Saturday, August 28, 2010


We're now just seven days from the kick off of Notre Dame's 2010 campaign with Purdue, and I'm going to count down the season with football blogs!

Blog "Seven" will be memories of the best Notre Dame football game I ever attended.

Notre Dame-Penn State 1992 ... The Snow Bowl

The last time Notre Dame and Penn State played each other was in November of 1992. It was the last regular season game for both teams, and they were both headed to bowl games ... but knowing this would be the last time they would meet, the game had extra meaning for both teams. And to add even more drama to the scene, the movie "Rudy" was being filmed on campus at the time. (And it was also my senior year at Notre Dame!)

It snowed like cats and dogs the majority of the game. The officials kept having to go out on the field with brooms to sweep snow off the field because they could not see the yard lines.

Penn States won the toss but deferred to the Irish, and Rick Mirer and Irv Smith start driving down the field. The Penn State defense digs in as Notre Dame gets close to scoring and the Irish only end up with a Craig Hentrich field goal, and a 3-0 lead.

Then Penn State gets the ball and proceeds to drive down the field and score a touch down. But on the extra point kick, the Notre Dame defense holds their ground. Soon to be Notre Dame star, Freshman Bobby Taylor, jumps high in the air to block Penn State's extra point kick, making the Penn State lead only 6-3, and setting the stage for one of the greatest finishes in Notre Dame stadium history.

With the score tied 6-6 early in the second half, Rick Mirer hits Lake Dawson, who takes the ball down to the 20 yard line. But once again the Penn State defense digs in, and the Irish walk away with only a field goal, bringing the Irish to a 9-6 lead.

Penn State quarterback Kerry Collins then sends a spiraling pass down the field and the receiver is stopped at the one yard line by Bobby Taylor ... and what comes next is one of the greatest goal line stands in Notre Dame history.

On first down, Penn State tries to leap over Notre Dame's defense for no gain.

At second down, the Notre Dame defense pushes back the Penn State rusher for a loss of two yards.

On third and goal from the 3 yard line, Kerry Collins decides to take to the air, but when he cannot find an open receiver he has to throw the ball away.

So now it is 4th down on the 3 yard line, and the Nittany Lions settle for a field goal and a 9-9 tie.
During the ensuing drive, Irv Smith ... fighting for possession of the ball ... fumbles, and Penn State takes over at the 44 yard line. In just three short plays the Lions are able to score from 13 yards out, and they take a 16-9 lead over the Irish.

With four and a half minutes left in the game, Notre Dame regains possession of the ball and Rick Mirer and company, including Irv Smith, Jerome Bettis, and Ray Griggs drive the ball down the field, towards the opposite end of the stadium from where the student section sits.

With under a minute left in the game, and the entire student body leaning forward and craning their necks to see what is going on, Rick Mirer is on the move and trying to find an open receiver. His intended target, Irv Smith, was covered and then in the middle he sees Jerome Bettis open and hits him for a touch down (with 25 seconds left on the clock) bringing the score to 16-15.
Then, Lou Holtz sends Mirer back in for the two-point conversion play. At this point the entire student body is leaning forward trying to see what is going on. Mirer is rolling, rolling, rolling right ... trying to find someone open. He catches sight of Reggie Brooks open in the far right corner of the end zone, and lofts the ball into the corner to a fully outstretched Reggie Brooks, who catches the ball to seal a 17-16 victory over the Nittany Lions. And at the exact moment that Reggie Brooks made that winning catch, the entire student body fell forward, as they were leaning so far to see what was going on.

After the clock ran out, the student body rushed the field to celebrate the unbelievable win against Penn State ... the poor ushers had no idea what hit them!

That my friends, is the best Notre Dame game that I have ever attended.



  1. One of tehbest games ever...Now I'm really getting geared up for football season!

  2. It was unbelievable ... a weekend I'll never forget!