Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 26, 2022*

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

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BLUEGOLDONLINE.COM NOV. 26, 2022 13 85 Years Ago: Nov. 27, 1937 After tearing off a 70-yard run, Irish running back Mario "Motts" Tonelli scored from 6 yards out with 1:45 remaining to lift No. 9 Notre Dame to a 13-6 victory versus USC to cap the season with a 6-2-1 record. In World War II, Tonelli would miraculously sur- vive the Bataan Death March and two and a half years of imprisonment. One of the most surreal experiences in a death camp came when his 1939 class ring was taken from him. Minutes later, a Japanese officer approached Tonelli. "I was educated in America," the officer ex- plained. "At the University of Southern California. I know a little about the famous Notre Dame football team. I watched you beat USC in 1937. I know how much this ring means to you, so I wanted to get it back to you." The ring would remain with Tonelli, who later played professional football, through his death in 2003. 70 Years Ago: Nov. 29, 1952 Ranked No. 2 in the country with a 9-0 record while outscoring its opponents 247-38, USC ar- rived in frigid South Bend with designs on the national title in its game against No. 7 Notre Dame. Rather than get acclimated and practice in the snow and cold at Notre Dame Stadium, the Trojans opted instead to work out on the parquet-floored ballroom of a local hotel. The next day, USC has more turnovers (8, in- cluding 5 interceptions) than first downs (5) in the inclement conditions. The Trojans were blanked 9-0 by head coach Frank Leahy's team that would finish No. 3 at 7-2-1 after defeating four conference champions during the season: Purdue (co-champ in the Big Ten), Texas (South- west), Oklahoma (Big 8) and USC (Pac-8), and also tying a fifth in Pennsylvania (Ivy League). 30 Years Ago: Nov. 28, 1992 Led by senior running back Reggie Brooks, one of many Fighting Irish players slowed by flu-like symptoms, No. 5 Notre Dame defeated No. 19 USC 31-23 to record its 10th straight conquest of the Trojans and finish the regular season 10-1-1. Brooks' 19 carries totaled 227 yards and 3 touchdowns, most notably a breathtaking 55- yard gallop with 1:19 left in the second quarter to provide a 17-13 lead at halftime. With that performance, which would help Brooks finish fifth in the Heisman Trophy balloting, he com- pleted the year with 1,343 yards rushing and 8.042 yards per carry, barely missing the Notre Dame single-season school-record of 8.10 set by George Gipp in 1920. Anniversaries In Notre Dame Football History: Nov. 26-Dec. 2 UNDER THE DOME Mario "Motts" Tonelli followed a 70-yard run with a 6-yard scoring scamper with 1:45 remaining to lift No. 9 Notre Dame to a 13-6 win over USC in 1937. PHOTO COURTESY NOTRE DAME MEDIA RELATIONS

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