December 8, 1934 - Getting the other important win - Southern Cal

By Olson

Early in the season, Elmer Layden's father gave the Irish coach some advise: "Play your best 10 players and your brother." Elmer didn't want to show any favoritism, so brother Mike Layden sat. Until the USC game.

Mink Melinovich was injured and missed the game. Mike Layden took his place. Mike Layden had been a High School star in Davenport Iowa. He was so good that Charles Weisman, the President of John Deere in nearby Moline, Ill. took notice. Weisman paid for a year of Prep School at Milford Prep for the younger Layden, the purpose of which was the get Mike into Weisman's Alma Mater Yale.

Notre Dame coach Anderson appealed to then Duquense coach Elmer to talk his brother Mike into attending ND instead. But per Elmer, he refused to get involved. Still when Elmer showed up at ND in '34, there was Mike-now a junior.

Up until the USC game, younger brother Mike HATED to play for his older brother.

Early on in the USC game, Irish LHB William Valentine Shakespeare hit Mike Layden in full stride with a 51 yd TD pass.

Later Shakespeare hit Wayne Miller with a long pass to the 2 (Millner making a sensational catch). Layden took over from there and scored his second TD of the afternoon.

USC came back with a drive of their own. It ended with a 4th down stop by Mike Layden at either the 1 inch or 2 inch line (depending on who's version of events you want to believe). The Irish defense would star again and shutout USC 14-0, for the fourth shutout of the season.

In addition to Layden's great performance, junior tackle Joe Sullivan starred on defense yet again. It would be Sullivan's last ND game. Elected captain by his teammates for the 1935 Irish, Sullivan would die of pneumonia prior to that season.

The Irish finished a respectable 6-3 in 1934 with important wins over Army and USC. Layden would not lose more than two games the rest of his coaching career.

Layden would never go undefeated or win a National Championship while at ND (albeit he came close in 1938).

However Layden restored the Irish back near the top.

Keywords: football, southern cal, elmer layden, mike layden, george melinovich, hunk anderson, william shakespeare, wayne millner, joe sullivan

Posted On: 2014-09-24 00:15:01 by Olson


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