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September 13th Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day: Clemson and Notre Dame

Clemson and Notre Dame

(Photos Uploaded By Tim Bourret)

Today’s photos and recap will focus on the entry of Notre Dame into the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The picture above is from the 1977 Notre Dame vs. Clemson game and shows Steve Fuller running the ball against the Irish defense and #94, Willie Fry.

The 1977 game was probably the most famous meeting between the two schools in any sport and took place on November 12, 1977 in Death Valley. A fifth-ranked Notre Dame football team, led by Joe Montana, defeated a 15th-ranked Clemson team led by Steve Fuller, 21-17. Notre Dame went on to win the National Championship. Thirty-six players in that game went on to play in the NFL.

The above photo shows Steve Fuller throwing a pass in the 1977 game with #71 Joe Bostic blocking and #74 for Notre Dame (Jeff Weston) trying to bat the ball down.

The next photo shows Clemson quarterback Billy Lott rolling out to pass in South Bend in 1979. After falling to Notre Dame in Clemson during the 1977 season, Clemson came back to win at Notre Dame two years later, 16-10.

It was just the second time in the last 40 years (1940-79) that Notre Dame's seniors lost their last home game. Billy Lott scored a touchdown late in the game to give Clemson the win and overcome a 10-0 deficit.

Notre Dame holds an 18-8 advantage in all sports, including a 2-1 Notre Dame win in men’s soccer earlier this year.

The two schools have met the most times in women’s tennis, 10 times, including the 2009 NCAA Tournament. The two schools have met in eight sports overall: football (1-1) , women's fencing (0-3) , men's fencing (0-2) , wrestling (2-0), women's tennis (2-8), baseball (0-1), Men’s soccer (2-1) and volleyball (1-2). Clemson no longer has a men's or women's fencing team.

Both Clemson and Notre Dame no longer have a wrestling program. The two schools have never met in men’s or women’s basketball.

Dabo Swinney on Notre Dame Joining the ACC
“This is a real positive for the ACC. It is a compliment to our league that a school of Notre Dame’s stature, a school that had so many choices, selected the ACC. “From a football standpoint, playing five games against ACC teams is a positive. It enhances the league’s exposure every time you play Notre Dame. You can see where it helps Notre Dame football as well when it comes to bowl opportunities and scheduling. There are no negatives in this.”

Statement from University of Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly
“Today is a great day for the University of Notre Dame and our athletics department, including the football program. Speaking strictly from a football standpoint, we have further solidified our future as an independent in college football, maintained our unique ability to schedule nationally and greatly improved our postseason bowl game options. I applaud Father Jenkins and Jack Swarbrick for this move. They have set our entire athletics department up for great success in the future.”

Athletic Director Terry Don Phillips on Notre Dame Joining the ACC
“This is a great addition to the ACC and credit must go to Commissioner John Swofford and the ACC Presidents, especially Jim Barker, who was significantly involved in this process. “We appreciate the tradition and heritage of Notre Dame in all sports. They have one of the best all-around athletic programs in the nation. We look forward to their teams coming to Clemson, in particular when they come to Death Valley.”

Head Coach Brad Brownell
“This is certainly another great step for the conference. Notre Dame is a premier academic and athletic institution that clearly fits the model we have in the ACC. “In terms of basketball, it’s another feather in the cap of the league. We’ve added another program that is really strong in basketball. They have a national reputation and tradition. It solidifies the fact that the ACC has become the premier league in college basketball. Mike Brey is an outstanding coach who does things the right way. He’s stayed the course at Notre Dame and built a tremendous program. His program has sustained consistent success, which is something we all strive to do. “It will be interesting to see if the addition of Notre Dame opens up avenues in recruiting to the Midwest. I believe we will be able to recruit even more in the Chicago area and in the state of Indiana, places where Notre Dame obviously has a strong name. Most importantly, Notre Dame’s addition is going to bring more exposure of the ACC to those parts of the country due to the television package.”

Notre Dame’s Press Release on entering the ACC:

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(Note: If you have old pictures dating before 1990 that are Clemson related and you would like to share them, send them to me in an email with as much information about the picture as you can give and I will use it for a future “Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day”).

Scott Rhymer can be reached at

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