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Irish's Victory Comes in the Nick of Time

Nonconference: Setta's game-winning 38-yard field goal comes at the gun as No. 21 Notre Dame upends No. 13 Purdue, 23-21.

September 17, 2000|From Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Although Gary Godsey couldn't run the option, he ran the Notre Dame offense well enough to help the Irish take advantage of numerous Purdue mistakes.

The Irish scored 17 points off Purdue miscues and Nick Setta kicked a 38-yard field goal as time expired to give No. 21-ranked Notre Dame a 23-21 victory over the No. 13 Boilermakers on Saturday. The loss was the 12th in a row for Purdue at Notre Dame.

Godsey, a sophomore making his first start, completed 14 passes--one more than Purdue's Drew Brees managed against Notre Dame and one more than Arnaz Battle did in Notre Dame's first two games.

"I did? Wow, sweet," Godsey said when told.

One of his biggest passes came late in the fourth quarter on a third-and-10 play from the Notre Dame 37. He connected with Javin Hunter on a 15-yard pass to keep the drive going. Godsey, a sophomore recruited to Notre Dame as a tight end, followed that with an 11-yard pass to David Givens.

"You've got to give No. 14 credit. It was a limited game plan but he found a way to get us down there and get us a field goal at the end," Irish Coach Bob Davie said.

Asked what Godsey was thinking before that drive, Davie said: "I was afraid to ask him. That was one thing I didn't want to find out."

But Davie said Godsey is usually relaxed. "I don't think he was rattled in that situation."

Neither was Setta, who missed a 39-yard field-goal attempt in the third quarter.

"You kick a game-winner at Notre Dame, there's nothing like it," Setta said.

Shane Walton returned an interception 60 yards for a touchdown for the Irish (2-1) and the Boilermakers (2-1) also were hurt by a blocked punt that set up a Notre Dame touchdown and a failed fake punt that led to an Irish field goal. Purdue also had a bad snap on a third-and-10 play that led to a 17-yard loss.

Godsey completed 14 of 25 passes for 158 yards, with one interception. Brees, fourth in Heisman Trophy balloting last season, completed 13 of 22 for 221 yards, with one interception. He was sacked twice.

It marked the third consecutive time in the once lopsided rivalry that the game was decided in the final minute. Before that, Notre Dame won 11 in a row against Purdue with none of the games decided by less than a touchdown.

The Irish won even though Purdue had 398 yards total offense compared to only 236 for Notre Dame.

Purdue attempted only 24 passes while running the ball 43 times. Purdue ran the ball more than it passed only twice last season. The most lopsided was against Indiana, when the Boilermakers ran the ball 41 times and passed only 24.

"Is that a surprise for us? Yes," Purdue Coach Joe Tiller said. "We would like to throw more, but we had success running today. As far as we're concerned we ran the ball too much today."

The 22 passes attempted by Brees were the fewest since his freshman season.

"I think had we thrown more, we might have won," Brees said. "But maybe had we taken out those throwing plays that weren't that good on my part, we could have won as well."

The game had a strange start as Notre Dame jumped to a 14-0 lead without making a first down. Godsey scored on a nine-yard run after a blocked punt, and Walton scored on a 60-yard interception return. The Boilermakers outgained the Irish, 93-17, in the quarter.

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