BILL MOOR -Assistant Sports EdItor
Purdue came flushed with victory and
confident af success. There had been nothing in Indiana to
successfully stop her rushes, smash her interference, go through her
lines or gollop around her ends.
So it was the unexpected that
happened for after Purdue's first swift, almost flukelike touchdown,
there was little in the playing of either to distinquish from the
* * * * *
The above excerpt is
from The South Bend Tribune of Nov. 16, 1896, two days after
Notre Dame was beaten by Purdue, 28-22, in the two schools' first of
Football and writing
styles have changed since then -you wouldn't want to call Purdue a
"her" in this day and age - but when these two intrastate rivals
collide, the unexpected still does happen and distinquishing one from
the other (especially during some classics in rainstorms) is also hard
The two fought to a
10-10 tie in 1899 and in the third game of the series in 1901, Notre
Dame finally pulled one out, 12-6. Then after another tie and two more
Boilermaker wins, the Irish dominated the series through 1957, winning
19 of 23.
But Purdue won six of
the next eight (1957-65) in the series that has been going on
continuously since 1946. Those were Jack Mollenkopf years and very few
Notre Dame fans will ever forget that bespectacled, round-faced coach
who always seemed to have the Irish number.
But in Notre Dame's
1966 season opener, coach Ara Parseghian's Irish showed they had the
right number - No.1 -as they began their quest for the national
championship with a 26-14 surprise over the Boilennakers, Mollenkopf
and senior quarterback Bob Griese.
It was the showcasing
of the sophomore sensations Hanratty and Jim Seymour -Fling and Cling
-and this passing combination got together an unbelievable 13 times
for 276 yards and three scores. Seymour's statistics are still Notre
Dame one-game records and even the great Griese -who ended his
three-year career against the Irish with 43 of 69 passing -- could not
overcome Parseghian's new passing pair.
We just weren't
prepared for a pass catcher like Jim Seymour," said Mollenkopf after
the game. "We had no idea he was that great."
But Fat Jack and his
band of Boilermakers got even during the next three seasons as another
great Purdue passer, Mike Phipps, did what no other modern T-formation
quarterback has ever done - win three in a row against Notre Dame.
"Phipps had great
poise, great touch and great leadership " said Parseghian after the
1969 game -a 28-14 Purdue victory. "He has had three wonderful games
And Mollenkopf had
14. That year was also the last for the Purdue coach who announced his
retirement after that 1969 season. He finished 10-4 against Notre
Dame, 4-2 against Ara and although most people give the nod to USC's
John McKay as Notre Dame's No.1 coaching nemesis, my vote has always
gone to Jack, says Tribune sports editor Joe Doyle who saw all of
DeMoss had to pay for Jack's success the very next year when Notre
Dame overwhelmed the visiting Boilermakers, 48-0. Joe Theismann found
Tom Gatewood 12 times in the runaway -three times for touchdowns -and
one press box wag was prompted to write, "Notre Dame gained more than
300 yards by land, 300 by air and if the rain would have, kept up,
surely the Irish would have gained 300 more by sea."
The rain didn't let
up in the 1971 clash at West Lafayette and
neither did the Purdue defense. But with
2:58 to play and the Irish down 7-0, a bad snap on an attempted Purdue
punt deep in its own territory found Irish lineman Fred Swendsen on
the ball first for a touchdown. Mike Creaney's catch on a Pat
Steenberge pass gave the visitors two more points and the 8-7
"I thought I saw
heaven when I saw the fooball lying on the goal," a jubilant Swendsen
said after the thriller.
Notre Dame made it
three and four in a row in 1972 and 1973 -another national
championship year - and then one of Parseghian's old assistants, Alex
Agase, led his Boilermakers to a shocking 24-0 first-quarter lead -the
most ever scored on the Irish in the initial period and took home a
31-20 major upset.
That was Parseghian's last go-around
with the Spoilermakers and be bowed out with a winning 6-5 record.
Only Southern Cal gave him more trouble over the years.
Then it was time for Dan Devine and
although he is 3-0 heading into Saturday's games, he probably had a
hard time sleeping after the 1975 and '77 games.
Although the Irish won the first one,
17-0, if was only 3-0 early in the fourth quarter with Purdue
threatening when Luther Bradley intercepted a halfback-to-quarterback
pass and went 99 yards for the score.
"One play, just one play," Agase
moaned over and over .
Joe Montana needed more than one play
but didn't have much more than a quarter as he engineered last year's
Montana is back but
the Comeback Kid and his teammates have two losses to come back from
this time and Purdue sophomore Mark Herrmann wouldn't mind taking his
first step at equalling Mike Phipps' three-year dominance.