Notre Dame dominates Purdue right out of gate in 38-10 route
BY NEIL HAYES firstname.lastname@example.org October 1, 2011 11:34PM
Michael Floyd scores a crowd-quieting touchdown on a 35-yard pass from Tommy Rees on Notre Dame’s second play from scrimmage. | AJ Mast~AP
Notre Dame 14 7 14 3 —38
Purdue 0 3 0 7 —10
ND—Floyd 35 pass from Rees (Ruffer kick), 14:36.
ND—J.Gray 2 run (Ruffer kick), :03.
ND—C.Wood 55 run (Ruffer kick), 9:06.
Pur—FG Wiggs 27, 3:39.
ND—Eifert 6 pass from Rees (Ruffer kick), 12:00.
ND—Jones 11 pass from Rees (Ruffer kick), 2:07.
ND—FG Ruffer 21, 8:06.
Pur—Edison 13 pass from TerBush (Wiggs kick), :21.
TEAM STATISTICS ND PU
First downs 34 17
Rushes-yards 40-287 27-84
Passing 264 192
Comp-Att-Int 25-41-0 19-38-1
Return Yards 10 0
Punts-Avg. 2-44.0 7-42.6
Fumbles-Lost 2-0 0-0
Penalties-Yards 8-85 13-118
Time of Possession 33:11 26:49
RUSHING—Notre Dame, C.Wood 20-191, J.Gray 15-94, Rees 1-3, Goodman 1-2, McDaniel 1-1, Team 2-(minus 4). Purdue, Hunt 3-25, Bolden 6-17, Edison 2-14, Marve 3-10, TerBush 6-8, Pegram 1-4, Shavers 5-4, Bush 1-2.
PASSING—Notre Dame, Rees 24-40-0-254, Crist 1-1-0-10. Purdue, Marve 9-22-0-91, TerBush 10-15-1-101, Thomas 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING—Notre Dame, Floyd 12-137, Jones 5-49, Eifert 4-38, C.Wood 2-22, G.Atkinson 1-10, Goodman 1-8. Purdue, Edison 7-105, Siller 4-26, Gravesande 2-22, Ross 2-13, Wright 1-9, Shavers 1-7, Bush 1-6, Hunt 1-4.
NOTRE DAME (3-2)
Sept. 3 South Florida L, 23-20
Sept. 10 at Michigan L, 35-31
Sept. 17 Michigan State W, 31-13
Sept. 24 at Pittsburgh W, 15-12
Oct. 1 at Purdue W, 38-10
Oct. 8 Air Force 2:30 p.m.
Oct. 22 USC 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 29 Navy 2:30 p.m.
Nov. 5 at Wake Forest TBA
Nov. 12 at Maryland 6:30 p.m.
Nov. 19 Boston College 3 p.m.
Nov. 26 at Stanford 7 p.m.
Updated: January 23, 2012 3:28AM
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — His team’s performance in a 38-10 victory over Purdue on Saturday night was what Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly had in mind when he went public with his team’s BCS bowl aspirations before the season.
The Fighting Irish dominated Purdue in every phase, racking up 551 yards and — most importantly — didn’t turn the ball over after a turnover-plagued first four games was threatening to define their season. Cierre Wood ran for 191 yards, and Michael Floyd had 137 receiving yards.
Quarterback Tommy Rees, who played poorly in the first half against Pittsburgh last week, completed 24 of 40 passes for 254 yards and three touchdowns while guiding an offense that finished with 34 first downs, two shy of the school record of 36 set against Navy in 1974.
“There’s a lot left for us,” running back Jonas Gray said. “We haven’t scratched the surface of the firepower we can bring.”
The game couldn’t have started out better for Notre Dame (3-2). Irish cornerback Gary Gray intercepted quarterback Caleb TerBush on Purdue’s first play. One play later, Rees hit Floyd in stride for a 35-yard touchdown that quieted the crowd of 61,555 at Ross-Ade Stadium 24 seconds into the game.
The Boilermakers were penalized four times on Notre Dame’s second scoring drive, including for unsportsmanlike conduct after an incomplete pass by Rees on third-and-goal from the Purdue 10. Purdue was penalized for holding on the next play, setting up Gray’s two-yard touchdown run that made it 14-0 with three seconds left in the opening quarter.
From that point forward, when the Boilermakers (2-2) weren’t being overwhelmed, they were self-destructing. Purdue had 13 penalties for 118 yards.
Notre Dame’s domination continued in the third quarter when Rees completed all four of his passes for 46 yards on a seven-play, 69-yard drive that ended with the sophomore hitting tight end Tyler Eifert in the end zone to make it 28-3 with 12 minutes left in the third.
“That was big for us, to march down the field after the half,” Eifert said. “I don’t think we’ve done that all season.”
Notre Dame’s defense continued its seasonlong trend of shutting down opposing offenses. Purdue managed three first downs and 126 total yards at halftime. The Boilermakers finished with 276 total yards, but 95 of those came on a drive that resulted in them scoring in the final seconds and making the game appear closer than it was.
Notre Dame kicker David Ruffer had one field goal blocked and missed a 49-yarder. They also had eight penalties for 85 yards, which will give Kelly something to harp about as the team begins preparations for Air Force.
“We can’t take a deep breath and say we’ve arrived,” Kelly said. “Air Force can beat us.”