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.