October Calendar

 

On this date in Notre Dame Football History:

Sources for the calender are 100 Years of Notre Dame Football by Gene Schoor, The Fighting Irish 1999 Calender, Knute Rockne by Francis Wallace, The Notre Dame Football Scrapbook by Cohen, Deutsch and Neft and The Fighting Irish Football Encyclopedia by Mike Steele, Shake Down The Thunder by Murray Sperber, One for The Gipper by Patrick Chelland, Knute Rockne by Francis Wallace.

October 1

1977:A week after coming off the bench to rally Notre Dame past Purdue, junior quarterback Joe Montana makes his first start of the season against Michigan State and leads the Fighting Irish to a 16-6 victory over the Spartans at Notre Dame Stadium. Montana would never be a backup quarterback again, as he would spearhead Notre Dame's drive to the 1977 national title and start the final twenty-one games of his illustrious college career.

October 2

1926: The Fighting Irish open the season with what would stand as the most lopsided victory of the Knute Rockne era, a 77-0 pasting of Beloit before a crowd of 8,000 at Notre Dame's Cartier Field.

October 3

1914: Coach Jesse Harper's Irish defeat Alma College of Michigan, where he began his coaching career, 56-0.

October 4

1940: The movie Knute Rockne; All-American, opens in South Bend.

1980: Halfback Phil Carter becomes the first Notre Dame running back ever to lug the pigskin forty times in a game, as he picks up 254 rushing yards on exactly forty carries in a 26-21 victory over Michigan State.

October 5

1912: In one of the easiest victories in Notre Dame history, junior quarterback Gus Dorais leads the Irish to a 116-7 rout of St. Viator in the season-opener. Second year coach John L. Marks would again guide Notre Dame to an undefeated season in 1912, following up a 6-0-2 record in 1911 with a 7-0-7 mark.

October 6

1947: Associated Press releases its first rankings of the year, and Notre Dame is voted No.1 after posting a 40-6 victory over Pittsburg two days earlier. Frank Leahy's Fighting Irish would win their remaining eight games and be voted national champions for the second straight year.

1962: The largest official crowd at Notre Dame Stadium (62,296) watches Purdue top the Irish 24-6.

October 7

1894: "I arrived here this morning and found about as green a set of football players that ever donned a uniform...They want to smoke, and when I told them that they would have to run and get up some wind, they thought I was rubbing it in on them."

"One big, strong cuss remarked that it was too much like work. Well, maybe you think I didn't give him hell! I bet you a hundred no one ever makes a remark like that again."

            -James Morrison, Notre Dame's first head coach, in writing to an acquaintance after his first day on the job in 1894.

October 8

1921: Although Gold and Blue have always been and still are the Notre Dame school colors, green football jerseys were first used in a game against Iowa in 1921 when Knute Rockne, realizing that Iowa's dark jerseys would make it difficult to distinguish between the players, ordered the green worn. The switch wasn't lucky for the Irish, as they were upset by the Iowan's 10-7. The green remined with our team as an alternate color through the years, popping up occasionally as a surprise, as in Dan Devine's ploy against Southern Cal in 1977.

1929: The groundbreaking and layout for Notre Dame Stadium begins. The Notre Dame Alumnus magazine reported that 45,000 cubic feet of earth was moved for the grading and foundation of the new stadium.

October 9

1943: In one of the greatest victories of the Frank Leahy era, the top-ranked Fighting Irish play their first game at mammoth Michigan Stadium and destroy the second-ranked Wolverienes 35-12. Behind the passing of Angelo Bertelli and the running of halfback Creighton Miller, Notre Dame rolls up the most points a Fritz Crisler-coached team would ever allow. On defense, the Irish devised a scheme to stop Michigan's tricky single-wing attack. "We had a tackle look for one of the faking backs, and he'd hit the hell out of him whether he had the ball or not," line coach Moose Krause would recall.

1982: Mike Johnston's 32-yard field goal with 11 seconds to go lifts 10th-ranked Notre Dame over 17th-ranked Miami, 16-14.

October 10

1914: In the second game of the season, Jesse Harper's Irish defeat Rose Poly, 103-0, at Cartier Field.

1964: A group of 750 Notre Dame students made the trip to Denver for the first Notre Dame game against the Air Force Academy. On the very first play of the game, John Huarte barely missed on a ninety-four-yard pass play to Jack Snow. But Huarte came right back with forty-five-yard bomb to Nick Eddy, and the sophmore half-back raced in for the first touchdown of the game. Huarte's deft ball handling had the Air Force players guessing. He was like a magician as he faked to one Irish back and then handed off to Eddy, who playing his finest game to date, scored again. The final was an easy 34-7 victory as the ND defense limited Air Force to a total of 37 yards rushing.

October 11

1931: The Notre Dame Alma Mater, Notre Dame Our Mother, was written for the dedication of Notre Dame Stadium on this day by Joseph Casasanta '23. The song was part of the half time show and is the traditional conclusion to Notre Dame pep rallies. Notre Dame defeated Navy 26-2 in the game.

October 12

1946: Quarterback Johnny Lujack, fullback Jim Mello, and halfback Terry Brennan run wild as the Irish outclass the Boilermakers 49-6 in South Bend.

October 13

1894: Notre Dame plays its first game under a head coach and defeats Hillsdale College of Michigan 14-0. Morrison had been hired for only $40 (plus expenses) for two weeks. A month later, Morrison would be hired to coach for none other than Hillsdale College.

October 14

1901: Quarterback of the Four Horsemen, Harry Stuhldreher, is born.

1946: Coach Frank Leahy appears on the cover of Time magazine after his Fighting Irish open the season with three impressive victories. The is no jinx for appearing on the cover of this magazine, though, as Notre Dame would go almost four more years before losing a game.

Leahy's quote on the cover raised some eyebrows within the school administration, but rang true for most fans -and other coach's: "Prayers work better when the players are bigger."

1947: Defensive end Bob Kuechenberg is born.

October 15

1988: In perhaps the greatest victory in modern Notre Dame annals, the fourth-ranked Irish edge No. 1 Miami, the undefeated national champion, 31-30, in a classic game at Notre Dame Stadium. Irish defensive back Pat Terrell bats away Steve Walsh's two-point conversion pass with forty-five seconds to play, as Notre Dame makes sweet amends for four straight embarrassing blowout losses to the Hurricanes. "It was like we could feel all those Irish Legends out there," nose tackle Chris Zorich said.

October 16

1943: Notre Dame picks off seven Wisconsin passes and crushes the Badgers 50-0

1953: Top-ranked Notre Dame defeats No. 15 Pittsburgh 23-14 before 57,998 at Notre Dame Stadium. The Fighting Irish would post six more victories plus a tie to wind up Coach Frank Leahy's career in grand style.

October 17

1930: The following headline and comments appeared in the Chicago Tribune on this day, and concerned Rockne's recent bout with phlebitis.

Will Rockne Coach In '31?

To know the Rockne of today and the Rockne of several years ago makes it easy to under stand that he might be serious about abandoning the work that has had him in the headlines.

Rockne was well know for giving personal physical demonstrations of offensive and defensive techniques and he was frustrated that he might not be able to continue teaching football this way. His worries were unfounded and he recovered sufficiently to lead the Irish to an undefeated season and their second straight national title. The headline was tragically prophetic, as 1930 was Rockne's last season.

October 18

1924: After one of the most famous and important games in Notre Dame and college football history, New York Herald-Tribune sportswriter Grantland Rice pens his acclaimed lead after the Irish beat Army13-7 at the Polo Grounds in New York: "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. There real names are Stuhldreher, Miller, Crowley, and Layden." The Four Horsemen would be the most famous backfield of all time."

October 19

1929: Rockne's juggernaut blanks Wisconsin 19-0, for its third of four shutouts in a row. The game was played on a neutral site, as ND Stadium was under construction.

October 20

1990: Lou Holtz does it again, orchestrating his second upset of the mighty Miami Hurricanes at Notre Dame Stadium in three years. This time, his sixth-ranked Irish pound the second ranked Hurricanes 29-20 as Craig Hentrich boots a school-record five field goals.

October 21

1933: Beleaguered head coach Hunk Anderson's Irish fall to rival Carnegie Tech 7-0, in an upset. The loss was the first of four in a row, and Notre Dame ended the season a dismal 3-5-1. This would be Anderson's last season as coach, as former Four Horsemen Elmer Layden would take over in 1934.

October 22

1921: The Ramblers (as they were known at the time) defeated Nebraska 7-0 at the second annual Home Coming game at Cartier Field.

1977: In one of the most treasured moments in modern Notre Dame history, the Fighting Irish warm up in their traditional glue jerseys at Notre Dame Stadium but switch to green jerseys as they storm the field to play fifth-ranked Southern California. it is the first time in fourteen years the Irish wear green, and Coach Dan Devine's psychological ploy works to perfection, as Notre Dame crushes USC 49-19 to jump-start its national championship drive.

Coach Devine had gotten the idea from a letter amidst the huge stack of mail waiting on his desk his first day at Notre Dame: a former student manager under Frank Leahy wanted to see the Irish wear green again. The new coach was intrigued by the notion and kept it in mind. Two-and-a-half years later he would use it with maximum possible effect.

October 23

1965: The Irish defense holds eventual Heisman Trophy winner Mike Garrett to 43 yards on 16 carries as Mike Garrett defeats USC 28-7.

October 24

1932: Johnny Lattner, all-time Notre Dame great and Heisman Trophy winner in 1953, is born.

1953: Top-ranked Notre Dame ends No.4 Georgia Tech's thirty-one-game unbeaten streak at Notre Dame Stadium with an impressive 27-14 victory. The Fighting Irish out gain the Yellow Jackets on the ground, 323 yards to 131. At halftime, however, Coach Leahy faints due to a lower-chest muscle spasm. He misses the remainder of the game and is so ill, he is feared near death. Leahy returns to coach for the rest of the season, his last at Notre Dame.

October 25

1967:One of the most underrated players in Notre Dame history, Anthony Johnson, is born in Indianapolis, Indiana. He would become one of the school's greatest fullbacks on Lou Holtz's first four teams at Notre Dame. Johnson would stand only six feet tall and weigh 220 pounds, but he would play an integral role on the fabulous Fighting Irish teams of 1988 and 1989 that would go a combined 24-1. Holtz would boast: " He's the doggonedest inside runner I've ever seen."

October 26

1931: Half back Joe Heap is born

1957: Bob Golic, great linebacker for the 1975-77 teams was born. He was an All-Amercian and team captain for the Irish.

October 27

1973: Notre Dame snap's USC's twenty-three-game unbeaten streak with a 23-14 victory at Notre Dame Stadium. The Fighting Irish limit USC's Anthony Davis to only 55 rushing yards, while Eric Penick bursts 85 years for a score in the third quarter to key the win for No.8 Notre Dame. The Irish would go on to win the national championship under the leadership of quarterback Tom Clements.

October 28

1911: Alfred Bergman set the school record for longest kickoff return in an odd way. In 1911, when the field was 110 yards long, Bergman took a kickoff from Loyola, Chicago, from his goal line and returned it 105 yards but didn't score!

In the same game, Art Smith rushes for seven touchdowns in the 80-0 win over Loyola.

October 29

1988: Notre Dame knocks off Navy, 22-7 to move atop the polls for the first time in seven years.

October 30

1911: Notre Dame defeats Pittsburgh 6-0 on the first game winning touchdown pass in ND football history. Don Hamilton threw a thirty-five yard strike to end Lee Matthews in the closing minutes.

1920: George Gipp put on the greatest performance of his career in leading the Irish to victory over Army 27-17. The following account of an incident which took place near the end of the game is from One for The Gipper, Pat Chelland's excellent biography of George Gipp:

With his brother Alexander in the stands cheering him on, George Gipp had put on one of the greatest performances of his career. Gipp's statistics were as follows: 150 yards gained in twenty rushes; 123 yards picked up as a result of five completed passes out of nine attempts; an additional 112 yards gained in running back punts and kick-offs. All of this was against one of the greatest teams of the era.

Despite Gipp's brilliant performance on the field, one of the most memorable moments of the afternoon occurred shortly after George left the field and took a seat on the Notre Dame bench to watch the final minutes of action. To those critics of George who have accused him of being self-centered, lacking in school loyalty, and indifferent to his team's fortunes, Father Charles L. O'Donnell, who happened to be seated on the Irish bench, has left behind a moving description of what he witnessed:

"He had done everything that any football player had ever done upon a field, and he had done it better than most. Darkness was coming in on the bitter winds that swept across the plains as he sat there in his blanket, relaxed, pale, silent, crying a little, I think. Then suddenly he was on his feet. He leaped onto the bench; the blanket had fallen from his shoulders.

"Chet Wynne, our fullback, had made one of his amazing cuts through the line, good for some fifteen or twenty yards. In a voice that could be heard, it seemed to me, above all the roar of the crowd, Gipp shouted: 'Yea, Chet!' as he stood there, self entirely forgotten, quivering from head to toe with joy and loyal pride in the achievement of a teammate."

1982: Dave Duerson picks off three Navy passes to lead the irish past the Midshipmen 27-10

October 31

1959: Monty Stickles nails a 43-yard field goal with 32 seconds left to carry the Irish over Navy 25-22.

1971: Tight end Irv Smith is born

1971: Defensive back Greg Lane is born

 

 

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