Sat September 8, 2012
Purdue's 20-17 loss at Notre Dame a "bummer"
Quarterback Caleb TerBush may have best summed up Purdue’s feeling after its 20-17 loss to Notre Dame, Saturday.
“It’s a bummer,” he said. “We came in here expecting to win. We felt like we definitely had a lot of mojo going behind us this whole week.”
Plain and simple, for the Boilermakers, the loss to the 22nd-ranked Irish was a bummer.
Purdue didn’t enter Notre Dame Stadium trying to earn a moral victory. Those count as losses. They went to South Bend to get a real win; a real win, on national TV, at a place where the Boilers have won just once since 1974, against a rival that now owns a five game winning streak in the series.
So, to be so close and fall short, yea, it’s a bummer.
“Certainly we’re disappointed with the loss. Disappointment is an emotion and we’ll get over that,” said head coach Danny Hope. “We have nothing to be discouraged about. Discouragement is a state of mind.”
Yet, despite the valiant effort, Purdue finds itself 1-1, moral victories not reflected.
The Boilers fought their way back from a double digit deficit in the fourth quarter to tie the game, but Irish kicker Kyle Brindza drilled a 27-yard field goal with :07 to play to give Notre Dame the win.
“I knew it was going to be a close game,” said Purdue quarterback Robert Marve, who split snaps with TerBush throughout the day.
“You’ve got Notre Dame backed up with a 1:30, or two minutes, that’s a game you’ve got to come out with.”
After a scoreless first quarter, Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson (21-31, 289, TD) helped the Irish strike first on a three yard scramble on third down in which he dove and narrowly broke the plane of the end-zone. On the drive, Colson converted two other third downs; the first a 30 yard pass to tight end Troy Niklas on 3rd and nine from the Notre Dame 12 and the other, a 3rd and three, went 41 yards to DaVaris Daniels.
For the game, the Irish were 11-19 on third downs. Conversely, Purdue was 6-17.
“They kept spreading everyone out and running a lot of mesh routes and get one-on-one’s with our linebackers,” said cornerback Josh Johnson. “It’s kind of upsetting at times, because we know we should have held them.”
Despite the ails on third down, the Boilers defense helped keep the game close. The unit recorded five sacks, including two from Kawann Short, and eight tackles for loss.
Purdue tied the game at 7-7 with :09 in the second quarter when Marve found Antavian Edison on a two-yard touchdown. That gave the Boilers momentum heading into halftime.
But, that momentum appeared to fizzle once the team returned from the locker room.
With Caleb TerBush at quarterback, Purdue went three-and-out on two of its first three drives. On the other possession, TerBush was intercepted by Bennett Jackson at the Boilermakers 31-yard line.
“We manufactured a stupid interception,” said Hope. “That was careless. That impacted the ballgame some.”
The Irish turned Purdue’s sluggish third quarter into ten points. Golson hit TJ Jones on a three yard touchdown and Brindza hit a 30-yard field goal to push Notre Dame’s lead to 17-7.
“You get cold,” said Edison of coming out of halftime. “I think you just have to come out and get back in the grove, especially playing at a place like Notre Dame.”
The Boilers got their grove back in the fourth quarter.
Sam McCartney brought Purdue within seven hitting a 33-yard field goal on the first play of the final frame.
Then, with just under three-and-a-half minutes to play, Johnson, who had a team high nine tackles, forced Golson to fumble and recovered the ball at the Notre Dame 15-yard line. Golson was injured on the play and knocked out of the game.
On the next play, Purdue lost one of its quarterbacks when Marve was sacked. He suffered a left knee injury and was sidelined for the remainder of the game.
TerBush stepped back in and on fourth and ten with about two minutes to play, hit Edison on a 15-yard touchdown to tie the game at 17-17.
“Any throw to Edison really feels good,” said TerBush.
Notre Dame responded with a 12-play, 55 yard drive that set up the winning field goal.
Tommy Rees stepped in at quarterback for the injured Golson to engineer the series, which was aided by a holding penalty on safety Landon Feichter, a potential delay of game that wasn’t called, and a 21-yard reception by Irish wide receiver Robby Toma on third and ten.
“Sorry to say, but at the end of the game, it felt like we were playing against the referees, “said Purdue cornerback Ricardo Allen. “I’m not saying they were really with Notre Dame, but it kind of showed that they were.”
Despite the loss, the Boilermakers are not hanging their heads and are using the trip to South Bend as a learning experiencing.
“This is our loss for the season,” said Allen. “We are not slipping on nobody else. We started feeling a little good about our self. We know we’ve got a good defense and we know we’ve got an offense that can score, but if we don’t come out and play full speed at every time, this is what will happen.”
The upcoming schedule is favorable for Purdue.
The team returns to West Lafayette for a four game home stand starting with two non-conference teams they will be favored against, Eastern Michigan and Marshall. They then start Big Ten play against Michigan and Wisconsin who are off to slow 1-1 starts of their own.
So even with the bummer at Notre Dame, the Boilers remain confident that they can achieve their season goals.
“We are going to be a contender,” said Edison. “We are going to take it one game at a time. We aren’t going to look past anyone, but we are going to fight for that, we are going to try to get to the Big Ten Championship.”