- Matt Fortuna, ESPN Staff Writer
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As always, thanks to ESPN Stats & Info, along with both schools' sports information departments, for these tidbits:
This is the third meeting between these schools, and the first since 1999. Notre Dame won both previous meetings.
With a win, Arizona State will become the first school ever to beat USC and Notre Dame in consecutive games. The last team to beat both in the same season? You don’t have to look far, as Stanford has done it three times since 2009.
Arizona State coach Todd Graham is no stranger to beating Notre Dame. In 2010, his Tulsa team came to South Bend and upset the Irish 28-27.
Arizona State’s offense has been lethal this season, especially through the air. The Sun Devils have thrown for at least 350 yards in all four games and last week racked up 612 total yards and 62 points on USC. That could spell trouble for a Notre Dame defense that is a far cry from what it was a year ago. Entering the BCS title game last season, the Notre Dame defense allowed just nine total touchdowns -- seven through the air. Through five games this season, they have already allowed 14 touchdowns -- 10 of the passing variety.
Notre Dame has allowed at least 24 points in three games so far this season. In 12 regular season games last season, only one team reached that mark (Pitt, 26).
Arizona State’s Marion Grice has scored 12 TDs from scrimmage this season (eight rushing, four receiving). No other FBS player has more than nine this season. In the last 10 seasons, that ties the most through four team games. Nevada’s Stefphon Jefferson in 2012 and Temple’s Bernard Pierce in 2011 both had 12.
14dEdward Aschoff and Greg Ostendorf