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RB Wood earns 1,000-yard season

Matthew DeFranks | Sunday, November 20, 2011

Irish junior running back Cierre Wood eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for rushing with a two-yard plunge late in the fourth quarter Saturday. Wood became Notre Dame’s 16th back to achieve the feat and the first since Darius Walker in 2006.

Wood and senior running back Jonas Gray were trying to become the first duo in Notre Dame history to each rush for 1,000 yards. Gray left the game with a serious knee injury 209 yards short of the mark.

“We won’t have the MRI results, but it’s pretty apparent that he has a significant knee injury,” Irish coach Brian Kelly said Sunday. “The MRI would probably confirm what we know as to be, as I mentioned, a significant knee injury.”

Ruffer on hot streak

After starting the season 2-for-6, Irish graduate student kicker David Ruffer has hit on eight straight kicks. Ruffer nailed three attempts Saturday, including the eventual game-winning 27-yarder with 8:08 left in the fourth quarter. Ruffer also had to deal with a 20 mile per hour wind.

“We made it a game plan to aim down the middle and smoke it,” Ruffer said. “You start playing games with the wind and you’re usually going to lose.”

Kuechly sets record

Boston College junior linebacker Luke Kuechly entered Saturday’s game needing just seven tackles to claim the ACC’s all-time tackles record.

Kuechly earned the mark when he tackled senior receiver Michael Floyd early in the second quarter.

“I think he’s the best football player in the country,” Eagles coach Frank Spaziani said. “Week in, week out, play in, play out, he shows up. I know he’s up for a lot of awards, and I think he’s deserving of all of them. I think he should get them.”