Preview: Notre Dame vs. Army (at Yankee Stadium)
Compiled by CFP Staff
from Notre Dame and Army weekly releases and personal research
Notre Dame and Army met 21 times between 1925 and 1946 at the original Yankee Stadium, and again in 1969 when they celebrated college football's 100th year of existence. Now, the Fighting Irish and Cadets are poised to meet in the first football game to be played at the new Yankee Stadium in The Bronx.
While Notre Dame and Army have met on 49 previous occasions, the heyday of the rivalry came in the mid-1940s. Over four straight seasons from 1943 through 1946, both Notre Dame and Army came into their Yankee Stadium matchup ranked fifth or higher in that week's Associated Press poll.
The Irish came into the '43 game ranked number one, then Army brought the top ranking into the contest in '44, '45 and '46. Top-ranked Notre Dame defeated No. 3 Army 26-0 in '43. Top-rated Army vanquished No. 5 Notre Dame 59-0 in '44 and No. 2 Notre Dame 48-0 in '45.
Then, in '46, came the famous 0-0 tie between No. 1 Army and No. 2 Notre Dame - made legendary by John Lujack's well-chronicled saving tackle of Cadet star running back Doc Blanchard late in the game.
In the 1940s alone, Notre Dame claimed consensus national titles in '43, '46, '47 and '49 - while Army won national titles in '44 and '45.
In that same decade of the '40s, Notre Dame produced three Heisman Trophy winners in Angelo Bertelli ('43), Lujack ('47) and Leon Hart ('49), while Army produced two in Blanchard ('45) and Glenn Davis ('46).
The Notre Dame-Army matchups at New York's Yankee Stadium had much to do with creating the term "subway alumni" for Notre Dame alumni and fans that utilized that mode of transportation to attend the games.
Notre Dame leads the all-time series with Army 37-8-4 - including a 14-5-3 record at the original Yankee Stadium. Previous Yankee Stadium games between the Irish and Cadets came in 1925-29, 1931-46, and 1969.
This is the first meeting between the two schools overall since 2006, a 41-9 Notre Dame victory. Over the last 16 meetings, the Irish are 15-0-1 with the aforementioned famed 1946 tie.
Army carries a 6-4 record into this game and is already eligible to appear in its first bowl game since 1996, and only its 5th all-time. But the Black Knights would surely love to end their season with back-to-back victories in New York and Philadelphia over their two biggest historical rivals, Notre Dame and Navy (December 11th).
Meanwhile, Notre Dame is 5-5 and in need of one more victory to become bowl eligible. The Irish conclude the season at USC next week.
Notre Dame has lost both its No. 1 QB, Dayne Crist, and No. 1 RB, Armando Allen, for the season. Allen underwent season-ending surgery on a hip flexor. He leads the Irish in rushing with 514 yards on 107 carries and two touchdowns. Crist, who was lost for the season with a torn patella tendon just seven plays into the game against Tulsa, had thrown for 2,033 yards and 15 touchdowns prior to the injury.
Freshman Tommy Rees got his first start at QB last week against Utah, but played most of the game in the loss to Tulsa. Sophomore Cierre Wood has been the featured RB for the last two games.
Army features the nation's 8th-ranked rushing attack and 29th-best overall defense.
Notre Dame ranks 66th in rushing defense and total defense, but is coming off one of its best games of the season in that respect, a 28-3 smackdown of Utah.
The game will be broadcast on NBC beginning at 7:00 p.m. eastern with kick-off set for 7:30 p.m. eastern.