Nov 2, 2013, 11:54 AM EDT
Before the Irish take the field against the Naval Academy this afternoon, here are five tidbits to know before kick-off at 3:42 p.m. (ET) on NBC.
- 1. NOTRE DAME – NAVY SERIES
Each year since 1927, three autumns after the Four Horsemen helped a small, Catholic school expand its national identity, Notre Dame’s football schedule has included a game against the U.S. Naval Academy.But the man in the office overlooking the golden dome under- stood the renewal at New Meadowlands Stadium in 2010 involved far more than the streaks of annual meetings. It is about blue and gold from sideline to sideline and essential, mutual support during periods of vulnerability, influences that have directed thousands of young lives, including his.The Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, president of Notre Dame for 35 years before his retirement in 1987 and a leader in American higher education for longer than that, defined the place Navy holds in the history of his school.
“All I can say is without the Navy during the war, this institution would have gotten down to a few hundred students,” Hesburgh said during an interview in 2004. “Instead of that, we were almost twice our normal size during the war, and we were able to contribute something to the Navy.”
During World War II, as Notre Dame’s enrollment dropped to Depression-era size, the Navy’s decision to establish a Navy College Training Program on the South Bend campus in July 1943 provided much-needed economic relief and a surge of energy.
In the spring semester of 1943, Notre Dame’s total enrollment declined to 2,623, just six students more than the 1933-34 Depression-era total and nearly a 20% reduction from the fall semester enrollment of 1940. That’s why the decision to send Navy trainees to South Bend proved so significant. The school was infused with money and men.
By July 1, 1943, the Navy added 1,851 trainees to the campus. A contract between “The United States of America and University of Notre Dame Du Lac” called for a commitment of $487,711 for equipment, facility alterations, a drill hall and administrative expenses. Notre Dame received $9,000 each month for heat, light and repairs and the maintenance of a recreational drill field and athletic facilities. u Notre Dame won 43 consecutive games in the series from 1964-2006. Navy’s previous victory came on Nov. 2, 1963, when Heisman Trophy winner Roger Staubach helped Navy claim a 35-14 victory at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame’s 43 straight wins rank as the longest winning streak by one team over another in FBS history.
2. NOTRE DAME – NAVY CONNECTIONS
• The 2013 Notre Dame roster does not include a Maryland native. The 2013 Navy roster does not include an Indiana native.
• Fifthteenth-year Navy director of strength and conditioning and operations Kirk Woolfolk was Notre Dame’s strength and conditioning coordinator for three years (1995-98).
• Sixthteenth-year Notre Dame women’s rowing coach Martin Stone held the same position at Navy for six years prior to joining the Irish staff in Oct. of 1997. Retired Irish men’s tennis coach Bob Bayliss, 26 years at Notre Dame, spent the first 15 years of his head coaching career at Navy (1970-84).
• Notre Dame Deputy Director of Athletics Missy Conboy’s husband, Bill Mountford, played for Bayliss at Navy.
• Notre Dame freshman WR Corey Robinson is the son of NBA Hall of Famer and former Navy superstar David Robinson.
- 3. IRISH BATTLING BACK
• Bucking conventional wisdom, Notre Dame, 6-2, on the season, has scored first in a game just twice this fall, vs. Temple on Aug. 31 and vs. Michigan State on Sept. 21.
• Of the six games where Irish opponents have scored first, Notre Dame has remarkably posted a 4-2 record. Notre Dame rallied to defeat Purdue on Sept. 14, Arizona State on Oct. 5, USC on Oct. 19 and Air Force on Oct. 26.
• Another unusual game-opening trend for the Irish involves the team’s first drive. In each of its last three games (Arizona State on Oct. 5, USC on Oct. 19 and Air Force on Oct. 26), Notre Dame had started the game with a drive of at least 10 plays.
• However, the Irish have not scored on any of those three drives, missing field goals against the Sun Devils and Falcons, while turning the ball over on downs against the Trojans.
- 4. DANIELS MAKING A NAME FOR HIMSELF
• In his first season of action in 2012, junior DaVaris Daniels registered 31 catches for 490 yards. He missed a couple games last season with a broken collar bone. Daniels led all Irish receivers with at least 20 receptions in yards per grab (15.8).
• Daniels’ father, Philip, played 15 years in the NFL for the Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins.
• Daniels hauled in two touchdown passes to help Notre Dame knock off Purdue on Sept. 14. It was his second multiple-touchdown game of the season. Daniels also had two touchdowns against Temple in the season opener.
• Daniels has four career touchdown receptions. His four touchdowns receptions this season rank 76th in the FBS.
• Daniels has recorded at least one reception of 20 yards or longer in 12 of his 19 career games.
• Daniels’ 82-yard touchdown catch with 12:40 left at Purdue was the longest reception of his career and ninth-longest in school history.
- 5. IRISH OUTRUSH NAVY BY WIDE MARGIN
• Navy has not averaged less than 270.75 yards rushing per game over the last 10 years (dating back to 2002). So, the Midshipmen are quite accustomed to outrushing their opponent. However, not only did Notre Dame outrush Navy in the season opener on Sept. 1, 2012, but they gained 144 more yards on the ground than the Midshipmen.
• Navy has been outrushed by more yards just once since at least 2004 (Army last season). In fact, no team had outrushed the Midshipmen by more than 80 yards over the same span until the Cadets in last year’s regular-season finale.
• Notre Dame had not outrushed Navy by that many yards in the series since 2000 when the Irish held a 218-58 edge on the ground.
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