Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 15, 2012 Issue

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

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tember this fall and the last time it happened. The previous time Notre T here were some eerie similarities between Notre Dame's 4-0 Sep- Dame started a football sea- son 4-0 — 2002 — an ela- tion took over the campus because it had been such a long time (nine years to be exact) since the Irish entered October undefeated. That surge of euphoria revisited the campus this September with a 4-0 start that is a first since that 2002 campaign. • Both entered the season unranked. Notre Dame: 2012 Versus 2002 THE FIFTH QUARTER LOU SOMOGYI Ten triumvirate of Purdue, Michigan and Michigan State for the first time in nine years. In 2012, that same trio re- ceived the broomstick treat- ment for the first time in 10 years. • In 2002, Notre Dame's Sophomore Everett Golson split time under center in September with Tommy Rees, much like their quarterback counterparts in 2002. PHOTO BY JOE RAYMOND The 2002 team moved to No. 23 after the first game, No. 20 after the second — and then took a dramatic leap to No. 11 after defeating No. 7 Michigan in the third contest. In 2012, the Irish were up to No. 22 Dillingham, not considered a big-time major college prospect, helped rescue the month by leading the game-winning touchdown march at Michigan State (and later starting against Stanford). In 2012, Notre Dame's "athlete" quar- "athlete" quarterback Car- lyle Holiday (isn't any major college player a quality ath- lete?) needed a major assist off the bench after he was injured. Junior walk-on Pat after the first week, No. 20 again after the second — and then vaulted all the way to No. 11 after defeating No. 10 Michigan State in East Lansing in game three. • In 2002 against Purdue in the second game, the Irish needed a fourth-quarter interception return for a touchdown by Vontez Duff to break a 17-17 tie and emerge victorious, 24-17. In 2012 against Purdue in the second terback Everett Golson was reportedly injured late in the Purdue contest. Of- ten-maligned junior Tommy Rees, not deemed "big time" by much of the fan base, entered the tense situation and de- livered the clutch game-winning drive. • In 2002, the Irish received a needed bye week in the last week of the opening month (Sept. 28) after a 4-0 start. In 2012, Notre Dame's bye week came game, Notre Dame used a field goal by Kyle Brindza with seven seconds left to break a 17-17 tie and survive a 20-17 decision. • In 2002, Notre Dame swept the Big in the last week of the season's first month (Sept. 29) following a 4-0 start. • The 2002 edition was spearheaded by a stellar defense — with the Irish offense not even producing one touch- down in their first two wins. That de- fense would finish 10th against the run (95.2 yards allowed per game) and ninth

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