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Tommy Rees-to-DaVaris Daniels combo lifts Notre Dame to win over pesky Purdue

Notre Dame wide receiver DaVaris Daniels left goes up over Purdue cornerback Antoine Lewis for touchdown catch during second half

Notre Dame wide receiver DaVaris Daniels, left, goes up over Purdue cornerback Antoine Lewis for a touchdown catch during the second half of an NCAA college football game in West Lafayette, Ind., Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

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No. 21 NOTRE DAME 31, PURDUE 24

Notre Dame 0 3 7 21 — 31

Purdue 7 3 7 7 — 24

First Quarter

Pur—A.Hunt 15 pass from Henry (Griggs kick), 9:08.

Second Quarter

Pur—FG Griggs 47, 10:44.

ND—FG Brindza 20, :44.

Third Quarter

ND—McDaniel 1 run (Brindza kick), 10:37.

Pur—Knauf 18 pass from Henry (Griggs kick), 6:28.

Fourth Quarter

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.

A—61,127.

TEAM STATISTICS ND Pur

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

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

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.

NOTRE DAME (2-1)

Aug. 31 Temple W, 28-6

Sept. 7 at Michigan L, 41-30

Sept. 14 at Purdue W, 31-24

Sept. 21 Mich. State 2:30 p.m.

Sept. 28 Oklahoma 2:30 p.m.

Oct. 5 Ariz. State 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 19 USC 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 26 at Air Force 4 p.m.

Nov. 2 Navy 2:30 p.m.

Nov. 9 at Pittsburgh TBA

Nov. 23 BYU 2:30 p.m.

Nov. 30 at Stanford TBA

NOTRE DAME (2-0)

Aug. 31 Temple W, 28-6

Sept. 7 at Michigan W, 41-30

Sept. 14 at Purdue 7 p.m.

Sept. 21 Mich. State 2:30 p.m.

Sept. 28 Oklahoma 2:30 p.m.

Oct. 5 Ariz. State 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 19 USC 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 26 at Air Force 4 p.m.

Nov. 2 Navy 2:30 p.m.

Nov. 9 at Pittsburgh TBA

Nov. 23 BYU 2:30 p.m.

Nov. 30 at Stanford TBA

Updated: October 16, 2013 6:59AM



WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Tommy Rees had never had a longer completion.

DaVaris Daniels had never had a longer reception.

The two combined on an 82-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter. The play gave Notre Dame its first lead Saturday against Purdue, and the Irish held on to defeat the scrappy Boilermakers 31-24 in front of 61,127 fans at Ross-Ade Stadium.

Rees threw two touchdown passes, both to Daniels.

“It really got down to we made some plays that we didn’t make last week [in the loss to Michigan],” coach Brian Kelly said. “[Rees] really settled down [in the second half] and ran our offense. He managed it extremely well and made some big plays for us.”

Both touchdown passes came in the fourth quarter as Notre Dame avoided a major upset. Rees had 309 passing yards. Daniels caught eight passes for 167 yards.

“The offense stuck together, we had really good communication and we made some plays when we needed to,” Rees said.

Irish cornerback Bennett Jackson intercepted a pass and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown to seemingly put the game out of reach.

But Purdue rallied to close the deficit to seven. The Boilermakers had a chance to tie the game after getting good field position following a fumble by running back Amir Carlisle. But Notre Dame’s defense held strong, and the No. 21 Irish improved to 2-1.

“We’re still trying to find ourselves,’’ Kelly said. ‘‘And here’s what we did: We played hard for four quarters, we fought our butts off and we found a way to make some plays.’’

Rees found Daniels for a nine-yard touchdown to make it 17-17 with 14:47 left.

Notre Dame regained possession after a punt and took over at its 18. Rees threw a pass down the right sideline, and Daniels caught it in stride. He kept his balance and outraced cornerback Ricardo Allen for the long touchdown with 12:40 to go.

“I knew I was kind of close to the sideline,’’ Daniels said. ‘‘I had a step on him. I made sure I kept my feet moving and created a little distance with a stiff arm.’’

Rob Henry tried to rally the Boilermakers, but Jackson intercepted a pass and scored to give the Irish a 31-17 lead.

“I saw the quarterback looking at him; he put a little bit of air under the ball,” Jackson said.

Purdue (1-2) closed to seven thanks to a nine-yard touchdown pass from Henry to Justin Sinz with 8:16 left. Henry had 256 passing yards and three touchdown passes.

Carlisle fumbled on the next possession, but Notre Dame’s defense forced a three-and-out, and the Irish ran out the clock.

“We’re not a finished product,” Kelly said, “but to go on the road, after a tough game last week against a Big Ten opponent, it’s a really good win for our football team.”

Email: lpope@post-trib.com

Twitter: @lamondpope



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