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Irish Insights

  • Notre Dame's Jaylon Smith quarterfinalist for award
    From the The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation: The 20 student-athletes represent the qualities embodied by the award – Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community
  • No. 1 Irish lose to IU in soccer
    The eighth-ranked Indiana men’s soccer program defeated No. 1 Notre Dame 1-0 Wednesday night, scoring in the 19th minute on a goal by Patrick Doody.
  • Irish set for three more Florida State games
    When the Atlantic Coast Conference revealed future opponents Tuesday for Notre Dame, Florida State naturally stuck out as a marquee matchup following Saturday night's classic.
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Notebook: Irish win big

Notre Dame played its first game this season without committing a turnover.

And to little surprise the Irish dominated in a 38-10 win over Purdue (2-2) at Ross-Ade Stadium on Saturday night.

The Irish (3-2) came in ranked last in the nation with a turnover margin of minus-2.5 and committed 15 turnovers in the first four games this season.

"I don't know it's as much a sigh of relief," coach Brian Kelly said of finishing with zero turnovers. "We have our way that we need to play the game if we are going to be successful."

While Notre Dame racked up 551 yards (287 rushing, 264 passing) and didn't give the ball away, Kelly did see some problems in the team's third straight victory.

The Irish had a David Ruffer 28-yard field goal attempt blocked midway through the first quarter, ending a 76-yard, 11-play drive with no points while holding a 7-0 lead.

Kelly also didn't like the disparity in first downs (34) to points (38).

"We haven't arrived," Kelly said. "I don't like the fact that we had 30-something first downs but we didn't match it with points. We missed some opportunites, in close games, missing an easy field goal and not being able to score 7, I think we had a 76-yard drive and got no points. Those things are concerning a little bit.

"But we played well today. I'm not going to sound like sour milk, but we have to put more points on the board when we have the opportunity."

Running hard

Cierre Wood notched his third 100-yard rushing game of the season as he picked up 191 yards on 20 carries against Purdue.

Jonas Gray nearly gave the Irish a second 100-yard rusher, finishing with 94 yards on 15 carries.

The two backs combined for 285 rushing yards and each of them scored a touchdown. Wood a career-long 55-yard TD run, and Gray scored on a 2-yard run to close the first quarter.

"It's just all about reading your blocks and just taking what the defense gives you," Wood said. "I took every thing. I was like a kid eating candy out there. Whatever they gave me, that's what I was going to take.

"We just got rolling early. That's about it. We just kept going from there. Our momentum was built up, and it never came down."

Personnel issues

Notre Dame defensive end Ethan Johnson sprained his right ankle in the first half, Kelly said. The senior finished Saturday night out of his uniform and wearing a protective boot.

Freshman defensive end Stephon Tuitt didn't make the trip to Purdue because he violated a team policy about missing class this week, Kelly said.

Sophomore linebacker Danny Spond missed his third straight game with a hamstring injury.

Familiar place

Tight end and Bishop Dwenger grad Tyler Eifert had been to Ross-Ade Stadium many times growing up.

His father, Greg, played basketball at Purdue and the family took in many of Boilermakers games.

Saturday night wasn't the junior's first time at Purdue as an opponent, he made the trip to West Lafayette with the team as a freshman, but it was his first time playing.

Eifert did well. He caught four passes for 38 yards and hauled in a 6-yard touchdown to start the second half.

"It was good," Eifert said of playing his first game at Purdue. "I felt comfortable out there. It was a good time."

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