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It's Grim Pickings for Irish

September 28, 2003|From Associated Press

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Purdue Boilermakers never gave Notre Dame's defense a chance to beat them.

The Fighting Irish beat Purdue the last three years by scoring on turnovers, but the Boilermakers held onto the ball and intercepted four passes en route to a 23-10 victory Saturday -- only their third win in 18 years against Notre Dame.

"Their defense made more plays than we did," Notre Dame Coach Tyrone Willingham said. "This was a major disappointment for us."

After three straight years of losing to Notre Dame despite outgaining them by an average of 149 yards, the No. 22 Boilermakers (3-1) finally won even though the Irish (1-3) had 346 yards of total offense to 223 for Purdue.

"To get over that hump feels great," Purdue receiver John Standeford said. "I could not be any happier at this moment."

Purdue's Kyle Orton threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Ray Williams in the first quarter and a two-yard scoring pass to defensive end Shaun Phillips, in at tight end, in the fourth quarter. Orton completed 12 of 24 passes for 127 yards.

"I'd say it's the best win we've ever had against a 1-2 football team," Orton said.

Stuart Schweigert had two interceptions and Gilbert Gardner and Niko Koutouvides had one each to spoil freshman Brady Quinn's first career start.

Quinn, the eighth freshman to start at quarterback for the Irish since 1951, moved the offense better than Carlyle Holiday did in Notre Dame's first three games, but it wasn't enough.

The Irish couldn't get their running game going, gaining only 49 yards rushing in 25 carries.

"To account for his little yardage is unacceptable," Willingham said. "Their ability to shut us down in the running game made us a one-dimensional team."

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