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The 1928 Army-Notre Dame game was famous for Rockne, by then the Irish coach, urging his team to win one for the Gipper at halftime.

Notre Dame dominated the rivalry for years, but in 1944 and ‘45, with Leahy and many of Notre Dame’s top players serving in the military, Army had its way with the Irish, winning 59-0 and 48-0.

Army came into the ‘46 game having won 25 straight with maybe the most famous backfield in the history of the college football. Doc Blanchard (Mr. Inside) had won the Heisman in 1945 and Glenn Davis (Mr. Outside) went on to win the Heisman in ‘46.

“The difficulty I had as a quarterback was deciding which one of those Heisman Trophy winners to give the ball to,” former Army quarterback Arnold Tucker, a college football Hall of Famer himself, said in a telephone interview from his Miami home.

Notre Dame had welcomed back Leahy from the Navy. The coach had done some recruiting while in the service and among the players he brought to South Bend, Ind., was George Connor, a transfer from Holy Cross who went on to become the first Outland Trophy winner as the nation’s top lineman in ‘46.

Johnny Lujack also returned to Notre Dame in 1946 after two years in the service. In 1947, he won the Heisman. The 1949 Heisman winner, end Leon Hart, was a freshman.

Both teams had romped through the competition on their way to Yankee Stadium. Army won its seven games by a combined 296-34. Notre Dame outscored its five opponents 177-18.

The Notre Dame faithful knew they had a team that could end Army’s reign. Students sent postcards to Blaik and signed them SPATNC _ Society to Prevent Army’s Third National Championship.

The sun was peeking through the clouds at kickoff that chilly fall day in the Bronx. As the radio announcer said, “You couldn’t get another person in here with a shoehorn.”

The game quickly developed into a defensive struggle.

“I called for a play for Blanchard to run sort of off-tackle to the left and usually he’d plow right along with that … he got thrown for losses,” Tucker said. “(The Irish) were out there waiting for us.”

Both coaches were cautious _ though in one case, maybe not cautious enough.

Notre Dame’s best scoring chance came in the second quarter after Lujack led a long drive to the Army 4. On fourth-and-2, Leahy, who equated field goals with failure, called for a running play and Bill Gompers was stopped short.

“I wish when we were down near the goal line we maybe should have kicked a field goal,” Lujack said.

At a time when almost everybody played both ways, Lujack was intercepted three times by Tucker that day.

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