Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 7, 2013 Issue

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

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Page 104 of 111

where have you gone? 1973 National Champions They quietly rose to the top with few individual accolades By Lou Somogyi A mong Notre Dame's 11 consensus national champions, perhaps none had less star power than the 1973 unit. It had the fewest All-America selections among any Fighting Irish champion squad, with only two of them a first-, second- or third-team pick from nine different outlets: tight end Dave Casper, who had only 19 catches, and safety Mike Townsend, who grabbed three interceptions. Contrast that with head coach Ara Parseghian's first consensus champs in 1966, which had 12 All-Americans. The 1977 unit saw 11 of its 22 starters on offense and defense taken in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft, including third-rounder Joe Montana at quarterback, while the 1988 national champs had 12. The 1973 champs had six. Other than Casper — a member of both the Pro and College Football Halls of Fame — consider this about the 1973 offense: • Quarterback Tom Clements (6-0, 189) was classified as too small for the NFL and wasn't even drafted, although he would have a prolific career in the Canadian Football League. • The starting three-man backfield of fullback Wayne "The Train" Bullock Members of the 1973 championship team returned to campus in September and were honored prior to Notre Dame's 17-13 win over Michigan State. photo by Bill Panzica

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