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1970s / 1979 Cotton Bowl - Final Seconds
Here are the final seconds of the famous 1979 Cotton Bowl game between Notre Dame and Houston. The game has gone down in Fighting Irish lore as one of Notre Dame's greatest ever comebacks--and it was. It was also a game that very few people actually saw. It was played simultaneously with the Sugar Bowl game in which Penn State and Alabama were vying for the national championship, so most neutral viewers were tuned into that game. The stadium was less than half filled because a horrible ice storm descended on Dallas the night before, preventing many of the 72,000 ticketholders from even getting to the Cotton Bowl. The temperature was around 11 degrees Fahrenheit but the wind chill pushed the temperature to below zero, which chased even more people away. By the time the game ended, there may have been about 15,000 people in attendance. The high winds severely affected play. All but one scoring play occurred at the north end of the field. Notre Dame scored the game's first 12 points, but Houston scored the next 34 to take a 22-point lead into the fourth quarter. Notre Dame quarterback Joe Montana, playing his last collegiate game, was sidelined early, suffering badly from the flu. With a body temperature of only 96 degrees Fahrenheit, he was smothered in blankets and bolstered with bowls of instant chicken soup by Notre Dame's team physician. Montana famously returned to the game in the third quarter to be its hero. People, though, tend to forget Montana's awful stats for the game: He was only 13 for 34 and had four interceptions against just one touchdown pass. Kris Haines, who caught the game-tying touchdown pass, had a temperature of 102 degrees and had secretly hoped the overnight ice storm would cause the game to be postponed.