Sept. 27, 2008

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Purdue won the coin toss and elected to receive. The Irish defended the South end zone.

The game was officially sold out making it the 202nd consecutive sellout at Notre Dame Stadium. Since 1966, every Notre Dame home football game has been a sellout except one – a 1973 Thanksgiving Day game vs. Air Force. The Irish have now played in front of sellouts in 250 of their last 251 home games.


  • Make Notre Dame 3-1 for the first time since 2006 and fourth time in the past five years (2004, 2005, 2006).
  • Give the Irish a victory over Purdue for the third time in four years.
  • Improve the all-time record for the Irish to 16-3 (.842) against Purdue the week after facing Michigan State.
  • Improve the all-time record for Notre Dame to 5-2 (.714) against Purdue the week after losing to Michigan State and 3-0 in such meetings in Notre Dame Stadium.
  • Improve the Irish to 7-9 (.438) under Weis following a loss.
  • Improve Notre Dame to 52-26-2 (.663) in the all-time series with Purdue.
  • Improve the Irish to 27-11 (.711) in the all-time series with the Boilermakers in South Bend and 24-10 (.706) in Notre Dame Stadium.
  • Give Notre Dame its 15th victory in the last 16 meetings with Purdue in Notre Dame Stadium.
  • Improve an unranked Irish squad (post 1932) to 11-7 (.611) all-time against Purdue (snapping a three-game losing streak in such meetings).
  • Improve an unranked Notre Dame squad to 7-3 (.700) all-time against Purdue in Notre Dame Stadium.
  • Improve Notre Dame to 10-5 (.667) all-time against the Boilermakers when both teams are unranked.
  • Improve Notre Dame to 7-2 (.778) all-time against Purdue in Notre Dame Stadium when both teams are unranked.
  • Improve Notre Dame to 218-112-15 (.654) all-time against the Big Ten Conference.
  • Improve the Irish to 112-45-5 (.707) against Big Ten opponents at home and 91-40-3 (.690) at Notre Dame Stadium.
  • Improve Weis’ record to 25-16 overall (.610), 3-1 (.750) against Purdue and 7-8 (.467) against the Big Ten Conference.
  • Improve Weis’ overall home record to 14-9 (.609) and his home record against the Big Ten Conference to 4-3 (.571).
  • Improve Weis’ record to 10-8 (.556) in September games.
  • Improve Weis’ record to 18-13 (.581) in afternoon games.
  • Improve Notre Dame’s all-time record to 827-279-42 (.738).
  • Improve Notre Dame’s all-time record at Notre Dame Stadium to 301-96-5 (.755).


2008 Weis Era 2008 Weis Era
At Home 3-0 14-9 In Overtime 0-0 0-2
Coming off a loss 1-0 7-9 Neither team is ranked 3-1 5-6
Vs. In-state Opponents 1-0 3-1 In September 3-1 10-8
On Television 3-1 25-16 On NBC 3-0 14-9
Afternoon Games 3-1 20-13 Decided By 7 or Less 0-0 5-3
Scoring First 1-0 16-4 Opponent Scores First 2-1 9-12
Leading At Halftime 1-0 17-2 Tied At Halftime 2-0 4-0
Trailing At Halftime 0-1 4-14 Leading After 3 Qtrs. 2-0 19-1
Tied After 3 Qtrs. 0-0 1-1 Trailing After 3 Qtrs. 1-1 5-14
Scoring 40+ Points 0-0 9-2 Scoring 30+ Points 2-0 18-3
Scoring 20-29 Points 1-0 14-6 Scoring 0-19 Points 0-1 2-10
Allowing 40+ Points 0-0 0-6 Allowing 30+ Points 0-0 2-13
Allowing 20-29 Points 1-1 9-5 Allowing 0-19 Points 2-0 15-0
Outrushing Opponent 2-0 12-0 Getting Outrushed 1-1 13-16
Passing For More Yds 0-1 18-8 Passing For Fewer Yds 3-0 7-8
Outgaining Opponent 1-0 16-3 Getting Outgained 2-1 9-12
Winning Time of Poss. 2-0 18-4 Losing Time of Poss. 1-1 7-12
Scoring a Def./ST TD 2-0 10-3 Allowing a Def./ST TD 0-0 2-6
Fewer Penalty Yards 2-1 12-10 More Penalty Yards 1-0 13-6
Winning Turnover Battle 2-0 18-5 Losing Turnover Battle 1-1 4-8
Individual 100-yard rusher 1-0 14-4 Individual 100-yard receiver 2-0 14-4
Individual 200-yard passer 2-1 21-7 Opponent 100-yard rusher 1-1 4-12
Opponent 100-yard receiver 1-0 11-6 Opponent 200-yard passer 3-0 12-9


Irish Freshman With Interception Returns for TD (since 1972)

Robert Blanton 47 yards Sept. 27, 2008
Brian Smith 25 yards Oct. 13, 2007
Bobby Leopold 57 yards Sept. 25, 1976
Randy Harrison 44 yards Oct. 26, 1974
Drew Mahalic 56 yards Oct. 14, 1972
  • With Blanton, sophomore WR Golden Tate, sophomore RB Armando Allen and freshman TE Kyle Rudolph’s touchdowns, 12 of Notre Dame’s 14 touchdowns in 2008 have come from either freshmen or sophomores. Senior WR David Grimes is the lone non-first or second year player to score a touchdown this season.

The Irish kickoff coverage entered today’s contest ranked third in the NCAA FBS allowing just 14.0 yards per return. Purdue entered the game averaging 31.8 per return – second best in the country. Notre Dame limited the Boilermakers to 13.9 yards per return. In fact, the Irish kept the nation’s top kick returner (averaged 40.3 coming into the game), Desmond Tardy, completely out of the mix. He failed to register a single kick return. Kory Sheets, who was 20th at 30.5 per return, managed just 13.9 per return on seven kickoffs.

Notre Dame picked up its first points of the season in the third quarter on Allen’s 16-yard touchdown run. The Irish had run a total of 44 plays (over the course of 10 drives) in the third quarter over their first three games without a score. The Irish added two more third quarter touchdowns.

Notre Dame’s 38 points, including 21 third quarter points, were the most scored in a four quarter (non-overtime) game since the Irish scored 41 against Army on November 18, 2006 at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame’s 476 total yards was the most since the 2007 overtime loss to Navy, when the Irish racked up 543 total yards.


  • Notre Dame entered the halftime lockeroom this afternoon with a modest eight first downs and 180 total yards, including 62 on the ground, but the Irish exploded for 11 first downs, 204 total yards and 90 yards rushing on their three third-quarter scoring drives alone.
  • The 21 points in the third quarter were the most for Notre Dame in any quarter since the 21 first quarter points against Michigan earlier this season.
  • The Irish had not scored 21 points in a third quarter since Oct. 22, 2005 against BYU.
  • Notre Dame managed just 188 total yards in the third quarter of its first three games (no points). The Irish ripped off 204 yards and three touchdowns in Saturday’s third quarter alone.

The Irish entered today’s game with 234 yards rushing over their first three games of the season combined (ranked 111th in the nation at 78.00 per game). Notre Dame racked up 201 yards on 40 carries against the Boilermakers. The 201 yards rushing are the most for the Irish since the rushing attack picked up 220 against Duke on November 17, 2007 at Notre Dame Stadium.


  • The 24-second half points ties for the tenth most in a half under Weis (2005 at Washington and 2005 at Stanford).
  • The 21-point third quarter also ties for second most for a Weis coached team. The Irish also scored 21 this season against Michigan in the 1st quarter. Those performances trail only the 28-point second quarter at Pittsburgh in 2005, Weis’ first game at the helm of the Irish.
  • The 201 rushing yards marked the ninth best total under Weis and gives Notre Dame its ninth 200-plus performance under the current head coach.
  • The Irish averaged 5.0 yards per rush (40 rushes, 201 yards), which checks in tied for sixth in the Weis years.
  • Jimmy Clausen’s three touchdown passes tied for the seventh most under Weis.
  • The Irish also held on to the football with 35:26 time of possession which is seventh-best for a Weis squad.
  • The ability to stay on offense was evidenced by the Irish going 3-for-4 on fourth down attempts. This tied for the fourth most fourth down conversions for a Weis team.


  • The interception return for freshman DB Robert Blanton was the first for an Irish player against Purdue since Vontez Duff returned an INT 33 yards for a score on Sept. 7, 2002 (ironically enough, all three Irish touchdowns that afternoon we scored by the defense)
  • Blanton’s pick six was the 38th interception return for touchdown by a Notre Dame player since 1980, with six of those coming against the Boilermakers

IRISH ITEMS James Aldridge, Jr., RB

  • Added a season-long 17 yard rush early in the fourth quarter

Armando Allen, So., RB

  • Recorded his second start of the season and sixth of his career
  • Ripped off a 16-yard rush early in the second quarter
  • Added a career-best 21-yard burst up the middle on the scoring drive to open the second half
  • Capped the five play, 81 yard drive with a 16-yard touchdown run (the first of his career)
  • Rushed for 45 yards on the drive alone (entered the game with just 71 yards rushing the entire season)
  • Equaled his career-best run with two more 21 yard gallops on Notre Dame’s second drive of the second half
  • Prior to Saturday, Allen’s longest run was 15 yards, but he had four runs of longer than 15 yards against Purdue
  • Eclipsed 100 yards for the first time in his career (previous career-high was 91 yards against Navy on Nov. 3, 2008)
  • Finished with a career-best 134 yards rushing, good for a 7.9 per carry average (the 7.9 per carry average is the highest for a Notre Dame player since Darius Walker averaged 10.2 against Air Force on Nov. 11, 2006)
  • Totaled 247 all-purpose yards (-1 on punt returns, 105 on kick returns, 134 in rushing and nine in receiving)

Mike Anello, Sr., DB

  • Registered his team-leading eighth tackle on special teams this season (seven are solo) on the opening kickoff

Robert Blanton, Fr., DB

  • Recorded his first career interception and promptly returned it 47 yards for a touchdown
  • First Notre Dame player to return an interception for a touchdown since Brian Smith on Oct. 13, 2007 against Boston College
  • Became the fifth Irish freshman to ever return a interception for a touchdown

Sergio Brown, Jr., FS

  • Registered the third start of his career (all this season)

David Bruton, Sr., FS

  • Made his 15th career start for the Irish (seventh consecutive start)

Jimmy Clausen, So., QB

  • Started for the 13th time in his career, including the last seven games for the Irish
  • Missed on his first three pass attempts to open the game, but connected on the next five straight passes to close the first quarter (extended streak to six early in the second quarter before an incompletion in the Purdue end zone)
  • After Purdue grabbed a 14-7 lead, Clausen led Notre Dame on a six-play, 65-yard scoring drive capped off by a touchdown pass to Golden Tate
  • Completed 3-of-4 passes on the drive for 61 yards, including a 38-yard pass to Michael Floyd
  • The touchdown pass was his seventh of the season and 14th of his career (extended streak to four consecutive games with a touchdown pass)
  • Added two more touchdown passes in the third quarter, one to freshman TE Kyle Rudolph and another to senior WR David Grimes
  • The three touchdown passes this afternoon give him nine for the season and 16 for his career
  • Has registered three touchdown passes in a single game on four different occasions (all in the last seven games for Notre Dame)
  • Eclipsed his career-high for passing yards in a game with 275 (previous career-best was 246 against Air Force on Nov. 10, 2007)

Maurice Crum, Jr., Sr., LB

  • Recorded the 41st start of his career
  • His 41 consecutive starts are the longest streak on the team and seventh-longest among current NCAA FBS players
  • Has started every game of his career and all 41 games for the Irish over the past four seasons

Jonas Gray, Fr., RB

  • Made his Notre Dame debut on special teams
  • Became the ninth true freshman to see action for the Irish this season

Michael Floyd, So., WR

  • Picked up his third consecutive start (the first three of his career)
  • Registered a 38-yard reception (longest of career) on Notre Dame’s six-play, 65-yard scoring drive that tied the score, 14-14, late in the first half
  • Had five catches for 93 yards in the first half alone
  • Finished the contest with six catches for 100 yards, making him only the second Irish freshman to have at least 100 receiving yards since Derrick Mayes in 1992 against Pittsburgh. The Boilermakers were the victims the most recent time it happened when Golden Tate had 104 yards on three catches with one touchdown in West Lafayette last season.

David Grimes, Sr., WR

  • After missing the MSU game with injury, returned to the starting lineup
  • Recorded his 18th career start
  • Caught one touchdown while totally four catches for 65 yards

Robert Hughes, So., RB

  • Rushed the ball nine times for 26 yards
  • Ethan Johnson, Fr., DE

    • Registered his first career
    • Became the third different freshman (joining TE Kyle Rudolph, WR Michael Floyd) to start a game for the Irish this season

    Pat Kuntz, Sr., DE

    • Picked up his fourth start of the season and 14th of his career

    Terrail Lambert, Sr., CB

    • Recorded the 26th start of his career
    • His 26 consecutive starts are the third-longest streak on the team (only trails senior Maurice Crum’s 41 straight starts and junior Sam Young’s 29)
    • Eric Maust, Jr., P

      • Registered a career-best 54-yard punt following Notre Dame’s opening drive of the afternoon
      • The punt was the fourth of the season of over 50 yards (sixth of career)

      Kyle McCarthy, Sr., LB

      • Recorded his fourth start of the season and fifth of his career

      Raeshon McNeil, Jr., CB

      • Recorded his fourth start of the season and fifth of his career

      Kerry Neal, So., LB

      • Started for the third time in 2008 and eighth time in his career

      Kyle Rudolph, Fr., TE

      • Extended his starting streak to four games
      • Recorded his first career touchdown pass (a five-yard grab to give the Irish a 28-14 third quarter lead)
      • Registered a career-long 19-yard reception on a 2nd and 18 play following Purdue’s first sack of the game
      • Recorded single-game highs in both receptions (3) and receiving yards (32)

      John Ryan, Jr., LB

      • Made his fourth start of the season and 14th of his career
      • Assisted on one tackle and recorded one quarterback hurry

      Brian Smith, So., LB

      • Started for the fourth time in 2008 and seventh time in his career
      • Recorded five tackles, including one solo

      Harrison Smith, So., FS

      • Recorded two tackles

      Golden Tate, So., WR

      • Hauled in his third touchdown reception of the season and fourth of his career (tied the game at 14-14) on a six-yard fade pattern from Clausen at 2:35 of the second quarter
      • Finished with five receptions for 64 yards (12.8 yards per catch)
      • Tate has 367 yards receiving on 20 catches through four games. Here is how Tate compares to the five previous top single seasons in receiving.
      Through Four Games
      Tom Gatewood 30-556 18.5 1970
      Jack Snow 26-482 18.5 1964
      Golden Tate 20-367 18.4 2008
      Jeff Samardzija 21-346 16.5 2005
      Maurice Stovall 17-289 17.0 2005
      Jeff Samardzija 23-273 11.9 2006

      Mike Turkovich, Sr., OL

      • Recorded the 16th start of his career
      • His 16 consecutive starts are the fourth-longest streak on the team (only trails senior Maurice Crum, 41, junior Sam Young, 29, and senior Terrail Lambert, 26)

      Sam Young, Jr., OL

      • Recorded the 29th start of his career
      • His 29 consecutive starts are the second-longest streak on the team (only trails senior Maurice Crum’s 41 straight starts)
      • Has started every game of his career and all 29 games for the Irish over the past three seasons