Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 26, 2016

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

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Page 8 of 55 SEPT. 26, 2016 9 UNDER THE DOME 0 Quarterback sacks credited to Notre Dame in the first two games against Texas and Nevada, making it one of only three teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision not to record any in that time. The Irish did have seven quarterback hurries through those first two contests, three of them by senior defensive end Isaac Rochell. "Trust me, we know about it," sophomore defensive lineman JERRY TILLERY said three days before the Michigan State game Sept. 17 when asked about the lack of sacks. "It's something that is a chip on our shoulder right now. We're looking for whoever gets the first one — it'll be a big party on the field." Notre Dame finished 75th nationally in sacks last year with 25. 2.45 Million views on NBC Sports, per, for Notre Dame's Sept. 10 home opener against Nevada. Since 2002, or Tyrone Willingham's debut season as the Irish head coach, that was the third-lowest number for a Notre Dame home opener. The lowest viewership also came against Nevada (1.89) in 2009, head coach Charlie Weis' final season, followed by a 2.10 figure in 2014 versus Rice. The highest NBC viewership for a Notre Dame home opener since 2002 was 6.90 million in 2006 versus Penn State. 3 Consecutive home games in the month of September for Notre Dame with Nevada (Sept. 10), Michigan State (Sept. 17) and Duke (Sept. 24). It is only the third time the Irish have had three consecutive home games in September. The first came in 1978 when the defending national champions opened with home losses to Missouri (3-0) and Michigan (28-14) before defeating Purdue (10-6) and finishing No. 7 in the Associated Press poll. The next was in 2000, when Notre Dame defeated Texas A&M in the opener (24-10) before losing in overtime to No. 1 Nebraska (27-24) and defeating eventual Big Ten champ and Rose Bowl participant Purdue (23-21). Notre Dame finished the regular season 9-2 before losing 41-9 to Oregon State in the Fiesta Bowl. 15 Ranking of Notre Dame, tied with three other universi- ties, in U.S. News & World Report's annual ranking of best colleges for 2017. Notre Dame was tied with Cornell, Rice and Vanderbilt based on numerous criteria. The 14 ahead of them were, in order, Princeton, Harvard, Chicago, Yale, Columbia, Stanford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Duke, Penn, Johns Hopkins, Dartmouth, California Institute of Technology and Northwestern tied for 12th, and Brown. Notre Dame hosts No. 8 Duke in football Sept. 24 and No. 6 Stanford Oct. 15. One other Irish foe on this year's slate that ranks in the top 25 is No. 23 USC (Nov. 26 in Los Angeles). 37 Points accounted for by Notre Dame's Art Smith in an 80-0 win over Loyola (Chicago) at home on Oct. 28, 1911. They came from seven touchdowns (worth five points back then) and two extra points. That still is the most by a Notre Dame player in a game. Current junior quarterback DeShone Kizer holds the road record with 36 on five touchdown passes and one TD run last year at Pitt and this year at Texas. 103,323,144 Dollars awarded for scholarships to 6,899 Notre Dame stu- dents in the 25-year relationship between Notre Dame and NBC Sports to exclusively cover Fighting Irish home football games. Athletics has contributed in excess of $4 million per year of revenue from the NBC Sports agreement to the university's financial aid program. The university also has used the NBC contract revenue to endow doctoral fellowships in the graduate school and for MBA scholarships in the Mendoza College of Business. BY THE NUMBERS PHOTO COURTESY NOTRE DAME MEDIA RELATIONS

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