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1973 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team

The 1973 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team represented the University of Notre Dame during the 1973 NCAA Division I football season. The Irish, coached by Ara Parseghian, ended the season undefeated with 11 wins and no losses, winning the national championship. The Fighting Irish won the title by defeating the previously unbeaten and No. 1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide in the 1973 Sugar Bowl by a score of a 24–23.[1] The 1973 squad became the ninth Irish team to win the national title and the second under Parseghian. Although Notre Dame finished No. 1 in the AP Poll to claim the AP national title, they were not awarded the Coaches title, since Alabama was awarded the Coaches Poll title before the bowl season.

1973 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football
Notre Dame Fighting Irish logo.svg
AP Poll national champion
Sugar Bowl champion
Sugar Bowl, W 24–23 vs. Alabama
ConferenceIndependent
Ranking
CoachesNo. 4
APNo. 1
1973 record11–0
Head coachAra Parseghian (10th season)
Offensive schemeWing T
Defensive coordinatorJoe Yonto
Base defense4–3
Captains
Home stadiumNotre Dame Stadium
Seasons
← 1972
1974 →
1973 NCAA Division I Independents football records
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
No. 1 Notre Dame         11 0 0
No. 5 Penn State         12 0 0
No. 9 Houston         11 1 0
Temple         9 1 0
No. 20 Tulane         9 3 0
Memphis State         8 3 0
Boston College         7 4 0
South Carolina         7 4 0
Utah State         7 4 0
Air Force         6 4 0
Southern Miss         6 4 1
Northern Illinois         6 5 0
Rutgers         6 5 0
West Virginia         6 5 0
Pittsburgh         6 5 1
Colgate         5 5 0
Dayton         5 5 1
Xavier         5 5 1
Georgia Tech         5 6 0
Holy Cross         5 6 0
Miami (FL)         5 6 0
Cincinnati         4 7 0
Navy         4 7 0
Villanova         3 8 0
Syracuse         2 9 0
Virginia Tech         2 9 0
Army         0 10 0
Florida State         0 11 0
Rankings from AP Poll

SeasonEdit

Ara Parseghian's second national title team was led by its relentless rushing attack. Fullback Wayne Bullock (750 yards), halfback Art Best (700 yards), halfback Eric Penick (586 yards) and quarterback Tom Clements (360 yards) comprised one of the fastest Irish backfields, with Peneck and Best clocking in under 10 seconds in the 100-yard dash.[2] The Irish started the season strong, amassing large margins of victory over Northwestern, Rice and Army to set up a highly anticipated contest with No. 6 and unbeaten USC.[2] USC came into the contest riding a 23-game unbeaten streak, and USC's star tailback Anthony Davis ran over the Irish the previous year for 6 touchdowns in a 45–23 Trojan victory.[2] Moreover, Parseghian had not outright beaten USC since 1966.[1] The Irish defense responded to the challenge, limiting Davis to 55 yards on 19 carries. The star tailback of the day was Notre Dame's Penick, who ran for 118 yards, 50 more than the entire Trojan team. The Irish won the contest 23–14 and won its remaining games.[2] After Notre Dame accepted the Sugar Bowl bid, the stage was set to determine the national championship. Alabama was awarded the UPI title before the bowl season,[3] but it was Notre Dame that won it on the field, winning 24–23 in a thriller that had six lead changes. Notre Dame jumped to a 6–0 lead, but Alabama answered with a Randy Billingsley 6-yard touchdown run. Al Hunter then scored on a 93-yard kickoff return, and Clements completed a two-point conversion pass to Pete Demmerle to give the Irish a 14-7 (which would turn out to be the widest margin in the game). Alabama scored a field goal to close the halftime deficit to 14–10, and then went on a 93-yard touchdown march in the third quarter to regain the lead. Notre Dame answered with a 12-yard touchdown run by Eric Penick to go back in front, 21–17. In the fourth quarter, three turnovers occurred in 90 seconds, with Alabama coming out on top and capitalizing on a halfback pass from Mike Stock to quarterback Richard Todd for a 25-yard touchdown to take a slim 23–21 lead, but the Tide missed the crucial extra point. Notre Dame responded, with Tom Clements driving the Irish 79 yards in 11 plays and setting up a potential field goal on a clutch 15-yard pass to tight end Dave Casper. Irish kicker Bob Thomas kicked a field goal to give the Irish a slim 24–23 victory and the AP national title.[4]

ScheduleEdit

DateTimeOpponentRankSiteTVResultAttendance
September 222:30 p.m.NorthwesternNo. 8W 44–059,075
September 291:50 p.m.at PurdueNo. 7ABCW 20–769,391
October 62:30 p.m.Michigan StateNo. 8
W 14–1059,075
October 138:05 p.m.at RiceNo. 9W 28–050,321
October 202:00 p.m.at ArmyNo. 11W 62–342,503
October 271:50 p.m.No. 6 USCNo. 8
ABCW 23–1459,075
November 31:30 p.m.NavyNo. 5
  • Notre Dame Stadium
  • Notre Dame, IN (rivalry)
W 44–759,075
November 101:30 p.m.at No. 20 PittsburghNo. 5W 31–1056,593
November 221:20 p.m.Air ForceNo. 5
  • Notre Dame Stadium
  • Notre Dame, IN
ABCW 48–1557,236
December 18:15 p.m.at Miami (FL)No. 5W 44–042,968
December 318:00 p.m.vs. No. 1 AlabamaNo. 3ABCW 24–2385,161

RosterEdit

1973 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team roster
Players Coaches
Offense
Pos. # Name Class
QB 12 Frank Allocco Jr
C 52 Joe Alvarado Jr
RB 23 Art Best So
OG 62 Tom Bolger Sr
C 59 Mark Brenneman
QB 8 Cliff Brown Sr
FB 30 Wayne Bullock Jr
TE 86 Dave Casper Sr
QB 2 Tom Clements Jr
WR 85 Peter Demmerle Jr
RB 28 Gary Diminick Sr
OG 72 Gerry DiNardo Jr
TE 93 Tom Fine
RB 21 Ron Goodman
RB 25 Al Hunter
C 52 Vince Klees
FB 15 Russ Kornman
OT 58 Tom Laney
OT 84 Dennis Lozzi Sr
OG 57 Elton Moore
OG 66 Dan Morrin
OT 64 Steve Neece Jr
FB 36 Tom Parise
RB 44 Eric Penick
OG 56 Frank Pomarico
OT 77 Steve Quehl
RB 24 Al Samuel So
WR 28 Tim Simon
OT 71 Steve Sylvester Jr
WR 80 Willie Townsend Sr
TE 91 Robin Weber
OG 66 Al Wujciak So
Defense
Pos. # Name Class
DT 79 Jay Achterhoff So
CB 14 Reggie Barnett Jr
S 20 Luther Bradley
DE 89 Ross Browner
LB 50 Greg Collins Jr
DE 41 Tom Creevey
DT 88 Mike Fanning Jr
DE 94 Willie Fry
DT 95 George Hayduk
CB 26 Tom Lopienski So
LB 45 Drew Mahalic So
CB 25 Mike Naughton
DT 70 Steve Niehaus So
DT 60 Kevin Nosbusch Jr
LB 38 Tony Novakov
S 33 Mike Parker
LB 40 Gary Potempa
CB 7 Tim Rudnick
CB 29 Pat Sarb So
LB 55 Sherm Smith
DE 48 Jim Stock So
LB 42 Tim Sullivan Sr
S 27 Mike Townsend Sr
LB 61 Mike Webb
S 34 Bob Zanot So
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
P 4 Tony Brantley
P 9 Brian Doherty Sr
K 98 Bob Thomas Sr
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches
  • Greg Blache (JV)
  • Brian Boulac (OL)
  • Bill Hickey (OL)
  • George Kelly (LB)
  • Wally Moore (OL)
  • John Murph (Scouting/Def. Asst)
  • Tom Pagna (RB)
  • Paul Shoults (DB)
  • Mike Stock (WR)
  • Joe Yonto (DC)

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  •   Injured
  •   Redshirt

Game summariesEdit

NorthwesternEdit

PurdueEdit

1 234Total
Notre Dame 3 773 20
Purdue 0 700 7

[5]

Michigan StateEdit

RiceEdit

ArmyEdit

1 234Total
• Notre Dame 0 282014 62
Army 3 000 3

[6]

USCEdit

1 234Total
USC 7 070 14
Notre Dame 3 10100 23

[7][8]

NavyEdit

Navy Midshipmen at Notre Dame Fighting Irish
1 2 34Total
Navy 0 0 077
Notre Dame 7 7 141644

at Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, IN

  • Date: November 4
  • Game attendance: 59,075
  • [9]

PittsburghEdit

Air ForceEdit

Miami (FL)Edit

Sugar BowlEdit

1 234Total
Notre Dame 6 873 24
Alabama 0 1076 23

[10]

Post-seasonEdit

Award winnersEdit

All-Americans

Name AP UPI NEA FC SN FW T FN WCF
Dave Casper, TE 2 1 1 1 1 1
Mike Townsend, DB 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
†denotes consensus selection       Source:[1]

College Football Hall of Fame inductees

Name Position Year Inducted
Ara Parseghian Coach 1980

Notre Dame leads all universities in players inducted.[11]

1974 NFL DraftEdit

Player Position Round Pick Franchise
Dave Casper Tight End 2(19) 45 Oakland Raiders
Mike Townsend Defensive Back 4(8) 86 Minnesota Vikings
Brian Doherty Punter 9(18) 226 Buffalo Bills
Tim Rudnick Defensive Back 11(5) 265 Baltimore Colts
Frank Pomarico Guard 14(15) 353 Kansas City Chiefs
Robert R. Thomas Kicker 15(24) 388 Los Angeles Rams
Cliff Brown Running Back 17(11) 427 Philadelphia Eagles
Willie Townsend Wide Receiver 17(24) 440 Los Angeles Rams
Source:[12]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "2007 Notre Dame Media Guide: History and Records (pages 131-175)". und.cstv.com. Retrieved 2008-12-29.
  2. ^ a b c d "2007 Notre Dame Media Guide: 2007 Supplement (page 163)". und.cstv.com. Retrieved 2008-12-31.
  3. ^ "Past Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (Division I FBS) National Champions (formerly called Division I-A)". ncaa.org. Archived from the original on May 9, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-31.
  4. ^ "2007 Notre Dame Media Guide: 2007 Supplement (page 129)". und.cstv.com. Retrieved 2008-12-31.
  5. ^ "Notre Dame Bests Purdue." Palm Beach Post. 1973 Sept 30.
  6. ^ Eugene Register-Guard. 1973 Oct 21.
  7. ^ Palm Beach Post. 28 Oct 1973. NO BOX SCORE.
  8. ^ "Irish end years of frustration." Eugene Register-Guard. 1973 Oct 28.
  9. ^ "Irish Whips Navy." Ocala Star-Banner. 1973 Nov 04. Retrieved 2018-Dec-24.
  10. ^ "Notre Dame Preserves 24-23 Victory." Palm Beach Post. 1974 Jan 1.
  11. ^ "Hall of Fame: Select group by school". College Football Hall of Fame. Football Foundation. Retrieved 2008-12-31.
  12. ^ "Notre Dame NFL Draft History". uhnd.com. Archived from the original on 6 January 2009. Retrieved 2008-12-31.