Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 25, 2017

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

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Page 14 of 55 SEPT. 25, 2017 15 UNDER THE DOME 50 Years Ago: Sept. 23, 1967 Ranked No. 1 in the preseason for the first time since 1953, the reigning national champion Fighting Irish open the season with a 41-8 victory at home versus the California Golden Bears. Quarterback Terry Hanratty completes 15 of 30 passes for 208 yards, highlighted by scoring tosses to team captain Rocky Bleier and Jim Seymour, and he adds a team-high 46 rushing yards. Cal scores late and adds the two-point conversion to cover the 35-point spread. 45 Years Ago: Sept. 23, 1972 For the first time since 1951 dur- ing the Korean War, the NCAA per- mits freshman eligibility, this time permanently. It pays off when Notre Dame freshman defensive tackle Steve Niehaus is inserted as the starter for the opener at Northwestern, two days before his 18th birthday. Niehaus would be the lone Irish freshman among the 32 to earn a monogram that season, but his star power is evident when he re- cords a team-high 13 stops in the 37-0 victory. 40 Years Ago: Sept. 24, 1977 In one of the most important history-changing quarters at Notre Dame, third-team senior quarter- back Joe Montana rallies the Irish to a 31-24 victory at Purdue. Sidelined in 1976 with a sepa- rated shoulder, Montana entered the 1977 season behind starter Rusty Lisch and fellow senior Gary Forystek. Notre Dame was the preseason favorite to win the national title, but the offense was anemic in the first two games, including a 20-13 loss at Ole Miss a week earlier to drop to 1-1, prompting much outcry from the fan base for the dismissal of third-year head coach Dan Devine. The Irish fall behind 10-0 at Purdue before Forystek is inserted to lend a spark. He completes two passes before a thundering hit on a scramble ends his college football career. Lisch re-enters to give Notre Dame a 14-10 lead, but Boilermakers freshman sensation Mark Herrmann, who would pass for 351 yards, tosses two scores before halftime to put Purdue atop 24-14. In a final desperate move in the fourth quarter and the score unchanged, Devine turns to Montana, who as a sophomore in 1975 sparked the Irish in consecutive fourth-quarter wins over North Carolina and Air Force after trailing 14-0 and 30-10, respectively. The Notre Dame sideline and huddle is instantly energized when Montana enters the game. "I was sitting next to my Purdue counterpart and he asked what was going on," recalled the esteemed 1966-95 Notre Dame sports information director Roger Valdiserri. "I said, 'That's Joe Montana — and you guys are in trouble.'" A shaky Montana's first pass is nearly intercepted — one that could have resulted in a pick-six and the ball game — before he settles in to lead three scoring drives, finishing 9-of-14 passing for 154 yards with a 13-yard touchdown toss to tight end Ken MacAfee. The Irish score the game-winner when third- team fullback Dave Mitchell tallies from five yards out with 1:39 remaining. 5 Years Ago: Sept. 22, 2012 After three consecutive gut-wrenching, 11th-hour losses to Michigan in 2009 (38-34), 2010 (28-24) and 2011 (35-31), No. 11 Notre Dame improves to 4-0 with a hard-fought 13-6 win over the Wolverines. Five straight Michigan pass attempts are intercepted — two by senior linebacker Manti Te'o, who also pressures quarterback Denard Robinson into a third. The Irish force six turnovers overall, while backup quarterback Tommy Rees provides a steadying influence the final three quarters after two first-quarter interception tosses by Everett Golson. Rees scores the game's lone touchdown on a two-yard run to give Notre Dame a 10-0 halftime lead. — Lou Somogyi Anniversaries In Notre Dame Football History: Sept. 22‑28 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED PO Box 2331 Durham, NC 27702 1-800-421-7751 DELIVERY LIMITED TO CONTINENTAL U.S. PLEASE ADD SALES TAX FOR ITEMS SHIPPING TO: (NC 7.5%, IN 7%, MI 6%) (Item #6622) GRILL MAT $49.95 + FREE S&H (Item #6621) CUSTOM GRILL COVERS Recycled, mold-resistant, breathable vinyl with drawstring bottom. Logo printed with UV-resistant ink. AVAILABLE IN 2 SIZES & 3 LOGOS: Small: 55" wide x 36" tall x 21" deep $51.95 + $15.00 S&H Large: 66" wide x 36" tall x 21" deep $54.95 + $15.00 S&H Please allow up to 2 weeks for delivery. Grill covers are made to order and shipped direct from the manufacturer. Freshman defensive tackle Steve Niehaus recorded a team- best 13 tackles in his college debut during a 37-0 drubbing of Northwestern in 1972. PHOTO COURTESY NOTRE DAME MEDIA RELATIONS

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