Tommy Rees threw for 309 yards and two touchdowns and the Irish running game woke up behind the legs of Cam McDaniel as Notre Dame escaped an upset-minded Purdue squad 31-24 in West Lafayette.
The Irish offense was nothing less than abysmal in the first half, with a lackadaisical passing game that barely netted a hundred yards and a rushing game that was going nowhere. But the Irish offense woke up in the second half, highlighted by Rees' 200+ passing yards and a pair of touchdown passes to DaVaris Daniels.
A rushing game that was chock-full of mistakes and miscues saw a glimmer of hope in Cam McDaniel, who rushed for 56 yards and a touchdown and was able to run the clock out when it mattered late in the 4th quarter.
- Leading off the Instant Reaction tonight is ACC referee, Ron Cherry, who is not only a solid ref, but is best known for this gem
- Rob Henry threw his first three TD passes of the season for the Boilermakers
- In their first two games, Purdue had not converted more than 4 third downs. Tonight, Purdue had converted 5 halfway through the 2nd quarter.
- The last time ND's offense went without an offensive TD in the first half was the National Championship game against Alabama.
- Welcome to the running game Cam McDaniel. On ND's Field Goal scoring drive, McDaniel carried the ball 4 times for 15 yards, coming back onto the field after losing his helmet and opening a nice gash on his forehead.
- Notre Dame rushed for 29 yards in the first half, with Rees' 7-yard loss from the sack included. They would finish with 91 rushing yards on 37 carries for 2.5 yards per carry. If you take out Rees' sack and the victory formation, ND rushed 33 times for 101 yards. That is 3 yards per carry.
- Purdue rushed for 25 yards in the first half. They would finish with 38(!) rushing yards on 21 carries. That is 1.8 yards per carry.
- ESPN/ABC's sideline reporter, Heather Cox, made an offhand remark after the half when recapping her conversation with Brian Kelly that Rees was checking out of running plays.
- TJ Jones scored a touchdown in his first three games vs. Purdue. That streak ended tonight.
- Cam McDaniel scored the first touchdown tonight for the Irish offense.
- Notre Dame took their first lead of the game with a 82-yard TD catch by Daniels from Rees at the 12:40 mark in the 4th Quarter
- The Irish defense scored their second defensive TD of the season with a 34-yard Pick Six by Bennett Jackson.
- DaVaris Daniels' 167 receiving yards are a career high for him.
- This was Daniels' second game this season with 2 TD catches.
- Notre Dame ran 72 plays. Purdue ran 63 plays.
- A sign of the Irish offense's 2nd half dominance? They were 11-16 on 3rd down tonight.
- This was the Irish's 6th straight win over the Boilermakers.
Michigan State next weekend! Pucker, pucker, pucker.