I was afraid this day wouldn’t come this year, but here we are, the Thursday before the first Notre Dame home game. Hallelujah! For the first Throwback Thursday post of the 2020 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football season I am going to take a look at the 2007 Notre Dame vs. Duke football game. It was a 3-9 season that didn’t have too many bright spots in it for head coach Charlie Weis and his golden quarterback Jimmy Clausen, but the Irish avoided having their first winless season at home in 74 years with this win over the Duke Blue Devils on a frosty day in November.
Headed into the 2007 Notre Dame vs. Duke game, the Fighting Irish and the Blue Devils had played each other twice, with each team having a single win:
December 2, 1961: Duke 37 - Notre Dame 13
October 18, 1958: Duke 7 - Notre Dame 9
November 17, 2007, was a typical November day in South Bend, Indiana, with a high temperature of 43 degrees, five mile per hour winds from the east, and light rain. The game kicked off at 3:43 pm, and ended at 6:15 pm, which meant it was dark and everyone was cold and damp by the time the game was over.
Both teams missed field goals in the first quarter (Notre Dame missed a 56-yard attempt, and Duke missed a 68-yard attempt), and made it through the first fifteen minutes with no score on the board. The Fighting Irish managed to get on the board first, in the second quarter (at 1:17), on a 25-yard pass from Jimmy Clausen to David Grimes.
This was quickly followed 73 seconds later by a second score, on a 25-yard pass from Jimmy Clausen to Duval Kamara (at 0:04), to increase the Irish lead to 14-0 going into the half.
In the third quarter the Duke Blue Devils still couldn’t get any points on the board, and the Irish increased their lead yet again on a 13-yard run by Robert Hughes (at 0:25) to bring the score to Notre Dame 21 - Duke 0.
In the fourth quarter the Irish got their fourth and final score on a 9-yard pass from Jimmy Clausen to John Carlson (at 6:51) to bring the score to Notre Dame 28 - Duke 0.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish were hoping for a shut out, but Duke finally got some points on the board in the fourth quarter, on a six yard run by Zack Asack (at 1:12), for a final score of Notre Dame 28 - Duke 7.
Notre Dame finished the game with 24 first downs, 220 net yards of rushing, 194 net yards of passing, and 414 total yards of offense. Duke finished the game with 16 first downs, 94 net yards of rushing, 138 net yards of passing, and 232 total yards of offense. Notre Dame had 35:35 minutes of possession, and Duke had 24:25 minutes of possession. Jimmy Clausen completed 16-of-32 passes for three touchdown, and the top Irish rusher was Robert Hughes with 115-yards of rushing.
I’m absolutely thrilled that we are actually getting some Notre Dame football this fall. I was a little doubtful for a while, but the ACC seems like they are about to pull off at least some, if not all, of a college football season.
Where will you be watching the game from on Saturday? Will you tailgate at your house? Will you watch with friends? What kind of beverages will you serve? Tell me your plans! I guess I need to figure out my plans, too!
Cheers & GO IRISH!