Blue and Gold Illustrated

February 2020

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 12 of 47 FEBRUARY 2020 13 UNDER THE DOME 40 Years Ago: Feb. 27, 1980 For the fifth time in 10 years, Notre Dame's men's basketball squad defeats the nation's No. 1-ranked team in the Athletic & Convocation Center (ACC, now known as Purcell Pavilion), a 76-74 victory versus DePaul, which entered the contest 25-0 and coming off a Final Four berth. In perhaps the greatest back-and-forth game played in the ACC that featured 10 future NBA Draft choices — six of them in the first round — the Irish win in double overtime. Two Tracy Jackson free throws force the first OT, a Rich Branning jumper sends it into a second and Orlando Woolridge's two free throws with 19 seconds left give the Irish the final margin of victory. Kelly Tripucka leads the Notre Dame effort with 28 points. Invited to say the pregame mass and sit on the Notre Dame bench, school president Father Theodore Hesburgh would post a 7-0 record in that role. 30 Years Ago: Feb. 5-14 On the heels of a two-year, 24-1 run in football that is highlighted by the 1988 national title and a school-record 23-game winning streak, Notre Dame's marketability in football achieves a crescendo. First, on Feb. 5 an unprecedented agreement is reached between Notre Dame and the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) that will televise all Fighting Irish football home games from 1991-95, with an option to extend. Notre Dame going solo on this endeavor immediately draws the wrath, and envy, of other universities, including the University of Kansas cancelling a home-and-home men's basketball series with the Irish. "Surprise. Shock. Greed. And ultimate greed, that's the reaction I'm getting from people," said Uni- versity of Georgia athletics director Vince Dooley. Meanwhile, Sports Illustrated summarized the move with the headline, "We're Notre Dame, And You're Not." A little more than a week later, the union between Notre Dame and NBC is validated with a fourth consecutive No. 1-rated recruiting class under Lou Holtz, spearheaded by recruiting coordinator Vinny Cerrato. The 23-man haul, where only two would transfer, is considered the best among the quartet because of the combination of star power, balance and depth. "There are just certain things about this group that excite you that I've never said before," Holtz said on National Signing Day. In time, the group would include a Notre Dame single-class record of five first-round NFL Draft picks: fullback Jerome Bettis and cornerback Tom Carter following their junior seasons, plus defensive line- man Bryant Young, offensive lineman Aaron Taylor and defensive back Jeff Burris a year later. In all, 14 of the 21 who remained would play in the NFL — and not among them is quarterback Kevin McDougal, who remains the current career pass efficiency leader at the school. 25 Years Ago: Feb. 9, 1995 For the first time in five years, Notre Dame signs a No. 1-ranked recruiting class following some downturns after the move of former recruiting coordinator Cerrato to the NFL in 1991. It showed on the field to when the 1994 regular season ends with a 6-5-1 record. Buoyed by the 1994 hiring of both new recruiting coordi- nator Bob Chmiel and offensive coordinator Dave Roberts, renowned as one of the top recruiters in the South, Notre Dame's 25-man class is headlined by USA Today Defensive Player of the Year Kory Minor from California and West Virginia playmaker supreme Randy Moss at wide receiver. Four other USA Today first-team All-Americans — that era's version of "five-star recruits" — sign with the Irish: offensive linemen Mike Rosenthal and Tim Ridder, defensive lineman Jerry Wisne, and defensive end/linebacker Jimmy Friday. Aug- menting the harvest is dual-threat quarterback Jarious Jackson from Tupelo, Miss., and the Florida running back tandem of James Jackson and Autry Denson, although the latter is slated to begin his career at cornerback. "The last couple of years have not been as successful as what we would like, but this year has really been a solid one," said 10th-year head coach Holtz. Alas, in the forthcoming months, Moss and James Jackson would be denied admission. — Lou Somogyi Anniversaries In Notre Dame Football History: February ND Banners & Flags BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED PO Box 2331 • Durham, NC 27702 1-800-421-7751 Visit our online store! BANNERS (28"x40") $19.95 + $4 S&H (Reg. $24.95 + S&H) CLEARANCE (Banners and Flags are Single-Sided Display poles not included) Please add sales tax if shipping to: IN (7%), MI (6%), and NC (7.5%) "ND Irish" Banner (Item #6138) "Mickey" Banner (Item #6135) MICKEY MOUSE GARDEN FLAG (Item #6136) $10.95 + $2.00 S&H (Reg. $14.95 + S&H) LIFE IS GOOD BANNERS "Irish Football" (Item #6143) "Not All Who Wander Are Lost" (Item #6139) Autry Denson was part of a recruit- ing class that included five USA Today first-team All-Americans and was ranked No. 1 nationally in 1995. PHOTO BY MIKE MILLER

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