October 7, 1950 - Purdue plays the giant killer

Notre Dame Purdue 1950 Game TicketSince December 1, 1945 Notre Dame had not lost a game. That day, in Hugh Devore's final game, Notre Dame would lose to Great Lakes Naval Training Center. Beginning in the 1946 season, Frank Leahy would return from the war and pick up right where he left off in 1943. From 1946 to 1950, the team would compile a 39 game unbeaten streak which consisted of a 37-0-2 record. The two ties came at the hands of Army and Southern Cal. First was the Game of the Century 1946 Edition with the famous 0-0 tie at Yankee Stadium. Later in 1948 the second was a 14-14 tie against Southern Cal. The graduating class of 1950 is the only class to say that they had never seen a loss. The streak began in the last game of 1945. Over the next four years Notre Dame would have the following season:

1946:  8-0-1 (4-0-0 at home) *National Champions
1947:  9-0-0 (4-0-0 at home) *National Champions
1948:  9-0-1 (4-0-0 at home)                    
1949: 10-0-0 (4-0-0 at home) *National Champions

Not only did the Class of 1950 win every game at home, they witnessed three national championships in three years and a final #2 ranking the odd year out. Overall, their team's record was 36-0-2.

The opening game of the 1950 season would be the 39th game in the streak and featured #1 Notre Dame beating #20 North Carolina 14-7. Now in a chance to stretch the streak to 40, #1 Notre Dame met unranked Purdue at home. We've already established that 1950 was the worst season under Frank Leahy when the team limped to a 4-4-1 0.500 record. It should come as no surprise then that this is when the wheels fell off. After 1949, Heisman winner Leon Hart had graduated and many other players from the offensive line were gone. In fact, Notre Dame and North Carolina were tied until the final 2:40 when Notre Dame got the go ahead touchdown. Against Purdue, Notre Dame would never be truly in the game.

At halftime, Purdue already led 21-0 in a rainy game. The Irish would be a bit more competitive in the second half by scoring within the first four minutes. After another touchdown in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, Notre Dame trailed 21-14. But Purdue put another one on the board and the final score read Purdue 28 - #1 Notre Dame 14. The Notre Dame quarterback would be 7-22 for 46 yards with 3 interceptions and 1 touchdown. Add in two more fumbles and 108 yards in penalties, Notre Dame could just not keep up. Coach Leahy would comment about the game: "We were out-played and out-coached, but not out-fought".

Keywords: football, purdue, streak, great lakes, hugh devore, yankee stadium, army, southern cal, frank leahy, game of the century, north carolina, class of 1950, leon hart, heisman

Posted On: 2011-10-07 03:15:00 by IrishTrpt07


      Were you there? Have more to add? Leave a comment and let us know!

   Posted By: Seņor Chops at 2011-10-07 06:25:33[#1]
Another fine post, and made even better by getting a little glimpse behind the curtain to see it being done. (Don't worry. TINDH's trade secrets are safe with me.)
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