Notre Dame Vs. Syracuse Countdown: 10 To 1
10 With a victory over 33.5-point underdog Syracuse, it would mark the 10th time Notre Dame reached 10-0 in its history. The other years were 1924, 1930, 1949, 1973, 1988, 1989, 1993, 2012 and 2018.
For head coach Brian Kelly, it also would be his fourth 10-0 achievement in the last 12 years, as he was 12-0 at Cincinnati in 2009 before accepting the Notre Dame position. He likewise had 12-0 regular seasons with the Irish in 2012 and 2018.
9 Considered senior starters on offense who most likely will line up on Senior Day: linemen Liam Eichenberg, Aaron Banks, Josh Lugg and Robert Hainsey, wideouts Javon McKinley, Ben Skowronek and Avery Davis, quarterback Ian Book and possibly tight end Brock Wright.
In our humble opinion, the most likely to return for another year of eligibility in 2021 are Davis and Lugg, and then maybe Wright and Banks.
Also, fifth-year senior starting right guard Tommy Kraemer has been cleared for action after undergoing an emergency appendectomy last month but is expected to be held out until the Dec.19 ACC Championship game.
8 Senior starters of the 11 on defense who will line up on Senior Day: fifth-year ends Ade Ogundeji and Daelin Hayes, tackles Kurt Hinish and Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, rover Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, middle linebacker Drew White, cornerback Nick McCloud and safety Shaun Crawford, who is in his sixth season.
In our humble opinion, Hinish, Tagovailoa-Amosa and White are the most likely to return in 2021… and we’ve learned to never say never with Crawford.
7 Consecutive games lost by 1-9 Syracuse since posting a 37-20 defeat of Georgia Tech on Sept. 26. That is the longest losing streak for the Orange since the nine straight in 2005.
Maybe the most impressive performance in that time was Oct. 24, when as a 46-point underdog at then No. 1 Clemson the Orange trailed only 27-21 with two minutes left in the third quarter before losing 47-21.
6 Wins Notre Dame has posted in its history in nine previous meetings with Syracuse. The most recent was a 36-3 romp against the No. 12-ranked Orange (who would finish 10-3 and No. 15) in November 2018 at Yankee Stadium. That improved the Irish to 11-0 en route to a College Football Playoff berth.
5 NCAA categories on offense where Syracuse ranks 124th or worse among 127 Football Bowl Subdivision teams. This includes dead last in time of possession (24:06) and second-to-last in total offense (250.4 yards per game).
4 Straight years that the team that debuted at No. 2 in the first College Football Playoff poll went on to win the national title: Clemson (2016) Alabama (2017), Clemson (2018) and LSU (2019) — and this year it was Notre Dame each of the past two weeks.
The No. 2 ranking also is the highest for the Irish in the seven-year history of the CFP.
3 Seasons in a row Notre Dame is looking to finish unbeaten at home, a first since 1987-89. Consider that in the 22 years afterward from 1990-2011 it occurred only once (1998), and now under Kelly it would be the fifth time in nine years (also 2012 and 2015).
The current 23-game winning streak at home is the second-longest in the 90-year history of Notre Dame Stadium, which opened in 1930. The record is 28 from 1942-50.
2 The two most glaring statistical mismatches in this game involve the running game. Among 127 FBS teams playing, Notre Dame is No. 4 against the run at 85.3 yards per game allowed — while Syracuse is 124th in yards per game on the ground at 78.3, notably three yards in last week’s 36-29 loss at home to North Carolina State.
1 Win needed by Book to become the first quarterback in Notre Dame history to achieve 30 victories as the starter (30-3). His .906 winning percentage is the second-best in school history with a minimum of 20 starts, behind John Lujack’s 20-1-1 (.923) during three national title campaigns in 1943, 1946-47.
With a victory over the Orange, Book also would finish his career 15-0 in Notre Dame Stadium. The only other quarterback with at least 10 starts to never see a defeat or tie in Notre Dame Stadium was Tony Rice from 1987-89, who also was 15-0.
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