Samardzija four scores away from record
Kevin Brennan | Monday, October 3, 2005
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -With his two touchdown receptions Saturday, Jeff Samardzija upped his season total to eight. The receiver currently leads the nation in touchdown catches, along with Bowling Green wideout Steve Sanders.
“Samardzija seems to find the end zone, so I guess I should throw to him more often,” Weis said.
Samardzija is the first player in program history to record a touchdown reception in each of the first five games of the season. He is the first Notre Dame receiver since Malcolm Johnson to score in five consecutive games.
Johnson had six straight games with a touchdown reception in 1998.
Samardzija is only four touchdown receptions away from breaking the Notre Dame single-season record for touchdown receptions set by Derrick Mayes in 1994.
Morton stays out
Starting center Bob Morton, who went down with an injury against Washington, was available Saturday, but did not see the field.
Weis held Morton out in order to allow the senior to more fully recover before the Oct. 15 match-up with No. 1-ranked USC.
“He was ready to go,” Weis said. “But I told him that I wanted to hold him from this game if I could.
“He got himself ready to play, but I was happy we didn’t have to use him.”
John Sullivan started at center in Morton’s place.
Quinn sets more records
With 440 passing yards, Brady Quinn has become the first Notre Dame quarterback to throw for more than 300 yards in three consecutive games.
Quinn passed for 487 yards against Michigan State and 327 yards at Washington.
Quinn’s 283 first-half passing yards was also a program best.
Quinn now has thrown for 6,038 yards in his career.
He is only the third signal-caller in Notre Dame history to reach the 6,000-yard mark. Steve Beurlein recorded 6,527 yards from 1983-86.
Ron Powlus, the current director of personnel development for the football program, holds the all-time record with 7,602 passing yards from 1994-97.
Weis creature of habit
Weis commented that many of the plays called Saturday grew out of the New York Giants’ offense of the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Weis began his NFL coaching career with Bill Parcells’ Giants in 1990.
“I’m a trained pig,” Weis said. “I just go with what I know.”
Irish move up in polls
With the win, Notre Dame moved up to No. 12 in both the AP and USA Today polls. They were previously No. 13 and 14, respectively.
Game has record crowd
The attendance at the game Saturday was 65,491. It was the largest crowd in Ross-Ade Stadium since its renovation in 2003.
Saturday’s captains were Quinn on offense, Brandon Hoyte on defense and Chase Anastasio on special teams.