It wasn’t a resounding victory but it was solid.
And the defense left little doubt about the identity of this team.
Notre Dame’s 27-13 victory over Purdue on Saturday was a step forward for the Irish.
The defense never allowed Purdue to get comfortable, forcing two turnovers and getting four sacks.
Kyle Hamilton had his third interception of the season. Purdue had one sustained six-play, 75-yard scoring drive that went for a touchdown. That was kept alive by a pass interference call in the end zone by Notre Dame. The Boilermakers only had one other drive that went for more than 50-yards. Notre Dame forced four three and out series’ for Purdue.
The Irish went into shutdown mode in the third quarter, holding Purdue scoreless for the last 22:08.
Offensively, the Irish played well enough to make the end comfortable.
Notre Dame quarterback Jack Coan was 15 of 31 for 223 yards with two TDs.Tyler Buchner didn't play much, rushing three times for 25 yards and throwing an incomplete pass. Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said they pulled Tyler Buchner because his hamstring was a little tight.
Coan was hurt by a couple of drops. One, a perfect pass to Braden Lenzy, should’ve been a TD.
He also overthrew receivers a few times. One overthrow to Avery Davis at the end of the first half would’ve been a touchdown had the throw been accurate. Davis still caught a long one, getting a 62-yard pass for a touchdown from Coan in the third quarter that put Notre Dame ahead 17-6. Davis caught five passes for 120-yards.
After a slow start — Coan was sacked on the first play —the offensive line was better.
And Kyren Williams broke free for a 51-yard touchdown. Williams finished with 91 yards rushing on 12 carries.
It felt like the Irish (3-0) were getting back to normal after struggling to win its first two games.
And, yes, the stadium was nearly full. Attendance was 74,341.
Kelly was happy to be happy about a win.
“You know on the walk here, the energy on campus, it felt like we were back to what a Notre Dame home football game feels like,” Kelly said. “That energy was felt by our players. It’s what you want. It’s what you look for in a home game environment at Notre Dame. Thanks to all those who came out and were just part of the great atmosphere today. I think it’s important that we don’t take it for granted. Many times you come to these games and say, ‘That’s the way it is. It’s pretty special when you have the whole crowd into it. It was fun for our guys.”
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