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In 1922 legendary Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne put four sophomores in his backfield; quarterback Harry Stuhldreher, left halfback Jim Crowley, right halfback Don Miller and fullback Elmer Layden. They are regarded by some as the greatest college football backfield ever. They played 30 games together and lost to only Nebraska - twice.

In 1924 on their way to an undefeated season, a victory in the Rose Bowl, and a national championship, Notre Dame defeated Army 13-7. Sportswriter Grantland Rice penned the words that gave them their nickname:

Outlined against a blue, gray October sky the Four Horsemen rode again. In dramatic lore they are known as famine, pestilence, destruction and death. These are only aliases. Their real names are: Stuhldreher, Miller, Crowley and Layden.
A quick-thinking Notre Dame publicist had their pictures taken dressed in football garb sitting astride four horses - and a legend was born.