Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 9, 2017

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

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16 OCT. 9, 2017 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED UNDER THE DOME UNDER THE DOME Irish student-athletes excelling on the field and in the classroom Kevin Connors — Golf The junior from Dowington, Pa., finished tied for 20th at the Shoal C r e e k I n t e r c o l l e g i a t e Sept. 25-26 in Birmingham, Ala. After a 2-over-par 74 in the opening round, he bounced back with a 2-un- der 71 in the second round and a par finish in the final round for a three-round score of 216. Last season, Connors had one top-five fin- ish and one top-10 finish. Miguel Delgado — Golf The junior from Novato, Calif., was the top finisher for the Irish at the Shoal C r e e k I n t e r c o l l e g i a t e Sept. 25-26 in Birmingham, Ala. He carded a 4-under 69 in the second round of play, bookended by a 1-over 74 in round one and a 1-over 73 in the final round to finish with a three-round score of 216. Overall, Notre Dame finished sixth out of 12 teams. Lexi Nicholas — Soccer The senior goalie from Pleasanton, Calif., made her first start of the sea- son when the Irish hosted No. 24 North Carolina State Sept. 24. She made a pair of saves to help Notre Dame notch a 4-0 victory — the fifth shutout of the season for the Irish. It marked Nicholas' first start since she made six appearances in the opening lineup as a sophomore in 2015. Maddie Rose Hamilton — Golf The junior from Louis- ville, Ky., was Notre Dame's top finisher at the Schoo- ner Fall Classic Sept. 23-25 in Norman, Okla. She fin- ished in ninth place overall with a three-round total of 210. In round two of the tournament, Hamilton carded a program-record 65 and followed it up with a 69 in round three. The Irish finished sixth overall among 15 teams. TOP OF THE CLASS CHARTING THE IRISH NOTRE DAME IN TRUE ROAD GAMES UNDER BRIAN KELLY Notre Dame began the season by winning each of its first two true road games in decisive fashion, 49‑20 versus Boston College Sept. 16 and 38‑18 over Michigan State Sept. 23. In head coach Brian Kelly's first three seasons at the helm, the Fight‑ ing Irish posted a 9‑3 mark in true road games. However, they stum‑ bled to a 5‑11 record in games on op‑ ponents' home fields from 2013‑16. Despite being just 14‑14 overall away from the friendly confines of Notre Dame Stadium under Kelly, the Irish have notched seven double‑ digits wins against Power Five foes. The list above details Notre Dame's largest margin of victory in true road games since Kelly took over in 2010, with two of the top three performances coming this fall. Not included are neutral site contests such as the ones against Syracuse in 2014 (31‑15) and 2016 (50‑33) at MetLife Stadium in East Ruther‑ ford, N.J., and Maryland in 2011 (45‑21) at FedEx Field in Landover, Md. ✦ GIMME FIVE Through the first four weeks of the 2017 sea- son, Notre Dame ranked No. 7 nationally in rushing yards per game at 293.5. If the Irish offense were to sustain such a pace the rest of the season, that would be the highest average since 1974, or the late Ara Parseghian's final season as head coach of the Fighting Irish. The highest since then was 287.7 by the 12-1 team in 1989 — which didn't even include an impressive 279 rushing yards achieved in a 21-6 victory versus No. 1 Colorado in the Orange Bowl. The 350.2 rushing yards per game by the 1973 national champions remains ostensibly an un- breakable standard. That figure does not include the 252 rushing yards in the Sugar Bowl win over No. 1 Alabama. That would reduce the figure to 341.2, but would still edge out the 1946 national champs for the best mark at the school. Maybe a more conceivable goal in 2017 might be finishing with at least 250 yards rushing for the first time since the 269.5 in Lou Holtz's final season in 1996. Here are the five highest rushing averages in a season at Notre Dame since the NCAA first kept tracking these numbers in 1946, with the bowl games from 1972 and 1973 not included. Rk. Year Rushing Average 1. 1973 350.2 2. 1946 340.1 3. 1948 319.4 4. 1968 305.9 5. 1972 304.3 Note: The 1972 average would drop to 286.1 after the 40-6 loss to Nebraska in the Orange Bowl. Getting To Know … JUNIOR CORNERBACK SHAUN CRAWFORD Hometown: "Lakewood, Ohio." High School: "St. Edward." Major: "Design." Favorite Food: "Lobster." Favorite Place To Eat In South Bend: "Ruth's Chris Steak House." Favorite Movie: "'The Dark Knight.'" Favorite Music: "Hip hop." Favorite Musician: "Drake." Favorite TV Show: "'Shooter.'" Favorite Pro Sports Team: "The Cleveland Cavaliers." Favorite Part About Playing For Notre Dame: "I would say the tradition and the fans. The fans have been loyal to me, especially being down for two years, sticking with me and still cheering. The fans have responded great to our season this year as well. They've been showing great support on the road. This platform and this opportunity that we have here at Notre Dame is amazing." Who's The Best Player You've Ever Lined Up Across From?: "Terry Godwin from Georgia is probably the best that I've played so far." MOVING? Let us know! Call 1-800-421-7751 LARGEST MARGIN OF VICTORY IN TRUE ROAD GAMES UNDER KELLY Rk. Opponent Score Margin 1. Boston College (2017) 49-20 29 2. Purdue (2011) 38-10 28 3. Michigan State (2017) 38-18 20 4. Boston College (2010) 31-13 18 5. Oklahoma (2012) 30-13 17 6. Boston College (2012) 21-6 15 7. Pittsburgh (2015) 42-30 12 8. USC (2012) 22-13 9 9. Wake Forest (2011) 24-17 7 Purdue (2013) 31-24 7 Virginia (2015) 34-27 7

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