Combating Irish Pre-Recreation: Toledo @ Notre Dame

• The Irish enter today’s home-opener with 24 consecutive victories in Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame has notched wins over one Mountain West team (New Mexico), one SEC team (Vanderbilt), one Big Ten team (Michigan), three from the Mid-American (one each against Miami Ohio, Ball State and Bowling Green), two from the Pac-12 (USC twice, Stanford), two from the American Athletic Conference (Navy twice, South Florida) and a dozen versus the ACC.

Notre Dame has defeated 11 ACC teams during the 24-game home winning streak: Florida State twice and one each over N.C. State, Wake Forest, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Duke, Louisville, Syracuse, and Clemson.

• Tight end Michael Mayer had 120 receiving yards on nine receptions in the 41-38 overtime victory at Florida State on Labor Day Sunday. It is the most receiving yards by an Irish tight end since Kyle Rudolph had 164 against Michigan in 2010. The 120 yards ranks fifth in program history for single-game receiving yards by an Irish tight end.

• Quarterback Jack Coan set a Notre Dame record for passing yards in a season-opener with 366 against Florida State. That surpassed the mark set by offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Tommy Rees against Temple in 2013 when he threw for 347 yards.

Coan also tied the Notre Dame record for passing touchdowns in a season-opener with four. Jimmy Clausen had four versus Nevada in a 35-0 victory over Nevada in 2009. Ron Powlus also had four in his Notre Dame debut against Northwestern in Soldier Field in 1994.

• Brian Kelly is 10-1 in home-openers with his lone loss coming in 2011 when South Florida upended the Irish, 23-20, in a lightning-delayed contest. Kelly’s average margin of victory in his 10 season-opening conquests is 23.7 points per game.

• Notre Dame has some ground to make up running the football and defending the run after a sub-par performance in both areas against Florida State. Notre Dame’s 65 yards rushing on 35 carries has the Irish 114th in rushing yards per game and 121st in yards per carry (1.86).

The Seminoles rushed for 264 yards and averaged 5.5 yards per attempt. That places Notre Dame 119th in rushing yards allowed per game and 112th in yards surrendered per carry.

• Kyren Williams rushed for 42 yards on 18 carries in the season-opening victory over Florida State. That’s his third lowest output since becoming the starter in 2020. Williams was held to 38 yards on 17 carries at Pittsburgh and 37 yards on nine carries at Boston College last season.

• In his last six games, Kyren Williams has caught 28 passes for 218 yards, including his six grabs for 83 yards against Florida State. Williams caught eight for 31 yards in last year’s playoff game against Alabama, which gives him 14 receptions for 114 yards in his last two games.

• Kyle Hamilton’s two interceptions against Florida State made him the first Irish player to nab a pair in a game since safety Alohi Gilman’s two against Syracuse in 2018.

• Red-shirt freshman Michael Carmody is expected to make his first career start at left tackle against Toledo following the knee injury suffered by true freshman Blake Fisher against Florida State. Center Jarrett Patterson has the most starts (22) for the Irish along the offensive line. Right tackle Josh Lugg started his ninth game last weekend. Zeke Correll started his fourth game against Florida State for his third overall and first at left guard. Marshall transfer Cain Madden started his first game in an Irish uniform and 32nd overall.

• JD Bertrand made his first career start for Notre Dame in Tallahassee. He had a game-high 11 tackles against the Seminoles, surpassing his total of seven in his first two years in the program.

• With his two field goals from 48 and 41 yards – the latter of which was the game-winner in overtime at Florida State – kicker Jonathan Doerer is now 35-of-46 in his career at Notre Dame. That’s a 76.0 percent conversion rate. Doerer was 4-of-9 in the final five games of the 2020 season, which means in the other 21 games in which he’s attempted a field goal, he’s 31-of-37 (83.7 percent).

• Toledo entered the 2021 season with 11 consecutive seasons without a losing record. Among MAC teams, Ohio University has 12 straight, Western Michigan has seven straight, Ball State one, Central Michigan two, Kent State two, Miami (Ohio) three, and Buffalo four.

• Former Irish linebacker Jonathan Jones returns to Notre Dame Stadium after transferring to Toledo. Jones was 11th in tackles on the Rockets’ 2020 team with 19. Now a starter for Toledo, Jones had six stops and a tackle for loss in last week’s 49-10 victory over FCS Norfolk State.

• Also returning to Notre Dame Stadium is former (2018) graduate assistant/assistant defensive line coach Larry Black. This is Black’s third season as the defensive line coach of the Rockets. Toledo went from allowing 218 yards rushing per game and 5.4 yards per carry in 2019 to 129 yards rushing per game and 3.7 yards per attempt in 2020.

• Defensive coordinator Vince Kehres is the architect of Toledo’s defensive turnaround. He arrived last season from Division III Mount Union, which had a 95-6 record in his last seven years as head coach in Alliance, Ohio.

• With its victory over Florida State, Notre Dame has won 20 consecutive regular-season games against ACC opponents. Its last defeat against an ACC foe in the regular season was on Nov. 11, 2017 at Miami. Of those 20 victories, 15 have been by at least 10 points.

• Brian Kelly – now in his 12th season at Notre Dame — has 103 victories as the head coach of Notre Dame. He is two shy of tying Knute Rockne (105 in 13 seasons) as head coach. Rockne coached 122 games with the Irish. His record was 105-12-5 (.881). Today’s game will be Kelly’s 143rd heading up the Irish. His record is 103-39 (.725). Excluding Notre Dame’s 4-8 season in 2016, Kelly is 99-31 (.761) in his other 10 seasons with the Irish.

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