Nov 6, 2012, 4:35 PM EDT
It’s a series regarded by many as the “Holy War,” a meeting between the only two Catholic universities in the FBS and a pair of institutions often compared to one another. Many students apply to both schools, but truthfully, there might not be as much in common between Notre Dame and Boston College as often assumed.
However, the schools do share some similarities, as well as a history of exciting football games.
Before he became a legendary head coach of the Fighting Irish, Frank Leahy spent two seasons in Chestnut Hill, guiding the Eagles to a 20-2 record. In 1941, Leahy returned to South Bend, where he led his alma mater to four national championships in 11 seasons.
Leahy’s connection to the two universities remains present in the series today. The Notre Dame Club of Boston presents the winner of the game with the Frank Leahy Memorial Bowl.
On an unrelated, but interesting note, Boston College’s current president shares a last name with the former Notre Dame coach. Father William P. Leahy, S.J. became the university’s 25th president in 1996.
In addition to the Leahy Bowl, Notre Dame’s student government also presents the Ireland Trophy, a symbol of sportsmanship and friendly competition.
The Fighting Irish hold a 12-9 advantage in the series that dates back to 1975, when the teams met in Foxboro, Mass. Notre Dame won, 17-3, in the first game of the Dan Devine era.
Eight years later, the squads met in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn. Behind 111 rushing yards and two touchdowns from Allen Pinkett, head coach Gerry Faust‘s team knocked off the 13th-ranked Eagles, 19-18.
The series gained momentum in the 1990’s, when the teams met for thirteen consecutive years between 1992-2004. To the heartbreak of Notre Dame fans, the most notable contests came in 1993 and 2002, which, prior to this season, were also the past two occasions in which the Fighting Irish were undefeated this late into the season.
In each of those games, Boston College shocked Notre Dame at home. Before the 14-point comeback against Pittsburgh this past Saturday, it seemed as though the Panthers would join the Eagles in playing the spoiler role.
In 1998, Notre Dame’s Autry Denson ran for 128 yards and two touchdowns, but it was Deke Cooper who stopped the Eagles’ Mike Cloud on fourth-and-goal from the one yard line, to seal a 31-26 victory. That game was featured in today’s 125 project moment.
Last season, the Fighting Irish won a hard-fought game on Senior Day, 16-14. Relive it in episode 25 of Irish Connection.
This weekend, Notre Dame looks to move one step closer to fulfilling its BCS dreams. On the other hand, you can bet the Eagles’ coaching staff is reminding its players about ’93 and ’02, as they seek to end another perfect Irish run.
Catch the game on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 8 pm ET on ABC.
About Strong and True
ND Football on YouTube
- RT @CoachBrianKelly: #WeAreND 1 hour ago
- Not a bad day when an NFL All-Pro alum comes back to talk with your guys. Keep doin' your thing with the… twitter.com/i/web/status/8… 6 hours ago
- Burst. Hops. Heart. Cole Luke showed out at our Pro Day prior to the 2017 NFL Draft. #NDintheNFL https://t.co/RXVSuqe8qj 1 day ago
- RT @NDFootball: 24 Reps at 225lbs. 36" Vert. No Linebacker accomplished both those feats at the NFL Combine. James Onwualu did at our Pro… 1 day ago
- RT @dalex3333: We can never have enough great players take the field on game day. Recruiting never stops! We want the best of the best. Who… 1 day ago
- Track. Aragon Finishes Seventh at Raleigh Relays
- Baseball. Sunday Brunch: Nussbaum Still Makes Plays
- Swimming & Diving. No. 19 Notre Dame Earns Highest NCAA Championship Point Total, Finish in School History
- M. Lacrosse. Replay: Irish Roll Past Buckeyes
- Fencing. Notre Dame Strengthens Lead After Day 3 At NCAA Fencing Championships
- Fencing. Irish Increase Lead At NCAA Championship
- Baseball. Bass Strong As Irish Fall To Seminoles
- Softball. Irish Fire On All Cylinders To VT Series Sweep
- M. Ice Hockey. Irish Rally Past No. 1 Seed Minnesota, 3-2
- M. Lacrosse. Irish Hand Buckeyes First Defeat Of Season In 12-7 Victory