Army-Notre Dame rivalry historic

It's one of the most storied rivalries in all of college football: Army vs. Notre Dame. Both schools are loaded with tradition. Notre Dame has Touchdown Jesus, The Golden Dome, Rudy and Joe Montana. Army has it's Davis, Blanchard, Dawkins, Michie Stadium and three straight national titles (1944-46).

So it's fitting that Army and Notre Dame will renew its rivalry this season - on Nov. 18 in South Bend, Ill.

The Fighting Irish lead the all-time series 36-8-4. Army has lost 12 in a row to Notre Dame with its last win coming in 1958.

Army played the Irish tight in their last meeting in 1998. A career-long 48-yard field goal by Jim Sanson with 1:06 remaining gave No. 18 Notre Dame – a 25-point favorite – a 20-17 win in South Bend. In 1995, the Fighting Irish beat Army 28-27 at the Meadowlands when a two-point conversion with 39 seconds by the Black Knights failed.

Expect Notre Dame to be heavily favored this year. The Irish could compete for the national championship this season. Notre Dame, which finished 9-3 last year and lost to Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl, returns star quarterback Brady Quinn and wide receiver Jeff Samardzija.

Still, no matter where the programs are, Army vs. Notre Dame always seems to be a treat. The teams' meeting on Nov. 9, 1946 at Yankee Stadium is still regarded as one of the best games in college football history. That's saying a lot, considering it ended in a 0-0 tie.

Both Army and Notre Dame entered undefeated. The Black Knights were the two-time defending national champion and had beaten Notre Dame 48-0 and 59-0 the previous two years. The game featured four current or eventual Heisman Trophy winner, three current or eventual Outland Trophy winners and 23 current or eventual All-Americans. Notre Dame's Johnny Lujack made a diving touchdown and game-saving tackle of Felix 'Doc' Blanchard. Both won Heisman Trophies. Army finished the year 9-0-1 and Notre Dame was 8-0-1. They shared the national championship, but Notre Dame took home the AP vote.

"My general feeling is that you have to beat up the champ, like in boxing," said former Army star offensive lineman Joe Steffy, who played in the 0-0 Notre Dame game. "Notre Dame didn't do that. So I think we should have been the only champs. But it doesn't bother me too much." Maybe Army can get Notre Dame back on Nov. 18. Wouldn't that be something.

Extra points: This season marks the 60th anniversary of Army's run to a third straight national title. "It seems like just yesterday in many ways," Steffy said. "But 60 years is a long time. It wears on you." ... Let's not forget another important anniversary: Army recorded its last winning season (10-2) in 1996, losing to Auburn in the Independence Bowl ... The Black Knights open preseason camp on Sunday.


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