Sep 15, 2013, 1:17 AM EDT
It seemed that throughout the first half of today’s football game between the Irish and the Boilermakers at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Ind., I was fending off people telling me why Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees should be replaced. Well, I’m not sure where they are now…
The 31-24 win over Purdue was not without mistakes and things to work on, here are my three thoughts on today’s game:
1. Rewriting The Record Books
Coming into the 2013 season the spotlight was squarely on the Irish defense and the talk about how high their ceiling can be, throughout the first three games the Irish offense is what is what is rewriting the record books. Here is just a sampling of what the Irish offense accomplished today:
- Rees’ third-straight 300-yard passing game to begin the season (first time since 2009 when Jimmy Clausen did it. Clausen didn’t make it four straight).
- DaVaris Daniels had a career-high eight catches and 167 yards to go along with career-tying two touchdowns. His 167 yards are the most since Golden Tate had 201 yards versus Stanford on Nov. 28, 2009.
- The 82-yard touchdown pass from Rees to Daniels was the longest passing touchdown for the Irish since 2010 when Kyle Rudolph caught a 95-yard touchdown pass from Dayne Crist. This pass was also Rees’ longest career pass, Daniels longest career reception and it moved Rees into a tie for fourth with Rick Mirer for touchdown tosses in a career at Notre Dame with 41.
- After his first touchdown pass of the day Rees became just the fifth Notre Dame signal caller to throw 40 touchdown passes in a career.
- With his four-catch, 57-yard performance, T.J. Jones moved into a tie for ninth on the all-time Notre Dame receptions list with Maurice Stovall (130).
2. A Win Is A Win
Many people are upset about the play of the Irish today, and I guarantee the coaches and players for Notre Dame understand the areas they need to work on for improvement as well. I need to stress this fact however, a win is a win. Notre Dame needs to work on their faults and improve on their strengths. There are many things to be excited about after today’s game; Rees is now averaging 323 yards passing per game this season with a solid seven-to-two touchdown to interception ratio. Additionally, the continued maturation of the wide receiving corps is great to see as the season continues. On the defensive side of the ball, the Irish continue to make strides as they were tasked to replace a few key cogs in the summer. Today, the Irish allowed just 38 yards rushing to the Boilermakers, the lowest total for Purdue since they were held to 30 yards rushing on Oct. 23, 2010 in a 49-0 loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes. So nonetheless, take the win and move on.
3. Points Come In Bunches
In just under a four-minute span (3:29 to be exact) to begin the fourth quarter the Irish tallied 21 points to go from trailing 17-10 to leading 31-17. A nine-yard toss from Rees to Daniels pulled the Irish even with the Boilers at 17 just 13-seconds into the final stanza. After forcing a Purdue punt, Rees hooked up with Daniels for an 82-yard touchdown pass on firth down that took all of 10 seconds off the clock. Capping off the scoring barrage was a “pick-six” by defensive back Bennett Jackson who jumped a Purdue out route and took it in for a score. Aside from the 209 seconds of game time that went off the clock during Notre Dame’s 21 points, the Irish mustered 10 points earlier in the contest. Moral of the story, points in bunches can change the course of a game, but a 21-point outburst doesn’t come every week – so keep the game close and get out to good starts in games.
I guess you’re right, 12 of 15 for 215 yards and two touchdowns in the second half isn’t so bad …
@NDSportsBlogger my thought is ‘tommy’ that is all
— Nick Bucholtz (@Bucholtz31) September 15, 2013
Definitely need to play better as the season goes on, but a win is a win every day of the week …
@NDSportsBlogger great example game of teams being “up” to beat ND, forcing ND to always be on better guard than tonight. We squeaked by
— jill-b (@HBAJILLB) September 15, 2013
He did play a “heckuva” game
@NDSportsBlogger in Cam we trust
— Nick (@NicholasBaker1) September 15, 2013
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