Just the Facts

IrishEyes' weekly feature examines the season's first five games.

No opponent looms for the Irish on Saturday as the team enters its much-needed Bye weekend. But that doesn't mean our weekly objective look at the squad receives a week off as well.

Below is a look at 13 numbers that have defined the Irish season through five games.

1 – Third-down conversion allowed by the Irish defense in the second quarter over the season's first five weeks. Opponents are an aggregate 1-16 vs. the Irish over that span, though teams have obviously moved the chains on 1st, 2nd, and 4th down in the second period through five contests.

2 – Non-offensive touchdowns scored by Notre Dame's opponents through five games. Both scores both put the Irish in an early hole, as Michigan returned a kick-off 94 yards for a score near the end of the 1st Quarter in Week Two, giving the Wolverines a 14-3 lead; and last week vs. Washington, the Huskies returned a backward lateral pass 17 yards for a touchdown and 16-14 advantage with 4:39 remaining in the opening half. Neither the Irish defense nor its special teams has produced a touchdown in '09.

3 – Touchdowns scored by sophomore tight end Kyle Rudolph, the most by a player at the position since Pete Chryplewicz totaled four scores in the 1996 season. Rudolph has a chance to match or exceed the Notre Dame record for single season touchdowns by a tight end, held by Ken McAfee, who scored six in 1977.

4 – Games with 300 or more passing yards posted by junior QB Jimmy Clausen. Clausen has already tied ex-Irish signal-caller Brady Quinn (2003-06) for second place on the program's single-season list, as Quinn threw for in excess of 300 yards in four games during the 2006 season. In 2005, Quinn set the Irish single-season record for 300-plus yard passing games with five (including three outings in excess of 400 yards).

5 – Interceptions recorded by the Irish through five games this season. Washington's Jake Locker was the first of five opposing starting quarterback not to suffer an interception vs. the Irish in '09. The total ties the second-highest team number through five games of the Weis era (five interceptions in '05; four picks in '06 and '07; and seven through five contests in '08).

6 – Irish players that have hit pay dirt in 2009: sophomore tight end Kyle Rudolph; sophomore WR Michael Floyd; junior HB Armando Allen; junior WR Golden Tate; senior WR Robby Parris; and junior HB Robert Hughes. The Irish supporting cast has some catching up to do over the season's final seven contests, as either 11 or 12 different players have accounted for the team's season-end touchdown total in each of Weis' first four seasons.

7 – Games in which an Irish player has rushed for 100-plus yards or piled up receiving yardage in excess of the century mark. Armando Allen has both of the team's 100-plus yard rushing efforts (Michigan and Michigan State), while Golden Tate (Michigan, Michigan State, Washington) and Michael Floyd (Nevada, Michigan) have accounted for each of the squad's five efforts in excess of 100 yards through the air. Notre Dame finished the '08 season with nine total 100-yard performances from its runners and receivers, eight of which arrived courtesy of the Dymanic Duo, Tate and Floyd. Allen posted the squad's only 100-yard rushing effort in '08, finishing with 134 yards vs. Purdue in Week Four.

8 – Passing touchdowns allowed by the Irish defense/secondary. That number stood at six at this point last year and the defense surrendered 15 over the course of the '08 season.

9 – Sacks, allowed and recorded, by the Notre Dame offense and defense, respectively through five games. ND had suffered just five sacks through five games last season (though it surrendered four alone in Week Six at North Carolina) while Irish defense had recorded six sacks (including five vs. Stanford in Week Five) at this point last year. Notre Dame finished with 26 sacks over 13 games in 2008 while allowing 22 to its opponents.

10 – Consecutive field goals made by freshman kicker Nicholas Tausch. Tausch missed his first collegiate attempt, a 28-yard effort at Michigan, but has connected on strikes from 34, 42, 22, 46, 34, 34, 40, 34, 21, and 24 yards since.

11 – Games decided by 7 points or fewer in the program's last 19 contests dating back to a 21-14 victory at Stanford in 2007. The Irish hold a 7-4 mark in that span with wins over Washington, Purdue, and Michigan State this season (and a loss at Michigan); victories against Navy, Stanford, and San Diego State last year (and losses to Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and North Carolina); and the aforementioned defeat of Stanford to close out the '07 campaign. In Notre Dame's previous 36 contests under Weis, the Irish were involved in matchups decided by seven or fewer points on just eight occasions, winning five (UCLA, Michigan State and Georgia Tech in '06 as well as Stanford and Michigan in '05) and losing three (Navy in '07, USC and Michigan State in '05).

12 – Touchdowns scored by the Irish when the offense was not facing a "Goal-to-Go" situation. The Irish have scored 19 offensive touchdowns this season, only seven of which have occurred when the team faced "Goal-to-Go," (which generally includes down and distance situations at or inside the 10-yard line).

And

1 – Loss by the Irish in September this season, marking the 15th time over the last 16 seasons that Notre Dame has suffered at least one loss in September.


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