Notre Dame uses second-half burst to beat Purdue
Posted: 09/14/2013 at 11:01 am
By: Rachel Terlep
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Notre Dame running back Amir Carlisle, center, picks up yards as he gets past Purdue defensive tackle Ryan Watson (92) and cornerback Ricardo Allen during the first half of an NCAA college football game in West Lafayette, Ind., Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Purdue quarterback Rob Henry throws against Notre Dame during the first half of an NCAA college football game in West Lafayette, Ind., Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees throws against Purdue during the first half of an NCAA college football game in West Lafayette, Ind., Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Notre Dame wide receiver DaVaris Daniels, right, is tackled by Purdue safety Taylor Richards after making a catch during the first half of an NCAA college football game in West Lafayette, Ind., Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Notre Dame linebacker Prince Shembo, right, grabs the face mask of Purdue wide receiver B.J. Knauf as he tries to make a tackle during the first half of an NCAA college football game in West Lafayette, Ind., Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
The Fighting Irish rebounded from a sluggish start and held off the Boilermakers 31-24 Saturday, Sept. 14, at Ross-Ade Stadium.
ND used a 21-point burst in a 3:24 stretch of the fourth quarter, including Bennett Jackson’s dazzling interception return for a touchdown for a sixth consecutive win over its in-state rival.
• Any fears of a hangover after the Michigan game were confirmed during Purdue’s opening drive.
The Boilermakers met little resistance from the Irish defense in the opening drive of the game. Purdue marched 75 yards on 12 plays in its first touchdown drive of the night.
Notre Dame only gave up a field goal for the rest of the half, but the Boilermakers kept the Irish at bay with deep field position. To put Purdue’s first-half offensive achievements (and Notre Dame’s first-half defense ineptitude) in perspective, the Boilermakers totaled less than 300 yards offense against Indiana State and Cincinnati. The Boilermakers had 147 yards on the Irish at the half.
Fortunately for Notre Dame, things took a turn for the better in the second half...
• DaVaris Daniels was a second-half salvation.
For a team searching for playmakers in place of Michael Floyd and Tyler Eifert, DaVaris Daniels may be the real deal. Daniels grabbed 6 of his 8 catches in the second half for 130 total yards.
He scored back-to-back touchdowns on consecutive drives, first off a 9-yard corner route and then off a career-high 82-yard foxtrot up the sideline.
Daniels fought off cornerback Ricardo Allen the entire way on that 82-yard score, proving that he has the speed, strength and balance to be the playmaker Notre Dame has been looking for.
• Teams have found a way to neutralize — or at least slow down — Louis Nix and Stephon Tuitt.
Temple and Michigan successfully slowed Notre Dame’s two preseason All-Americans with double- and triple-coverage. Add Purdue to that list.
Tuitt’s fourth-quarter tackle on Akeem Hunt was his first since the season opener against Temple. Tuitt chased down Henry once in the second half but otherwise stayed off the stat sheet.
Nix isn’t expected to lead the team in tackles, but the double-coverage should free up his teammates’ lanes to the quarterback. Notre Dame chased down Connor Reilly, Devan Gardner and Henry, but all three quarterbacks found ways to evade the sack and make plays out of the pocket.
• Cam McDaniel may not be the long-term answer at running back, but he’s an answer for getting ND out of a pinch.
When Notre Dame still trailed, it was Cam McDaniel who did everything he could to put the Irish back in the game. McDaniel bloodied himself in the first half, came back in the third quarter with stitches behind his ear and powered in a 1-yard run to tie the game up at 10.
On the following kickoff, McDaniel chased down returner B.J. Knauf to prevent a run back for a touchdown.
McDaniel may not have the size or speed to be Notre Dame’s long-term solution in the backfield, but the junior has guts. The small but sturdy back was used in ND’s final march to run out the clock.
No. 21 NOTRE DAME 31, PURDUE 24
Notre Dame 0 3 7 21—31
Purdue 7 3 7 7—24
Pur—A.Hunt 15 pass from Henry (Griggs kick), 9:08.
Pur—FG Griggs 47, 10:44.
ND—FG Brindza 20, :44.
ND—McDaniel 1 run (Brindza kick), 10:37.
Pur—Knauf 18 pass from Henry (Griggs kick), 6:28.
ND—Daniels 9 pass from Rees (Brindza kick), 14:47.
ND—Daniels 82 pass from Rees (Brindza kick), 12:40.
ND—Jackson 34 interception return (Brindza kick), 11:18.
Pur—Sinz 9 pass from Henry (Griggs kick), 8:16.
First downs 20 16
Rushes-yards 37-91 21-38
Passing 309 256
Comp-Att-Int 20-33-0 25-41-1
Return Yards 34 18
Punts-Avg. 4-36.8 5-41.8
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 1-0
Penalties-Yards 3-23 6-55
Time of Possession 31:12 28:48
RUSHING—Notre Dame, McDaniel 16-56, G.Atkinson 5-27, Carlisle 11-16, Bryant 1-2, Team 2-(minus 4), Rees 2-(minus 6). Purdue, A.Hunt 12-22, Dawkins 3-8, Knauf 2-6, Henry 4-2.
PASSING—Notre Dame, Rees 20-33-0-309. Purdue, Henry 25-40-1-256, Marshall 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING—Notre Dame, Daniels 8-167, T.Jones 4-57, Carlisle 3-16, C.Brown 1-40, Prosise 1-12, G.Atkinson 1-11, Niklas 1-9, McDaniel 1-(minus 3). Purdue, A.Hunt 9-72, Sinz 6-45, Knauf 4-51, Mikesky 2-56, Carter 1-14, Posey 1-7, Macarthy 1-6, Bade 1-5.