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Fourth quarter touchdowns helps lift No. 21 Notre Dame over Purdue

Sep 15, 2013 - 6:18 AM West Lafayette, IN (Sports Network) - Tommy Rees and DaVaris Daniels hooked up for two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and No. 21 Notre Dame fended off Purdue, 31-24, despite trailing most of the game.

Rees and Daniels connected on two scores in a 2:07 span early in the fourth, the second an 82-yard TD that saw Daniels tip-toe down the sideline and stiff- arm Ricardo Allen to give Notre Dame its first lead, 24-17.

Three snaps later, Bennett Jackson stepped in front of a Rob Henry pass and returned the interception 34 yards for a Fighting Irish touchdown, but Henry came right back and threw a fourth-down 9-yard touchdown pass to Justin Sinz to pull Purdue back within a touchdown.

The Boilermakers recovered a fumble in Notre Dame territory on the ensuing possession, but a personal foul penalty pushed them back and they went three- and-out and did not see the ball over the final 7:22, falling to their in- state rival for a sixth straight time.

Rees completed 20-of-33 passes for 309 yards, 167 going to Daniels on eight connections as the Fighting Irish (2-1) rebounded from their loss at Michigan last week.

Henry threw for 256 yards and three scores on 25-of-40 attempts, but had the costly interception that turned into the game-deciding points.

Purdue (1-2), which has dropped two of its first three games for the first time since 2009, went down the field on the first possession of the game. Henry completed a trio of third-down passes, including a swing pass on 3rd- and-11 from the Notre Dame 15-yard line that Akeem Hunt took up the sideline and into the end zone for an early 7-0 lead.

Paul Griggs made it 10-0 less than five minutes into the second quarter with a career-long 47-yard kick, this after pulling a 24-yard chip shot to the left on the previous possession.

The Irish did not cross midfield until the middle stages of the second quarter, and when they finally did, they turned the ball over on downs.

Rees, though, found Chris Brown for a 40-yard gain a little later, and Kyle Brindza's 20-yard field goal in the final minute prevented the Irish from being shut out in the first half.

T.J. Jones sparked Notre Dame out of the break with catches of 19 and 27 yards on consecutive plays. The 27-yarder was originally ruled incomplete before replay showed the senior wideout deftly implanted his left foot inbounds while hauling in Rees' wobbler at the 1-yard line.

Cam McDaniel ran it in on the next snap, and the Boilermakers answered with an 8-play, 54-yard drive that ended with B.J. Knauf catching a short pass, shaking off an arm tackle with a spin move and going in for an 18-yard TD with 6:28 left in the third quarter.

Daniels evened things again 13 seconds into the fourth when he came down with Rees' third-down jump ball in the right corner of the end zone.

Game Notes

Rees became the fifth Notre Dame quarterback to toss 40 career touchdown passes ... McDaniel paced the Irish running attack with 56 yards on 16 carries ... Hunt caught nine passes for 72 yards ... Purdue fell to 1-7 all-time in night games played at Ross-Ade Stadium ... Notre Dame gained 400 yards.