Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 30, 2017

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

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Page 10 of 55 OCT. 30, 2017 11 UNDER THE DOME During head coach Brian Kelly's first seven seasons at Notre Dame, the Fighting Irish never faced more than two ranked opponents over the final six weeks of the regular season. This season, it might face at least four. Entering the Oct. 21 showdown versus No. 11 USC, No. 13 Notre Dame still had No. 16 North Caro- lina State (Oct. 28), a trip to No. 8 Miami Nov. 11 and a trek to No. 22 Stanford Nov. 25 on the docket. Miami's 10-game winning streak going into the Oct. 21 weekend was the second-longest in the nation, be- hind South Florida's 11. The streak began after the Canes lost 30-27 at Notre Dame on Oct. 29, 2017. Meanwhile, Stanford has won six of its last eight meetings against the Irish, including four in a row on its home turf. Whether they all will be ranked at the time of the game is uncertain, but the last time Notre Dame faced four ranked opponents at the time of the game over the final six regular season contests was 1990. That year, the Irish de- feated No. 2 Miami (29-20), won at No. 9 Tennessee (34-29) to move to No. 1, fell from the top perch the next week in a loss at home to No. 18 Penn State (24-21) and then wrapped up the regular season with a conquest of No. 18 USC (10-6). Since 1990, there have been only two other occasions when Notre Dame in its final six regular sea- son contests faced even as many as three teams ranked at the time of the game. The first was 1992 with victories against No. 9 Boston College (54-7), No. 22 Penn State (17-16) and at No. 19 USC (31-23), prior to defeat- ing unbeaten Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl. The second was in head coach Tyrone Willingham's debut season, when the Irish defeated both No. 18 Air Force (21-14) and No. 11 Florida State (34-24) back to back on the road to improve to 8-0 before losing at No. 6 USC (44-13) to cap the regular season. Holy Cross Village is a continuing care retirement community, sponsored by the Brothers of Holy Cross, with a tradition of caring, compassion and trust. Holy Cross Village welcomes people of all faiths. 54515 State Rd., 933 North, Notre Dame, IN 46556 ... AND ENJOY THE GAME OF LIFE AT HOLY CROSS VILLAGE I magine making new friends and developing new talents, where everything you need to enjoy the game of life is right outside your front door. Nestled among three institutions of higher learning, Holy Cross Village at Notre Dame is a senior living community unlike anything else around. Our warm and inviting community offers: Independent Living Homes and Apartments Assisted Living Apartments Skilled Nursing Memory Care Rehabilitation Services Call (574) 251-2235 today for more information and to schedule a tour. 2017 Irish Schedule Back-Loaded The Irish never faced more than two ranked opponents over the final six games during head coach Brian Kelly's first seven seasons in South Bend, but there is a chance Notre Dame will play four this year. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

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