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Notre Dame – Purdue Football Rivalry History

Ross Ade Stadium

Sep 27, 2014; West Lafayette, IN, USA; A general view of the Ross Ade Stadium prior to the game between the Purdue Boilermakers and the Iowa Hawkeyes. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame first played instate rival Purdue in 1896, and played the Boilermakers annually from 1946 to the Shamrock Series game in Indianapolis in 2014. There was one gap in the series from ’23 to ’32, when Fielding Yost was arm-twisting Big Ten (Western Conference) members from scheduling Notre Dame.

SHILLELAGH TROPHY

Since 1957 the teams have played for the Shillelagh trophy, donated by Joe McLaughlin who brought it back from Ireland.

PURDUE’S FINEST HOUR

Frank Leahy coached Notre Dame to the greatest dynasty ever in college football, going unbeaten and winning three national championships from 1946-1949.

Then Purdue came to South Bend on October 7, 1950. Dale Samuels, a pupil of Purdue quarterback guru Bob Demoss, in just his second game, led the Boilermakers, christened that day as the Spoilermakers, to a 28-14 upset over the Irish. Heads hung low, eyes held back tears, as the Irish tasted defeat for the first time since 1945. Leahy was mortal!

THE CRADLE OF QUARTERBACKS

Purdue became known for spawning outstanding Big Ten Quarterbacks, many of whom had a serious impact in the NFL. The list includes Len Dawson, Bob Griese, Mike Phipps (who beat Ara and the Irish in ’67, ’68 and ’69) Gary Danielson, Mark Herrmann, Jim Everett, Drew Brees, Kyle Orton.

Dawson, with Kansas City, Griese, with the Miami Dolphins, and Brees, on behalf of the Saints all quarterbacked Super Bowl Champions. With three Super Bowl Champion quarterbacks, Purdue is at the top of the list, tied with Alabama (Starr, Namath and Stabler).

These quarterbacks fueled Purdue’s best run in the series, from 1950-1969, when the Boilers posted a solid 12-8 record against the Irish.

ARA’S STRUGGLE WITH PURDUE

Purdue was strongest during Ara’s reign. Its last Rose Bowl, with Griese was in ’66, when the Irish won the National Championship.

But Griese beat Ara in ’65 in West Lafayette. And Mike Phipps quarterbacked the Boilers to pretty convincing victories in ’67, 28-21, ’68, 37-22 and ’69 28-14. Then, in one of Ara’s strangest losses, a 4-6-1 Purdue team upset the Irish in 1974 in South Bend 31-20.

Purdue would try to own home state Inidiana but it recruted heavily in the region (Hammond Gary, a football rich region) and in the Chicago Catholic and Public Leagues. As that level of football has slowly declined so has Purdue. It has gravitated to the lower levels of the Big Ten.

After playing for 68 consecutive years, the series will no longer be annual. Purdue does reappear on the Irish schedule in ’20 and ’21 but it will change from an annual instate rivalry to a sweet reminiscence.

Notre Dame vs Purdue

Record: 58-26-2

NoW/LDatePFLocationPANotes
2092Totals1398
1L11-14-189622South Bend, IN28 
2T11-18-189910West Lafayette, IN10 
3W11-09-190112South Bend, IN6 
4T11-27-19026West Lafayette, IN6 
5L11-24-19040West Lafayette, IN36 
6L11-24-19050West Lafayette, IN32 
7W11-03-19062West Lafayette, IN0 
8W11-23-190717West Lafayette, IN0 
9W11-23-191826West Lafayette, IN6 
10W11-22-191933West Lafayette, IN13 
11W11-06-192028South Bend, IN0 
12W10-15-192133West Lafayette, IN0 
13W10-14-192220West Lafayette, IN0 
14W11-03-192334South Bend, IN7 
15L11-11-19330South Bend, IN19 
16W10-13-193418South Bend, IN7 
17W09-30-19393South Bend, IN0 
18W10-12-194649South Bend, IN6 
19W10-11-194722West Lafayette, IN7 
20W09-25-194828South Bend, IN27 
21W10-08-194935West Lafayette, IN12 
22L10-07-195014South Bend, IN28 
23W10-27-195130South Bend, IN9 
24W10-18-195226West Lafayette, IN14 
25W10-03-195337West Lafayette, IN7 
26L10-02-195414South Bend, IN27 
27W10-22-195522West Lafayette, IN7 
28L10-13-195614South Bend, IN28 
29W09-28-195712West Lafayette, IN0 
30L10-25-195822South Bend, IN29 
31L10-03-19597West Lafayette, IN28 
32L10-01-196019South Bend, IN51 
33W10-07-196122West Lafayette, IN20 
34L10-06-19626South Bend, IN24 
35L10-05-19636West Lafayette, IN7 
36W10-03-196434South Bend, IN15 
37L09-25-196521West Lafayette, IN25 
38W09-24-196626South Bend, IN14 
39L09-30-196721West Lafayette, IN28 
40L09-28-196822South Bend, IN37 
41L09-27-196914West Lafayette, IN28 
42W09-26-197048South Bend, IN0 
43W09-25-19718West Lafayette, IN7 
44W09-30-197235South Bend, IN14 
45W09-29-197320West Lafayette, IN7 
46L09-28-197420South Bend, IN31 
47W09-20-197517West Lafayette, IN0 
48W09-18-197623South Bend, IN0 
49W09-24-197731West Lafayette, IN24 
50W09-30-197810South Bend, IN6 
51L09-22-197922West Lafayette, IN28 
52W09-06-198031South Bend, IN10 
53L09-26-198114West Lafayette, IN15 
54W09-25-198228South Bend, IN14 
55W09-10-198352West Lafayette, IN6 
56L09-08-198421Indianapolis, IN23 
57L09-28-198517West Lafayette, IN35 
58W09-27-198641South Bend, IN9 
59W09-26-198744West Lafayette, IN20 
60W09-24-198852South Bend, IN7 
61W09-30-198940West Lafayette, IN7 
62W09-29-199037South Bend, IN11 
63W09-28-199145West Lafayette, IN20 
64W09-26-199248South Bend, IN0 
65W09-25-199317West Lafayette, IN0 
66W09-24-199439South Bend, IN21 
67W09-09-199535West Lafayette, IN28 
68W09-14-199635South Bend, IN0 
69L09-13-199717West Lafayette, IN28 
70W09-26-199831South Bend, IN30 
71L09-11-199923West Lafayette, IN28 
72W09-16-200023South Bend, IN21 
73W12-01-200124West Lafayette, IN18 
74W09-07-200224South Bend, IN17 
75L09-27-200310West Lafayette, IN23 
76L10-02-200416South Bend, IN41 
77W10-01-200549West Lafayette, IN28 
78W09-30-200635South Bend, IN21 
79L09-29-200719West Lafayette, IN33 
80W09-27-200838South Bend, IN21 
81W09-26-200924West Lafayette, IN21 
82W09-04-201023South Bend, IN12 
83W10-01-201138West Lafayette, IN10 
84W09-08-201220South Bend, IN17 
85W09-14-201331West Lafayette, IN24 
86W09-13-201430Indianapolis, IN14 

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