Notre Dame

Fighting Irish

Southern Cal

Trojans ©

Played November 25, 1978

at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

Los Angeles, California

  

Teams' Belt Records

Team

Belt

Reigns

Overall

Record

Home

Record

Away

Record

Neutral

Record

W

L

T

PCT

W

L

T

PCT

W

L

T

PCT

W

L

T

PCT

Notre Dame 1 8 2 0 .800 2 1 0 .667 5 1 0 .833 1 0 0 1.000
Southern Cal © 4 17 3 1 .833 8 1 1 .850 7 2 0 .778 2 0 0 1.000

Previous Belt Meetings

10/27/1973

Southern Cal ©

14 11/27/1976 Notre Dame 13
Notre Dame 23

Southern Cal ©

17

 

 

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Final

Notre Dame

3

0

3

19

25

Southern Cal

6

11

7

3

27

An 8-game winning streak brought the 8th ranked, 8-2 Notre Dame Fighting Irish coached by Dan Devine to Los Angeles for their annual showdown with the Southern Cal Trojans of coach John Robinson who stood at 9-1, ranked 3rd nationally.  Southern Cal dominated the first three quarters behind All-American RB Charles White’s 205 yards rushing but had to get a field goal from PK Frank Jordan with 0:02 to play to retain The Belt with a 27-25 victory.  Late in the 1st quarter, Southern Cal drove 55 yards in 5 plays with QB Paul McDonald throwing a 30-yard touchdown pass to All-Pac 10 WR Kevin Williams.  The missed extra point attempt left the Trojans leading 6-0.  Notre Dame's PK Joe Unis kicked a 47-yard field goal & the Fighting Irish trailed 6-3 entering the 2nd quarter.  The Trojans responded with a 6-play, 75-yard drive with McDonald throwing a 35-yard touchdown pass to WR Dan Garcia.  The successful 2-point conversion gave Southern Cal a 14-3 lead.  Jordan kicked a 39-yard field goal pushing the lead to 17-3 at the intermission.  Notre Dame opened the 3rd quarter by driving 80 yards to the Southern Cal 9-yard line but had to settle for a 26-yard field goal from Unis & the Fighting Irish still trailed 17-6.  White’s 1-yard touchdown run came with 7:38 left in the 3rd quarter & neither team was able to score again in the quarter.  Leading 24-6, the Trojans were trying to complete a 96-yard scoring drive but when Jordan missed a short field goal attempt, Notre Dame seemed to be revitalized & Southern Cal's defense had to hold against the comeback heroics of Fighting Irish's QB Joe Montana.  Montana threw a 57-yard touchdown pass to WR Kris Haines with 12:26 left in the game to get the comeback started.  Getting the ball back at his own 2-yard line, Montana led a 98-yard drive, with 4 completions to Haines before RB Pete Buchanon's 1-yard touchdown run coming with 3:01 to play.  With 0:46 to play, Montana threw his 2nd touchdown pass, this one a 2-yard pass to WR Pete Holohan, to give the Irish the lead 25-24.  McDonald now took his shot at leading a comeback.  The effort was almost stopped on the second play of the drive when an apparent fumble by McDonald was recovered by Notre Dame's DT Jeff Weston but the miscue was ruled an incomplete pass by referee Paul Kamanski instead.  McDonald moved the Trojans 70 yards in 5 plays to get into field goal range as time ran down before Jordan connected on a 37-yard field goal with 0:02 left to seal a 27-25 victory.  McDonald finished with 281 yards passing with 2 touchdowns but an interception while WR Calvin Sweeney had 5 catches for 105 yards.  Montana had 358 yards passing with 2 touchdowns as well as an interception & Haines had 9 catches for 179 yards with his touchdown.  The win gave Southern Cal both The Belt & the Jeweled Shillelagh.  Southern Cal finished the season 12-1; Pac-10 Champions & ranked 2nd nationally while the Irish finished 9-3, ranked 7th nationally.  Notre Dame would play for The Belt again in 1979.

Notre Dame Game Stats Southern Cal Game Stats
 

Rushing

Att

Yards

TDs

Rushing

Att

Yards

TDs

Vagas Ferguson 11 32 0 Charles White 37 205 1
Jerome Heavens 8 23 0 Lynn Cain 11 53 0
Pete Pallas 2 9 0 Dwight Ford 6 34 0
Pete Buchanan 3 4 0 Kevin Williams 1 -16 0
Joe Montana 10 2 0 Paul McDonald 2 -19 0
Pete Holohan 1 -17 0        
 
Passing Att Comp Int Yards TDs Passing Att Comp Int Yards TDs
Joe Montana 41 20 1 358 2 Paul McDonald 29 17 1 281 2
 

Receiving

Catches

Yards

TDs

Receiving

Catches

Yards

TDs

Kris Haines 9 179 1 Calvin Sweeney 5 105 0
Dean Masztak 4 82 0 Kevin Williams 3 60 1
Pete Holohan 2 48 1 Charles White 4 37 0
Vagas Ferguson 3 39 0 Dan Garcia 1 35 1
Jerome Heavens 2 10 0 Vic Rakhshani 2 30 0
        Dwight Ford 1 9 0
        Lynn Cain 1 5 0

 

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