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Notre Dame Football: Random Facts That May Only Interest Tom Hammond

Here are some things that you may find intriguing — or not.

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Heidi Gutman/NBC Sports

You certainly remember Tom Hammond, who provided play-by-play for Notre Dame’s home games between 1992 and 2013.

The Solid Verbal’s Ty Hildenbrandt coined the term “random factoid that may only interest Tom Hammond.” It’s defined as: “Information of zero consequence that former Notre Dame football color commentator Tom Hammond would mention during pivotal game moments. ‘Fourth and one for the Irish and Everett Golson, who is an exceptional piano player...’

Here are some facts that don’t merit separate posts, but may interest you:

  • James Onwualu, who played wide receiver and safety for the Irish from 2013 to 2016, is now on the active roster of the San Francisco 49ers. That moved happened Tuesday. The Saint Paul native earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration in January 2017.
  • Bennett Jackson, who played wide receiver and cornerback for the Irish from 2010 to 2013, is now on the Baltimore Ravens’ practice squad. The Ravens waived the Raritan, N.J., product with an injury settlement on September 6. Jackson graduated in May 2014 with a bachelor of arts degree.
  • Everett Golson did not like to buckle the belt on his uniform.
Notre Dame v Arizona State Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images
  • The players cranked Meek Mill’s “Dreams and Nightmares” in the locker room after beating USC on Saturday.
  • Notre Dame has run 100 offensive plays (55 pass, 45 rush) when it has trailed this year. The Irish have run 159 plays (87 run, 72 pass) when the game was tied. They’ve run 626 plays (369 run, 257 pass) when leading this year. That means 89 percent of the Irish’s offensive plays have come when the team was winning or the game was tied.
  • How does that compare to the Alabama Crimson Tide or Clemson Tigers? No idea. Here’s how it compares to the last undefeated Irish team in 2012:
    Plays run while winning: 496 (298 run, 198 pass)
    While tied: 209 (113 run, 96 pass)
    While losing: 189 (95 run, 94 pass)
  • Notre Dame’s offense in 2018 has run 885 plays, excluding those negated by penalty: 501 run plays and 384 pass plays. The run/pass mix for the first 885 plays of 2012? 501 run plays and 384 pass plays.
  • TJ Jones had 50 catches for 649 yards in 2012. Chase Claypool has 48 catches for 631 yards this year.
  • Teams that have had one coach since 2010 and have had a better winning percentage against FBS teams than Notre Dame has: Alabama (.895), Clemson (.804), Oklahoma State Cowboys (.709) and the Michigan State Spartans (.708).
  • Notre Dame’s winning percentage against Top 25 teams since 2010 — .514 — is better than Oklahoma State (.512), the Wisconsin Badgers (.500), the Florida State Seminoles (.500) and the Georgia Bulldogs (.452), to say nothing of the USC Trojans (.432) and Michigan Wolverines (.314).
Northwestern v Notre Dame Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
  • Total Notre Dame offensive plays in the Brian Kelly era:

2010: 895 (68.9 plays/game)
2011: 906 (69.7 plays/game)
2012: 894 (68.8 plays/game)
2013: 869 (66.8 plays/game)
2014: 947 (72.8 plays/game)
2015: 864 (66.5 plays/game)
2016: 826 (68.8 plays/game)
2017: 911 (70 plays/game)
2018: 885 (73.8 plays/game)

  • Notre Dame has run 2,792 offensive plays since Josh Adams fumbled the ball in the second quarter against the Boston College Eagles in 2015. He is the last Irish running back to fumble and have the opposition recover it.
  • The Irish are 28-10-1 (.731) from the 1977 USC game onward when they wear a jersey that is predominantly green.
  • Opponents that have gone an entire game without committing a penalty (that was accepted): 2018 Northwestern Wildcats (Notre Dame won), 2013 Navy Midshipmen (win), 2010 Navy (loss), 2001 Navy (win).
  • There are 37 scholarship players on the current Notre Dame roster born after the first ever BCS standings were released on Oct. 26, 1998.
  • On Jan. 14, Tyler Newsome will be 8585 days old. Someone remind me of this, because I think this weird fact will amuse the punter, who wears #85, greatly.
  • Notre Dame includes its 2009 game against the Washington State Cougars and its 2010 game against the Army Black Knights as part of its Shamrock Series, but neither game was branded as such. In fact, the 2009 game had its own silly name: The San Antonio Showdown.
  • There are two Top 25 teams that have logged more travel miles than Notre Dame this year: the Washington Huskies and the Boise State Broncos.
Stanford v Notre Dame Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
  • Notre Dame has employed Brian Kelly for nine years. His winning percentage is .704 (81-34). Here are some teams that have employed a coach longer despite his teams winning fewer than 71 percent of their games:

Texas Longhorns: Dana Bible, 10 seasons, .665
Michigan: Bennie Oosterbaan, 11 seasons, .650 and Bump Elliott, 10 years, .547
Ohio State Buckeyes: John Cooper, 13 seasons, .692 and John Wilce, 16 seasons, .549
Oklahoma Sooners: Bennie Owen, 22 seasons, .573
Penn State Nittany Lions: Hugo Bezdek, 12 seasons, .665 and Rip Engle, 16 seasons, .679
Tennessee Volunteers: Johnny Majors, 16 seasons, .585

  • Notre Dame is currently 7th in the Sagarin rankings. If they finish better than 10th, the program will accomplish something it has never accomplished in the Brian Kelly era — improve their Sagarin ranking for two consecutive years. Teams with a better average Sagarin ranking than Notre Dame (21) since 2010: Alabama (average: 2); Oklahoma (10), LSU Tigers (11), Ohio State (11), Stanford Cardinal (11), Clemson (15), Wisconsin (17), Florida State (20), Georgia (20), Oklahoma State (20).

Many of these weird facts were first published on my Twitter feed, so follow me there if you enjoyed these oddities.