I made this list last year before the big game, and with another game added on I decided to change it up a little. This year will mark the 9th game between the schools that I have seen. Here is my ranking of the top games between the Irish and Boilers:
8. 9/27/2003 Notre Dame looked horrible in this game losing 23-10. A Quinn to Stovall 85 yard TD pass is the lone highlight for the Irish. Notre Dame was close at the half, but never came out to play in the second half.
7. 12/1/2001 This game was played in December because of the attacks of September 11th. Neither team played real well, and Notre Dame wins 24-18 in Bob Davie’s last game as coach of the Irish. Vontez Duff’s 96 yard kickoff return is the highlight of the game.
6. 9/14/1996 Notre Dame runs all over Purdue at Notre Dame Stadium. Allan Rossum returns a kickoff 99 yards as the Irish win easily 35-0.
5. 9/24/1994 I came home from college to watch my first game in the series. Notre Dame easily handles the Boilers at home. Ray Zellars and Randy Kinder run for 156 and 143 yards respectively. Notre Dame wins 39-21.
4. 9/30/2006 Notre Dame comes into the game ranked #12 and beats Purdue 35-21. Selwyn Lymon sets a record for Irish opponents with 8 receptions for 238 yards and 2 touchdowns. Curtis Painter throws for 398 yards with 2 touchdowns. Brady Quinn throws for 316 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jeff Samardzija scores a TD on a fake field goal at the end of the first half to put Notre Dame up by two scores. With seemingly no time left on the clock Selwyn Lymon streaks down the field to bring Purdue closer with the half ending. A monsoon washes away some of the fun during the second half.
3. 10/1/2005 Notre Dame comes into Ross-Aide with revenge on their mind after getting pounded at home the year before. I found a cheap ticket on E-bay to get into the stadium and ended up in the middle of the Notre Dame student section. I had a great time watching the Irish pick holes in the Boiler secondary. Quinn threw for 440 yards in 3 quarters, and Samardzija had 153 yards receiving with 2 TD’s. Irish win 49-28.
2. 9/11/1999 Sitting in the Purdue student section for the second time in three years wearing Irish colors I watch Purdue stop Notre Dame three times at the goaline to seal a 28-23 win. Drew Brees diving over the pylon for a two point conversion is one of the memorable moments of the game.
1. 9/13/1997 My first game in the series at Ross-Aide. Notre Dame never got it going, and the Boilers snap an eleven game losing streak to the Irish. Fans storm the field after the game. I stayed in the Purdue Student section in disbelief. This game did mark the rebirth of the Boiler football program. Boilers win 28-17.