Notre Dame-Louisville Countdown: 10 To 1

10 Plays per game with lost yardage on offense Louisville is averaging during its 1-3 start. Only two teams are worse: South Florida (10.25), who the Irish defeated 52-0 on Sept. 19, and Kansas (11.0).

Conversely, Notre Dame is tied for 4th nationally in fewest lost yardage plays (3.00 per game) while controlling the line of scrimmage.

9 Consecutive wins by Notre Dame, which is tied with Air Force for the longest current winning streak in the Football Bowl Subdivision (the Falcons don’t play again until next week).

A victory over Louisville would mark the 17th time in their history the Fighting Irish achieved at least 10 wins in a row.

8 Louisville is minus-8 in turnovers this year during its 1-3 start, committing 11 while generating only three. Among 76 FBS teams, that minus-2 average per game ranks 73rd.

The Cardinals lost three fumbles in last week’s 46-27 loss at Georgia Tech while the Yellow Jackets had zero turnovers. In the 23-20 defeat to Pitt prior to that, Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham tossed three interceptions.

Finally, in the 47-34 defeat to Miami, the Cardinals had three turnovers compared to the Hurricanes’ zero.

7 Ranking of fifth-year senior Ian Book for most career wins as the starting quarterback at Notre Dame (23-3) — tying him with his position coach and coordinator Tommy Rees (23-8 from 2010-13).

Book also needs seven more victories as the starter to be the first signal-caller at the school to reach 30.

6 National ranking of Notre Dame sophomore running back Kyren Williams in rushing yards per game (119.7) that has helped the Irish rank fifth nationally as a team with a 270.7 figure.

Individually, Louisville’s Javian Hawkins is just behind Williams at No. 8 with a 117.0 average. Hawkins rushed for 122 of Louisville’s 249 yards on the ground versus the Irish last season, and his 1,525 yards in 2019 as a runner were eighth-most in the country.

5 Receptions recorded by fifth-year senior Javon McKinley, for 107 yards, in last week’s 42-26 victory versus Florida State, after snaring only one pass this year and 11 entering this season.

Junior Kevin Austin, who had been projected to be Notre Dame’s top target this year, also has five receptions in his career after missing last season with a suspension and seeing his first action last week (three snaps) following Aug. 3 foot surgery.

4 Straight home games for Notre Dame to begin this season, a first since 1934, when Four Horseman fullback Elmer Layden was in his debut year as the Fighting Irish head coach. The Irish will travel for the first time to a game this year at Pitt next week.

3 This is the third meeting between the Fighting Irish and the Cardinals in football. Louisville won the first, 31-28 at Notre Dame in 2014, while last year’s opener saw the Irish post a 35-17 victory at Louisville.

The Cardinals are attempting to become only the fourth school ever to win its first two games at Notre Dame Stadium. The other three were USC (1931 and 1933), Michigan (1942 and 1978) and Missouri (1972 and 1978).

2 Ranking of Notre Dame nationally in third-down conversion defense. The opposition is 8 of 44 against the Fighting Irish for a .182 percentage. Oddly, only Oklahoma State, which plays in the typically defenseless Big XII, is better with a .163 figure (7 of 43).

1 Victory needed by Notre Dame — this weekend versus Louisville — to own the second-longest home winning streak in the nation at 22 (currently tied with Ohio State). The current 21 in a row is the second longest in the 90-year history of Notre Dame Stadium, which opened in 1930. The record is 28 from 1942-50. Clemson is atop the current leader board with 26 straight victories at home. The top-ranked Tigers will be the next home game for the Irish (Nov. 7).

An Irish victory also would make it 28 straight versus unranked opponents — second only to Alabama right now and only one short of tying the school record 29 from 1990-94.

Leave a Reply