January 1, 1979 - The Chicken Soup Game


Following the 1977 Championship, Notre Dame lost their first two games of the 1978 season, then won eight in a row, and lost the season finale to Southern Cal. Dan Devine and Joe Montana would travel to the Cotton Bowl to play the University of Houston. Notre Dame was ranked #10 and Houston was ranked #9. The night before the game was one of the worst ice storms in Dallas over the last thirty years. In what would be Montana's last game, it was unusually cold leading up to kickoff.

Notre Dame would score the first 12 points of the game but then Houston scored a touchdown off of a turnover and the score was ND 12-7. When the teams changed sides of the field in the second quarter, the wind assisted Houston in taking the lead 20-12 at halftime.

When the teams returned after halftime, Joe Montana was no where to be found on the field. He stayed in the locker battling a body temperature of 96 degrees and fighting off hypothermia. The medical staff was feeding Montana chicken bouillon and covering him with blankets. Meanwhile, Houston scored another pair of touchdowns and led 34-12 after scoring thirty-four straight unanswered points. Montana would return to the game in the fourth quarter with 7:37 remaining in the game and the Irish trailing 34-12. The "Comeback Kid" began working his magic and Notre Dame trailed 34-28 in the final minute. Montana threw the ball out of bounds with 0:02 remaining. The next play as time expired Montana hit Kris Haines with the game tieing touchdown pass. Kicker Joe Unis successfully made the extra point attempt but a penalty resulted in the try being attempted a second time. The second kick by Unis was also good and Notre Dame won the game 35-34.


            1  2  3  4     
Houston     7 13 14  0 - 34
Notre Dame 12  0  0 23 - 35



Keywords: football, cotton bowl, houston, chicken soup game, joe montana, southern cal, dan devine, comeback kid, kris haines, joe unis

Posted On: 2012-01-01 03:15:00 by IrishTrpt07

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