UPDATE: Notre Dame football to play Purdue in Indy in 2014, but long break coming for series

South Bend Tribune

SOUTH BEND — The press release Thursday that finally made official what had long been speculated had some seismic details buried toward the end.

Yes, Notre Dame is moving its 2014 home football game with Purdue to Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium, making it the sixth Shamrock Series off-site home game. The game will take place at 7:30 p.m. EDT on Sept. 13 in the 67,000-seat facility.

More newsy is the fact the 86th meeting between the in-state rivals, and the first in Indy since coach Gerry Faust’s eighth-ranked Irish stumbled to a 23-21 loss in 1984, will be the last in the series until 2020. The Boilermakers and Irish have met every season since 1946 uninterrupted.

“We worked every angle we could come up with to put games together,” Purdue athletic director Morgan Burke said Thursday during a media teleconference. “We’ve been successful at least in pushing the games out into the next decade.

“I know there are going to be some people who are disappointed that were weren’t able to keep the string alive. And yet the world changes. Sometimes there are things that are not in Purdue’s control or Notre Dame’s control that we’ve got to deal with in the bigger scheme of things.”

ND’s entire 2014 schedule will finally be revealed at an 11 a.m. (EDT) press conference on Friday. Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick will also discuss Irish football schedules further into the future.

Because of the Big Ten’s impending move from an eight-game to a nine-game league schedule and ND’s commitment to loading up its schedule with Atlantic Coast Conference teams, there were hints that there might have to be some short furloughs in the ND-Purdue series.

But between 2015 and 2026, the Irish and Boilers meet just five times – Sept. 19, 2020 at Purdue; Sept. 18, 2021 at Notre Dame; Sept. 14, 2024 at Purdue; Sept. 13, 2025 at Notre Dame; and in 2026 on a date and at a neutral site location to be determined.

“That (2026) is a Shamrock Series game,” Burke clarified. “We haven’t decided on the location yet. We thought we ought to wait until we get a little further down the road. We’re pretty mindful that we know where the Purdue fans and Notre Dame fans are, but I don’t think we were ready to make that call at this particular point in time.”

Swarbrick and Burke are working on dates beyond 2026.

“I don’t like to see traditions broken,” Burke said, “which is why we tried to look into the future and create a pathway so people didn’t think there was some kind of chasm between the schools. At the end of the day, this is going to give Purdue an opportunity to bring some (teams) into Ross-Ade Stadium that we haven’t been able to do.”

A recently announced home-and-home series with Virginia Tech is just one of them.

Burke said there was no truth to the rumor that Purdue’s insistence on playing seven homes games a year, rather then being flexible and playing six in some seasons, doomed the annual nature of the Purdue-ND rivalry.

“Maybe this whole thing doesn’t happen if the Big East situation doesn’t come upon them,” Burke said. “But Notre Dame was in a pretty tough situation when the whole future of the Big East was on the table. I think they had to find a situation that worked for them.”

As far as the 2014 Shamrock Series game is concerned, Purdue will have access to 10,000 seats, all behind the Boilermaker bench – twice the normal visiting-school allotment – in the nearly 6-year-old home of the Indianapolis Colts. The last time the two teams played in Indiana’s capital city, they played in the Hoosier Dome.


Twitter: @hansenNDInsider

Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees (11) prepares to run a play under center during an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, in West Lafayette, Ind. SBT Photo/JAMES BROSHER