Notre Dame overcame another slow start to survive a scare in West Lafayette, defeating the Boilermakers 31-24. The Irish scored 21 points in the span of 3:29 in the fourth quarter to seize control of the game. Notre Dame’s performance was underwhelming as they came into the game three touchdown favorites yet struggled immensely to find their way on offense and continued to look uninspired on defense. The following players led the Irish to their second victory of the season:
DaVaris Daniels: Notre Dame’s playmaker on the outside stepped up big for the Irish when they needed him. With T.J. Jones being limited by the coverage of Ricardo Allen the Irish needed Daniels to make plays and he did to the tune of eight receptions for 167 yards and two touchdowns. Daniels’s two touchdown catches exhibited his bevy of skills as he showed his strong hands on the first and combination of speed and power on his second, a career long 82 yard score.
Tommy Rees: Irish quarterback Tommy Rees was steady and his even keel demeanor was essential in the team’s comeback. Rees struggled to find a rhythm early, leading to the offense scoring only three points in the first half. However in the second half Rees and the offense found their rhythm and scored 21 points. Rees went 20-33 for 309 yards and two touchdowns, and most importantly was turnover free.
Cam McDaniel: Often the forgotten man in the stable of Notre Dame running backs, Cam McDaniel made his presence felt in the second half of an Irish victory. The Texas native rushed for 56 yards and a touchdown, most of which coming on the Irish’s final drive when the offense needed to eat up clock and get first downs. McDaniel ran tough and as a result showed he is the power back of the offense. McDaniel also made a crucial play catching a pass that he needed to rip away from a defender’s arms to prevent what would have surely been a pick six for the Boilermakers.
Bennett Jackson: Irish captain Bennett Jackson did not have an outstanding game but did make a huge play in crunch time. Jackson’s pick six proved to be the difference in the game as the Irish corner jumped a crossing pattern beautifully and took it to the house. Jackson also had four tackles and a sack in the Irish victory.