There are not many positives for a team when they are favored by 21 points and only end up winning up by 7. Furthermore, it feels even worse when the team needs a comeback to come out with the victory. However, there are some things that Notre Dame can build off of as they move on to play an undefeated Michigan State squad next week in Notre Dame Stadium.
The Irish Defense held the Purdue Boilermakers to 38 yards to 21 attempts or a 1.8 yard average. Last year, Notre Dame’s Defensive success was built on being able to stop the run. Because teams were unable to get things going on the ground, they became one dimensional. As the Irish head into a game against a team who is determined to run the ball, this is a very promising statistic.
In 2011, teams would dare Tommy Rees to throw the ball deep because he was unable to make throws over 20 yards. This year, Rees has made teams pay. Two times against the Boilermakers, once to Brown and once to Daniels, Rees successfully went deep. If Rees continues to do this, he will make teams decide whether they are going to continue to stack the box against the run.
Notre Dame could have easily quit when they went down 10-0 against Purdue. They were supposed to be dominating. But Rees and Jackson lead the Irish back from that deficit. This team will be facing multiple deficits and it is positive that they are not going to phone it in.