"We'll get Griese just like we—"
It is believed around South Bend that at these charged moments Parseghian could tell the students to go soak their heads and they would cheer him wildly.
So was Hanratty sufficiently terrorized? No, Hanratty was not. Hanratty was calm. He slept well. He had no trouble swallowing. His coaches found they could even kid him. Tom Pagna, the foreman of the offense, told Hanratty of his own first game at Miami of Ohio. "We were warming up before the game and I was surprised how relaxed I was. Then somebody threw me a pass and I couldn't raise my hands to catch it. The ball hit me right in the helmet. 'Oh, dear God," I thought, "I'm paralyzed.' " Hanratty laughed.
John Ray, the defensive coach, cut in. Ray had recruited Hanratty out of Butler High. "Don't you let him worry you, Terry," he boomed. "The defense will win the game anyway, and if you do all right I'll let you become a linebacker."
Privately, the Notre Dame coaches were unanimously confident that the poise of both Hanratty and Seymour was genuine and, after the team breakfast Saturday, Fullback Larry Conjar told a friend that he was amazed. "Here I am, a senior. I can hardly get a mouthful down, and old Terry's calm as anything and eating more than anybody. And have you seen Seymour? What a pair they are going to be the next three years."
Nevertheless, the plan would be to give Purdue the ball first, establish the defense and allow Hanratty a chance to get used to the ringing crowd noise. Then, after a couple of running plays, he would be free to throw the ball at his pleasure. "I would love to see them try to cover Seymour one-on-one," said Parseghian. "One-on-one he'll beat somebody and get us on the scoreboard."
Hanratty did not pass until Notre Dame's second possession. Then he wound up, and while being hit from the side completed a 42-yarder to Seymour. Seymour had to come back on the ball and made the catch between three defenders, but it was the beginning that set a pattern, maddening to Purdue and intoxicating to the 59,075 people snuggled into Notre Dame Stadium.
Seymour is 6 feet 4, 205 pounds and lean. He is a sprinter and has the essentials of a good receiver: 1) greedy hands, 2) a change of pace and 3) composure in traffic. On straight fly patterns and one-on-one coverage in the first half against Purdue, he consistently beat his man. Purdue Coach Jack Mollenkopf admitted later that "we didn't realize how good he was. When we started to give him the coverage he deserved, we opened up more places for their attack."
It is significant, however, that even the jamming and the double coverage did not stop Seymour, and whenever he was allowed a nickel's worth of air space, voil�!: Hanratty found him with a bullet. For Seymour, any defensive back a couple of inches shorter or a step slower is highly vulnerable, and poor Purdue's fate was to have too many of just that kind of man covering him.