Notre Dame great among 15 Pro Football Hall of Fame finalists

Will this be the year for a Notre Dame and 49ers legend?

Bryant Young was a force on the 1993 Notre Dame team that nearly won a national championship and carried on immediately in the NFL as he was a rookie with the San Francisco 49ers when they won their last Super Bowl in January of 1995.

Young finished his NFL career with 89.5 career sacks, the second most in 49ers history.  He was also voted to four Pro Bowls and was named the 1999 NFL Comeback Player of the Year after suffering a nasty knee injury the year before.

Now Young is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the second time.  Joining him on the list of finalists is another 49ers legend in linebacker Patrick Willis.

The official modern-era 2022 Pro Football Hall of Fame class will be revealed on Thursday, Feb. 10.

Notre Dame currently has 13 former players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame which ties it with USC for the most ever by one college.

Notre Dame’s Fiesta Bowl History

The desert hasn’t been a friend to Notre Dame in recent years…or decades

Notre Dame is headed to the Fiesta Bowl to take on Oklahoma State this coming New Year’s Day.  It’ll be the first meeting all-time between the football programs as the Irish try and cap a top-five season with what would be their first major bowl victory since January of 1994.

Obviously the storylines write themselves as Marcus Freeman is set to make his head coaching debut after the whirlwind end of season that Notre Dame had.

Will Freeman and the Irish be victorious?

If so, it’d snap a major bowl losing streak as well as a Fiesta Bowl losing streak as the game hasn’t treated the Irish well since their first appearance in it.

Notre Dame’s Seven Heisman Trophy Winners

Who was Notre Dame’s best player to win the Heisman?

The Heisman Trophy has been handed out annually since Jay Berwanger of the University of Chicago was awarded the first back in 1935.

Since then no school has had a player win the Heisman Trophy more than Notre Dame, who has seven all-time winners, although both Oklahoma and Ohio State have now caught the Irish total while USC would have had Reggie Bush’s Heisman not been taken away from 2005.

So who are the Fighting Irish legends that have won the award?

Here is a glimpse at the seasons all seven put up while wearing the blue and gold and striking the pose.

Notre Dame’s Seven Heisman Trophy Winners

Who was Notre Dame’s best player to win the Heisman?

The Heisman Trophy has been handed out annually since Jay Berwanger of the University of Chicago was awarded the first back in 1935.

Since then no school has had a player win the Heisman Trophy more than Notre Dame, who has seven all-time winners, although both Oklahoma and Ohio State have now caught the Irish total while USC would have had Reggie Bush’s Heisman not been taken away from 2005.

So who are the Fighting Irish legends that have won the award?

Here is a glimpse at the seasons all seven put up while wearing the blue and gold and striking the pose.

Notre Dame Football: Ten Best Jump Ball Catches Ever

Notre Dame has been playing football a very long time and have had some incredible jump ball catches for touchdowns. See the top ten here!

Notre Dame’s advanced media team has been cranking out top ten lists all spring and summer long, helping us get at least some of the sports content we so desperately crave with so few live sports taking place.

They recently released the “Top Ten Jump Ball Catches” in Notre Dame football history, complete with highlights for all.  As always, let’s first watch the ten they chose before briefly discussing them on the next page (to avoid any spoilers).

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACcg9WCvcXo&w=560&h=315]

My thoughts…

88…scratch that, 95 (ish) Days Until Notre Dame Football Returns

Notre Dame football returns in 95 days. Or 96. We’re not fully sure but we do know the countdown went up, not down today. ’95 Notre Dame.

Happy Wednesday, folks.

A few days have passed by without updating the countdown but just to catch you up, we’re 88 days…scratch that…

94 or 95 days away from Notre Dame football returning.

Yeah I know, we started the countdown almost two weeks ago as we reached the 100 day mark and then the announcement came that Week Zero will instead be Week One and that Notre Dame and Navy will instead meetup on Labor Day weekend in Annapolis.

So with that in mind we go back to the future in a way and end up at 95 days.  If you missed 95 the first time around it was dedicated to Kyle Rudolph’s go-ahead touchdown against Michigan in 2010.

This time with 95 we will honor the 1995 Notre Dame team that went 9-3 after a stunning, season-opening loss to Northwestern, who would end up winning the Big Ten championship.

It started with the shocking defeat to a Northwestern squad who hadn’t won more than four games in a single season in 24 years previous.  As awful as things appeared to be headed Notre Dame bounced back with wins over Purdue and Vanderbilt before destroying No. 13 Texas, 55-27.

The season again hit a snag when Eddie George ran wild en-route to the Heisman Trophy as No. 7 Ohio State beat up the Irish 45-26.  Notre Dame would go on to win their final six regular season games which included a 38-10 win over No. 5 and eventual Rose Bowl Champion, USC.

Ron Powuls broke his arm against Navy in the second to final game of the year and No. 6 Notre Dame entered the Orange Bowl an 11 point underdog against No. 8 Florida State as leading rusher Randy Kinder was suspended for the game.  It was the third straight season Notre Dame and Florida State met with the teams splitting the first two games.

Despite that, backup quarterback Tom Krug used Derrick Mayes to his advantage and had the Irish leading 26-14 with just 11 minutes to play.  Danny Kanell led the Florida State comeback however as Andre Cooper snagged three scores for the Seminoles in their eventual 31-26 win.

Notre Dame finished the year 9-3 and ranked 11th in the final AP Poll in what was one heck of a roller coaster ride of a season.

An Upset of Michigan this week on Notre Dame’s Watch Party

Saturday night Notre Dame will feature Darius Walker’s coming out party that left a top ten Michigan team shocked after a stunning upset

This Saturday night will offer a chance to relive an unlikely incredible moment during an otherwise frustrating season.  This week’s edition of the “Notre Dame Watch Party” features the 2004 home opener, a win over top-ten Michigan.

After a season opening loss at BYU a week earlier, Notre Dame welcomed Michigan to Notre Dame Stadium to kickoff their home season.  Michigan was ranked eighth in the nation, the Big Ten favorite that fall and had national championship dreams.

Led by Justin Tuck and Cory Mays on defense, Notre Dame kept Michigan out of the end zone and to just nine first half points.  The Irish offense was non-existent though, putting up a goose egg themselves.

Brady Quinn found Matt Shelton for a 46 yard touchdown in the early moments of the third quarter and an interception and then blocked punt helped set up a couple more Notre Dame scores.

Freshman running back Darius Walker, who didn’t get on the field the week previous, ran for a game-high 115 yards and two touchdowns en-route to a 28-20 win for the Irish.

In what wound up being an incredibly frustrating season that saw Notre Dame again upset a top-ten team in November when they knocked off No. 9 Tennessee, the Irish went just 6-5 in the regular season and saw head coach Tyrone Willingham fired before their bowl game.

2004 was tough as a fan, I don’t think any single game left me more upset than the blowing of a 20-7 halftime lead against Boston College right after Notre Dame had worked their way back into the top 25.  Instead of being 6-2, the Irish fell to 5-3 and the wheels seemingly came off besides for that win to come over Tennessee.

If you’re looking for something to do Saturday night the replay of the 2004 win over Michigan will bring back a memories of a thrilling afternoon in an otherwise incredibly maddening year.

93 Days Until Notre Dame Football (We Hope)

We’re 93 days away from Notre Dame football returning. Get excited by remembering a fantastic season for the Fighting Irish today.

Happy Thursday, 93 days away until the scheduled start of the 2020 college football season in Week Zero as Notre Dame and Navy are set to get the season underway in Dublin.

Yesterday we honored the number 94 by remembering former Notre Dame All-American Willie Fry.

Today for 93 we look back on one of my favorite seasons since I started watching college football years and years ago.

(19)93:  The Should Have Been National Championship

1993 started with Notre Dame ranked in the top ten but after an unimpressive showing against Northwestern, fell to No. 11 by week two.  The Irish would upset No. 3 Michigan the next week in Ann Arbor and run off seven more consecutive wins, setting up “The Game of the Century” between No. 2 Notre Dame and No.1 Florida State.

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnOYtPd0TKc&w=560&h=315]

Notre Dame moved to number one following that thrilling win, only to fall a week later against Boston College.  Although they beat Florida State head-to-head, voters awarded Bobby Bowden and the Seminoles the national championship after their Orange Bowl win over Nebraska instead of Notre Dame who had just got by Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl.

It was a season that ultimately ended with great frustration due to the Boston College debacle but one of the most memorable Fighting Irish seasons of most of our lifetimes.

Notre Dame’s Most Recent Bowl Game Gets Name Change

When Notre Dame and Iowa State met in December it was the Camping World Bowl. Well, it is no longer as the Cheez-It Bowl is headed east.

When Notre Dame and Iowa State squared off back on December 28 they played in what was then called the Camping World Bowl.

It was one of several names the game has had over the years: The Blockbuster Bowl, Carquest Bowl, MicronPC Bowl, MicronPC.com Bowl, Tangerine Bowl, Champs Sports Bowl, Russell Athletic Bowl and since 2017, the Camping World Bowl.

Well, that is no more as the annual post-season game played in Orlando now has a different sponsor.

The Cheez-It Bowl.

So the annual game played each December in Phoenix makes the trip east now.

So do with it what you like, just know that if Notre Dame ends the year in Orlando this year, and not in the Citrus Bowl, that they’ll be playing for all of the Cheez-Its.  And if they do, let’s just hope it’s half as entertaining as the 2018 thriller between TCU and California in the Cheez-Its Bowl.

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-CaV6XPsdU&w=560&h=315]

94 Days Until Notre Dame Football (We Hope)

94 days out from Notre Dame and college football returning we look at the only ND All-American to wear number 94.

Notre Dame and Navy are scheduled to play August 29, still in Dublin, Ireland for the time being, although that could change in the next week.  That’s 94 days away.

94 days away from college football and Notre Dame football returning in a way we’re all a bit unsure about.

Since we’ve been counting down the days for the last week we’ve gone with records based on the number or yardage of plays.  Yesterday saw one of Kyle Rudolph’s most memorable plays with the Irish while today we remember the only Notre Dame player to ever earn All-American status while wearing 94.

94:  Willie Fry’s Number at Notre Dame

Willie Fry played at Notre Dame from 1973, 75-77, helping the Irish to a national championship in both ’73 and ’77 while twice earning All-American status in both 1976 and ’77.

Below you can see Fry make a few plays in the 1973 game against USC.

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zu9WgEVHYPU&w=560&h=315]

Fry went on to play three seasons for the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers, winning a pair of Super Bowls in ’78 and ’79.

Fry died of a heart attack in 1998 at just 44 years old.