SOUTH BEND – Purdue coach Danny Hope wasn’t thrilled with the outcome of the Boilermakers’ 20-17 loss to No. 22 Notre Dame on Saturday, but he liked the fight he saw from his team.
The Boilermakers (1-1) tied the game twice after falling behind 7-0 and 17-7 to the Irish (2-0).
I was really proud of our effort, Hope said. We were only a few plays away from knocking off a really good football team in their home place.
Purdue forced Notre Dame to rely on sophomore quarterback Everett Golson, a first-year starter, on Saturday by holding the Irish’s running game to 52 yards on 36 carries.
Golson was able to throw for 289 yards and a touchdown, but the Boilermakers sacked him five times and forced him to fumble late in the fourth quarter.
But after Caleb TerBush connected on a 15-yard touchdown pass to Antavian Edison to tie the game at 17 after the fumble, Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees came off the bench with 2:12 to play and engineered a 55-yard game-winning drive that was capped by a 27-yard Kyle Brindza field goal.
I thought we showed great promise as a football team, and I think we’re going to do very well this season, Hope said.
Notre Dame’s use of Rees to run the final drive surprised the Purdue defense.
Defensive end Kawann Short, who had two of the Boilermakers’ five sacks, said he expected to see Rees earlier as the Irish struggled to run the ball.
He’s a better passer than Golson, and we thought if the defensive line could stop the run, he’d come in early, Short said.
Notre Dame was already without kicker Nick Tausch because of a groin strain entering the game, and then the injuries started piling up against Purdue.
Tight end Tyler Eifert, a Bishop Dwenger graduate who had four catches for 98 yards against the Boilermakers, suffered a concussion and missed most of the fourth quarter.
Defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore had a calf strain, and safety Jamoris Slaughter injured his shoulder on a big hit on Purdue tight end Gabe Holmes in the second quarter.
Linebacker Ishaq Williams injured his elbow, defensive end Sheldon Day had to be taken out because of dehydration, and DaVaris Daniels sprained his ankle.
We don’t have anything that will require surgery, coach Brian Kelly said.
There are probably going to be things that we have to manage, but the expectation would be that most of these guys are going to be cleared (to play) in a short period of time.