Blue and Gold Illustrated

December 2018

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

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Page 8 of 47 DECEMBER 2018 9 UNDER THE DOME 2 Times this year Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly was selected as the Bobby Dodd Trophy Coach of The Week, the second time following the 36‑3 victory versus then‑No. 12 Syracuse Nov. 17. Kelly also was the recipient of the award after the 38‑17 victory over then‑No. 7 Stanford Sept. 29. The victory against the Orange also marked Notre Dame's 12th consecutive vic‑ tory, dating back to last January's Citrus Bowl conquest of LSU. That tied the longest such streak under Kelly with the 12‑0 start in 2012. 3 Finalists selected for two of the nation's premier awards that includes two Notre Dame defenders. Fifth‑year senior linebacker Drue Tranquill joins Purdue quarterback David Blough and Kansas State offensive guard Dalton Risner as one of the three finalists for the Wuerrfel Trophy, which honors the student‑athlete "who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement." The formal announcement of the winner is scheduled to be made on Dec. 4, 2018 at the National Football Foundation's press conference in New York City. Meanwhile, junior cor‑ nerback Julian Love made the three‑man finalist list for the 2018 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award, presented to the nation's top defensive back. Also making the cut were Georgia's Deandre Baker and LSU's Greedy Williams. The winner will be announced live at The Home Depot College Football Awards Show Dec. 6, airing on ESPN. The Thorpe Award was first presented in 1986, while the Wuerrfel Trophy began in 2005. No Notre Dame player has won either award yet. 4 Times over a seven‑game period that Notre Dame held an opponent to less than 250 total yards when Syracuse finished with only 234 in its 36‑3 loss Nov. 17. The other three were also wins against Northwestern (249 yards Nov. 3), Pittsburgh (242 yards Oct. 13) and Stanford (229 yards Sept. 29). It was the first time since 2006 the Irish held four different opponents to less than 250 yards in the same season. 36-3 Final score of Notre Dame's Nov. 17, 2018 victory against Syracuse — the same as the 36‑3 result ver‑ sus Georgia Tech on Nov. 18, 1967, practi‑ cally 51 years to the day. What makes it even more eerie is the 35 pass attempts by the Orange against the Fighting Irish this year accounted for only 115 yards. It was the lowest passing yardage total by a Notre Dame op‑ ponent who put the ball in the air at least 35 times since … Georgia Tech managed only 55 yards on 35 attempts in that 1967 contest in Atlanta. 96.20 Pass efficiency defense rating of Notre Dame during the 11‑0 start, ranking behind only Michigan nationally. It was highlighted by allowing opponents only 5.2 yards per pass attempt. The outstanding 2012 defense that led a 12‑1 campaign allowed 6.0 yards per attempt, while the 1988 national champs were at 5.77 and the 12‑1 crew in 1989 was at 5.5. Making this year's data especially notable is that five of the opponents — Florida State, Northwestern, Stanford, Syracuse and Virginia Tech — ranked among the top 50 in passing offense. 99 Tackles recorded by senior linebacker TE'VON CONEY entering the regular‑season finale at USC, leaving him only one short of the century mark. Since the graduation after the 1981 season of recent College Football Hall of Fame inductee Bob Crable, Coney would be only the fourth Notre Dame player to record back‑to‑back 100‑tackle seasons after registering 116 in 2017. The other three were safety Kyle McCarthy in 2008 (110) and 2009 (101), linebacker Manti Te'o in 2010 (133), 2011 (128) and 2012 (133), and Jaylon Smith in 2014 (112) and 2015 (114). Both Te'o and Smith won the Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker. ✦ BY THE NUMBERS PHOTO BY ANGELA DRISKELL

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