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Molly Sequin | NCAA.com | September 28, 2018

Notre Dame vs. Stanford: The story behind the Legends Trophy

Stanford and Notre Dame will meet each other at 7:30 p.m. ET in South Bend, Indiana this Saturday. The meeting will mark the 33rd time the teams meet for the rivalry, which began in 1925.

Since 1997, the teams have met at Notre Dame early in the season during even numbered years, and at Stanford the weekend after Thanksgiving during odd numbered years. They’ve met every year since 1988, other than 1995 and 1996.

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This particular battle for the Legends Trophy is even more special than usual as it marks the first time the No. 7 Cardinal and and No. 8 Fighting Irish are both in the AP top 10. 

As its name suggest, the Legends Trophy is named after the teams’ meeting in the 1925 Rose Bowl, which was said to host more legends on one field than any other game. This was the Fighting Irish’s first trip to California, and they got there by train. In a game with players including the Four Horsemen (Jim Crowley, Don Miller, Elmer Layden, and Harry Stuhldreher), Notre Dame topped Stanford 27-10. It was Notre Dame’s first national championship.

The Notre Dame Club of the San Francisco Bay area created the trophy with nods to both teams — an Irish crystal bowl and Northern California redwood.

Each year, the trophy gets a small metal plaque with the final score of the game.

Stanford came out of the last three games on top, but there has been no clear dominance over the past decade. And the games usually end up pretty close. All three of the last Legends Trophy games played in West Bend have been decided by seven or less points. 

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Notre Dame leads the series 19-13. In the 31 years the game has been played at Notre Dame or Stanford, the traveling team has won on the road only eight times. So, this is a series in which the home team has a major advantage. Can the Cardinal notch a road win over the Fighting Irish this year to bring the Legends Trophy back to Stanford?

Here’s who won each year during the rivalry:

Number Date Location winner score
1 Jan. 1, 1925 Rose Bowl Notre Dame 27-10
2 Oct. 10, 1942 Notre Dame Notre Dame 27-0
3 Oct. 26, 1963 Stanford Stanford 24-14
4 Oct. 24, 1964 Notre Dame Notre Dame 28-6
5 Oct. 1, 1988 Notre Dame Notre Dame 42-14
6 Oct. 7, 1989 Stanford Notre Dame 27-17
7 Oct. 6, 1990 Notre Dame Stanford 36-31
8 Oct. 5, 1991 Stanford Notre Dame 42-26
9 Oct. 3, 1992 Notre Dame Stanford 33-16
10 Oct. 2, 1993 Stanford Notre Dame 48-20
11 Oct. 1, 1994 Notre Dame Notre Dame 34-15
12 Oct. 4, 1997 Stanford Stanford 33-15
13 Oct. 3, 1998 Notre Dame Notre Dame 35-17
14 Nov. 27, 1999 Stanford Stanford 40-37
15 Oct. 7, 2000 Notre Dame Notre Dame 20-14
16 Nov. 24, 2001 Stanford Stanford 17-13
17 Oct. 5, 2002 Notre Dame Notre Dame 31-7
18 Nov. 29, 2003 Stanford Notre Dame 57-7
19 Oct. 9, 2004 Notre Dame Notre Dame 23-15
20 Nov. 26, 2005 Stanford Notre Dame 38-31
21 Oct. 7, 2006 Notre Dame Notre Dame 31-10
22 Nov. 24, 2007 Stanford Notre Dame 21-14
23 Oct. 4, 2008 Notre Dame Notre Dame 28-21
24 Nov. 28, 2009 Stanford Stanford 45-38
25 Sept. 25, 2010 Notre Dame Stanford 37-14
26 Nov. 26, 2011 Stanford Stanford 28-14
27 Oct. 13, 2002 Notre Dame Notre Dame 20-13
28 Nov. 30, 2013 Stanford Stanford 27-20
29 Oct. 4, 2014 Notre Dame Notre Dame 17-14
30 Nov. 28, 2015 Stanford Stanford 38-36
31 Oct. 15, 2016 Notre Dame Stanford 17-10
32 Nov. 25, 2017 Stanford Stanford 38-20