Oct 10, 2015; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide running back Derrick Henry (2) scores a touchdown during the fourth quarter against Arkansas Razorbacks at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama defeated Arkansas 27-14. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
1986, Alabama vs. Notre Dame – The Sack
Alabama Football was 0-4 all-time against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The Tide had managed to break many barriers of southern football by beating West Coast and northern teams, but the Irish were a constant thorn in the Tide’s side.
Ray Perkins’ 1986 team, his fourth at the Capstone, looked to be the best team he had coached. Notre Dame was under the leadership of first-year head coach Lou Holtz and had gotten off to a 1-2 start. If ever there was a time to beat the Irish, it was in this game.
And beat the Irish Bama did, in a 28-10 rout that was methodical football bordering on boring.
Alabama’s Bobby Humphrey said before the game that the team didn’t really like Notre Dame, saying that they were the media’s favorite and they got a lot of credit.
It seems like great Alabama teams play their best football when they’ve been doubted. In this case, it was doubt that the Tide could shake off the ghosts of Irish past and just be the better team.
Cornelius Bennett’s first quarter sack of Notre Dame quarterback Steve Beuerlein lives in Bama legend, called simply “The Sack” and immortalized by a Daniel Moore painting.
Perkins’ team went 10-3 overall, including a win in the Sun Bowl over the Washington Huskies. Perkins left at the end of the season to coach the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Next: 1992 SEC Championship Game