Blue and Gold Illustrated

June-July 2017

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

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16 JUNE/JULY 2017 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED UNDER THE DOME CHARTING THE IRISH POINTS PER DRIVE How important is each drive in a football game? Well, it depends on how many times you get the ball and what the team does with it. Ball control, slow-it-down teams like Navy typically have more points per possession. The Midshipmen averaged 3.43 points per drive in 2016, which ranked fifth in the country behind Western Kentucky (3.55), Oklahoma (3.48), Louisiana Tech (3.45) and Western Michigan (3.44). Navy ran just 66.4 plays per game on aver- age, making its few possessions critical. Bay- lor, Texas Tech and Tulsa, meanwhile, each ran about 88 plays a game to lead the nation. A combination of a slow-but-ineffective offense produces seasons like what Wake Forest and Boston College had in 2016. The teams averaged 1.40 and 1.28 points per possession, respectively, while ranking 118th in points per game. Notre Dame finished the 2016 season ranked 40th nationally in points per drive, av- eraging 2.47 points per possession. That was down from the 2.93 the Irish averaged on their drives in 2015 en route to a 10-3 finish. MOVING? Let us know! Call 1-800-421-7751 Irish student-athletes excelling on the field and in the classroom Nathan Richartz — Track and Field The senior from Island Lake, Ill., won his second career ACC pole vault championship May 13 in Atlanta. His effort of 5.27 meters (17 feet and 3.5 inches) edged out senior Connor Hall of Duke at the ACC Outdoor Championships. Richartz also captured the 2016 ACC indoor title, plus re- ceived first-team All-ACC ac- colades and first-team All-America recognition in the pole vault during the 2017 indoor campaign. Monica Robinson — Tennis The senior from Valley Center, Calif., was named second-team All-ACC, marking the sec- ond time she received all-league honors. She also was named to the third team following her sophomore year. Robinson finished the sea- son with a 14-9 record — which included four wins ver- sus ranked opponents — from the No. 1 singles position in dual matches. During her ca- reer, she starred in both singles and doubles. Charlie Vorsheck — Baseball The junior from Laguna Hills, Calif., made the first three starts of his Irish career in mid-week contests between April 18 and May 2. He got the win in all three outings, while tossing 17 2 ⁄3 innings, posting a 1.02 ERA and striking out 15. Through May 14, Vorsheck was 4-0 with a 3.15 ERA in 16 overall appearances. Op- ponents were hitting just .198 against him and he had fanned 29 while allowing only 22 hits over 34 1 ⁄3 innings. Karley Wester — Softball The senior outfielder and team captain from Huntington Beach, Calif., became the second Irish player to earn All-ACC first-team hon- ors three times in her career (2014, 2015, and 2017). She also earned second-team accolades in 2016, making her just the 12th player in program history to earn all- conference status in each of her four seasons. Through 54 games, Wester was hitting .346 with one home run, 14 RBI, 42 runs scored and a team-best 30 stolen bases. TOP OF THE CLASS ✦ GIMME FIVE During the 1960s, All-Americans Jim Seymour and Thom Gatewood became the first receiv- ers in Notre Dame history to catch at least 30 passes during their sophomore season. In fact, Seymour grabbed 48 in only 10 games for the 1966 national champions. Gatewood, inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2015, then snared 53 in 11 games (including the Cotton Bowl) in 1969. It wasn't until 2003 that another Fighting Irish sophomore receiver caught at least 30 passes. Now, it's become more routine in the past decade, with Equanimeous St. Brown the most recent last year. A trio of sophomores this year in Chase Claypool, Javon McKinley and Kevin Stepherson, who nabbed 25 passes last season, could join the club in 2017. Here are the top five sophomores with the most receptions at Notre Dame: Player (Year) Catches-Yards-TD 1. Will Fuller (2014) 76-1,094-15 2. Golden Tate (2008) 58-1,080-10 3. Equanimeous St. Brown (2016) 58-961-9 4. Thom Gatewood (1969) 53-855-9 5. Jim Seymour (1966) 48-862-8 Note: Rhema McKnight caught a team-high 47 passes as a 2003 sophomore, while Michael Floyd had 44 receptions as a 2009 sophomore despite missing five games with an injury. Getting To Know … LACROSSE SENIOR MIDFIELDER SERGIO PERKOVIC Major: "Finance." Favorite Food: "I'd say sandwiches." Favorite Movie: "'Gladiator.'" Favorite TV Show: "'Billions.'" Favorite Music: "Pop, and hip-hop some- times." Favorite Musician: "My cousin is actu- ally an up-and-coming musician, so I listen to him a lot." Favorite Place To Eat In South Bend: "It depends on the meal. Breakfast, I like Yellow Cat Café. Whole Foods, I eat there for lunch a lot or I'll go to the Purple Porch sometimes." Best Team You've Faced In Your Notre Dame Career: "There have been a lot of tough ones. The one that really comes to mind is Denver. In my four years here, we've never beat them." Favorite Part About Playing For Notre Dame: "The school is just incredible. The op- portunities that we got on and off the field, whether it be through lacrosse or in the class- room, or anywhere else, you can't really com- pare it to anywhere else." RANKING THE IRISH AND THEIR 2017 OPPONENTS IN SCORING (2016 GAMES) School Pts./Drive Pts./Game (national rank) 1. Navy 3.43 37.9 (20th) 2. USC 2.85 34.4 (36th) 3. Temple 2.65 32.4 (43rd) 4. Notre Dame 2.47 30.9 (53rd) 5. North Carolina 2.41 32.3 (44th) 6. Miami 2.35 34.3 (37th) 7. Stanford 2.22 26.3 (T-82nd) 8. NC State 2.08 27.0 (T-75th) 9. Miami (Ohio) 2.02 22.8 (114th) 10. Michigan State 1.99 24.1 (T-104th) 11. Georgia 1.83 24.5 (102nd) 12. Wake Forest 1.40 20.4 (T-118th) 13. Boston College 1.28 20.4 (T-118th)

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