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Irish score most since Holtz finale

Andrew Gastelum | Sunday, October 9, 2011

Notre Dame’s 59 points were the most points scored since Lou Holtz’s last game home game as head coach Nov. 23, 1996, when the Irish defeated Rutgers, 62-0. The teams’ combined total of 92 points was the most in Notre Dame Stadium history. The previous mark was 90 points in a 46-44 triple-overtime loss to Navy in 2007.

Spreading the wealth

Seven different Irish players scored touchdowns, including the first career touchdown for junior wide receiver Robby Toma. Toma’s touchdown reception came on a 10-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Tommy Rees with 4:07 left in the first quarter.

Ground game beats Air Force

The Irish rushed for three touchdowns and 266 yards on 29 carries, led by Hendrix’s 111 yards. Notre Dame has rushed for 735 yards in its last three games, the most since rushing for 804 yards in a three-game span against Navy, BYU and Stanford in 2003. Jonas Gray’s two touchdowns gave him four touchdowns in the last three games after being scoreless in the first 25 games of his career.

Run, Andrew, run

Sophomore quarterback Andrew Hendrix’s 78-yard run with 8:22 left in the game was the second longest run by an Irish quarterback, one-yard behind Bill Eder’s 79-yard touchdown run against Navy in 1969.

Holding onto the ball

Notre Dame has played two consecutive games without committing a turnover after turning the ball over 15 times in its first three games. The Irish defense has also forced a turnover on their opponents’ first play from scrimmage in the last two games. Against Purdue on Oct. 1, fifth-year senior cornerback Gary Gray intercepted a pass on the first play of the game, while senior safety Jamoris Slaughter forced a fumble against Air Force three minutes into the game Saturday.