WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) -- Purdue never gave Notre Dame's
defense a chance to win it.
After the Irish won the past three years by scoring on
turnovers, the Boilermakers held onto the ball and intercepted four
passes en route to a 23-10 victory Saturday -- just their third win
in 18 years against Notre Dame.
"Their defense made more plays than we did," Notre Dame coach
Tyrone Willingham said. "This was a major disappointment for us."
After three straight years of losing to Notre Dame despite
outgaining them by an average of 149 yards, the Boilermakers (3-1)
finally won even though the Irish (1-3) had 346 yards total offense
to just 223 for Purdue.
"To get over that hump feels great," Purdue receiver John
Standeford said. "I could not be any happier at this moment."
Purdue's Kyle Orton threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Ray
Williams in the first quarter and a 2-yard score to defensive end
Shaun Phillips, in at tight end, in the fourth quarter. Orton was
12-of-24 passing for 127 yards.
"I'd say it's the best win we've ever had against a 1-2
football team," Orton said.
Stuart Schweigert had two interceptions and Gilbert Gardner and
Niko Koutouvides had one each to spoil freshman Brady Quinn's first
Quinn, the eighth freshman to start at quarterback for the Irish
since 1951, moved the offense better than Carlyle Holiday did in
Notre Dame's first three games, but it wasn't enough.
"I was pleased with what he showed me," he said.
The Irish couldn't get their running game going, though, gaining
just 49 yards on 25 carries.
"To account for his little yardage is unacceptable,"
Willingham said. "Their ability to shut us down in the running
game made us a one-dimensional team."
Quinn was the leading rusher for the Irish, with 25 yards on
eight carries. He was 29-of-59 passing for 297 yards with four
interceptions. The 59 passes were the second most in school
history, second to the 63 Terry Hanratty threw in a 28-21 loss to
Purdue in 1967. Hanratty also completed 29 passes.
"It's extremely disappointing," Quinn said. "I'm just
disappointed in myself because I felt like I let the team down and
I personally could have been a lot better."
Tiller looked at the stat sheet and smiled.
"Which one is Purdue and which one is Notre Dame?" Tiller
asked. "Fifty-nine passes, that's a credit to our run defense
because they did such a great job."
It appeared early that the Boilermakers might blow the game
open. After holding the Irish to three-and-out, Purdue needed just
four plays to drive 56 yards for a touchdown on its opening drive.
Orton completed three passes for 51 yards, including a 36-yard
strike to Ray Williams.
Purdue went ahead 10-0 after a pass by Quinn was deflected by
Gardner and intercepted by Koutouvides, who returned it 8 yards to
the Notre Dame 20. The Boilermakers settled for Jones' 46-yard
field goal after losing 8 yards.
The Irish scored 10 points in the second quarter, but it was all
the offense they could muster. They cut the lead to 13-10 just
before halftime on an 85-yard TD pass from Quinn to Maurice
The pass was only 15 yards, but the Boilermakers were blitzing
and cornerback Antaun Rogers couldn't pull Stovall down and he beat
cornerback Jacques Reeves to the end zone. It was the third longest
TD pass in Notre Dame history.
The Irish defense kept the game close for a while.
"As a team, and especially as a defense, we have to step up and
make more plays," linebacker Courtney Watson said. "We played
pretty well as a defense, but we didn't make enough plays and we
gave them two touchdowns."
The Irish lost to three Big Ten teams in the same season for the
first time since 1999. Notre Dame is 3-6 since starting 8-0 in
Willingham's first season last year.
Standeford had six catches for 63 yards, becoming Purdue's
all-time career receptions leader with 209 catches, breaking the
mark of 204 by Tim Stratton 1998-00.
"I was particularly pleased our seniors to finally beat Notre
Dame after being so close," Tiller said. "It's not like they
haven't had chances, but for one reason or another we came up short
-- usually because of a great play by a Notre Dame player."
On Saturday, the Boilermakers finally came up with the big