September 15, 1975 - Devine's First Game

By IrishTrpt07 & Olson

In 1975, the NFL season didn't start until September 21, and there were 2 Mondays between Labor Day and the start of NFL season. So ABC had 2 Monday night college games -- Missouri at Alabama (the Tigers won in a colossal upset, Bama's first regular season loss since 1972 and its second since 1970) and ND vs. BC in Foxboro. It was Devine's first game at ND. The game was originally scheduled for the preceding Saturday, September 13, so it meant ND had 2 road games in just 5 days. Fortunately, the defense didn't allow a TD in either and ND beat BC 17-3 and Purdue 17-0.

Jim Browner gained over 100 yards that game, which also was the first game of his freshman year.

Update from Olson:

It was the second earliest start ever to a Notre Dame football season (up to that point in ND football history). The earliest start to an ND season had been the year before (9/9/74)- when ND had agreed to move up their Georgia Tech game from 11/9 to 9/9 for Monday night National TV. For the second straight year in 1975, the Irish would be appearing on a Monday night National TV game. This time vs Boston College.

This would be Dan Devine's first game ever at Notre Dame Head Coach. It was also the first football game ever between ND and Boston College. The contest was held in Schaefer Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. in front of the largest crowd to ever to witness a Boston College 'home' football game.

There were many new faces in the Irish opening lineup:

Devine had 5 suspended players back whom had missed the previous season: starters Ross Browner DE, Willie Fry DE, Luther Bradley CB, Al Hunter HB and reserve HB Danny Knott

Both starting DEs from the '74 season were moved to new positions in '75 to allow R Browner and Fry to start: Steve Niehaus to DT and Jim Stock to OLB

Two Freshmen started their first games: Jim Browner Fullback and Bob Golic Middle Linebacker. Another frosh-Fullback Jerome Heavens backed up Browner.

Later in the season yet another frosh- Joe Restic would take over at Punter-but for this first game, Tony Brantley punted and Restic remained a QB on the JV squad.

Rick Slager replaced the graduated Tom Clements at QB. The second team QB- Joe Montana dnp vs BC. Joe's first appearance would come the next week vs Purdue (his 1st ever ND pass would be intercepted)

Steve Quehl would comeback from a serious accident prior to the '74 season to win the starting center job in 1975

2 sophomores would also win starting assignments after position switches: Ted Burgmeier would start at split end after playing free safety as a frosh, and Ernie Hughes started at guard after playing DE in '74.

Projected HB starter Art Best had transferred to Kent State, leaving the halfback jobs to Mark McLane and Al Hunter.

Luther Bradley also started at a new position upon his return from suspension-moving from strong safety to cornerback.

The Game

The 1st Q was a punting contest. BC began a drive late in the 1st Q that stalled as the 2nd Q began at the ND 23 (losing the ball on downs). Finally, Irish HB Mark McLane got things going with a 41 yd run. ND got to the BC 9, but an Slager sack & delay of game penalty forced the Irish to settle for a Dave Reeve FB. ND 3 BC 0

After yet another exchange of punts, BC drove to the ND 28. With 11 seconds left in the half, BC's Fred Steinfort hit a 45 yd FG. HALF ND 3 BC 3

ND had 133 yds of offense in the 1st half-but only 3 yds passing. Frosh Jim Browner had over 50 yds from his fullback position and McLane had that 41 yd run to account for around a third of the Irish offense. BC had 131 yds-the first half was pretty evenly played

2nd Half

The half started off evenly two-both teams punted; followed by both teams fumbling. ND Frosh Jerome Heavens fumbled at the Irish 37. But BC fumbled 2 plays later-with DE Ross Browner recovering at the 40. From there, Irish QB Slager took the Irish on a 60 yd drive. First Slager hit Al Hunter with an 18 yd pass completion, followed by a 11 yd completion to SE Ted Burgmeier. Jim Browner then caught a 12 yd pass from Slager. This all led to a 10 yd TD run from Browner. ND 10 BC 3

Towards the end of the 3rd Q, ND's Randy Harrison intercepted a BC pass. This set up an final Irish TD just as the 4th Q started-Rich Slager pitching out to HB Al Hunter for a 24 yd TD run. ND 17 BC 3

The Irish defense took over from there, with BC failing to cross the ND 49 yd line the rest of the game. Slager finished with 72 yds passing (7 of 12) and frosh Jim Browner was the leading rusher with 95 yds on 24 carries. ND had 314 yds of offense, while BC ended with 207 (107 of which came from RB Glen Capriola (15 rushes for 107 yds)

                   1 2 3 4   F
#9 Notre Dame      0 3 7 7  17
   Boston College  0 3 0 0   3

5 days later, the Irish played Purdue-once again on the road.

Keywords: football, dan devine, boston college, purdue, jim browner, georgia tech, foxboro, ross browner, willie fry, luther bradley, al hunter, danny knott, steve niehaus, jim stock, bob golic, jim browner, jerome heavens, joe restic, tony brantley, rick slager, tom clements, joe montana, steve quehl, ted burgmeier, ernie hughes, art best, mark mclane, randy harrison

Posted On: 2014-01-17 00:15:03 by IrishTrpt07 & Olson
Edited On: 2014-11-04 07:03:27 by IrishTrpt07


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