Notre Dame: 40
Georgia Tech: 7
In early October 1945, legendary Tech coach Bobby Dodd would lead the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets for the first time at Grant Field. Dodd’s first challenge was a stiff one, as his Jackets would face the 3rd ranked Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.
Tech won the toss and elected to receive, and each team would punt twice, as neither could mount a drive early in the first quarter. It was then that the Jackets returned an Irish boot 23 yards to the Tech 48 yard line and began to move the football. George Mathews ran up the middle for 12 yards on the first play to give Tech a first down at the Irish 40. After the Jackets gained little on first and second downs, Mathews passed to Ed Holtsinger for 16 yards to the 23, and followed up with a 15 yard run to the 8, making it first and goal! Jack Peek threw incomplete on first down before Holtsinger scored on an 8 yard bootleg to give Tech a 7-0 lead after the made extra point.
After the score, the Jackets’ highlights were finished for the day. Notre Dame quickly scored on the following drive to tie the game at 7-7 with little time remaining in the first period. The touchdown came on a 38 yard pass from quarterback Frank Dancewicz to halfback Phil Colella. The Irish would add two more scores in the second quarter, the first coming on a 7 play, 53 yard drive, capped off with a 19 yard run by halfback Elmer Angsman for the score. The second score came on a 54 yard pass from quarterback Joe Gasparella to halfback Bill Zehler on the first play after a Tech punt. The Irish would carry a 21-7 lead into halftime.
Early in the third quarter, Tech advanced to the Irish 14 yard line before Holtsinger’s pass was intercepted by Terry Brennan to end the drive. The Irish returned the ball all the way to the Tech 32 and score shortly thereafter. Angsman added the touchdown on a three yard run to give the visitors a 28-7 lead.
The final two scores came in the fourth quarter, as John Agnone’s 28 yard run made it 34-7 and Emil Slovak added 18 more yards to make it 40-7; both extra points were missed.
The Irish would go on to finish the season with a 7-2-1 record. Their losses came at the hands of Army and Great Lakes NTS, and they were tied by the Navy Midshipmen. They would finish the season ranked 5th in the AP poll. Dodd’s Jackets performed poorly in his first home appearance, but as all Tech fans know, there was much more to come this first year head coach.
Troy, Jack. “Notre Dame Irish Beat Tech, 40-7.” The Atlanta Constitution. 1945 Oct. 7