September 10, 1988 - Reggie Ho kicks Michigan around

Michigan Notre Dame helmets

In the 1988 season opener, Lou Holtz's #13 Notre Dame played host to Bo Schemblecher's #9 Michigan team. Notre Dame was coming off of a three game losing streak to end the 1987 campaign and looking to turn things around, without Heisman winner Tim Brown, in the fifth ever night game at Notre Dame Stadium. The team was obviously fired up and ready to go after waiting around all day; this was apparent in the emotion they showed in the little skirmish that broke out as the Michigan team was leaving the field after warm ups. At this point, Notre Dame was the all time winningest program with a 0.784 win percentage and Michigan was second at 0.741. We'll let CBS set the scene for the game:

Once the game started, the Irish took charge. On Michigan's first possession the defense held them and forced a punt. Ricky Watters (#12) received the punt on his own 19 yard line and ran it back 81 yards for a touchdown to begin the scoring, Notre Dame 6-0. This early touchdown would be the only touchdown Notre Dame would score the entire game. Reggie Ho (#2), the Flyin Hawaiian, would come onto the field to kick the extra point and make the score 7-0. Ho would get to see much more of the field as the game went on. Reggie Ho was the true definition of a student-athlete. He did not have an athletic scholarship and came to Notre Dame in order to become a physician like his father. He was just glad to be able to help the team and excited for the opportunity to play.

Later in the first quarter, Ho would kick his first field goal of the day, a 31 yarder to make the score 10-0. This was the first field goal of his career and the first time many would get to see his prekick ritual. His teammates called it "voodoo" but Ho claims his fingers would get shaky and he'd rather have his arms out to the side out of the way instead of in front of him. On the ensuing kickoff, Michigan would fumble the return and Notre Dame would recover. After the quarter expired and the teams switched end zones, Reggie Ho came out to kick his second field goal on the day. This time from 38 yards. The voodoo worked and Ho was now 2-2 in his career and Notre Dame led 13-0 after fifteen and a half minutes. Michigan would score a 1 yard touchdown before the half ended and the two teams went into the locker rooms with Notre Dame leading 13-7.

In the third quarter, Michigan would make a drive down the field that ultimately ended in a touchdown on a 1 yard run by the quarterback. Michigan now led 14-13. But, it cannot be said they went the entire distance on their own. In today's day and age, this would be unheard of (get it?). The defense would be penalized for too much crowd noise. Yes the play was near the student section, but the noise from the stadium disrupted play and the Michigan quarterback could not hear. After warnings to the captains, a penalty would eventually be assessed. See the video below to watch the sequence of plays.

In the fourth quarter with Michigan leading by a point, Ho would come out for the third field goal of his career, a 26yd attempt. The kick was good, Reggie Ho was still perfect and Notre Dame once again led 16-14. Michigan would not go away though and retook the lead with a 49yd field goal making the score 17-16 with 5:34 remaining. Tony Rice would engineer a 10 play 71 yard drive culminating at the Michigan 9 yard line to get within field goal range. With time winding down, Reggie Ho would trot out for the fourth time on the day to attempt another 26yd field goal. With 1:13 to go in the game, Ho's kick was good. He was perfect on the season 4-4 and he gave Notre Dame the lead a final time 19-17. Mike Gillette of Michigan would attempt a 48 yard field goal with 0:03 remaining, but the kick was no good and the #13 Irish won it 19-17. Reggie Ho was responsible for 13 points, making four field goals of lengths 31yd, 38yd, 26yd and 26yd. Ho was responsible for getting Notre Dame off to a 1-0 start and on its way to a 12-0 season culminating in a National Championship.

Dr HoWhere is he now? Reginald Thomas Ho would go on to become a physician earning his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He lives in the Philadelphia area with his wife and son, while working as a cardiologist at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. At times, patients do recognize him from his success as a member of the 1988 Notre Dame Championship team.

Keywords: football, michigan, night game, reggie ho

Posted On: 2011-09-10 03:15:00 by IrishTrpt07


      Were you there? Have more to add? Leave a comment and let us know!

   Posted By: at 2015-01-12 11:35:57[#1]
There\'s magic in the sound of his name !!!
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