Notre Dame football: Will Irish QB mix throw USC a curve?
Players will be wearing a green shamrock decal on their helmets with a black X in it.
Brian Kelly brings a 12-1 record following a bye week into Saturday night’s matchup with USC. He’s 1-0 following an open date while at ND.
But the absolute king of the post-bye week games might surprise you. It’s Bob Davie.
ND’s head coach from 1997-2001 was unbeaten in games after regular scheduled bye weeks, something Irish coaching icons Knute Rockne, Frank Leahy, Ara Parseghian and Lou Holtz can’t claim.
Davie was a perfect 8-0, though his Irish teams faced only one ranked team in those eight contests. Davie’s 2001 Irish did lose a game to Michigan State after an open Saturday, but the Irish were originally schedule to play Purdue the weekend before.
That game got moved to the end of the season because of the Sept. 11 tragedies.
Here’s how the other ND coaches have fared in post-bye contests post-World War II:
Leahy (4-2, played 3 ranked teams); Terry Brennan (2-0, 1)l Joe Kuharich (0-0, 0); Hugh Devore (0-1, 0); Parseghian (5-1-1, 3); Dan Devine (4-2, 3); Gerry Faust (2-1, 2); Holtz (11-2, 6); Willingham (5-1, 3); Charlie Weis (2-3, 2).
-- The two players with the best career numbers against USC? Arguably wide receiver Michael Floyd and cornerback Gary Gray.
Gray has 17 tackles in the three meetings with two interceptions. Floyd has averaged 11 receptions, 86 yards and 1 TD. Those are also his totals.
He missed the 2008 and 2009 USC games with injuries.
-- Notre Dame is one of only three schools in the 120-team FBS to have converted all of its fourth-down attempts (3-for-3). LSU (3-for-3) and Stanford (9-for-9) are the others.
-- USC’s national rank in rushing (77th) is its lowest standing since Pete Carroll’s first year as the Trojans’ coach (2001), when USC finished 109th. Last season the Trojans finished 25th.
-- USC has won the last four meetings between the two teams in South Bend and five of the past seven.
-- Trojans offensive tackle Matt Kalil has blocked four kicks this season.
“He’s a combination of just great strength and an incredible reach,” Kelly said of the 6-foot-7, 295-pounder. “He certainly is the best in the country right now.”
-- The Irish lead the nation in home game length (4:13), skewed by the weather-delayed opener against South Florida.
Here’s how the Irish and USC match up at key positions - in the Twitter world:
-- ND coach Brian Kelly 40,568 followers; USC coach Lane Kiffin 16,041
-- ND starting quarterback Tommy Rees 8,192; ND backup quarterback Dayne Crist 11,575; USC starting quarterback Matt Barkley 19,700.
-- ND star linebacker Manti Te’o 8,233; USC star linebacker Chris Galippo 2,586.
-- All of them added together 106,895; ND women’s basketball player Skylar Diggins 120,856.
Staff writer Eric Hansen: