Friday, September 2, 2011
Week 1: Did you know?
Here are some notes on Notre Dame as it readies for Saturday's season opener against South Florida. Thanks to ESPN Stats & Information for many of these tidbits.
Notre Dame has its highest preseason AP ranking (No. 16) since starting 2006 at No. 2, when it finished the season ranked 17th. But among the past five preseason-ranked Irish teams, that squad was the only one to finish the season ranked.
Notre Dame's 24 wins over the past four seasons is just 71st among 120 FBS teams during that span. The Irish's .480 winning percentage in that timeframe also ranks 71st in the FBS.
South Florida head coach Skip Holtz, a 1986 Notre Dame graduate, is trying to become the third Notre Dame graduate to beat the Irish as a head coach. Gerry DiNardo coached LSU to a 1997 Independence Bowl win over Notre Dame 57 years after Eddie Anderson led Iowa to a win over Notre Dame, in 1940.
Notre Dame is just 3-6 against Big East schools since 2004 and has lost four of its past five games against the conference.
South Florida quarterback B.J. Daniels was just one of four quarterbacks ranked in the top 90 of pass efficiency last season (82nd) to throw more interceptions (13) than touchdowns (11).
The Bulls are 0-4 in season openers on the road. They are 10-0 when opening at home.