Defeating The Defending Champs (1973 vs. USC)

As has been the case on the road to many of Notre Dame’s national championships, the game against USC was a pivotal moment in the 1973 title season. In late October, the #6 Trojans visited South Bend for the annual matchup. Eighth-ranked Notre Dame set the tone early, when defensive back Luther Bradley (‘78) knocked Lynn Swann’s helmet off on the first play. Later, Eric Penick (‘75) raced for an 85-yard touchdown, helping the Fighting Irish to a 23-14 victory. In this ’Strong and True’ moment, Bradley, head coach Ara Parseghian and former players Marv Russell (‘77), Nick Fedorenko (’76), Mike Townsend (’74), Ross Browner (‘78) and Dave Casper (’74) look back on the game that helped the Irish along the way to their ninth consensus national title.

1973 USC ticket

A ticket from the 1973 game between #8 Notre Dame and #6 USC.

Luther Bradley hit

Early in the first quarter, Luther Bradley sent Lynn Swann’s helmet rolling into the end zone.

Eric Penick run

The Fighting Irish won, 23-14, thanks in part to Eric Penick’s 85-yard touchdown run.