The Irish welcome a familiar foe, but in a new leading role when the Huskies come to South Bend Saturday.
1 – Contest between the teams over the series' 7-game history in which the Huskies have outgained the Irish in total yardage: the 2005 matchup in Seattle ended in a 36-17 victory for Notre Dame but the Irish were outgained 408-327 on the afternoon.
2 – Touchdown receptions by ex-Irish wide receiver Derrick Mayes in the 1995 battle against Washington in Seattle. The Irish prevailed 29-21 and Mayes' second score, a 30-yard pass from current Irish quarterbacks coach Ron Powlus, tied the contest at 14 early in the 4th Quarter. It also served as a record-breaker for the Irish senior, who surpassed All-American Tom Gatewood (1969-71) for first-place on the program's career list with 20 career touchdowns receptions. Mayes finished his college career with 22 receiving scores but the program record is now held by Jeff Samardzija. Samardzija totaled 27 touchdown receptions from 2003-2006 – all of which were scored in the '05 and '06 seasons.
3 – Points scored by the Huskies' in a 35-point loss to the Irish in September 2004. Tyrone Willingham served as the Irish head coach that day but would be found on the Washington sideline 364 days later as the Huskies' head man, a 36-17 Irish victory in Seattle.
4 – Notre Dame's ranking among FBS teams in red zone defensive efficiency. Opponents have made 12 trips inside the Irish 20 and have come away with seven touchdowns and no field goals. Only Oklahoma, South Florida, and TCU rank higher than the Irish. However, Oklahoma (5), South Florida (11) and TCU (12) rank much higher than the Irish (94) in total defense.
5 – The Huskies' national ranking in terms of 3rd Down conversion percentage. Washington has moved the chains at just a over 58 percent clip in its 62 3rd Down opportunities.
6 – First half passing yards by the Huskies in last year's matchup between the teams in Seattle. In 2008, winless Washington finished 116th among 120 FBS teams in total offense, averaging 263 yards per game. The Huskies have improved to No. 70 nationally in '09 at more than 358 yards per contest after facing the No. 6 (USC), No. 45 (Stanford) and No. 49 (LSU) ranked defenses in the nation, as well as FCS opponent Idaho.
7 – Wins by the Irish against UW vs. 0 defeats. Notre Dame defeated Washington in both 1948 and 1949 and has beaten the Huskies on five occasions since 1995, winning that battle of ranked squads in Seattle, 29-21. The Irish have won the last four contests by 34 (1996), 35 (2004), 19 (2005), and 26 points (2008) respectively.
8 – Pass completions in 26 attempts by ex-Huskies quarterback Brock Huard in the 1996 matchup between the teams, a game won 54-20 by the 11th-ranked Irish over then-No. 16 Washington. Huard, who was removed from the contest in the 3rd Quarter with a concussion, is now a college football analyst for ESPN.
9 – Total first downs earned by the Huskies vs. the Irish last season, the lowest single-game total yielded to an opponent by Notre Dame in the 2008 season.
10 – Touchdown drives by a Steve Sarkisian-led offense vs. the Irish over the last two seasons. The first-year Huskies head man served as the offensive coordinator under Pete Carroll in back-to-back 38-point outings vs. the ND defense in 2007 and 2008.
11 – Touchdown drives of at least 70 yards by the Irish offense through four games in 2009. Notre Dame has also produced drives of 67, 69, and 62 yards that ended in six points this season.
12 – Total touchdowns scored by the Irish offense this season in either the first half or first possession of the 3rd Quarter. Notre Dame has 16 total touchdowns in 2009, 12 of which have been tallied before the 3rd Quarter game clock hit 10:00.
1 – Multi-touchdown performance in the career of senior fullback James Aldridge, who rushed for two scores in last year's 33-7 defeat of the Huskies in Washinton. Aldridge injured his shoulder in the season-opener vs. Nevada and has not played since. (He dressed but did not see action last week at Purdue). While he appears closer to returning to the field, Coach Weis indicated he could err on the side of caution and sit the senior through the team's upcoming Bye week.
Bonus Stat: 650 – Total yards racked up by #11 Notre Dame in the 1996 battle at South Bend vs. #16 Washington.
On the HorizonIrish players that could reasonably accomplish statistical milestones Saturday vs. the Huskies:
Golden Tate: Needs 100 yards receiving to move into a tie with Derrick Mayes (1992-95) and Jeff Samardzija (2003-06) for second place with nine career games of 100 or more receiving yards. Tom Gatewood (1969-71) holds the school's record with 13 games of 100-plus yards.
With 14 career receiving touchdowns, Tate is likewise closing in on two program legends: Ken MacAfee (1974-77) and Jim Seymour (1966-68) snared 15 and 16 TD passes, respectively. Seymour is sixth on the team's all-time touchdown receptions list.
Raeshon McNeil: Needs one pass break-up to Mike Richardson (2002-2006) for 10th on the all-time list, or two break-ups to tie Dave Duerson (1979-1982) for ninth place. (McNeil has been credited with 14 break-ups in his Irish career). McNeil has yet to record a pass break-up in three contests this season.
Jimmy Clausen: With his game-winning touchdown pass to Kyle Rudolph last Saturday in West Lafayette, Jimmy Clausen moved into third-place on the school's career touchdown passes list (his 42nd TD pass moved Clausen ahead of Rick Mirer). Next on the horizon is Clausen's position coach, ex-Irish star Ron Powlus, who tossed 52 touchdown passes from 1994-1997.
Clausen also moved into third-place on the program's career completions list head of Steve Beuerlein (1983-1986). Clausen, currently at 483 completions, needs 76 to pass Powlus for second-place on the all-time list.
Brady Quinn (2003-2006) holds the program record in both categories. Clausen cannot challenge the ex-Irish star for the top spot on either list until late next season.
Quinn threw 95 touchdown passes and completed 929 passes in his four-year career at the helm.