1977 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football
Notre Dame Fighting Irish logo.svg
Consensus national champion
Cotton Bowl champion
Cotton Bowl Classic, W 38–10 vs. Texas
ConferenceIndependent
Ranking
CoachesNo. 1
APNo. 1
Record11–1
Head coach
Offensive coordinatorMerv Johnson (3rd season)
Offensive schemePro set
Defensive coordinatorJoe Yonto
Base defense4–3
Captains
Home stadiumNotre Dame Stadium
Seasons
← 1976
1978 →
1977 NCAA Division I independents football records
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
No. 1 Notre Dame       11 1 0
No. 5 Penn State       11 1 0
Colgate       10 1 0
North Texas State *       10 1 0
No. 16 San Diego State       10 1 0
Tennessee State       8 1 1
No. 14 Florida State       10 2 0
No. 8 Pittsburgh       9 2 1
East Carolina       8 3 0
Rutgers       8 3 0
Army       7 4 0
Louisville       7 4 1
Boston College       6 5 0
Cincinnati       5 4 2
Georgia Tech       6 5 0
Memphis State       6 5 0
Northwestern State       6 5 0
Syracuse       6 5 0
William & Mary       6 5 0
Southern Miss       6 5 0
Temple       5 5 1
Hawaii       5 6 0
Navy       5 6 0
West Virginia       5 6 0
South Carolina       5 7 0
Utah State       4 7 0
Villanova       4 7 0
Illinois State       3 7 1
Virginia Tech       3 7 1
Miami (FL)       3 8 0
Richmond       3 8 0
Tulane       3 8 0
Air Force       2 8 1
Holy Cross       2 8 0
Northeast Louisiana       2 9 0
  • North Texas State (originally 9–2) awarded a forfeit win after Mississippi State was found to be using an ineligible player.[1]
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1977 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team represented the University of Notre Dame during the 1977 NCAA Division I football season. The Irish, coached by Dan Devine, ended the season with 11 wins and one loss, winning the national championship. The Fighting Irish won the title by defeating the previously unbeaten and No. 1 ranked Texas Longhorns in the Cotton Bowl Classic by a score of a 38–10.[2] The 1977 squad became the tenth Irish team to win the national title and were led by All-Americans Ken MacAfee, Ross Browner, Luther Bradley, and Bob Golic. Junior Joe Montana, a future Pro Football Hall of Famer, was the team's starting quarterback.

Season

Dan Devine entered his third year as head coach, coming off of a 9–3 season in 1976 that culminated in a Gator Bowl win over Penn State .[3] Devine returned a highly touted defense, featuring 1976 Outland Trophy winner Ross Browner, defensive end Willie Fry, and All-American linebacker Bob Golic.[3] On offense, quarterback Joe Montana earned the starting job and led an offense that included running backs Jerome Heavens and Vagas Ferguson and All-American tight end Ken MacAfee.[3] Montana, earned a reputation as "the comeback kid", had two come from behind victories in the fourth quarter, against Purdue and Clemson, down 17 and 10 respectively.[3] After a surprising loss to unranked Ole Miss, patience among the fans was running thin, who considered Devine's previous 8–3 and 9–3 seasons as lackluster compared to the team success under Devine's predecessor, Ara Parseghian.[4] The Irish rebounded to win their remaining games, including a 49–19 rout of USC in the now famous "Green Jersey Game."[4] The Irish earned a berth in the Cotton Bowl Classic, where they defeated No. 1 and unbeaten Texas by a score of 38–10 to capture Notre Dame's tenth national title.[3] The Irish leaped four spots in the polls after the Cotton Bowl Classic victory to claim the consensus title.[3]

Schedule

DateTimeOpponentRankSiteTVResultAttendance
September 103:50 p.m.at No. 7 PittsburghNo. 3ABCW 19–956,500
September 172:30 p.m.vs. Ole MissNo. 3L 13–2048,200
September 242:30 p.m.at PurdueNo. 11W 31–2468,966
October 12:30 p.m.Michigan StateNo. 14W 16–659,075
October 151:30 p.m.vs. ArmyNo. 11W 24–072,594
October 221:50 p.m.No. 5 USCNo. 11
ABCW 49–1959,075
October 292:30 p.m.NavyNo. 5
  • Notre Dame Stadium
  • Notre Dame, IN (rivalry)
W 43–1059,075
November 51:30 p.m.Georgia TechNo. 5
  • Notre Dame Stadium
  • Notre Dame, IN
W 69–1459,075
November 121:30 p.m.at No. 15 ClemsonNo. 5W 21–1754,189
November 191:30 p.m.Air ForceNo. 6
  • Notre Dame Stadium
  • Notre Dame, IN
W 49–059,075
December 38:00 p.m.at Miami (FL)No. 5W 48–1035,789
January 2, 19782:00 p.m.vs. No. 1 TexasNo. 5CBSW 38–1076,701

Roster

1977 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team roster
Players Coaches
Offense
Pos. # Name Class
TE 87 Mark Czaja So
WR 1 Ty Dickerson Fr
RB 26 Tom Domin
RB 40 Terry Eurick
RB 32 Vagas Ferguson So
OT 73 Tim Foley So
WR 82 Kris Haines Jr
TE 97 Kevin Hart
WR 85 Speedy Hart Jr
C 63 Jim Hautman
RB 30 Jerome Heavens
G 66 Ted Horansky
C 56 Dave Huffman Jr
OT 78 Tim Huffman Fr
G 65 Ernie Hughes Sr
QB 1 Greg Knafelc Fr
RB 21 Dan Knott Sr
QB 14 Tim Koegel Fr
G 69 John Leon
QB 6 Rusty Lisch
Redshirt.svg
 So
TE 81 Ken MacAfee Sr
OT 75 Rob Martinovich So
OT 71 Steve McDaniels Sr
G 60 Howard Meyer Jr
RB 44 Dave Mitchell
QB 3 Joe Montana Jr
C 50 Terry Murphy
RB 14 Steve Orsini
RB 45 Pete Pallas Jr
RB 19 Steve Schmitz Sr
RB 42 Jim Stone
OT 67 Bob Tull Sr
G 59 Dave Vinson
RB 34 Dave Waymer So
Defense
Pos. # Name Class
LB 43 Doug Becker Sr
CB 24 Dick Boushka
CB 20 Luther Bradley Sr
SS 33 Jim Browner Jr
DE 89 Ross Browner Sr
CB 18 Ted Burgmeier
DT 77 Mike Calhoun Jr
DT 75 Jay Case Jr
SS 28 Ross Christensen Sr
CB 16 Nick DeCicco
DT 79 Ken Dike Sr
CB 23 Tom Flynn Jr
DE 94 Willie Fry
FS 27 Tom Gibbons Fr
LB 55 Bob Golic Jr
LB 47 John Hankerd
FS 10 Randy Harrison Jr
LB 58 Steve Heimkreiter Jr
SS, QB 31 Pete Holohan Fr
LB 51 Pete Johnson
SS 29 Phil Johnson Jr
LB 61 Bobby Leopold So
CB 9 Jim Morse
DE 72 Hardy Rayam
FS 7 Joe Restic Jr
DE 88 Tom VanDenburgh So
DT 74 Jeff Weston Jr
LB 54 Mike Whittington So
DT 68 Tom Wroblewski So
DE 70 Scott Zettek So
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
P 4 Kevin Muno So
K 13 Dave Reeve Sr
P 7 Joe Restic Jr
K 99 Joe Unis
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches

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

Game summaries

Pittsburgh

See also: 1977 Pittsburgh Panthers football team and Notre Dame–Pittsburgh football rivalry

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (0–0) at Pittsburgh Panthers (0–0)
1 2 34Total
Notre Dame 0 6 01319
Pittsburgh 7 2 009

at Pitt Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Date: September 10, 1977
  • Game attendance: 56,500
  • TV: ABC
  • Recap
Game information

Ole Miss

See also: 1977 Ole Miss Rebels football team

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1–0) at Ole Miss Rebels
1 2 34Total
Notre Dame 0 7 0613
Ole Miss 3 7 01020

at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium, Jackson, Mississippi

  • Date: September 17, 1977
  • Game weather: Sunny, 90 °F (32 °C)
  • Game attendance: 48,200
  • Recap
Game information

Ole Miss gave the eventual national champion Notre Dame its only loss of the season.

Purdue

See also: 1977 Purdue Boilermakers football team and Shillelagh Trophy (Notre Dame–Purdue)

1 234Total
Notre Dame 0 14017 31
Purdue 10 1400 24

[5]

Michigan State

Michigan St at #14 Notre Dame
1 234Total
Michigan St 3 030 6
Notre Dame 0 1060 16

Army

1 234Total
Army 0 000 0
• Notre Dame 0 7107 24

USC

See also: 1977 USC Trojans football team and Jeweled Shillelagh

1 234Total
USC 0 7012 19
Notre Dame 7 151314 49

Notre Dame wore green jerseys for the first time since their 1963 game against Syracuse.

[7]

Navy

1 234Total
Navy 0 037 10
Notre Dame 7 91413 43
  • Date: October 29
  • Location: Notre Dame Stadium • South Bend, Indiana
  • Game attendance: 59,075

Notre Dame wore green jerseys for the second straight week.

[8]

Georgia Tech

1 234Total
Georgia Tech 0 707 14
Notre Dame 0 212127 69
  • Date: November 5
  • Location: Notre Dame Stadium • South Bend, Indiana
  • Game start: 1:30 pm EST
  • Game attendance: 59,075

Notre Dame wore green jerseys for the third straight week, and for every home game through the end of the 1980 season. The 69 points were the second most ever scored at Notre Dame Stadium.

Clemson

1 234Total
Notre Dame 7 0014 21
Clemson 0 1070 17
  • Date: November 12
  • Location: Memorial Stadium • Clemson, SC
  • Game start: 1:30 pm EST
  • Game attendance: 54,189

This was the first-ever meeting between Notre Dame and Clemson.

Air Force

1 234Total
Air Force 0 000 0
Notre Dame 21 1477 49
  • Date: November 19
  • Location: Notre Dame Stadium • South Bend, Indiana
  • Game start: 1:30 pm EST
  • Game attendance: 59,075
  • Game weather: cloudy, 40 degrees

This was the final game for Air Force head coach Ben Martin after 20 seasons. It also remains the most lopsided game in the 30-game series between Notre Dame and Air Force (the Fighting Irish lead 24-6).

Miami (FL)

1 234Total
• Notre Dame 14 6217 48
Miami (FL) 0 1000 10

[9]

Texas (Cotton Bowl)

1 234Total
• Notre Dame 3 2177 38
Texas 3 700 10
  • Location: Cotton Bowl
  • Game attendance: 76,701
  • Game weather: Sunny; 35°F

Main article: 1978 Cotton Bowl Classic

See also: 1977 Texas Longhorns football team


[10]

Post-season

Award winners

Heisman Trophy voting

Ken MacAfee, 3rd[14]
Ross Browner, 5th[14]

All-Americans

Name AP UPI NEA FC SN FW FN WCF CW
Ross Browner, DE 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Ken MacAfee, TE 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Luther Bradley, DB 2 1 2 1 1 1
Ernie Hughes, G 2 2
Bob Golic, MG (MLB) 2 2 2
Willie Fry, DE 2
Ted Bergmeier, DB 2
†denotes unanimous selection
‡denotes consensus selection Source:[2]

College Football Hall of Fame inductees

Name Position Year Inducted
Ross Browner Defensive end 1999
Dan Devine Coach 1985
Ken MacAfee Tight end 1997

[15]

1978 NFL Draft

Player Position Round Pick Franchise
Ken MacAfee Tight end 1(7) 7 San Francisco 49ers
Ross Browner Defensive end 1(8) 8 Cincinnati Bengals
Luther Bradley Defensive back 1(11) 11 Detroit Lions
Willie Fry Defensive end 2(23) 49 Pittsburgh Steelers
Ernie Hughes Guard 3(23) 79 San Francisco 49ers
Ted Burgmeier Defensive back 5(1) 111 Miami Dolphins
Steve McDaniels Tackle 9(27) 249 San Francisco 49ers
Doug Becker Linebacker 10(18) 268 Pittsburgh Steelers
Source:[16]

References

  1. ^ https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/years/1977-standings.html
  2. ^ a b "2007 Notre Dame Media Guide: History and Records (pages 131-175)". und.cstv.com. Archived from the original on June 10, 2008. Retrieved December 29, 2008.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "2007 Notre Dame Media Guide: 2007 Supplement (page 164)". und.cstv.com. Retrieved December 29, 2008.
  4. ^ a b Walters, John (July 21, 2004). Notre Dame Golden Moments. Rutledge Hill Press. ISBN 1-59186-042-3.
  5. ^ "Wolves Subdue Stubborn Navy; Notre Dame Overcomes Purdue." Ocala Star-Banner. September 25, 1977.
  6. ^ "Irish looking to Heavens: He responds with record." Eugene Register-Guard. 1977 Oct 16. Retrieved 2017-Sep-02.
  7. ^ "Green Irish thump Trojans." Eugene Register-Guard. October 23, 1977.
  8. ^ "Irish wear green and don't need it, 43-10." Eugene Register-Guard. October 30, 1977.
  9. ^ Palm Beach Post. December 4, 1977. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
  10. ^ 2012 Notre Dame Football Supplement Retrieved 2017-Sep-03.
  11. ^ "Winners & Finalists". Rotary Club of Houston. Archived from the original on 8 January 2009. Retrieved December 30, 2008.
  12. ^ "The Maxwell Award Collegiate Player of the Year: Past Recipients". The Maxwell Football Club. Archived from the original on February 14, 2009. Retrieved December 30, 2008.
  13. ^ "Walter Camp Football Foundation Awards (Page 3)". The Walter Camp Foundation. Archived from the original on September 5, 2008. Retrieved December 30, 2008.
  14. ^ a b "Heisman Voting". und.cstv.com. Archived from the original on December 17, 2008. Retrieved December 30, 2008.
  15. ^ "Hall of Fame: Select group by school". College Football Hall of Fame. Football Foundation. Retrieved December 30, 2008.
  16. ^ "Notre Dame NFL Draft History". uhnd.com. Archived from the original on January 6, 2009. Retrieved December 30, 2008.