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Dec. 18, 2015

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#7 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. #8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Friday, January 1, 2016, 1 p.m. ET
University of Phoenix Stadium (63,400), Glendale, Ari.

TV: ESPN
Sean McDonough (play-by-play)
Chris Spielman (analyst)
Todd McShay (sideline)

Radio: WBNS FM (97.1 The Fan) The Urban Meyer pregame show airs 30 minutes prior to kickoff. Paul Keels will call the action with former Buckeye Jim Lachey and Marty Bannister on the sidelines. The game can also be heard nationally on ESPN Radio and on Sirius/XM satellite radio channels 80.

FIRST AND 10

  • No. 7 Ohio State and No. 8 Notre Dame are meeting for the third consecutive time as Top 10 teams (2016, 2006, 1996).
  • Ohio State led the Big Ten in rushing (241.9) and finished second or third in total offense (428.9), scoring (35.0), scoring defense (14.0), pass efficiency (141.8) and opponent first downs (16.0).
  • Ohio State’s defense allowed just 14.0 points per game this season, the second fewest in the FBS. Since the week 7 win over Penn State, the Buckeyes have surrendered just 10.7 ppg (64 total points), the fewest in the FBS. The unit has allowed just one rushing TDs over the last six games.
  • RB Ezekiel Elliott led the Big Ten with 152.1 rushing yards per game in Big Ten play.
  • Elliott is No. 2 on OSU’s all-time rushing list with 3,812 yards, passing Eddie George for 2nd (3,768).
  • QB J.T. Barrett has accounted for a total of 19 TDs in his past 6 games (11 rushing, 8 passing).
  • WR Michael Thomas has caught a pass in 28 consecutive games. He leads the team with 49 catches for 709 yards and 8 TDs.
  • DE Joey Bosa led the B1G with 13.5 TFL in B1G play.
  • The duo of Ezekiel Elliott and Braxton Miller have combined for exactly 7,100 rushing yards and 72 rushing TDs in their careers — both figures are the most of any active duo in the country.
  • Urban Meyer is 9-2 in his career in bowl/playoff games.

THE GAME
The 11-1 and seventh-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes will meet the 10-2 and eighth-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl Friday, Jan. 1 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. EST (11 a.m. MST).

This will be the 45th Fiesta Bowl and a rematch of the 2005 game when Ohio State defeated Notre Dame, 34-20, to cap a 10-2 campaign. The game will also represent Ohio State’s 46th bowl game with the Buckeyes owning a 21-24 all-time record in bowl games.

Ohio State has played in six previous Fiesta Bowls:

1980 L Penn State 31, Ohio State 19
1983 W Ohio State 28, Pittsburgh 23
2002 W Ohio State 31, Miami (Fla.) 24 (2 OT)*
2003 W Ohio State 35, Kansas State 28
2005 W Ohio State 34, Notre Dame 20
2008 L Texas 24, Ohio State 21

*National Championship Game

URBAN MEYER TEAMS: 9-2 IN BOWL GAMES
Coach Urban Meyer’s teams are 9-2 all-time in bowl games, including two wins last year: in the Allstate Sugar Bowl over Alabama in the College Football Playoff semifinals and in the College Football Playoff national championship game in North Texas over Oregon.

URBAN MEYER BOWL GAMES

2003 Liberty Bowl Utah 17, Southern Miss 0
2005 Fiesta Bowl Utah 35, Pittsburgh 7
2006 Outback Bowl Florida 31, Iowa 24
2007 BCS Championship Florida 41, Ohio State 14
2008 Capital One Bowl Michigan 41, Florida 35
2009 BCS Championship Florida 24, Oklahoma 14
2010 Sugar Bowl Florida 51, Cincinnati 24
2011 Outback Bowl Florida 37, Penn State 24
2014 Orange Bowl Clemson 40, Ohio State 35
2015 Sugar Bowl Ohio State 42, Alabama 35
2015 CFP National Championship Ohio State 42, Oregon 20

42-3 WITH MORE THAN A WEEK TO PREPARE
Coach Urban Meyer is 42-3 in games in which he has more than one week to prepare for an opponent. This figure includes season openers, games after an “off” week and post-season games.

OHIO STATE INDOORS
The Fiesta Bowl is played at The University of Phoenix Stadium, which features a retractable roof. The Buckeyes have an official, all-time record of 17-6 in games played indoors. The team’s most recent games indoors were the last two Big Ten championship games, held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind., the Superdome at the Allstate Sugar Bowl Jan. 1, 2015 and the 2015 CFP National Championship game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

SIXTH MEETING BETWEEN OHIO STATE & NOTRE DAME
Ohio State and Notre Dame will be meeting for only the sixth time on the gridiron. The teams met in 1935 and 1936, respectively when Ohio State was coached by Francis Schmidt and Notre Dame was led by Elmer Layden. It would be 59 years after those games — both won by Notre Dame — before the two would meet again with John Cooper’s Buckeyes claiming wins over Lou Holtz’ Notre Dame teams in 1995 (Columbus) and again in 1996 (South Bend). The schools also met in the 2006 Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, Ariz., with coach Jim Tressel’s Buckeyes prevailing over Charlie Weis’s Fighting Irish, 34-20.

Ohio State vs. Notre Dame

1936 Notre Dame 18, at Ohio State 13
1937 at Notre Dame 7, Ohio State 2
1995 at Ohio State 45, Notre Dame 26
1996 Ohio State 29, at Notre Dame 20
2006 Ohio State 34, Notre Dame 20
at Sun Devil Stadium