Two other times Griese's favorite passing target, Split End Bob Hadrick (8 for 113 yards), slipped down, after subtle, dazzling moves that thrust him into the open. Hadrick is 6 feet 2, weighs 195, catches anything near him and reminds you of a Raymond Berry who has speed. Three nights a week, all summer long, Griese and Hadrick played catch, while Purdue's engineers grew beards and read books. Consequently, the two know one another pretty well. But while Hadrick's moves confused Notre Dame's experienced secondary, led by a usually competent Nick Rassas at safety, a Purdue sophomore named Jim Beirne popped up from tight end to make Parseghian's defense, talk of the college community last year, look downright foolish.
On Purdue's first touchdown, a 28-yard pass from Griese to Beirne, all three Notre Dame defenders had their backs turned—and Beirne was 12 yards behind them. "I had Rassas beat so good I thought he was gonna grab my arm, but he didn't. Then I saw that empty grass, and the ball came, and I thought, 'don't drop it in front of all these people.' "
Later Beirne beat Rassas by a good step at the goal line to catch a 14-yard pass from Griese that put Purdue ahead again. This was one of only two passes that a Purdue player had to struggle to grab. Beirne stretched forward as he was cutting across to his right and fell with the ball. Griese, who is extremely accurate with a fast delivery—and says playing guard on the varsity basketball team helped him get that way—threw only one ball that was more than a stride off target. It was intercepted, but just before Griese got rid of the ball a Notre Dame lineman slapped his arm.
Griese threw his third scoring pass to Halfback Randy Minnear. Again the secondary was beaten by 10 yards, as Griese sent two men wide and put a halfback in motion. The Irish were scurrying around in some strange 4-4 alignment (Teter had blasted them out of their customary Split Six), and no one saw the halfback until it was too late.
"We knew we could do anything we wanted to do," explained Griese after the game. "Rassas likes to play you tight, so we took advantage of it. Everything was open. Even after they went ahead at the last, we weren't worried."
Truly, Griese was not. He simply hit Halfback Jim Finley for 32 yards, Beirne for 13 and then 19, and Teter scored from the 3:67 yards in four plays and in one minute and nine seconds. Parseghian didn't have time to think, pray, face the dome or quote Rockne.
The final irony of it all was that Griese would have preferred to have gone to Notre Dame when he finished Rex Mundi High School in Evansville. "I was eager," he said, "but just when I was getting ready to visit the campus, one of their alumni [who had best remain anonymous forever] said they didn't want me because I was too small. So I picked Purdue. You ought to stay in your own state, because that's where you'll wind up earning your living."
Griese has reddish-blond hair in a short cut that sweeps down over his forehead as Brutus' did, high cheek bones and a quick, easy smile. He has a typically flat Midwest accent, and the swingingest Kappa Kappa Gamma at Northwestern would have to confess that he is outdoorsy nice-looking and personable, especially for a Boilermaker.
"It was just a question of mechanics," Griese said, as confidently as he had performed. "We've got a tough defense that'll make you know we're there [particularly against inside running, as Eddy and Wolski learned, good as they were], and the protection and the receivers are great. Hadrick is always going to be half open. And that's comforting to know."
Since there is not another Griese on Notre Dame's schedule, it seems likely that its defense can be repaired and blended with the powerful rushing game to carry Ara Parseghian through to perhaps a 9-1 season and no worse than 7-3. But the upset underlined the fact that this is not Ara's kind of team. As he said, " Purdue has Huarte and Snow this time," meaning Griese and Hadrick.