West Lafayette, Ind (UHND.com) — Last season Purdue’s high powered offense came into South Bend and beat Notre Dame to the tune of 41-15. A season later the roles were reversed with the Irish slicing up the Purdue defense and cruising to a 49-28 victory in Ross Ade Stadium.
The 2004 Notre Dame-Purdue matchup saw the Irish move the ball on the Boilermaker defense without seeing many points and the same could be said for a Purdue offense that moved the ball well at times but failed to score a single point in the first half.
Meanwhile, Brady Quinn led the Irish on touchdown drives of 90, 99, 73, and 63 yards in the first half to give the Irish a 28-0 halftime lead. Quinn was deadly accurate in the first half compeleting 20 of 23 passes for 287 yards and a touchdown. He would go on to finish the game with 440 yards passing and 3 touchdowns.
Quinn’s performance gave him a few more records to add to his resume — most 400 yard passing games in a career (3), most 300 yard passing games in a season (3), and he tied the record for most consecutive games with a touchdown pass (10) with former Heismann winner John Huarte.
The game was a return to the place where Brady Quinn started his reign as the starting quarterback for the Irish two seasons ago. In that game Quinn threw 4 interceptions and the Irish lost making his performance Saturday night show the progress he has made since that game.
Quinn hit his receivers with lasers all night and connected with Jeff Samardjiza twice for touchdowns giving “The Shark” 8 on the season. With 8 touchdowns just 5 games into the season, Jeff needs just 3 more to tie the Notre Dame single season record of 11 held by Derrick Mayes. Samardjiza had 7 catches for 153 yards on the night, his second straight game with 150+ yards receiving.
Fellow receiver Maurice Stovall recorded his second 100 yard receiving outing of the season with 8 catches for 134 yards. Those numbers would have been even better had Stovall been able to reel in a sure touchdown pass that slipped through his fingers in the 3rd quarter.
Purdue, unable to score in the first half, came out and scored on the opening drive of the second half, but the Irish answered with a 6 play, 80 yard drive that ended with a 55 yard, tackling breaking touchdown by Jeff Samardjiza.
The Boilermakers had a chance to make a game of it in the second half when they intercepted a Brady Quinn quick pass midway through the 3rd quarter, but on their first play following the interception, Mike Richardson picked off Brandon Kirsch in the end zone to give the ball right back to Quinn and the offense.
Purdue would never get closer than 21 points and was down 42-14 in the fourth quarter before adding 2 late touchdowns — one against backups.
The Irish had lost the last 2 games to Purdue before Saturday nights dominant performance.