Blue and Gold Illustrated

Preseason 2016

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

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Page 18 of 99 PRESEASON 2016 19 UNDER THE DOME 45 Years Ago: Sept. 4, 1971 Sports Illustrated's preseason college football preview has Notre Dame No. 1, despite the graduation of Heisman Trophy runner-up Joe Theismann at quarterback. The reason is that 16 of 22 starters on offense and defense return — led by an impregnable front four with Walt Patulski, Mike Kadish, Greg Marx and Fred Swendsen — from the previous year's 10-1 team that finished No. 2 after ending Texas' 30-game winning streak in the Cotton Bowl. At quarterback, head coach Ara Parseghian has four candidates: senior Bill Etter, juniors Pat Steenberge and Jim Bulger, and sophomore Cliff Brown. "There is no need to choose until the Friday night before the first game," Parseghian said. "There's no problem having two quarterbacks work with the first unit." 40 Years Ago: Sept. 1, 1976 Ten days prior to the season opener against No. 9 Pitt, junior backup quarterback Joe Montana — who helped rally Notre Dame to three comeback victories off the bench in 1975 — separates his right shoulder during practice, which would sideline him all year. The injury occurs against the No. 1 defense when Montana turns back to avoid a hard-charging Ross Browner, but he is then crushed from the blind side by the other end, Willie Fry. "I feel bad for Joe," second-year Irish head coach Dan Devine said. "He was just starting to come along." 25 Years Ago: Sept. 7, 1991 In Notre Dame's first game under the NBC contract which gives the network exclusive rights to the home contests, the Fighting Irish roll up 578 yards of total offense (327 rushing, 251 passing) in 90-degree heat to defeat Indiana 49-27. The top highlight is a 58-yard touchdown connection between junior quarterback Rick Mirer and junior tight end Irv Smith, both future first-round picks, to up the lead to 42-20. Smith was hit at the Indiana 25 but dragged one Hoosier defender the final 20 yards, and two more over the final few yards to score. 20 Years Ago: Sept. 5, 1996 In its most recent Thursday night game, No. 6 Notre Dame overcomes seven fumbles (four lost) to post a 14-7 win at Vanderbilt. The Commodores total only 126 yards of offense, but 59 came on a touchdown pass with 11:16 left to take a 7-6 lead. The Irish respond with a 75-yard march that takes 14 plays and is capped by a three-yard TD run by fullback Marc Edwards. Quarterback Ron Powlus completes all five passes for 61 yards, most notably an 18-yard connection to Malcolm Johnson on third-and-14 from his 42-yard line. 5 Years Ago: Sept. 3, 2011 In maybe the most surreal game ever at Notre Dame Stadium, first-time opponent South Florida — coached by Skip Holtz, son of Notre Dame icon Lou Holtz — emerges with a stunning 23-20 victory. The game lasts a record five hours and 59 minutes because Notre Dame Stadium is evacuated twice because of storms and lightning. The Irish com- mit five turnovers to USF's zero, and on four occasions Notre Dame fails to score from the red zone — three of them inside the Bulls' 10-yard line (and two inside the 5). The first is on the opening series when a fumble by se- nior running back Jonas Gray is returned for a 96-yard touchdown to help propel USF to a 16-0 halftime lead. "Today was probably the strangest game anybody has ever been a part of," said Notre Dame QB Tommy Rees, who replaced starter Dayne Crist in the second half and completed 24 of 34 passes for 296 yards with two scores. — Lou Somogyi Anniversaries In Notre Dame Athletics History: Sept. 3‑9 Notre Dame Stadium had to be evacuated twice because of lightning threat during the 2011 opener versus South Florida. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA Check out the ALL NEW Everything You Need To Know Before The Game! Blue & Gold Report, your weekly game preview digital newsletter, is emailed every pre-game Wednesday during the season. It has the latest information on the Irish's upcoming opponent, and it includes rosters, stats and depth charts that can be printed on 8½-by-11 paper. ✦ Complete opponent preview ✦ Depth charts and rosters and stats ✦ Quotes and videos from pressers ✦ Read it on your computer or mobile device Get on the mailing list at

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