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Top 5 Players From The Notre Dame vs Purdue Game

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Top 5 Players From Notre Dame vs Purdue Game

Notre Dame
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish survived a rough first half to beat their in-state rival, the Purdue Boilermakers. Four second-half touchdowns propelled the Irish, who were completely shut down in the first half.

The front seven for Purdue were the stars for the home team, making the Irish one dimensional, again daring Tommy Rees to beat a team with his arm. The big physical offensive line of Notre Dame, who some say are very comparable to a SEC offensive line, couldn’t open holes for the running back, who also in return couldn’t create anything in the limited space they did have. They would finish the game only averaging 2.5 yards per attempt.

For the second week in a row, a team took their chances with having Tommy Rees beat them with his arm, but unlike the Michigan Wolverines, Purdue was unable to do so. Rees had help from his receivers, as DaVaris Daniels and T.J. Jones had big games for the road team and the Irish front seven shut down the Purdue running game to where they only average 1.5 yards a carry.

The Irish once again struggled against the play action, playing a soft shell zone defense with a limited pass rush, giving Robert Henry plenty of time to find the open receiver.

The Fighting Irish will now look to put a winning streak together as they face another rival, the Michigan State Spartans, who are 3-0 after a win against Youngstown State. The Boilermakers will begin their Big-10 play next week, taking on the Wisconsin Badgers. Their record now falls to 1-2 but this loss, while heartbreaking, is encouraging to carry into their conference schedule that they can hang with some of the top teams in the nation.

Before moving on completely to next week, a look back at the top five players from the Purdue and Notre Dame game.

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Rob Henry

Rob Henry
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Final Stat Line- 25-40 256 yards 3 TD, INT

You could make a slight argument he played better than Rees, but his lone blemish was a costly one, as his interception was returned for a touchdown that was the final nail in the coffin. His 256 yards was only 55 less than his combined total from the first two games. A fifth year Senior, the Purdue offense needs the experience of Henry if they are to finish with a winning record.

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Akeem Hunt

Akeem Hunt
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Final Stat Line- 12 car 22 yds, 9 rec 72 yds TD

The Boilermakers leading rusher struggled to find any running room, finishing with less than two yards a carry, but made his impact in the pass game. Hunt caught a game high nine receptions for a team leading 72 yards and the game’s opening touchdown. While not the most eye popping numbers, Hunt was the team’s most electrifying player.

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Tommy Rees

Tommy Rees
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Final Stat Line- 20-33 309 yds 2 TD

It was a complete and utter tale of two halves for Rees. At one point, Rees only completed 44% of his passes, and finished by completing 16-of his next 24 to finish the game. Rees is the college version of a game manager, but the last two weeks has shown to be able to win the game when the game is on the line. He has the privilege to throw to two of the better receivers in the nation as well, which helps him on the throws downfield.

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DaVaris Daniels

DaVaris Daniels
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Final Stat Line- 8 rec 162 yds 2 TD

Daniels has gotten off to a great start this season, and had a career night Saturday night. His 162 yards and eight catches, both career highs. He had an 82-yard touchdown to put the Irish up, the longest of his career, and showed his ability to make people miss. The Irish have two of the better receiver tandems in the league, with Daniels the big play guy, and T.J. Jones the big moment player.

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Both Team's Defensive Line

Defensive Line
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The trenches are where games’ are won, and the Irish won it with their play up front defensively, especially against the run. You can argue it was Purdue’s run defense that put them in position to pull of the upset. Notre Dame running backs (subtracting Rees’ rushing numbers) combined for 91 yards on 33 carries (2.7 yards per carry). Purdue’s running backs didn’t fare any better, only gaining 36 yards on 17 carries (2.1 yards per carry). Combined, running backs in the game combined for 50 carries and 127 yards (2.54 yards per carry).