Colvin Keys Purdue’s Upset of Irish in 1997


Notre Dame has largely controlled its rivalry with Purdue, holding a 56–26–2 edge all-time against the Boilermakers. Yet there have been times when Purdue has taken the Fighting Irish by surprise.

The 1997 battle for the Shillelagh Trophy was one example. Despite allowing 457 yards of offense to the 12th-ranked Irish, Purdue — which had dropped 11 straight in the series — made enough big plays to win. None was bigger than when DE Rosevelt Colvin forced a fumble from Notre Dame QB Ron Pawlus with 8:37 remaining. Teammate Adrian Beasley returned it 43 yards to give the Boilermakers a 21–10 lead it would never relinquish in a 28-17 victory.

Colvin earned Second Team All-Big Ten honors in 1997 and First Team honors in ’98 before embarking on a 10-year NFL career in which he won two Super Bowls with the New England Patriots. He’s now a college football analyst for the Big Ten Network as well as an Indianapolis businessman.

Purdue — losers of five straight to Notre Dame — hosts the Irish on Saturday. Rosevelt Colvin profile

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