Remembering Santa Clara
Dec. 9, 2017


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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue football has a history with Santa Clara, California.

The Boilermakers played the University of Santa Clara at Kezar Stadium on Oct. 28, 1939.

Purdue had a 1-1-1 record when it traveled to the Bay Area, having beaten Michigan State (20-7), tied Minnesota (13-13) and lost to Notre Dame (3-0).

Before a crowd of 8,000, the Boilermakers took an early 6-0 lead on a 63-yard touchdown from halfback Mike Byelene to end Dave Rankin. But the Broncos rallied for a 13-6 victory.

In the book, “Boilermakers: A History of Purdue Football,” author Bob Collins wrote that head coach Mal Elward “was incensed at the officiating, which counted off 50 yards in penalties to zero for Santa Clara.”

Purdue went on to finish the 1939 season with a 3-3-2 overall record, including a 2-1-2 mark in the Big Ten Conference, good for third place. All but one of the games was decided by seven points or less, including five by three or less. The Boilermakers scored 56 points for the season while allowing 53.

The original Kezar Stadium, which opened in 1925, was demolished in 1989. A new stadium opened in 1990. Santa Clara discontinued its football program following the 1992 season.

Purdue has made two other Bay Area appearances, defeating Stanford 26-14 in Palo Alto on Oct. 3, 1970, and losing at California 42-18 on Sept. 14, 1991.

The Boilermakers will square off against Arizona in the Foster Farms Bowl at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara on Dec. 27. Kickoff is set for 8:30 p.m. ET, and the game will be televised by FOX.

 

 

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