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The 4-homer performance by Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton on May 8 made me wonder about what was the greatest individual games ever played in ND football history. Many people always bring up Joe Theismann's 526-yard performance in the rain at USC in 1970. While that was remarkable, he also threw four interceptions and lost two fumbles in that 38-28 loss, so I'm a bit reluctant to include that as the greatest ever.
Same with Joe Montana in the 35-34 victory over Houston. A main reason ND was behind 34-12 was that Joe was 7 of 27 with four interceptions. He also lost a fumble before the defense made a key stop. The rally began with a blocked punt that was returned for a TD.
I'm more apt to include something like Jarious Jackson rallying ND from a 30-14 deficit to a 34-30 victory against Oklahoma in 1999 while throwing for 270 yards and rushing for 107, or Jim Seymour's 13 catches for an amazing 276 yards (still an ND record) and three scores in a 1966 win over top-ranked Purdue ... or Tom Clements in the 1973 Sugar Bowl. Elmer Layden in the 1925 Rose Bowl ... George Gipp versus Army in 1920 ...
Defensively, I have several Ross Browner games in mind, Luther Bradley in the 1973 USC game, or Chris Zorich in the 1991 Orange Bowl 10-9 loss, among many others.
In the future I can put together a top-10 list on this. What were your favorites that come to mind?
Special teams wise, Rocket's 1989 Michigan performance comes to mind, as does Tim Brown against MSU in 1987 and USC in 1986. Since I am a little young to remember the early 70's great defense, I vividly remember Demetrius Dubose was awfully good against Penn State in the 1992 Snow Bowl.
This post was edited by simm 23 months ago
My luck w/the Irish 20-6...GO IRISH!!!
Good ones. What was especially special about Tim Brown's performance at SC was when the Irish fell behind 37-20, he set up one TD with a 57-yard kickoff return, set up a second with something like a 49-yard reception, and put John Carney in position for the 20-yard game winner as time expired with a 56-yard punt return. Three explosive, game-changing plays via three different means in a span of one quarter.
I can't go that far back & without using Google, but I know Jimmy Clausen tore Hawaii up in the bowl game a few years ago.
(Post by Leppycole in a duplicate thread)
Julius Jones 262 vs Pitt
Sapp.Jason@synthes.com - https://twitter.com/Jason_Sapp
If winning the game doesn't matter, it's hard to overlook Joe Theismann's 526 yards passing against USC in the 1970 game.
Ron Powlus after his collarbone healed and almost 2 years of not playing, even though I wanted McDougal, he throws for almost 300 yards , 4 td's against Northwestern. And a big thanks to Lake Dawson for moving to flanker and allowing Derrick Mayes to shine. In the loss to B.C. in '93 he had 24 receptions for 500 yards and 2 td's. How about one of my favorite qb's Kevin McDougal, in his 2nd career start thanks to that broken Powlus collarbone he goes and leads the Irish in a upset over #2 UM and has another great gameagainst FSU. Bryant Young had an outstanding 94 Cotton Bowl over Texas A&M with nine tackles and a sack.
2 time POTW winner on some dates I can't remember from 2yrs ago at BNG,
POTW: 1/3/11- 1/9/11, 6/20/11-6/26/11
Reggie Brooks USC 92, where he would have broken Gipp's YPC record, but for a holding call.
Also, Bettis in the Sugar Bowl vs. Florida.
I will never forget Zorich in the 1991 Orange Bowl. Thinking of that gives me goosebumps. Unbelievable!!!
I remember reading a story about Elmer Layden, one of the Four Horsemen and his performance in the 1925 Rose Bowl game against Stanford always stood out to me. He scored a rushing touchdown, and had 2 interceptions, both returned for 70+ yard touchdowns.
This post was edited by CarterND 23 months ago
Rocket against Mich. in 1989, the Tim Brown game against USC in 1986, and the Jariuos Jackson game against Oklahoma in 1999 came to my mind first.
Two time Poster of The Week, 2011 and 2013.
In that 1925 Rose Bowl victory over Stanford (27-10) that won the Irish their first consensus national title, Elmer Layden had one of the greatest offense/defense/special teams performances in college football history:
• On offense, the fullback in the Four Horseman attack put ND in the lead for good (6-3) with a three-yard touchdown run.
• On defense, he had two interceptions that he returned for 70- and 78-yard touchdowns. He also was part of a goal-line stand that stopped All-American Ernie Nevers at the goal line when Notre Dame was holding on to a 20-10 lead.
• On special teams, he averaged 48.5 yards per punt and repeatedly bottled up Stanford deep in its territory. One of his deep punts was fumbled — resulting in a TD return by the Irish.
That Reggie Brooks performance (19 carries, 227 yards, 3 TDs) was even more incredible when you consider he suffered food poisoning from the night before and got sick on the sidelines several times. It was like Michael Jordan's performance in finals against Utah where he basically had to be helped back to the sidelines by teammates. It was mind-boggling what he did in that game.
I remember thinking during the game that Zorich's performance was one of the best I'd ever seen by a defensive lineman here, which was saying a lot. It was his last game and he received the MVP trophy in the game, and he called his mother to inform her of the award and to express the sadness of the loss and knowing it was his last game at ND.
The next day, as he went home to Chicago, he found his mother deceased at home. He later would say that maybe the reason he played so well in that game was because there was almost a subconscious feeling that it would be dedicated to her memory.
Thanks Lou, that is even more amazing than I remember originally reading about.
Bob Crable's 26 tackles against Clemson in '79 is another incredible performance that shouldn't be overlooked seeing how it's a record still held today.
Crable tied the ND record set by Bob Golic a year earlier against Michigan. Unfortunately, both were home games that ended in losses. Same with the 21 tackles recorded by Manti Te'o in the 37-14 loss to Stanford in 2010. There is no intent to marginalize such efforts, but it just doesn't seem to mean as much in defeat.
My leader board would have George Gipp against unbeaten Army in 1920. The Irish trailed 17-14 at halftime but he led them back in the second half for a 27-17 victory. He carried 20 times for 150 yards, completed 5 of 9 passes for 123 yards and a TD, and had 207 yards in kick and punt returns for a total of 480 all-purpose yards (kind of like Denard Robinson the last two years against ND).
Oh, he also kicked three extra points, averaged 43 yards on his three punts and played defense.
I might have to go with Kevin McDougal in 1993 vs BC.
I do not know exactly what the stats were. But behind 3 TDs, he engineered 3 TD drives in 9 plus minutes, two of them almost exclusively by the air which included both a succesful 2 pt conversion where he was the receptor of a Lee Becton pass. And of course the clutch beyond clutch pass on 4th and 4 to Lake Dawson with Mike Mamula breathing down his neck.
But I think what puts it on top of maybe my #2(Tony Rice vs WVU in 1988 Fiesta Bowl. 250 yards passing on like 7 of 11 and probably close to 100 rushing in a NC win) was his post game interview after the most crushing defeat of the year/his career/every ND fan. I wont soon forget how incredibly gracious he was in defeat and so quickly handed BC all the credit and didnt allow for any self gratification. A true champion he was.
Maurice Stovall in 2005 vs byu was awesome had for TD receptions in that game, Jones in 03 against pitt breaking the ND rushing mark was awesome to!
6-Time POTW Winner, 4 time at BGI and 2 at 24/7
Had we won, I would agree with you and put that one in my top 5. I agree with Lou, if you play great and lose, who cares.
A rather unsung, yet very effective performance, was that turned in
by Tony Rice in the Fiesta Bowl for ND's last national championship.
Rice was 7 for 11 passing (64% completion) for 213 yards and rushed
for 75 yards, for total offense of 288 yards. He was named offensive
player of the game. Tony did guide an extraordinarily talented team
that was, for that year peaking, but nonetheless, his performance should
I'll go to penalty box and feel shame!
Was there for that, hard to disagree
Gringo Mafia VP of Guinness Intake, once drank Guinness under the table while drinking Guinness with Guinness! POTW 12/24/12 and 7/8/13
Sorry, meant JJ's Pitt game
Certainly not the greatest performance, but perhaps the most unrivaled:
Paul Hornung vs. North Carolina, 1956.
Hornung scored all of ND's points.
Final Score: Hornung 21 -- North Carolina 14 -- ND's offense minus Hornung 0.
Has anyone done that since?
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