Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 23, 2015 Issue

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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higher than Notre Dame. In 1940, Leahy's Eagles finished 11-0, capped by an upset of General Robert Neyland's Tennessee powerhouse in the Sugar Bowl, to place No. 5 in the final AP poll. Meanwhile, 7-2 Notre Dame fin- ished unranked, prompting the res- ignation of seventh-year head coach Elmer Layden, who had fashioned a 47-13-3 record for a .770 winning per- centage. When Leahy exercised the Notre Dame clause and accepted the head coaching position at his alma mater in 1941, all of New England was outraged, which didn't help Notre Dame-Boston College relations. Thirty-one years later, the two teams finally met. TWO GAMES IN FIVE DAYS The 1975 game with Bos- ton College originally was scheduled to be played on Saturday, Sept. 13. However, ABC-TV had it switched to Monday night, Sept. 15. About a $240,000 windfall for that move helped Notre Dame agree to the decision. A year earlier, ABC-TV coaxed Notre Dame into mov- ing its November game with Georgia Tech to its first-ever college football telecast on a Monday night, Sept. 9. There was a huge difference, though. In 1974, Notre Dame didn't have to play again until 12 days later, whereas in 1975 the change required the Irish to play two straight road games within five days. ND traveled to play at longtime nemesis Purdue Sept. 20. Also the 1975 Irish offense had only two returning starters — one of them guard Al Wujciak, whose son Con- nor is a star defensive lineman on this year 's Boston College team — and a new head coach in Dan Devine, who had coached at Arizona State (1955-57), Missouri (1958-70) and the NFL's Green Bay Packers (1971-74). The Eagles, who finished the previ- ous year with seven straight wins and featured future NFL quarterback Mike Kruczek, were installed as only a six- Head coach Dan Devine's first two games at Notre Dame — a 17-3 win at Boston College and a 17-0 triumph at Purdue — were on the road and played in a span of five days.

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