The Notre Dame Fighting Irish avoided a second loss on Saturday, putting up three touchdowns in the fourth quarter en route to a 31-24 victory over the Purdue Boilermakers. The Irish trailed by seven points heading into the fourth quarter, which saw four touchdowns overall.
After Tommy Rees hit DaVaris Daniels for a nine-yard touchdown at the beginning of the fourth, they forced the Boilermakers to punt after a single first down. On the first play of the ensuing drive, Rees hit Daniels again, this time for an 82-yard touchdown to take a solid lead.
From there, Purdue took over again and Rob Henry was faced with a 3rd and 3. Henry dropped back and threw a pass to try and convert, but it was picked off by Notre Dame's Rob Henry, who returned it 34 yards for a touchdown to increase the lead.
But it wasn't smooth sailing for Notre Dame following that drive, as Purdue managed a 7-play, 75-yard drive which was capped off by a Henry touchdown to Justin Sinz for nine yards. On the ensuing Notre Dame possession, Amir Carlisle fumbled the ball and Joe Gilliam recovered it for the Boilermakers.
Unfortunately for Purdue, they were unable to gain any traction and had to punt after a three and out. Notre Dame then put together a long drive and were able to kill the clock to seal the win.
Box Score Hero: Daniels had an excellent day for Notre Dame, catching nine passes for 177 yards and a pair of touchdowns. One of those passes was the aforementioned 82-yard touchdown reception. Other than him, Rees had a solid day passing for Notre Dame with 319 yards and two touchdowns.
Rankings Ramifications: Notre Dame is already ranked No. 21 and losing to Purdue surely would have pushed them even further back. However, they did manage a win, but with their early game struggles they would need some help from the teams ranked higher faltering to move up this week.
But Did They Cover?: Notre Dame opened as 21.5-point favorites over Purdue, though the huge line did narrow as the week went on. It settled right around 17 points in favor of the Irish. They obviously did not cover in any scenario.
For More On This Game: For more on Irish football, visit Notre Dame community One Foot Down. For more on Boilermakers football, visit Purdue community Hammer And Rails, plus Big Ten community Off Tackle Empire.
Next Week's Schedule: Purdue will hit the road to take on the Wisconsin Badgers on Sept. 21. Notre Dame will return home to host the Michigan State Spartans on the same date.