The Notre Dame Fighting Irish had a slow start to the 2021 season, and they had a slow start against the Purdue Boilermakers on a sunny afternoon. Great punting, solid defense, and a couple of big offensive plays in the 4th quarter helped carry the Irish to a 27-13 win.
On Notre Dame’s first possession, they got Jack Coan sacked and had a false start penalty to quickly kill the drive right where it began. Purdue took the ball around midfield, and did enough good things in the air to set up for a field goal to take the early lead.
It took a few more drives before the Irish settled in (if only a little bit). They brought out Tyler Buchner in place of Jack Coan for a spark, but on 4th down, it was Jack Coan that found Kyren Williams in the middle of the field for a 39 yard TD pass.
The Irish got some help with a couple of pass interference calls, and Jonathan Doerer was brought out for a 28 yard field goal to make it 10-3 Irish.
Purdue came out of halftime and was able to move the ball a little bit on a short field. Jayson Ademilola was hit with a penalty before halftime, and it helped on the 3rd quarter kickoff. Purdue was forced to kick a field goal, and game tightened up at 10-6.
On the very next drive, Notre Dame moved quickly and Coan found Avery Davis open for a 62 yard touchdown to go up 17-6. Just like Notre Dame, Purdue took off on their next drive and punched a long drive into the endzone ro make the game 17-13.
A couple of drives later, Notre Dame kicked another field goal to extend the lead to 20-13, but they had some really bad plays (like dropped passes in between). With a little over six minutes in the game, the Irish got the ball back on their own 49 yard line, and one handoff later to Kyren Williams, saw the Irish running back juke and scoot all the way in for the score to make it 27-13.
A Kyle Hamilton interception in the end zone sealed the deal, but a D.J. Brown interception ended the game with 1:21 on the clock.
It was a huge game for Avery Davis, and Kyren Williams, but there are still many questions left to answer.
This win puts Brian Kelly tied at the top with Knute Rockne for all-time wins at Notre Dame.
More to come on OFD.