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Bucky O'Brien has entered Notre Dame University from Hookerville, where he was the school's big football star. His enthusiasm for the sport induces his roommate, Jim Stewart, to try out for the team. After some initial cockiness, Bucky works hard and becomes a real asset to the team. In their junior year, both Bucky and Jim are left halfbacks. Although Bucky is the better player, the coach switches him to right halfback, a less glamorous position, because he is a better blocker than Jim. At first Jim resists because he believes the change will affect Bucky's chances to be selected an All-American. Bucky convinces him that the good of the team counts more than that of the individual. Soon the publicity goes to Jim's head and relations between Bucky and Jim become so strained that Bucky moves out of their room. Another friend, Ernest Truck McCall, finally has a chance to play in a game, and even though his rib is broken, he continues playing until he collapses and it is discovered that his lung is punctured. In the same game, Bucky, overcome with bitterness against Jim, decides to demonstrate how much his success depends on Bucky's blocking techniques. On two successive plays he neglects to block, leaving Jim unable to make the goal. When the coach discovers what Bucky has done, he orders him off the team. During the game against Army, Notre Dame is losing and Bucky realizes that if he were in the game, his team might have a chance to win. He overhears the coach talking to Truck, who is in the hospital with pneumonia, and learns that a victory might help save his friend's life. He begs the coach to put him back in his old position and enables Jim to win the game by one point. Truck recovers from his illness, and Jim and Bucky patch up their friendship. The spirit of Notre Dame has won again.