January 1, 1925 - ND's First Bowl Game - The Rose Bowl

By Olson

An undefeated Notre Dame team played in its first ever Bowl game verse the Stanford Indians - the 11th Rose Bowl Game. The game featured two legendary coaches: Knute Rockne of Notre Dame and Glenn "Pop" Warner of Stanford. This would be Notre Dame's first trip to the west coast. This game with a member of the then Pacific Coast Conference would lead to the series with Southern Cal and West Coast alumni began lobbying for an annual game to end the season in Los Angeles.

Fullback Elmer Layden (of Four Horsemen fame) scored the first Irish TD on a 3 yard run after an earlier Indian FG.

Layden next intercepted an Ernie Nevers (Indians star player) pass and returned it 78 yds for what today would be labeled a 'pick 6' TD. Layden's 78 yard interception return for a touchdown is r Rose Bowl record for longest interception return that still stands today.

Next ND picked up a fumbled attempted punt return and took it in for another TD.

Stanford scored its lone TD next, before Layden intercepted yet another Ernie Nevers pass and this time returned 'only' 70 yds for another TD.

ND intercepted 5 Indians' passes for the afternoon and recovered 3 fumbles.

The Indians had won the offensive stats battle but lost the game - badly. Afterwards, Stanford suggested that in the future stats should somehow be factored into who won the contest - rather than just who scored the most points.................

Many years later, author Jim Dent (never one to allow the facts to get in the way of a good story) wrote in his book 'Monster of the Midway':

"The (Ernie) Nevers legend actually dated to 1925, when he won the most valuable player award at the Rose Bowl by gaining 114 yds for Stanford University on 34 carries on what amounted to two broken ankles. He almost single-handedly defeated a Notre Dame Fighting Irish team that boasted the Four Horsemen."

Other than the part about who won the game and leaving out that Elmer Layden was co-MVP with Nevers (and his two thrown pass interceptions that by themselves were enough to insure the Irish victory), Dent did ok with the facts (although I'm not sure about the broken ankles part).

Speaking of broken bones, ND center Adam Walsh played the entire game while on the mend from two broken hands suffered during the season, Irish QB Harry Stuhldreher played in the contest with a broken ankle, and ND tackle Charlie Bach played with two cracked ribs.

            1  2  3  4   F
Notre Dame  0 13  7  7  27
Stanford    3  0  7  0  10

FINAL: Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-0) 27 Stanford Indians (7-1-1) 10

Notre Dame was acclaimed National Champion for the 1924 season.

Epilogue: In 1925 a basketball annex complete with a movable hardwood court and a gallery seating 6,000 spectators was added to the 1899 building. This extension, whose public entrance was on old Juniper Road, enabled the basketball varsity to play its home games on the campus instead of at the South Bend YMCA. Gate receipts from Notre Dame's first and only Rose Bowl appearance in 1925 helped pay for the new addition.

Keywords: football, stanford, rose bowl, bowl game, elmer layden, four horsemen, jim dent, monster of the midway, mvp, adam walsh, harry stuhldreher, national champions, charlie bach, mens basketball, basketball annex, knute rockne, glenn pop warner

Posted On: 2013-11-27 09:59:11 by Olson
Edited On: 2013-11-27 10:05:08 by IrishTrpt07


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