frequently they've appeared in the polls, Notre Dame checks in at No. 11, according to College Poll Archive. It's appeared in 65.7 percent of all preseason, weekly and final AP polls since 2010, just below No. 10 Michigan (67.4 percent) and just above No. 12 Auburn (64.0 percent). "So, has Notre Dame under Kelly beaten top-25 teams at a rate commensurate with the 11th-most fre- quently ranked team in the country? On the whole, yes. Its 20-20 record against ranked teams is exactly 11th best among the teams on our list. However, if we focus only on games in which both the Irish and their opponent were ranked, their 16-17 record drops them to 17th. "The former category suggests Notre Dame's top-25 record is perfectly respectable; the latter provides some fodder for those who believe the Irish too frequently 'choke' in big games. Though to be fair, they are 13-8 as the higher-ranked team and 3-9 as the lower-ranked team in those top-25 matchups." — The Athletic's Stewart Mandel on why Notre Dame is both overrated and properly rated "This game, it's not the end-all for us. We could win this game — but if you lose to BC [the next week] this game doesn't mean anything. We're still in pursuit of a conference championship. … We've shown an incredible consistency as a football team of winning week in and week out. "Look, you're going to get opportunities like this and you want to win these games, no doubt. But we can't be overly emotional about this football game and lose sight of the fact that we've got five more games to play as well. … We can't empty the tank and say, 'Hey, we beat Clemson, we've arrived.' No we haven't." — Brian Kelly, five days before facing No. 1-ranked Clemson Nov. 7 PHOTO BY JOE RAYMOND OF THE WEEK ➤ "Notre Dame has beaten the number-one team in the AP poll eight times, third behind Miami (Fla.) with 9 and Alabama with 10. Clemson already has beaten Miami and will play ND Saturday. Could play Alabama in the playoff." — Former Clemson SID and Notre Dame graduate Tim Bourret (@TimBourret) on Nov. 2 Please add Sales Tax if you live in NC (7.5%), MI (6%), or IN (7%) Blue & Gold Illustrated PO Box 2331 • Durham, NC 27702 1-800-421-7751 Visit our online store! #6486 62"UMBRELLA $39.95 FREE S&H #6488 GRID IRON STAND BAG $199 FREE S&H #6487 BUCKET CART BAG $229 FREE S&H Golf bags are shipped direct from manufacturer with delivery limited to continental U.S. Please allow up to 10 business days for processing. Order Early for Holiday Arrival

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