Nov 22, 2013, 10:59 AM EDT
Before the Irish take the field against BYU this afternoon, here are five tidbits to know before kick-off at 3:42 p.m. (ET) on NBC.
- 1. NOTRE DAME – BYU SERIES
Notre Dame leads the series with BYU, 5-2 (.714), with Notre Dame capturing the last two meetings between the two foes, winning in 2005 and 2012. Throughout the series, the Irish have averaged 31.0 points in six series games against BYU, while the Cougars have scored 18.3 points per game on average versus the Irish.This is BYU’s sixth appearance in Notre Dame Stadium (1992, 1994, 2003, 2005, 2012) and sports a 1-4 record on Notre Dame’s home field, additionally, the Cougars will be the first visiting team to play at Notre Dame Stadium in consecutive years since Pittsburgh in 2001-02.
- 2. NOTRE DAME – BYU CONNECTIONS
• Former Notre Dame S Chris Badger transferred to BYU earlier this season. Badger, considered a freshman at BYU, originally signed with Notre Dame in 2010 and enrolled in January ’10. He left school after the ’10 spring semester to participate in mission in Ecuador for LDS Church. Badger will have three years of eligibility remaining for the Cougars after this season.
• Notre Dame’s roster features no players from the state of Utah. BYU’s roster features one player from the state of Indiana in Thomas Shoaf (Columbus/Columbus North).
- 3. NO TURNOVERS = VICTORIES
• Notre Dame is 13-0 under Brian Kelly when playing an entire game without committing a turnover.
• Notre Dame has won its last 13 games in which it failed to commit a turnover. The Irish have not lost a game with no turnovers since Oct. 17, 2009, when USC upended Notre Dame, 34-27.
• Notre Dame is 27-4 in its last 31 games in which it failed to commit a turnover.
• Notre Dame failed to commit a turnover in its 2013 season opener against Temple. The Irish had not played a season opener without a turnover since 2009.
- 4. LUCKY NUMBER SEVEN FOR KELLY
• Head coach Brian Kelly has won at least seven games in each of his first four seasons with the Fighting Irish.
• Kelly is the first head coach since Dan Devine to post a seven-win season in each of his first four years at the Notre Dame helm. Devine began his career with the Irish by posting six straight seasons with at least seven wins from 1975-80.
• Kelly, Devine, Ara Parseghian, Frank Leahy and Jesse Harper are the only Irish coaches to start their career with four straight seven-win seasons.
• With one more win this fall, Kelly would become the first Irish coach ever to win at least eight games in each of his first four seasons.
- 5. REES’ PIECES TOGETHER IRISH OFFENSE
• Senior QB Tommy Rees is 21-7 (.750) as the Irish starting quarterback. Here is an interesting look at where Rees currently compares to the best Irish signal callers in school history (minimum 20 starts).
• Rees is the first signal caller to lead Notre Dame to multiple victories over USC since Mirer in 1991, 1992. He started as a freshman in 2010 when the Irish snapped the Trojans’ eight-game winning streak in the series. Rees helped Notre Dame snap USC’s six-game winning streak in the series when it shifts to Notre Dame Stadium.
• Rees completed 14 of 21 passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns against USC before leaving the game with an injury early in the third quarter. It was Rees’ sixth multi-touchdown game of the season and 15th of this career.
• Rees has registered 17 completions of at least 32 yards in 2013. Irish quarterbacks recorded 11 such passes all of last year.
• Rees’ longest pass of his career entering 2013 was a 56-yard strike against Navy in 2011, but he has already eclipsed that mark thrice (66 against Temple, 82 at Purdue and 80 at Pittsburgh). Rees totaled 59 career completions of 20+ yards and 20 of 30+ yards over 34 career games entering this season. He has already registered 41 completions for at least 20 yards and 18 for at least 30 yards (in just 10 games).
• Rees is the second Irish quarterback ever to throw two 80-yard touchdown passes in the same season (joining Dayne Crist in 2010) and the only one to ever do it on the road each time.
• Rees’ 58 career touchdown passes rank him third all-time at Notre Dame.
• Rees will likely become the fourth quarterback in school history to eclipse 7,000 career passing yards (needs 83 to eclipse that mark).
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