Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 23, 2017

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

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16 OCT. 23, 2017 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED UNDER THE DOME UNDER THE DOME Irish student-athletes excelling on the field and in the classroom Rachel Chong — Tennis The junior from Danville, Calif., went un- defeated at the season- opening Northwestern In- vitational Sept. 29-Oct. 1 in Evanston, Ill. She was one of three Irish participants to finish the weekend with a perfect record. Chong and partner Caroline Dun- leavy, a freshman, also went unbeaten in doubles matches. Last year, Chong posted a 17-8 record in singles play. Sean MacLeod — Soccer The junior from Troon, Scotland, en- tered No. 9 Notre Dame's matchup with Northwest- ern in the 79th minute and gave the Irish the spark they needed. With Notre Dame down 1-0, and 30 seconds af- ter MacLeod entered the game, he sent a cross into the box that found the head of junior defender Felicien Dumas, who scored the goal to tie the game and gave MacLeod his first career assist. Cam Morrison — Hockey The sophomore from Aurora, Ontario, was instrumental in Notre Dame's 4-3 win over the U.S. National Team Devel- opment Program Oct. 1. He opened up the scoring for Notre Dame with a two-on- one goal at the 7:42 mark of the first period. Then, after the Irish fell behind 2-1, Mor- rison found an open Tory Dello and notched his first assist of the season. Lauren Woodard — Volleyball The sophomore from San Diego finished with 10 kills in Notre Dame's 3-2, upset vic- tory over No. 21 Florida State Oct. 1. She was one of four players to record 10 or more kills in the win. Through 15 matches, Woodward's averages of 3.00 kills and 3.42 points per set both ranked second on the team. She played in nine of the team's 15 contests and saw action in 20 sets. TOP OF THE CLASS CHARTING THE IRISH NOTRE DAME IN THE RED ZONE UNDER BRIAN KELLY Achieving consistent success in the red zone was not a strength for Notre Dame during Brian Kelly's first seven seasons at the helm. The Irish ranked an average of 74th in the country in red-zone conversion percentage from 2010-16, turning 80.72 percent of their trips inside the their opponents' 20-yard line into points. Kelly's first season provided the Irish with their highest finish in his tenure at 51st with an 82.6-percent conversion rate. However, it has been a different story for the Irish in 2017 under new offensive coordinator Chip Long. In the team's first five games, the Irish offense was perfect in the red zone on 22 attempts, scoring 20 touchdowns and two field goals, to rank first in the country along with 11 other programs. Their 20 red zone touchdowns was tied for third in the country with Louisiana-Lafayette behind Oregon (29) and Ohio (22). Notre Dame is not only finding a way to convert more red zone opportunities into points compared to years past, but the offense is finding the end zone more often as well. The team's 20 red zone touch- downs are the most through five games under Kelly. RED ZONE EFFICIENCY (2010-17) Year Conversion Rate National Ranking 2010 82.6% (37 of 45) 51st 2011 77.1% (37 of 48) 82nd 2012 80.4% (48 of 60) 67th 2013 80.0% (36 of 45) T-77th 2014 80.6% (50 of 62) 80th 2015 81.1% (43 of 53) 88th 2016 83.3% (40 of 48) 72nd 2017 100.0% (22 of 22) T-1st ✦ GIMME FIVE The Notre Dame-USC rivalry that dates back to 1926 is recognized as one of the premier ones in college football history. In fact, no se- ries in the Football Bowl Subdivision has fea- tured more consensus or claimed national titles among two teams than the 22 between the Fighting Irish and Trojans, who own 11 apiece. However, what has been odd about the series is the dominance one has held over the other for stretches. From 1940-54, Notre Dame was 10-1-1 versus USC, whereas from 1967-82 the Trojans were 12-2-2 versus the Fighting Irish. From 1983-95, Notre Dame had a 12-0-1 ledger against USC — but then from 2002-09 the Tro- jans won eight straight against the Irish, tying Michigan State (1955-63) for the longest win- ning streak versus the Fighting Irish. Since the arrival of current Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly, the series has been more back and forth, with neither team winning more than two in a row. Kelly is 4-3 versus USC. Here are the top five winning streaks in the series, which means ties are not included as victories. Winning Streak Years 1. Notre Dame —11 1983-93 2. USC — 8 2002-09 3t. Notre Dame — 5 1940-47 3t. Notre Dame — 5 1957-61 3t. USC — 5 1978-82 Getting To Know … SENIOR OFFENSIVE GUARD QUENTON NELSON H o m e to w n : " H o l m d e l , N.J." High School: "Red Bank Catholic." Major: "Management con- sulting." Favorite Food: "Steak." Favorite Movie: "'Primal Fear.'" Favorite Music: "Country." Favorite Musician: "Thomas Rhett." Favorite TV Show: "'Game Of Thrones.'" Favorite part about playing for Notre Dame: "The offensive line. That's my favorite part about Notre Dame. I love the guys in the of- fensive line and just hanging out with them and my position coach [Harry Hiestand]." Who's the best player you've ever lined up across from?: "[Former Stanford and current San Francisco 49ers defensive end] Solomon Thomas. He had great hands, fired off the ball well, was really technically sound and was a smart player." Moving? Let us know! Call 1-800-421-7751

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