Blue and Gold Illustrated

January 2021

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

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Page 12 of 47 JANUARY 2021 13 UNDER THE DOME 50 Years Ago: Jan. 23, 1971 For the first time in collegiate athletics, a school's football and basketball teams defeat a No. 1-ranked team in the same month. On Jan. 1 in the Cotton Bowl, Notre Dame snapped the Texas Longhorns' 30-game winning streak with a 24-11 triumph to finish 10-1 and No. 2 in the country. Twenty-two days later, the 8-4 Fighting Irish men's basketball team stuns four-time reigning national champ and No. 1 UCLA, 89-82. Senior guard Austin Carr, the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft a few months later, scores 46 points (and 15 of the final 17 Irish points) by converting 17 of 30 from the field and 12 of 16 from the foul line. UCLA thereafter would go on to win 88 consecu- tive games and three more national titles — until it is ended at Notre Dame on Jan. 19, 1974. In a span of 20 days that year, the Fighting Irish football team defeat No. 1 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl (24-23) to capture the national title, stun No. 1 UCLA (71-70) in basketball to move to No. 1 in the Associ- ated Press poll for the first time, and the hockey team a day earlier whips No. 1 Michigan Tech (7-1). 25 Years Ago: Jan. 20, 1996 After an 0-6 introduction into the Big East Conference, the Notre Dame men's basketball program records its first league victory ever with a 79-67 win at home versus Rutgers. With its glory days as a basketball independent long gone, and after a school record five straight years of not getting invited to the NCAA Tournament since its debut there in 1953, the school recognizes the need to upgrade its recruiting by joining the powerful league. It would take another five years before the Fighting Irish would earn their next NCAA Tournament invitation. Notre Dame would finish this season 9-18 overall, with its 4-14 mark in the Big East the worst in the 14-team conference. 15 Years Ago: Jan. 16, 2006 For the first time ever, the Notre Dame football programs permits high school seniors to enroll early for the start of the second semester. That means if the individual has accumulated enough credits to graduate halfway through his senior year, he can enroll in college that January for what would be the spring semester. Many schools already had started that practice in the early 1990s, most notably Georgia with first-team USA Today All-American quarterback Eric Zeier in 1991. Three Fighting Irish recruits from the 2006 campaign under second-year head coach Charlie Weis become the pioneers: Indiana running back James Aldridge, Texas offensive lineman Chris Stewart, and Oklahoma wide receiver George West. In the 15 years from 2006-20, there were a total of 70 early enrollees, with a record 10 in 2019 and eight in a class of 17 last year. This year, a record 14 reportedly will enroll for the start of second- semester classes in the first week of February 2021. 10 Years Ago: Jan. 16, 2011 In his first full season of recruiting at Notre Dame, second-year head coach Brian Kelly welcomes five early enrollees for the start of the second semester: kicker Kyle Brindza, quarterback Everett Golson, and defensive linemen Brad Carrico, Aaron Lynch and Ishaq Williams. The landing of five-star prospects Lynch and Williams in particular sets off jubilation among Notre Dame faithful because no position is consistently more difficult to recruit at the school than game- changing pass rushers on defense. Lynch decommits from in-state Florida State to join the Irish, while Williams, who was headed for an official visit to Penn State, is intercepted by Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco in the early morning hours, and changes his mind. The Lynch-Williams tandem is heralded as potentially the great- est edge rushing duo to sign with Notre Dame since Ross Browner and Willie Fry in 1973. Four days later (Jan. 20), another five-star defensive lineman, Georgia's Stephon Tuitt, decommits from Georgia Tech to join the Irish. — Lou Somogyi Anniversaries In Notre Dame Athletics: Jan. 2-31 In January 1971, senior guard Austin Carr scored 46 points to lead the Irish men's basketball team to an 89-82 upset over No. 1 UCLA. Earlier that same month, the Notre Dame football team defeated No. 1 Texas 24-11 in the Cotton Bowl. PHOTO COURTESY NOTRE DAME ATHLETICS DID YOU KNOW... Your home address will be automatically changed to the mailing address on file with the US Postal Service? ALL addresses are cross-referenced with the USPS National Change of Address database. It can take up to 7 days for the USPS to update your address in their database? To prevent missed issues, please notify the US Postal Service ASAP. 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