The First Perfect Season

In the autumn of 1912, head coach John L. (Jack) Marks led Notre Dame to a 7-0 season – the team’s first perfect mark in program history (unless of course, you count the 1-0 seasons in 1888 and 1889). Led by quarterback Gus Dorais (‘14) and end Knute Rockne (’14), the team outscored its opponents, 389-27. Notre Dame played four games at Cartier Field, while traveling to Pittsburgh and St. Louis, and battling Marquette at Comiskey Park in Chicago. In this ‘Strong and True’ moment, look back on the 1912 season through images from the University of Notre Dame Archives.

1912 Notre Dame football schedule
Oct. 5: vs. St. Viator (W) 116-7
Oct. 12: vs. Adrian (W) 74-7
Oct. 19: vs. Morris Harvey (W) 39-0
Oct. 26: vs. Wabash (W) 41-6
Nov. 2: at Pittsburgh (W) 3-0
Nov. 9: at Saint Louis (W) 47-7
Nov. 28: vs. Marquette (W) 69-0

1912 Cartier Field

Cars parked around the perimeter of Cartier Field in 1912. This photo originally appeared in the 1913 Dome yearbook.

1912 Marquette

Notre Dame took on Marquette at Comiskey Park in the 1912 season finale, and won, 69-0.

1912 campus

Students parading around campus near the Basilica of the Sacred Heart before the game between Notre Dame and Wabash.

1912 team

The 1912 Notre Dame football team poses outside. Knute Rockne is fifth from the right in the second row.

1912 Wabash

Gus Dorais kicks a field goal against Wabash. Notre Dame won, 41-6.

1912 Dorais Marquette

Gus Dorais carries the ball versus Marquette.