Statue of Ara Parseghian, head coach in 1973, outside Notre Dame stadium.
Postseason Rank: No. 3
Opponent: No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide
Final Score: 24-23 W
The 1973 Sugar Bowl saw undefeated No. 1-ranked Alabama take on the also undefeated, No. 3-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish, in what is considered by many sportswriters to be among the best bowl games ever played.
In the first quarter, the Irish drove 58 yards down the field and set up Wayne Bullock for his six-yard flying leap to the end zone. The extra kick was no good, but the Irish were up 6-0.
The second quarter saw Alabama answer with a touchdown of its own, with Randy Billingsley running it in from six yards. Tide kicker Bill Davis made the extra point, putting Alabama up by one.
Notre Dame rallied back near the end of the half with Al Hunter returning a 93-yard kickoff for a touchdown, sending the team pouring onto the field in celebration. The Irish then made the two-point conversion, putting them ahead 14-7. Alabama then answered back with a field goal with 39 seconds left in the first half.
Both teams made a single touchdown in the third quarter, bringing the score to 21-17 with Notre Dame on top.
With 9:33 left on the clock in the fourth quarter, Richard Todd caught a 25-yard pass from Tide quarterback Mike Stock for a touchdown. The extra point kick was no good, but Alabama was up 23-21.
Starting their final drive of the game at their 1-yard line, Notre Dame fought its way back to make a 19-yard field goal with 4:26 of play left in the game. The Irish defense held out and Notre Dame won 24-23, making them the 1973 national champions.
You can watch the highlight reel here.