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ND gets first win at Chesnut Hill since ’98

Douglas Farmer | Monday, October 4, 2010

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — In the series between the nation’s only two Catholic universities playing in the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision, Notre Dame earned victories in consecutive years for the first time since 1997-98. The latter of those two years was also the last time the Irish won against the Eagles on the road. Irish coach Brian Kelly did not miss the importance of the road win.

“Any win is a good win,” Kelly said. “What I have told our football team is that when you go on the road, and you get off to a good start, and play good defense against the run, and you don’t shoot yourself in the foot on special teams, you’ve got a chance to win on the road.”

Less, but still a lot

One week after recording 21 tackles against Stanford, sophomore linebacker Manti Te’o only managed 10 tackles Saturday. Through five games, the native Hawaiian has 64 tackles, tied for second in the country with Dwayne Woods, Jr., of Bowling Green. Te’o is one tackle behind the nation’s leader — Mario Harvey of Marshall.

“He’s a good linebacker,” sophomore linebacker Carlo Calabrese said of his teammate. “[Those totals] don’t surprise me at all. I think there will be a lot more games with 20-plus tackles in the future for him.”

The nation’s fourth-most prolific tackler is Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly with 12.75 takedowns per game. Against the Irish, Kuechly exceeded his average with 14 tackles.

Keep on kicking

Senior kicker David Ruffer has now converted all 13 of his field goal attempts in his career. That streak ties Ruffer for second longest streak in school history and for longest streak to start a career. In both instances, Ruffer is tied with Mike Johnston, who established his marks in 1982.

Furthermore, Ruffer has sent a kick through the uprights in eight consecutive games — every game he has started as Notre Dame’s placekicker. The longest streak by a Notre Dame kicker is 16 consecutive games with a field goal, set by Nick Setta in 2000-02.

In memoriam

Boston College senior defensive end Alex Albright, who recorded the Eagles’ only sack, wore No. 78 Saturday in memory of his friend and former high school teammate Matt James, who Albright played with at St. Xavier in Cincinnati.

James, who had committed to play for Notre Dame, died in March.

Albright usually wears No. 98.