Game Notes: Irish improve record in bowls, against SEC
Mary Green | Tuesday, December 30, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Notre Dame brought its all-time bowl record to 17-17 with Tuesday’s win. It was the second straight Irish bowl victory after last year’s win against Rutgers in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl.
The Irish are 6-5 all time against LSU, a record that includes three bowl games (1-2). They are also 6-5 in postseason play against current SEC teams.
Notre Dame became the first non-SEC team to hand a loss to a team in the SEC-West division in 2014. Its 31 points were the third-most allowed by the Tigers this season, after Auburn’s 41 and Mississippi State’s 34 (both LSU losses).
Special teams shine
Senior kicker Kyle Brindza’s game-winning, 32-yard field goal marked the seventh time in program history that the Irish have won a game on a field goal as time expired. D.J. Fitzpatrick was the last Notre Dame kicker to accomplish that feat, with a 40-yard winner against Navy in 2003.
Sophomore defensive lineman Isaac Rochell’s blocked field goal in the fourth quarter was Notre Dame’s sixth blocked kick of the season. The last time the team reached that number was in 2006.
Fuller continues impressive season
Sophomore receiver Will Fuller grabbed his 15th touchdown reception of the season in the first quarter. The score ties him with Jeff Samardzija (2005), Rhema McKnight (2006) and Golden Tate (2009) for the most in a single season.
Fuller added 57 receiving yards Tuesday to up his season total to 1,094, a new record for Irish sophomore receivers. Golden Tate previously held the mark with his 1,080 yards in 2008.
List of starters grows
Sophomore quarterback Malik Zaire, freshman tight end Tyler Luatua, sophomore offensive lineman Mike McGlinchey and freshman defensive lineman Andrew Trumbetti all made their first career starts for Notre Dame.
Zaire became the first left-handed starting quarterback in program history.
Including Trumbetti, 20 different players have started on defense for the Irish this season. Only three of those players started all 13 games (Rochell, sophomore linebacker Jaylon Smith and sophomore cornerback Cole Luke)