- ANSWERSDavid Sabino | August 18, 2003
- FISHERMAN'S CALENDARMay 05, 1958
- THE WEEKSOUTHWESTN. Brooks Clark | November 07, 1983
In the second quarter, with the score tied 7-7 as a result of two theatrical touchdown plays—a 94-yard run with a fumble by Purdue's Leroy Keyes and a 96-yard kickoff return by Notre Dame's Nick Eddy—Seymour gave an inkling of things to come. He beat 5-foot-11 Bob Corby on a 41-yard pass that would have gone for a touchdown if Hanratty had not slightly underthrown the ball.
Minutes later Notre Dame broke the tie with a play that had Parseghian—quiet no longer—performing gymnastics on the sidelines. Hanratty, who can throw a football 70 yards in the air, threw one almost that far to Seymour on the Purdue 38. Beating Corby again, Seymour went on in to complete an 84-yard scoring play. "They have done that same thing far too many times in practice for it to be an accident," said Parseghian later.
Mollenkopf eventually had the good sense to make John Charles, his excellent deep back, a safety when the situation called for it (which was whenever Seymour cocked an eyebrow). Charles stationed himself 10 yards deeper than the deepest, watching for Seymour to fly his way, but the moment he moved back into regular coverage Seymour zipped by 5-foot-10 Dennis Cirbes and caught a 39-yard scoring pass from Hanratty for a 20-7 Notre Dame lead. This was early in the fourth quarter and by now Hanratty had won his duel with Griese, but that was as much the doing of the Notre Dame defensive team as his own.
Parseghian's defense is basically a four-four. Last year, however, he tried to rush a fifth man and Griese picked the short secondary apart and embarrassed the deep men into errors. "No cheap ones this time," were Parseghian's orders to John Ray as they prepared for Griese. Saturday Notre Dame dropped off all four linebackers, mixing zone and man-to-man coverage on receivers and lining up the tackles squarely on the noses of the offensive guards. From the blocks thrown on the tackles the four linebackers were able to determine immediately whether it was a run or pass, and the three deep men picked up accordingly.
As a result, Griese's primary receiver was almost always covered, sometimes by as many as four men, once by six. The front four—Ends Tom Rhoads and Alan Page and Tackles Pete Duranko and Kevin Hardy—were superb putting pressure on Griese, and Captain Jim Lynch and his linebacking group covered and tackled viciously. "Flush him out," were Ray's orders for Griese, and 14 times Griese had to run, his receivers covered and his pocket crushed down.
It is a credit to the brilliance of Griese that he still gained more than he lost rushing, and to the sharpness of his passing that after Notre Dame went up 20-7 he mustered Purdue once more on a six-play 75-yard touchdown drive that cut the difference to 20-14 and revived Purdue's hopes of duplicating the comeback that beat Notre Dame a year ago. There were still 11 minutes to play, plenty of time for more of Griese's valor.
But Notre Dame won the game right there. As Parseghian had predicted, the Irish are no longer in jail on third down, because Hanratty can make up yardage quickly and Parseghian has no fear of letting him try. Twice Hanratty threw on third down and once on second down as Notre Dame took the battle right back to Purdue. He drove the Irish 56 yards to the Purdue 28, eating up time with as slick a selection of plays as you will ever see. There Hanratty tried again for Seymour, and this time Charles happened in the way—actually, Seymour had beaten his man, Keyes, on the play but the ball was thrown behind him. It was Hanratty's only interception.
With 5:06 to play, Purdue had one more chance. Last year, in a similar situation, Griese took the Boilermakers 67 yards on four plays and won the day. You must see Griese play to realize that not just a few people Saturday believed he could do it again.
But, of course, he did not. Flushed on first down, he made only two yards. Then Irish Halfback Jim Smithberger got to his 12-yard pass at the same moment Purdue End Jim Beirne did and batted it away. Finally Page loomed up behind Griese, bear-hugged him and forced a fumble that Tackle Harry Alexander recovered on the Purdue 12.
Three plays later Hanratty ended all doubt with a seven-yard touchdown pass to Seymour to push the final score to 26-14. Seymour leaped to catch it, with 6-foot Halfback Bob Mangene flailing at him pitifully in the end zone. It was Seymour's 13th reception of the day, giving him 276 yards gained in all. And no receiver in Notre Dame history, not Jack Snow or Jim Kelly or Leon Hart or Jim Mutscheller, ever had such a day.