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2010 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team

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Title: 2010 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team  
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Subject: 2010 Miami Hurricanes football team, 2010 Sun Bowl, 2010 Army Black Knights football team, 2010 Navy Midshipmen football team, Denard Robinson
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2010 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team

2010 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football
Sun Bowl Champions
Sun Bowl vs. Miami (FL), W 33–17
Conference Independent
2010 record 8–5
Head coach Brian Kelly (1st year)
Offensive coordinator Charley Molnar (1st year)
Offensive scheme Spread
Defensive coordinator Bob Diaco (1st year)
Base defense 3-4
Captain game captains
Home stadium Notre Dame Stadium

The 2010 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team represented the University of Notre Dame in the 2010 college football season. The team's head football coach was Brian Kelly. The Irish played their home games at Notre Dame Stadium in Notre Dame, Indiana. This was Kelly's first season as Notre Dame's head coach, after leading the Cincinnati Bearcats to a 12–0 regular season and BCS bowl berth. In 2010, Notre Dame's regular season schedule was ranked the most difficult schedule in the nation with a Team Opposition Record Percentage of .6529 (the poll published by the NCAA only includes wins against Division 1 teams). They finished the season 8–5 and were invited to the Sun Bowl where they defeated Miami (FL) 33–17.


Coaching changes

Following the 2009 season, Notre Dame fired head coach Charlie Weis after the Irish finished 6-6, well below expectations of competing for a BCS bowl berth.[1] Brian Kelly was named as his replacement on Dec 10, 2009.[2] Running Backs coach Tony Alford was the lone assistant retained from Weis's staff.[3] Before Rob Ianello could be considered, he took the head job at the University of Akron [4] Ron Powlus followed Ianello to Akron.

Player departures

Irish stars Kyle McCarthy and Scott Smith, Raeshon McNeil, Sergio Brown, John Ryan and Ray Herring to graduation. Standout special teams player Mike Anello also finished his final year of eligibility. Sophomore defensive back E.J Banks left the team in August 2010, but will still be enrolled at the school. On August 31, within days of the September 4 season opener against Purdue, sophomore wide receiver Shaquelle Evans was granted his release from the team, and decided to enroll at UCLA.[7] Freshman Derek Roback also left the program in early September, as his desire to play quarterback led to his transfer to Ohio[8]

Player additions

With his first recruiting class, Brian Kelly received 23 signed commitments from high school players across the United States. Among them was five early-enrollees: Quarterback Tommy Rees, Wide Receiver Tai-ler Jones, Cornerback Lo Wood, Cornerback Spencer Boyd and Safety Chris Badger. Spencer Boyd transferred to USF in early July,[9] and Chris Badger left on a two-year Mormon mission to Ecuador in August.[10] On April 2, 2010 Notre Dame recruit Matt James, who committed to Notre Dame on National Signing Day, died when he fell from a three-story hotel balcony in Panama City, Florida.[11]


Coaching staff

Name Position Year at Notre Dame Alma Mater (Year)
Brian Kelly Head Coach 1st Assumption (1982)
Bob Diaco Defensive Coordinator
Inside Linebackers
1st Iowa (1995)
Charley Molnar Offensive Coordinator
1st Lock Haven (1984)
Ed Warriner Offensive Line 1st Mount Union (1984)
Mike Denbrock Tight Ends 1st (second stint) Grand Valley State (1987)
Tony Alford Wide Receivers 1st Colorado State (1992)
Tim Hinton Running Backs 1st Wilmington (1982)
Chuck Martin Defensive Backs 1st Millikin (1990)
Mike Elston Defensive Line 1st Michigan (1998)
Kerry Cooks Outside Linebackers 1st Iowa (2000)
Paul Longo Strength and conditioning 1st Wayne State University (1981)



Date Time Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance
September 4 3:30 p.m. Purdue Notre Dame StadiumNotre Dame, IN (Shillelagh Trophy) NBC W 23–12   80,795
September 11 3:30 p.m. Michigan #22 Notre Dame Stadium • Notre Dame, IN (Michigan–Notre Dame rivalry) NBC L 24–28   80,795
September 18 8:00 p.m. at Michigan State Spartan StadiumEast Lansing, MI (Megaphone Trophy) ABC L 31–34 OT  78,411
September 25 3:30 p.m. #16 Stanford Notre Dame Stadium • Notre Dame, IN (Legends Trophy) NBC L 14–37   80,795
October 2 8:00 p.m. at Boston College Alumni StadiumChestnut Hill, MA (Holy War) ABC W 31–13   44,500
October 9 3:30 p.m. Pittsburgh Notre Dame Stadium • Notre Dame, IN NBC W 23–17   80,795
October 16 2:30 p.m. Western Michigan Notre Dame Stadium • Notre Dame, IN NBC W 44–20   80,795
October 23 12:00 p.m. vs. Navy New Meadowlands StadiumEast Rutherford, NJ CBS L 17–35   75,614
October 30 2:30 p.m. Tulsa Notre Dame Stadium • Notre Dame, IN NBC L 27–28   80,795
November 13 2:30 p.m. #15 Utah Notre Dame Stadium • Notre Dame, IN NBC W 28–3   80,795
November 20 7:00 p.m. vs. Army Yankee StadiumBronx, NY (Rivalry / Shamrock Series) NBC W 27–3   54,251
November 27 8:00 p.m. at USC Los Angeles Memorial ColiseumLos Angeles, CA (Jeweled Shillelagh) ABC W 20–16   85,417
December 31 2:00 p.m. vs. Miami (FL) Sun Bowl StadiumEl Paso, TX (Sun Bowl) CBS W 33–17   54,021
daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll. All times are in Eastern Time.

Game notes


1 2 3 4 Total
Boilermakers 0 3 0 9 12
Fighting Irish 7 6 7 3 23


1 2 3 4 Total
Wolverines 14 7 0 7 28
Fighting Irish 7 0 10 7 24

Michigan State

1 2 3 4 OT Total
Fighting Irish 7 0 14 7 3 31
Spartans 0 7 14 7 6 34


1 2 3 4 Total
#16 Cardinal 10 6 3 18 37
Fighting Irish 3 3 0 8 14

Boston College

1 2 3 4 Total
Fighting Irish 21 3 7 0 31
Eagles 7 6 0 0 13


1 2 3 4 Total
Panthers 3 0 7 7 17
Fighting Irish 7 10 3 3 23

Western Michigan

1 2 3 4 Total
Broncos 7 10 0 3 20
Fighting Irish 7 20 14 3 44


1 2 3 4 Total
Fighting Irish 3 7 0 7 17
Midshipmen 7 14 14 0 35


1 2 3 4 Total
Golden Hurricane 12 6 7 3 28
Fighting Irish 13 7 7 0 27


1 2 3 4 Total
#15 Utes 3 0 0 0 3
Fighting Irish 7 7 14 0 28


Shamrock Series
1 2 3 4 Total
Army 3 0 0 0 3
Notre Dame 0 17 10 0 27


1 2 3 4 Total
Notre Dame 0 13 0 7 20
USC 3 0 10 3 16

On a rainy Southern California night, the Trojans' Joe Houston kicked a 45-yard field goal to give USC a first quarter lead. The second quarter, however, belonged to the Irish, as QB Tommy Rees completed a pair of 1-yard pass touchdowns to Michael Floyd and Duval Kamara, with Kamara's coming just before the half. David Ruffer missed the extra point on the second touchdown. In the third quarter, the Trojans kicked a field goal and Mitch Mustain ran in for a 1-yard touchtown, which was aided by a Notre Dame fumble. Joe Houston's 37-yard field goal gave the Trojans a fourth quarter lead. But Notre Dame came back with a 5-yard rush touchdown by Robert Hughes to give the Irish the lead back and the game. Notre Dame finally ended USC's streak of consecutive victories, which dated back to 2001. USC's attempt to come back was stopped by a Notre Dame interception at the one-yard line.

Miami (FL)

Tommy Rees calls an audible at the 2010 Sun Bowl.
1 2 3 4 Total
Notre Dame 14 13 3 3 33
Miami (FL) 0 3 0 14 17

Tommy Rees passed for 201 yards and two touchdowns to Michael Floyd as Notre Dame beat Miami 33-17. After a 20-year hiatus in the series, it was all Irish in the latest installment of a storied rivalry that became known during the 1980s as "Catholics versus Convicts." The Irish reached the end zone on three of its first four possessions. Rees tossed TD passes of 3 and 34 yards to Floyd and Cierre Wood broke free on a 34-yard scoring run. David Ruffer added field goals from 40, 50 and 19 yards. The Irish defense picked off Miami starting quarterback Jacory Harris 3 times and logged 4 total interceptions in the first half to help the team jump out to a 27-0 lead in the first half. The Hurricanes tried to rally in the 4th quarter behind backup quarterback Stephen Morris, who threw a 6-yard touchdown to Leonard Hankerson and a 42-yard scoring play to Tommy Streeter, but it was too late by then. Rees was able to make some key first downs to effectively run out the clock late in the 4th quarter.[12] The game sold out in 21 hours, the fastest in the Sun Bowl's 77-year history, and the crowd of 54,021 set a bowl attendance record. Floyd's two touchdowns pushed him past Jeff Samardzija and Golden Tate to claim 28 career touchdowns, the most in Irish history. Senior safety Harrison Smith logged three interceptions in the first half, tying the Sun Bowl record. The Irish victory also made Brian Kelly the first Fighting Irish coach to win a bowl game in his first season (Notre Dame did not play in bowl-games from the 1925 through 1968 seasons due to a self-imposed ban on post-season play).[12]

Post Season


National Awards

David Ruffer (finalist)[13]


Michael Floyd, WR Hon. Mention
Manti Te'o, LB Hon. Mention 2
David Ruffer, K 3 2
†denotes consensus selection. NCAA recognizes AP, AFCA, FWAA, SN and WCFF 1st teams for consensus selections      Source:


  1. ^ "Charlie Weis Will Not Be Retained As Notre Dame Football Coach". 2009-11-30. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  2. ^ "Brian Kelly Named 29th Head Football Coach At Notre Dame". 2009-12-10. Retrieved 2009-12-10. 
  3. ^ "Tony Alford To Remain On Notre Dame Football Coaching Staff". 2009-12-18. Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  4. ^ "Akron Names Rob Ianello Head Football Coach". 2009-12-10. Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  5. ^ Friend, Tom (December 7, 2009). "Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen decides to enter draft". Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  6. ^ "ND's Clausen, Tate turning pro". December 7, 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ a b "Tommy Rees, Michael Floyd help Notre Dame dominate Miami". 2010-12-31. Retrieved 2010-12-31. 
  13. ^ "Irish's David Ruffer a Groza finalist". Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
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