Top 10 Toughest TD Runs in Notre Dame Football History

Notre Dame released another tremendous top 10 video list this week – this time, it was the top 10 toughest touchdown runs in program history.  The list features another great mix of old and new plays, including a few runs some will be seeing for the first time.

Here’s the full list from the video above.

10. Julius Jones, 48 yard TD, run against Pitt in 2003
9. Tony Jones Jr‘s 84 yard TD run featuring nasty stiff-arm inside the 10
8. Ricky Watters 66-yard, tackle-breaking TD versus Tennessee in 1990
7. Josh Adams record 97-yard TD against Wake Forest in 2015
6. Marc Edwards bulldozing Texas for a 22-yard TD against Texas in 1995
5. Emil Sitko’s 76-yard tackling breaking run versus USC in 1947
4. Vegas Ferguson with the 26-yard TD against Texas in the 1978 Cotton Bowl
3. Allen Pinkett breaking tackles and racing away from Pitt for 76-yards in 1982
2. Ray Zellars bulldozing and leaping over Purdue defenders for a 62-yard TD in 1994
1. Reggie Brooks with one of the most spectacular runs you will ever see

Another dynamite list of videos from the WatchND team with a good mix of old and new. And in case you missed any of the others from the countdown before a few comments on this one, here are the other top 10 lists Notre Dame has put out recently

Some younger fans may be seeing some of these for the first time – especially the Emil Sitko blast from the past.  One thing that sticks out though is the loaded backfields Notre Dame had in the early 1990s with Ricky Watters, Reggie Brooks, Marc Edwards, and Ray Zellars all on the list.

If I have a qualm with the list, it’s just that there isn’t a singe Jerome Bettis touchdown run.  I’d say one of his touchdowns from the Sugar Bowl against Florida could have made the list, but then again, someone from Florida would have had to actually touch him for one to qualify for a list of toughest touchdown runs.

For those who don’t remember Edwards or Zellars, man were those guys fun to watch.  For the most part, 3rd and 4th and short were not problems when Notre Dame had those two.

What is striking about the Brooks run is that if that play were to take place in 2020, Chris Collinsworth (who was commentating for NBC at the time) wouldn’t have been joking about Brooks losing consciousness at the goal-line.  Michigan would have also surrendered a touchdown and lost a defender for the rest of the game if that play happened in 2020.

As always, looking forward to next week’s list.

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  1. Great choices. Two others that come to mind is Penick taking it 80+ yards vs. SC, and Dexter Williams first touch of the season vs. Stanford taking it to the house. Both were less about breaking tackles but more about dramatic timing from each of them during each of those seasons.

    1. MTA, Agree on those two runs. I’d also include a run by Wayne Bullock in ARA’s last game against ALABAMA…if my memory is right.

      BGC ’77 ’82

      1. BGC. Glad you agree; I know my being there at the two games whose runs I included in this “top 10” might have had something to do with me adding them to the list of 10. Went back to review Bullock’s TD, a four yard bruising run to give ND the lead they never relinquished. That opening TD led to a great ending to Ara’s HOF career as a coach.
        UNdefeated Alabama lost their chance (again- 0-7 in bowl games under the Bear), 13-11

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