Notre Dame and Texas will meet Sunday for just the 12th time in their history. Perhaps no meeting between the schools was as momentous as when they faced off in the 1978 Cotton Bowl. The 11–0 Longhorns, champions of the Southwest Conference, sought a victory over the 10–1 Fighting Irish to secure a national title. Instead, Joe Montana, Bob Golic and the Irish pounced on Texas, taking a 24–10 lead into halftime that they built on for a 38–10 win.
Golic and the Notre Dame defense forced six turnovers and kept Heisman Trophy winner Earl Campbell in check, limiting the Longhorns running back to 116 yards on 29 carries with no touchdowns. The Irish's upset left no undefeated teams in college football and boosted Notre Dame to the top of the polls with the help of losses by No. 2 Oklahoma and No. 4 Michigan in their bowl games.
Relive this epic, championship-deciding clash with classic SI photos from the game.
The introduction of new schemes, the clarifying of depth charts, the arrival of future freshmen who could make or break the next season: There’s a lot at stake during spring football, which is serious business across the U.S., but especially in South Bend. Four months after its loss to Clemson in the College Football Playoff semifinal, Notre Dame reconvened to prepare for 2019, taking the field on April 13 for the 90th annual Blue-Gold game. SI photographer Erick W. Rasco spent three days with the team, chronicling the Irish awakening.