Blue and Gold Illustrated

December 2012

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

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Page 6 of 89

Polishing Decades Of Dust Off The Golden Dome FIGHTING WORDS WES MORGAN Junior outside linebacker Prince Shembo (No. 55) and freshman outside linebacker Romeo Okwara cel- ebrated a 12-0 regular season after the win at USC — a feat not many thought possible back in August. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA nless you own a DeLorean and know a wacky doctor named Emmett Brown, you didn't pre- dict a 12-0 season for this Notre Dame football team. That the Fighting Irish accomplished that, earning a trip to the BCS national championship game in the process, sounds like a fictional work out of Hollywood. And that's precisely where this story became as real as the page on which this column is printed. With a 22-13 victory over Southern U California in Los Angeles, the No. 1 Fighting Irish are now four quarters believe head coach Brian Kelly was ahead of schedule when Notre Dame took down No. 17 Stanford in over- time Oct. 13 to improve to 6-0. "Coming into the year I thought Stanford was the test," Swarbrick said in a tent outside Los Angeles Memo- rial Coliseum while the media waited from what was unthinkable in Au- gust. And if you thought this was pos- sible this year, you know more than Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick, who felt the program was a year away from a breakout season. Like a lot of Irish fans, he started to

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