Foe Info: Purdue
• What's a Purdue?—Not what, who. Purdue was created as a result of the Morrill Act, which was signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1862 to promote establishment of schools to teach agriculture and the "mechanic arts."
John Purdue was a Lafayette, Ind., businessman who pledged money and land for the school. The university was then named after Purdue, who was a school trustee until his death in 1876.
Five Purdue campuses total more than 69,000 students, including 38,712 in West Lafayette, Ind., home of the Boilermakers. It is one of the 25 largest colleges and universities in the United States.
• Fly boys—Purdue is the alma mater of Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon…Twenty-two graduates—20 men and two women—have been selected to participate in the NASA space program…Purdue alumni have flown on more than one-third of all manned U.S. space flights…Purdue is ranked 21st in the nation in the latest U.S. News & World Report top 50 public universities and was ranked 59th in the world and ninth among American public universities in a survey by The Times of London.
• Hot ticket—The year before head coach Joe Tiller arrived (1996), Purdue averaged 45,306 fans per game in Ross-Ade Stadium. That had increased to 65,319 by 2000.
• Mr. Ross and Mr. Ade—Ross-Ade Stadium was dedicated in 1924. The stadium is named for its two principal benefactors—David E. Ross, the late president of the Board of Trustees, and the late George Ade, playwright and humorist. Ross and Ade conceived the idea for the stadium, selected the site, and purchased and presented the 65-acre tract of land to the university.
• Quarterback U.—In 2004, The Sporting News included Purdue's quarterback tradition among its "101 Reasons to Love the Big Ten." Former quarterback standouts include Len Dawson (1954-56), Bob Griese (1964-66), Mike Phipps (1967-69), Gary Danielson (1970-72), Mark Herrmann (1977-80), Jim Everett (1981-85), Drew Brees (1997-2000) and Kyle Orton (2001-04).
• Better Find the Trophy—Eighteen miniature gold footballs signifying Purdue victories adorn the base of the Shillelagh, the trophy that goes to the winner of the annual Purdue-Notre Dame football game. The Irish have "ND" on 31 such footballs.
The Shillelagh was donated in 1957 by the late Joe McLaughlin, a merchant seaman and a Fighting Irish fan who brought the club from Ireland.
• Simply the Best—Taylor Stubblefield (2001-04) is Purdue's as well as the NCAA career reception leader with 325.
• By George—New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner was a volunteer assistant coach at Purdue during the 1956 season. Steinbrenner also coached at Northwestern. He left Purdue to help his father, George II, run the family business, the American Shipbuilding Company in Cleveland. He purchased the Yankees in 1973.
• Another Streak—Notre Dame has lost eight bowl games in a row, but Purdue is on a bit of a bad stretch as well. The Boilermakers have lost five of their last six bowl games, losing to Georgia twice, Washington State, Arizona State and splitting with Washington.
Purdue won six of its first seven bowl games, beginning with its 14-13 victory over USC in the 1967 Rose Bowl.
• Joe Chasing Jack—With four victories this year, Joe Tiller has won 71 games as head coach of the Boilermakers from 1997-to-present (now in his 10th season).
Tiller trails only Jack Mollenkopf (1956-69) in career victories. Mollenkopf won 84 games in 14 seasons. From 1966-68, with Bob Griese at quarterback, Purdue won 25 games. The only season Mollenkopf finished under .500 in 14 seasons was his first in 1956.
• The One and Only—Only one Purdue team has ever won 10 games in a season—the 1979 team under Jim Young.
• The One and Only II—Purdue has won eight Big Ten championships in football, but only one was outright, in 1929.
• Pre-Tiller Not Pretty—From the start of the Leon Burtnett era in 1982 through the Jim Colletto era that concluded in 1996—a total of 15 seasons—Purdue won just 54 games, an average of less than four victories per season.
Burtnett (1982-86) was 21-34-1, winning just three games in three of his five years at the helm. Fred Akers (1987-90) was 12-31-1, never winning more than four games in any of his fours seasons. Colletto's highwater mark for victories in his six years in West Lafayette was five in 1994. In 1993, Purdue finished 1-10.
• Twice as Good—Notre Dame's all-time record against Purdue is 50-25-2.
• Mr. A and Mr. A—Purdue's top two all-time leading rushers are Mike Alstott (1992-95) with 3,635 yards and Otis Armstrong (1970-72) with 3,315 yards.
Source: 2006 Purdue football media guide