Fighting Irish Facts (Part II)

Notre Dame has won 82 percent of its games in the 33 seasons (out of 69) in which the Irish ranked among the nation’s top 20 rushing offenses.

• Two of Notre Dame’s 2015 opponents have head coaches who also hold the title of offensive coordinator – Massachusetts’ Mark Whipple and Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson.

• Brian Kelly has been a college head coach for 295 games, which is 55 more than Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson. Next on the list among head coaches on Notre Dame’s 2015 schedule are UMass’ Whipple (192) and Wake Forest’s Dave Clawson (192). No other opposing head coach on the ’15 slate has coached as many as 100 games. Navy’s Ken Niumatalolo (92) and Virginia’s Mike London (90) are next. Pittsburgh’s Pat Narduzzi begins his first year as a head coach this fall.

• Among Kelly and the 12 coaches on Notre Dame’s 2015 schedule, Stanford’s David Shaw has the highest winning percentage (.777, 42-12). He’s followed by Kelly (.735, 216-77-2), Clemson’s Dabo Swinney (.701, 61-26), Georgia Tech’s Johnson (.691, 166-74), Texas’ Charlie Strong (.651, 43-23), UMass’ Whipple (.640, 123-69) and Navy’s Niumatalolo (.619, 57-35).

• Kelly has won at least eight games nine straight seasons, dating back to his final season at Central Michigan when the Chippewas went 9-4. Since then, Kelly has been 10-3, 11-3 and 12-0 at Cincinnati from 2007-09, and 8-5, 8-5, 12-1, 9-4 and 8-5 at Notre Dame from 2010-14. If the Irish win as many as 10 games this year, it will be the fifth time in 10 seasons that Kelly has reached the double-digit mark.

• The last time Notre Dame averaged more than 200 yards rushing per game over an entire season (including the bowl game) was 2000 in Bob Davie’s fourth season as head coach. The Irish averaged 213.5 yards rushing per game during that 9-3 season. That also marked the last time the Irish ranked higher than 30th nationally – they were 14th – on the ground.

• From 1987-96, Notre Dame ranked 14th or higher nationally in yards rushing per game. That’s nine out of 10 seasons. The Irish won 90 games in those 10 seasons.

• Since 1946 – 69 seasons -- Notre Dame has ranked among the nation’s top 10 rushing offenses 33 times (47.8 percent). Notre Dame’s record in those 33 seasons is 279-57-10 (82.0 winning percentage). Since the last time the Irish were in the top 20 in rushing (the 2000 season, ranking 14th), Notre Dame has not finished higher than 30th on the ground and has ranked higher than 50th just three times. Notre Dame’s record in those 14 seasons is 106-69 (.605) with at least five losses nine times.

• Each of Notre Dame’s last seven 2014 opponents scored at least 31 points against the Irish. In Kelly’s first four years with the Irish, opponents scored 30 points or more 11 times in 52 games.

• Notre Dame allowed fewer points in the first six games of the 2012 season (52) than Arizona State scored against the Irish last year (55).

• Notre Dame enters the 2015 season with five wideouts that have caught at least 30 passes in a Notre Dame uniform – Will Fuller (82), Chris Brown (56), Corey Robinson (49), C.J. Prosise (36) and Amir Carlisle (30).

• Of the 29 receiving touchdowns scored by those five receivers at Notre Dame, 16 have been tallied by Fuller. Robinson has six, Carlisle three and Brown/Prosise each have two. Fuller scored 15 touchdowns in ’14.

• Safety Matthias Farley and cornerback Cole Luke each had four interceptions in ’14, which was half of the team’s total of 16. Linebacker Manti Te’o had a team-leading seven interceptions in 2012. He’s the last non-defensive back to lead the team in interceptions since inside linebacker Lyron Cobbins snagged five in 1995.


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