Blue and Gold Illustrated

Preseason 2023

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

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BLUEGOLDONLINE.COM PRESEASON 2023 65 In the third quarter, "Doc" got loose and seemed certain to score, before Lu- jack raced across the field, grabbed a foot and tripped him up along the side- line for a game-saving tackle. The epic showdown ended 0-0, and the Irish finished 8-0-1 and as national champs. In 1947, Lujack and the Irish kept their unbeaten streak going, with a 9-0 mark, including seven victories by 20 points or more. The Army game was played at Notre Dame Stadium this time, and the Irish prevailed 27-7, dominating throughout. On the season, Lujack completed 61 of 109 passes for 777 yards and rushed for 139 yards on 12 carries. Again, his defense was spectacular. He was named a consensus All- American for the second straight sea- son, won the Heisman Trophy and was selected as the Associated Press Athlete of the Year. While at Notre Dame, he also lettered in basketball, baseball and track. During a four-year career with the Chicago Bears, Lujack passed for 41 touchdowns and rushed for 21 more. He led the NFL in passing yards and touch- downs in 1949 and was twice named to the Pro Bowl. In a 1949 win against the Chicago Cardinals, he threw 6 touchdown passes and set an NFL record with 468 passing yards. He quit pro football to become an as- sistant coach to Leahy in 1952 and 1953, and was said to be Leahy's choice to succeed him as head coach before Terry Brennan was selected. Lujack served as a color commentator on NFL and college games, and owned car dealerships. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1960. Many of his final years were spent living on a golf course in Indian Wells, Calif. "Everyone seems to know who I am," he said of the country club workers to a lunch visitor in 2019. "Though I don't think many of them were around when I played football." That's the thing about a legend — your legacy lives on long after you hang up the cleats. ✦ Jim Lefebvre is an award-winning Notre Dame author and leads the Knute Rockne Memorial Society. He can be reached at: Lujack died on July 25 at the age of 98. PHOTO BY ANDRIS VISOCKIS 1970 All-American and College Football Hall of Famer Thom Gatewood will be honored with the 2023 Rockne LIVING LEGEND Award For more informa on, please visit: Announcing the 7th Annual Knute Rockne Spirit of Sports Awards Celebra on Friday, September 22 Smith Ballroom The Morris Inn University of Notre Dame 11:00 a.m. - Noon Social Hour & Buffet Noon - 1:30 p.m. Awards Program

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