football-fbs flag

Tyler Greenawalt | NCAA.com | November 11, 2015

Notre Dame football: Remembering the "Win one for the Gipper" game 87 years later

Notre Dame won an improbable game against an undefeated and seemingly unstoppable Army team 87 years ago today, thanks in part to the dying wish of one the Fighting Irish's most beloved players, George Gipp.

Two weeks after being selected as Notre Dame's first Walter Camp All-American, Gipp contracted strep throat during a game in his senior season. And before dying on Dec. 14, 1920, Gipp said something to coach Knute Rockne that the coach repeated to his players eight years later in Notre Dame's match against Army.

"I've got to go, Rock. It's all right. I'm not afraid," Gipp said, according to Notre Dame's website. "Some time, Rock, when the team is up against it, when things are wrong and the breaks are beating the boys -- tell them to go in there with all they've got and win just one for the Gipper. I don't know where I'll be then, Rock. But I'll know about it, and I'll be happy."

And on Nov. 10, 1928, when an injury-riddled 4-2 Notre Dame squad traveled to Yankee Stadium to battle Army, Rockne told his players the message Gipp had for them during his pregame speech: "The day before he died, George Gipp asked me to wait until the situation seemed hopeless -- then ask a Notre Dame team to go out and beat Army for him. This is the day, and you are the team."

Notre Dame won the game 12-6 thanks to two second-half touchdowns, including a one-yard score from Jack Chevigny who, after reaching the endzone, said "That's one for the Gipper."

During his career with the Irish, Gipp was extremely versitle: He could run, pass and even punt for Notre Dame. Gipp rushing mark of 2,341 yards last until 1978, and he was voted in the National Football Hall of Fame in 1951.

Here's a clip from the 1940 movie "Knute Rockne: All-American," where Gipp (played by former president Ronald Reagan) utters the now-famous line:

 

RELATED: Classic college sports movies

Undefeated college football teams in 2019

We're keeping track of all the remaining undefeated college football teams for the 2019 season. There are three teams that remain unbeaten.
READ MORE

Women's basketball rankings: Notre Dame's 12-year run in AP Top 25 comes to end

Notre Dame fell out of the AP Top 25 on Monday for the first time since the end of the 2006-07 season, stopping a streak of 234 consecutive weeks being ranked. It was the third longest active streak behind UConn’s (492) and Baylor’s (302).
READ MORE

Tennessee at Notre Dame women’s basketball: Preview, how to watch

The women's basketball teams from Notre Dame and Tennessee will meet for the 30th time on Monday in a nationally televised match-up on ESPN2. Here's everything you need to know about the game.
READ MORE

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from NCAA.com and our partners