|1977 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football|
Consensus national champion
Cotton Bowl champion
|Head coach||Dan Devine (3rd season)|
|Offensive coordinator||Merv Johnson (3rd season)|
|Offensive scheme||Pro set|
|Defensive coordinator||Joe Yonto|
|Home stadium||Notre Dame Stadium|
|1977 NCAA Division I Independents football records|
|No. 1 Notre Dame||–||–||11||–||1||–||0|
|No. 5 Penn State||–||–||11||–||1||–||0|
|No. 16 San Diego State||–||–||10||–||1||–||0|
|No. 14 Florida State||–||–||10||–||2||–||0|
|North Texas State||–||–||10||–||1||–||0*|
|No. 8 Pittsburgh||–||–||9||–||2||–||1|
|William & Mary||–||–||6||–||5||–||0|
Rankings from AP Poll
The 1977 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team represented the University of Notre Dame during the 1977 NCAA Division I football season. The Irish, coached by Dan Devine, ended the season with 11 wins and one loss, winning the national championship. The Fighting Irish won the title by defeating the previously unbeaten and No. 1 ranked Texas Longhorns in the Cotton Bowl Classic by a score of a 38–10. The 1977 squad became the tenth Irish team to win the national title and were led by All-Americans Ken MacAfee, Ross Browner, Luther Bradley, and Bob Golic. Junior Joe Montana, a future Pro Football Hall of Famer, was the team's starting quarterback.
Dan Devine entered his third year as head coach, coming off of a 9–3 season in 1976 that culminated in a Gator Bowl win over Penn State . Devine returned a highly touted defense, featuring 1976 Outland Trophy winner Ross Browner, defensive end Willie Fry, and All-American linebacker Bob Golic. On offense, quarterback Joe Montana earned the starting job and led an offense that included running backs Jerome Heavens and Vagas Ferguson and All-American tight end Ken MacAfee. Montana, earned a reputation as "the comeback kid", had two come from behind victories in the fourth quarter, against Purdue and Clemson, down 17 and 10 respectively. After a surprising loss to unranked Ole Miss, patience among the fans was running thin, who considered Devine's previous 8–3 and 9–3 seasons as lackluster compared to the team success under Devine's predecessor, Ara Parseghian. The Irish rebounded to win their remaining games, including a 49–19 rout of USC in the now famous "Green Jersey Game." The Irish earned a berth in the Cotton Bowl Classic, where they defeated No. 1 and unbeaten Texas by a score of 38–10 to capture Notre Dame's tenth national title. The Irish leaped four spots in the polls after the Cotton Bowl Classic victory to claim the consensus title.
|September 10||3:50 p.m.||at No. 7 Pittsburgh||No. 3||ABC||W 19–9||56,500|
|September 17||2:30 p.m.||vs. Ole Miss||No. 3||L 13–20||48,200|
|September 24||2:30 p.m.||at Purdue||No. 11||W 31–24||68,966|
|October 1||2:30 p.m.||Michigan State||No. 14||W 16–6||59,075|
|October 15||1:30 p.m.||vs. Army||No. 11||W 24–0||72,594|
|October 22||1:50 p.m.||No. 5 USC||No. 11||ABC||W 49–19||59,075|
|October 29||2:30 p.m.||Navy||No. 5||W 43–10||59,075|
|November 5||1:30 p.m.||Georgia Tech||No. 5||W 69–14||59,075|
|November 12||1:30 p.m.||at No. 15 Clemson||No. 5||W 21–17||54,189|
|November 19||1:30 p.m.||Air Force||No. 6||W 49–0||59,075|
|December 3||8:00 p.m.||at Miami||No. 5||W 48–10||35,789|
|January 2, 1978||2:00 p.m.||vs. No. 1 Texas||No. 5||CBS||W 38–10||76,701|
Ole Miss gave the eventual national champion Notre Dame its only loss of the season.
- ND: Jerome Heavens 34 Rush, 200 Yds (single game school record - Sitko 1948 vs. Michigan St)
Notre Dame wore green jerseys for the first time since their 1963 game against Syracuse.
Notre Dame wore green jerseys for the second straight week.
|1977 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team roster|
Heisman Trophy voting
|† Ross Browner, DE||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1|
|† Ken MacAfee, TE||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1|
|‡ Luther Bradley, DB||2||1||2||1||1||1|
|Ernie Hughes, G||2||2|
|Bob Golic, MG (MLB)||2||2||2|
|Willie Fry, DE||2|
|Ted Bergmeier, DB||2|
|†denotes unanimous selection|
‡denotes consensus selection Source:
College Football Hall of Fame inductees
|Ross Browner||Defensive end||1999|
|Ken MacAfee||Tight end||1997|
1978 NFL Draft
|Ken MacAfee||Tight end||1(7)||7||San Francisco 49ers|
|Ross Browner||Defensive end||1(8)||8||Cincinnati Bengals|
|Luther Bradley||Defensive back||1(11)||11||Detroit Lions|
|Willie Fry||Defensive end||2(23)||49||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Ernie Hughes||Guard||3(23)||79||San Francisco 49ers|
|Ted Burgmeier||Defensive back||5(1)||111||Miami Dolphins|
|Steve McDaniels||Tackle||9(27)||249||San Francisco 49ers|
|Doug Becker||Linebacker||10(18)||268||Pittsburgh Steelers|
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- Walters, John (July 21, 2004). Notre Dame Golden Moments. Rutledge Hill Press. ISBN 1-59186-042-3.
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- "Irish looking to Heavens: He responds with record." Eugene Register-Guard. 1977 Oct 16. Retrieved 2017-Sep-02.
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- "Irish wear green and don't need it, 43-10." Eugene Register-Guard. October 30, 1977.
- Palm Beach Post. December 4, 1977. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
- 2012 Notre Dame Football Supplement Retrieved 2017-Sep-03.
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- "Walter Camp Football Foundation Awards (Page 3)". The Walter Camp Foundation. Archived from the original on February 4, 2010. Retrieved December 30, 2008.
- "Heisman Voting". und.cstv.com. Archived from the original on December 17, 2008. Retrieved December 30, 2008.
- "Hall of Fame: Select group by school". College Football Hall of Fame. Football Foundation. Retrieved December 30, 2008.
- "Notre Dame NFL Draft History". uhnd.com. Archived from the original on January 6, 2009. Retrieved December 30, 2008.