Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 19, 2016

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

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Page 8 of 55 SEPT. 19, 2016 9 UNDER THE DOME BY THE NUMBERS PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA 4 Coaches in Notre Dame history who have lost twice in their career in the opening game, with Brian Kelly the most recent after the 50-47 double-overtime defeat at Texas Sept. 4. He joins the company of Dan Devine (1976 and 1978), Gerry Faust (1984 and 1985) and Lou Holtz (1986 and 1995). Kelly's first such setback came at home against South Florida in 2011. Knute Rockne (13-0), Ara Parseghian (11-0) and Frank Leahy (9-0-2) never lost an opener at Notre Dame — but neither did Joe Kuharich, who was 13-23 otherwise, or Hunk Anderson (2-0-1). 6 Consecutive years that at least one Notre Dame player scored a minimum of two touchdowns in the opener, with sophomore wide receiver EQUANIMEOUS ST. BROWN continuing the streak this year at Texas. The others were wide receiver Michael Floyd in 2011 versus South Florida, running backs Theo Riddick and George Atkinson III in 2012 against Navy, wide receiver Davaris Daniels in 2013 versus Temple, quarterback Everett Gol- son (three) in 2014 versus Rice, and wide receiver Will Fuller and running back Josh Adams in 2015 against Texas. 7 Notre Dame's highest finish ever in the Associated Press poll after losing its opening game. That occurred in 1978 — when the defending national champions, led by quarterback Joe Mon- tana, began 0-2 after home losses to Missouri (3-0) and Michigan (28-14) before finishing 9-3 with a 35-34 win versus Houston in the Cotton Bowl. From 1900-75, the Fighting Irish lost only three openers: 1934 (also to Texas) and 1956 and 1963. In the 41 years since 1976, this season marked the 11th time Notre Dame lost its first game. It finished outside the AP top 25 in eight of them. The exceptions were 1976 (No. 12), 1978 (No. 7) and 1995 (No. 11) — all 9-3 finishes. 51-0 Score of Notre Dame's blowout victory versus Pac-8 champion and Rose Bowl participant USC in the 1966 regular-season finale at the Los Ange- les Coliseum. That win that clinched the national title 50 years ago remains the largest margin of victory ever against a Trojans football team — even eclipsing the 52-6 pounding No. 1 Alabama administered this Sept. 3. 132 Points given up by Notre Dame during the three-game losing streak that began at Stanford last Nov. 27 (38-36), continued versus Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl (44-28) and concluded with this year's opener at Texas in double overtime (50-47). That point total was the second-most ever in any Fighting Irish three-game stretch. In 2014, Notre Dame surrendered 137 in three straight outings: a 49-39 win versus Navy, a 55-31 defeat to Arizona State (in fairness, though, two of ASU's touchdowns were interception returns) and a 43-40 over- time loss at home to Northwestern. If using strictly points by the offense, that 123 total would match another total from 2014 when Notre Dame lost to Northwestern, Louisville (31-28) and USC (49-14) — although two of Northwestern's points came on a blocked extra point attempt. 250 Straight official sellouts in Notre Dame Stadium following the Sept. 10 contest versus Nevada. The only longer active streak in the country entering the season was Nebraska with 348. The Fighting Irish streak began in 1974 after the 1973 Thanksgiving Day game against Air Force was not sold out. It is the lone home game since 1964, the first season under head coach Ara Parseghian, not listed as a sellout. Nevada this year was the 300th game since then, with 299 sold out. All of the 2016 home games already are listed as sellouts.

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