Return to the Rose Bowl

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Under normal circumstances (that did not involve the Irish at 0-5), the return of Notre Dame to the Rose Bowl for the first time since January 1, 1925 would be a very big deal.

Almost 83 years ago, Rockne's Ramblers headed west and defeated Pop Warner's Stanford team 27-10.

Here is the full text of an article in the January 2, 1925 version of the New York Times:

PASADENA, Cal., Jan. 1 (Associated Press)--Notre Dame's football eleven swamped Stanford University's team under a 27 to 10 score. Notre Dame had the speed.

The famous Four Horsemen were pitted against Ernie Nevers of Stanford, and the Stanford star, although he covered himself with glory, could not offset their repeated charges. At that the red-shirted Stanford forwards outcharged the blue jerseyed linemen of Notre Dame, and it was owing to their work that the California institution was able to register ten points in the face of the fierce charging Hoosiers.

Notre Dame added to its list of honors that of having scored the first victory for the East in four intersectional games played on the Pacific Coast this season. For the first time in a number of years the Rose Bowl here was packed to capacity, and it was estimated that upward of 52,000 watched the contest. At almost every moment throughout the four periods the Notre Dame players lived up to their reputation for speed in foot and head.

The start was inauspicious for the Easterners. Coach Rockne sent in his second-string men to open the game, but Stanford shoved them steadily down the field. Then Rockne called on his stars and the real battle was on. Stanford's errors, which might not have been very costly against other opponents, were fatal when pulled against Notre Dame. ...

Stanford started the scoring by a placement kick off Cuddeback's toe in the first period.

In the second period, for the only time during the game, Notre Dame was able to gain consistently through the Stanford line. A prolonged drive ended when Layden bored through left guard three yards for a touchdown.

A few minutes later Layden came to the front again, pulled Nevers's pass out of the air and sprinted seventy yards for the second Notre Dame touchdown. Crowley kick the goal. In the third period occurred one of Stanford's costly errors. Solomon fumbled a punt on his own 20-yard line. He stopped to recover it when he might have played safely and fell on the ball. Huntsinger swooped down on him, shoved Solomon aside, grabbed the pigskin and ran unopposed to a touchdown. Crowley again kicked the goal.

Later in the period Notre Dame boldly attempted a forward pass within its twenty-yard line, and Nevers pulled it down. Then followed a series of line bucks, nearly all of them featuring Nevers, who worked his way to the Notre Dame eight-yard line. The Notre Dame players were set for another buck, but it did not come. Walker passed over the line to Ted Shipkey, and Stanford scored a touchdown. Cuddeback kicked the goal for the extra point. That ended Stanford's scoring. ...

In the fourth period Stanford had another opportunity. An intercepted forward pass on Notre Dame's thirty-five yard line put the ball in Baker's hands. Nevers was called on and in a succession of plunges carried the ball to Notre Dame's eight-inch line. The crowd thought it was a touchdown for Stanford, but when Referee Ed Thorp unscrambled the heap of players he found the goal line had not been crossed.

The last scoring play of the contest gave Layden another chance to show his speed. He intercepted a pass from Nevers's hands and led a chase all the way for thirty-five yards across the Stanford goal. Crowley's toe did the rest.

The Four Horsemen cantered, trotted and galloped with all the abandon expected of them. Harry Stuhldreher's play was handicapped when he twisted his left ankle early in the opening period and it slowed up his play during the remainder of the game. Layden and Crowley were the most effective ball carriers for Notre Dame. Don Miller performed well, but he did not quite reach the standard set by his teammates.

No one on the field today performed more brilliantly than Nevers. Except on the one occasion when he was halted at the eight-inch line, the Notre Dame line was unable to stop his terrific smashes that carried the force of every ounce of his 200 pounds.

Adam Walsh at centre and Boland at tackle were among the leading players on the Notre Dame line. Captain Jim Lawson, Stanford's right end, was one of the day's individual stars, although the entire Stanford line performed with much credit. ...

Rockne made frequent substitutions at guard and tackle, the points at which the Stanford attacks were centered. The statistics of the game nearly all favor the losers. Stanford gained 164 yards from scrimmage as compared with Notre Dame's 134. The home players registered seventeen first downs, ten more than the South Bend team. Stanford completed twelve out of seventeen attempted forward passes and Notre Dame three out of seven. The Easterners' aerial attack resulted in a gain of 48 yards, while the Pacific Coast team gained 146 yards.

Rockne's men were penalized four times for a total of 30 yards, while a single 15-yard penalty was inflicted against Stanford. Notre Dame made one fumble, by Harry Stuhldreher on the first play, and it was the only error made by the Notre Dame players, while three misplays were registered by Pop...Warner's charges. Notre Dame intercepted five forward passes and Stanford two. ...

While the teams were changing goals between the first and second periods Referee Ed Thorp forced Captain Lawson of Stanford to remove the steel brace from his knee.

The game was fast and replete with many sensational plays. The pace was so speedy that it showed plainly on both teams shortly after the fourth period opened. The game was an open one and marked by daring play on both sides. It was a case of two fighting teams with plenty of class in a finish battle.

Notre Dame did not seem to suffer any more from the warm weather than the native team. The South Bend team spent a few days in Tucson, Ariz., and the training there seemed to have helped them get in shape for weather conditions here. At least, as far as observers here could see, the Notre Dame eleven suffered no form reversal.

Coach Rockne is scheduled to lead his team on the return journey tomorrow. It was the final game for eleven of his regulars, seven of his second-string men and five of his third-string players.


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