BY GARY L. SNYDER
In what is becoming a habit for Notre Dame, the Irish used a late 2-yard touchdown pass from Jimmy Clausen to Kyle Rudolph with 24 seconds remaining to lift the Irish over the Boilers Saturday night. It was the third straight game for the Irish decided in the last minute of the game. The Irish got the ball with less than four minutes remaining, just after Purdue had taken it's first lead since early in the game; using a Clausen to Robby Parris 15-yard hook up on a third and 13 to keep the drive alive. Clausen would then find Golden Tate for 17 yards, setting up the dramatic finish on a fourth and goal from the two.
Purdue would waste no time getting on the board, taking the opening kickoff 80 yards in 8 plays, getting the score on a 36-yard pass from Joey Elliot to Aaron Valentine and the early 7-0 lead. Notre Dame would answer with a Matt Tausch 34-yard field goal with 2:23 remaining in the first quarter to cut the Purdue lead to 7-3.
The Irish would take their first lead of the game early in the second quarter when halfback Robert Hughes would take the hand off from backup quarterback Dayne Crist and go the final two yards of a 73-yard 9 play drive and the 10-7 Irish advantage.
Notre Dame would extend their lead to 17-7 on a 16-yard run around the right side of the Irish line by Golden Tate, taking the direct snap from the wildcat formation. It capped a 62-yard, 7 play, all on the ground, drive for the Irish. Notre Dame would put together one last drive before half, but Boiler cornerback David Pender would step in front of a Jimmy Clausen pass in the corner of the end zone ending the threat.
After a scoreless third quarter, Purdue would go 59-yards in 10 plays, capped by a 3-yard pass from Elliot to junior Keith Smith, cutting the Irish lead to three with just over 13 minutes remaining in the game.
On Purdue's next possession, Joey Elliot would find Jaycen Taylor coming out of the backfield, connecting for 38 of his 289 yards passing on the night and the score, setting up Clausen's late game heroics.
The win pushes the Irish to 3-1 on the season while Purdue falls to 1-3.