Notre Dame rallies past Boilermakers 24-21Published 8:54am Monday, September 28, 2009
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Injured toe or not, Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen led the team down the field to lift the Fighting Irish to a 24-21 come-from-behind victory over Purdue.
Clausen came of the bench, after spending much of the second half watching back up Dayne Crist run the offense, to lead Notre Dame (3-1) on a six play, 69 yard drive which ended with a 2-yard Clausen to tight end Kyle Rudolph touchdown pass with 24.8 seconds remaining on fourth down.
The Fighting Irish had to rally against a Boilermaker team that scored with 3:14 remaining in the game to finally overtake Notre Dame, which dominated the first half of play, but had trouble generating offense in the second half with Clausen on the sideline.
Purdue (1-3) had outscored Notre Dame 14-0 until the final drive to erase a 17-7 halftime advantage for the Fighting Irish.
Neither team scored in the third quarter.
The final drive started at Notre Dame’s own 28-yard line with 3:41 remaining on the clock.
An off-sides penalty on Purdue got the drive started for the Fighting Irish, who on its first snap completed a 12-yard pass from Clausen to Golden Tate. A 22-yard pass to Rudolph got Notre Dame down to the Purdue 22-yard line.
Following a short run by Robert Hughes, Clausen was sacked for a 9-yard loss back to the Purdue 36.
Following a time out with 1:21 left in the game, Clausen completed a pass to Robby Parris for 15 yards and one to Tate for another 17 yards down to the Boilermakers’ 4-yard line.
An incomplete pass and a 2-yard run left Notre Dame just two yards away from victory.
Then, inexplicably Purdue called a time out with 37 seconds remaining when the Fighting Irish were scrambling to get another play off since it had no more time outs remaining.
With a chance to settle down and get the right play called, Clausen threw an incomplete pass to set up fourth and two with less than a half minute to play.
On the next snap, however, Clausen found Rudolph, who had broken free from his defender just a couple of steps into the end zone and hit him right between the numbers.
“”It surprised me and helped us out a lot,” Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis said of the time out. “We were going to clock it and then make sure we had enough time to run another play. It gave us an opportunity to gather ourselves for third and fourth down.”
“I wanted to leave enough time to run a couple of plays,” Purdue coach Danny Hope said. “I wanted to save some time and be able to run three or four plays.”
The Boilermakers got out of the gate fast, but couldn’t maintain the momentum in the first half.
Purdue marched down the field on its first possession and scored on a 36-yard pass from Joey Elliott to Aaron Valentin.
But it was all Fighting Irish from there as they would score 17 unanswered points and took a 17-7 lead into the locker room.
Notre Dame got a 34-yard field goal from freshman Nick Tausch to open the scoring and then Hughes scored on a 2-yard run and Tate, working out of the Wildcat formation in place of injured running back Armando Allen, scored on a 14-yard run to cap the first half scoring.
Neither team was able to mount much of a threat in the third quarter, but the Boilermakers found some life in the final 15 minutes.
Keith Smith hauled in a 3-yard pass from Elliott and then Jaycen Taylor caught a 38-yard strike from Elliott to give Purdue the lead and it appeared a come-from-behind victory with just 3:14 remaining in the contest.
But Clausen and company had other ideas, even though he wasn’t supposed to come back on the field in the second half.
“”He actually wasn’t supposed to play in the second half,” Weis said. “He took some medication at halftime, and we tried to run a lot of shotgun formations so it would take pressure off his footwork. We talked at the beginning of the fourth quarter and he said he could go.”
“We just had to go down and score. The offense did a great job, Kyle (Rudolph) did a great job,” Clausen said of the winning drive. “After we broke the huddle, Kyle came up to me and said, ‘Jimmy, get me the ball.’ I told him, ‘You’d better get up and catch the ball.’”
The final statistics were nearly as even as the final score.
Notre Dame held a 383-363 advantage in total yards.
Clausen was 15-of-26 for 171 yards and an interception, while Crist was 5-of-10 for 45 yards.
Tate finished with five receptions for 57 yards and Rudolph four catches for 52 yards.
Tate also had 57 yards rushing on nine carries. Hughes led the ground game with 68 yards on 15 totes as the Fighting Irish racked up 200 yards on the ground.
Elliott finished the night 22-of-38 for 289 yards and an interception.
Keith Smith had 136 yards on 11 receptions for the Boilermakers.
Ralph Bolden was held to 75 yards on 17 carries. He came into the game with 421 yards rushing.
Notre Dame 3 14 0 7 – 24
Purdue 7 0 0 14 – 21
P – Aaron Valentin 36 pass from Joey Elliott (Carson Wiggs kick)
ND – Nick Tausch 34 field goal
ND – Robert Hughes 2 run (Tausch kick)
ND – Golden Tate 14 run (Tausch kick)
P – Keith Smith 3 pass from Elliott (Wiggs kick)
P – Jaycen Taylor 38 pass from Elliott (Wiggs kick)
ND – Kyle Rudolph 2 pass from Jimmy Clausen (Tausch kick)