Blue and Gold Illustrated

January 2015

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

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was credited with eight tackles behind the line of scrimmage for minus-42 yards. Although 9-1 Notre Dame (which lost to USC in the regular-season fi- nale) upset No. 1 Texas, it needed the SEC champion Tigers to defeat Ne- braska in the Orange Bowl to win the national title. The Cornhuskers scored late to win 17-12, leaving the Irish No. 2. 2. OCT. 27, 1984: NOTRE DAME 30, LSU 22 Irish head coach Gerry Faust's 3-4 Irish were on a three-game losing streak (all at home) and heavy underdogs at unbeaten and No. 6 LSU. Yet in one of Faust's most amazing victories, he saw tailback Allen Pinkett run for 162 yards on a single-game school-record 40 car- ries while the Irish dominated after fall- ing behind 7-0 early. The upset put Notre Dame on the cover of Sports Illustrated and spearhead a 7-4 finish that included a 44-7 demoli- tion of Penn State and its first win in 18 years at USC (19-7), that year's Pac-10 and Rose Bowl champion. 3. NOV. 15, 1997: NOTRE DAME 24, LSU 6 Similar to 1984, the Irish were 4-5 and underdogs at Death Valley to No. 11 LSU. Instead, they controlled the game with a stout running game led Notre Dame Vs. The SEC One year after ending its 45-year bowl ban in 1969, Notre Dame broke its "SEC Barrier" in 1970. Its home- and-home series with LSU in 1970-71 was the first between the Irish and a school from the then 10-team Southeastern Conference. A home-and-home series with Georgia in 2017 and 2019 will make the Bulldogs the sixth SEC team among those 10 to play the Irish in the regular season. Here is the series breakdown alphabetically, with Notre Dame holding an 18-13 record versus SEC teams heading into this year's Music City Bowl: Alabama (5-2) — Notre Dame had home-and-home contests against the Crimson Tide in 1976 and 1980, and then 1986-87. The Irish denied 11-0 Alabama national titles in the 1973 Sugar Bowl and 1975 Orange Bowl, and the Crimson Tide did the same in the 2013 BCS National Championship Game. Florida (1-0) — No. 18 Notre Dame upset the 10-1 and No. 3-ranked Gators 39-28 in the 1992 Sugar Bowl. Georgia (0-1) — Despite only 127 yards total offense, the Bulldogs clinched the 1980 national title with the 17-10 win versus Notre Dame in the 1981 Sugar Bowl. LSU (5-5) — This will be the third meeting between the two in a bowl. Ole Miss (1-1) — The Rebels handed the 1977 national champs their lone defeat (20-13), but lost at Notre Dame in 1985 (37-14). Tennessee (4-4) — Like LSU, the Volunteers have played Notre Dame in four home-and-home series, the first in 1978-79 and most recent in 2004-05. Vanderbilt (2-0) — The Irish won easily in 1995 at home (41-0), but needed a late rally to win at Nashville (14-7) in the 1996 opener. SEC teams Notre Dame has never played are Arkansas, Auburn, Kentucky and Mississippi State. Current SEC teams that Notre Dame has played that weren't in the SEC at the time of the game are Mis- souri (2-2 in the Big Eight), South Carolina (3-1 as an independent) and Texas A&M (3-2 in the Southwest and Big 12). — Lou Somogyi

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