Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 17, 2016

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

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Page 8 of 55 OCT. 17, 2016 9 UNDER THE DOME 0-9 Record of Notre Dame's first five opponents versus Power Five foes during the 2-3 start by the Fighting Irish. Texas was 0-2 (Cal and Oklahoma State), Nevada 0-1 (Purdue), Michigan State 0-2 (Wisconsin and Indiana), Duke 0-3 (Wake Forest, Northwestern and Virginia) and Syracuse 0-1 (Louisville). Entering the weekend of Oct. 8, of the three teams that had defeated Notre Dame, Texas had only beaten UTEP, Michigan State had toppled only Furman, and Duke had defeated only North Carolina Central. 5 Notre Dame players on The Hockey News' Top 75 NCAA Players to Watch in 2016-17, with the top two in the freshman class: They include freshman forward Cam Morrison (No. 20), freshman defenseman Andrew Peeke (No. 23), sophomore defenseman Dennis Gilbert (No. 37), junior forward and top returning scorer Anders Bjork (No. 66) — who tallied 12 goals and 23 assists last year for 35 points — and junior forward Jake Evans (No. 75). Only Hockey East rival Boston University with seven had more than the No. 9 Fighting Irish, while the University of Michigan also has five. Notre Dame opened regular season play Oct. 7-8 versus Arizona State. 16 Career rushing touchdowns by ju- nior quarterback DeShone Kizer entering the Oct. 8 game at North Caro- lina State. That tied him for third-place among quarterbacks on Notre Dame's ca- reer chart with Terry Hanratty (1966-68) and Joe Theismann (1968-70). Only Rick Mirer (1989-92) with 17 and Tony Rice (1987-89) with 23 have more. Kizer had played only 16 games, meaning he averaged a rushing touchdown per contest. 25 R e c e p t i o n s f o r sophomore wide re- ceiver EQUANIME- OUS ST. BROWN after just the first five games in 2016, while averaging 21.6 yards per catch and scoring six touchdowns. To show how much the game has changed just in the past 10 years, consider that 1987 Notre Dame Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown had 25 catches his entire 11-game sopho- more year with the Irish (15.9 yards per catch, three touchdowns), 1996 Notre Dame second-round pick Derrick Mayes had 26 catches as a sophomore (21.2 yards per catch, two scores) in 12 games, and 2005-06 Irish All-American Jeff Samardzija had 17 catches as a sophomore (16.1 yards per catch, zero touchdowns). 732 Victories at Notre Dame by women's basketball coach Muffet McGraw, who enters her 30th season as the Fighting Irish head coach. Only fencing's Mike DeCicco, who was 774-80 from 1962-95, has been a part of more victo- ries as a Notre Dame head coach. McGraw is 732-222 (.767 winning percentage) overall. The women's team began practice Oct. 3 and will open its regular-season campaign Nov. 11 in the WNIT versus Central Michigan. 1990 Was the last season Notre Dame football played more games at noon (four) or earlier than this season (three) — and that also happened to be the last year the Fighting Irish didn't have their con- tract with NBC for exclusive coverage of home games. Twenty-six years ago Notre Dame had noon starts at home versus Purdue, Stanford and Air Force, plus one against Navy. This month head coach Brian Kelly's team had back-to-back 12 p.m. starts versus Syracuse in New Jersey and at North Carolina State, and will have an 11:30 a.m. kickoff versus Navy on Nov. 5 at Jacksonville. The earlier starts in October could be attributed to a 1-3 record out of the gate, which makes it less appealing for ESPN/ABC to slot the Irish in prime- time hours. BY THE NUMBERS PHOTO BY RICK KIMBALL

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