Fiesta Bowl Joins Notre Dame to Honor 1988 National Champions
Friday, October 25, 2013
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The Fiesta Bowl helped honor Notre Dame’s 1988 National Championship team by hosting a reception and dinner on Friday, Oct. 18.
There were plenty of smiles as the Fighting Irish reflected on their 34-21 win over No. 3 West Virginia in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 2, 1989, claiming the school’s most recent AP national championship and its eighth overall.
"It's awesome to see all these successful people in this room,” linebacker Darrell “Flash” Gordon said.
The Fiesta Bowl had no conference ties in those days, allowing it to pair the independents in a matchup that drew 74,911 to Sun Devil Stadium. It was the second of seven national title games hosted by the Fiesta Bowl.
The 1988 national championship capped a season that produced one of the great wins in Notre Dame’s storied history – a 31-30 thriller over then-No. 1 Miami in October 1988.
Notre Dame opened the year with a 19-17 victory over No. 9 Michigan and closed it by routing No. 2 USC 27-10 in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. That left the Irish 11-0 and ready to take on the Mountaineers in the desert.
"At the Fiesta Bowl, we had good preparation,” former coach Lou Holtz said. “The day before the game, at the final practice at Sun Devil Stadium, we assigned different underclassmen to carry the seniors off the field the next day when we won. We were a confident group."