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Fighting Irish's Quinn Is Too Hot for Boilermakers

He completes 29 of 36 passes for 440 yards and three touchdowns in an efficient 49-28 victory.

October 02, 2005|From Associated Press

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Brady Quinn passed for 440 yards and three touchdowns, two to Jeff Samardzija, leading No. 13 Notre Dame to a 49-28 victory over Purdue on Saturday.

Quinn completed 20 of 23 passes for 283 yards in the first half to lead Notre Dame (4-1) to a 28-0 intermission lead. He finished the game 29 of 36-- a career-high 80.5% completion rate -- and threw a touchdown pass for a 10th straight game, tying a school record set by Heisman Trophy winner John Huarte in 1964.

The loss was the biggest by the 22nd-ranked Boilermakers since losing, 31-3, at Michigan in 2003. Purdue fell to 12-27 against ranked opponents under ninth-year Coach Joe Tiller.

Quinn had lost his first two games against the Boilermakers despite passing for a combined 729 yards. The problem in 2003, his first collegiate start, was four of his passes were intercepted and he didn't have a touchdown pass. Last year he was sacked seven times in a 41-16 loss.

But Saturday night, Quinn didn't have an interception until the Irish led, 35-14 -- and they intercepted the ball on the next play -- and he was hardly pressured as he picked Purdue apart.

Quinn was three for three passing for 68 yards on Notre Dame's first scoring drive, seven for nine for 99 yards on the next one, six for six for 52 yards on the third score and two for two for 45 yards on the fourth scoring drive of the first half.

Quinn passed for 300 yards for a third straight game. Before that, no Irish quarterback had passed for 300 yards twice in a season. It also was his third game of at least 400 yards passing -- but the first one he won.

Quinn's primary targets were Maurice Stovall and Samardzija.

Stovall finished with eight catches for 134 yards, including four catches for 71 yards on Notre Dame's second scoring drive. Samardzija had a diving one-handed catch for 41 yards to the one-yard line to set up Notre Dame's first score.

He also had a 55-yard touchdown catch and a four-yard catch for a score, becoming the first Irish receiver to have touchdown catches in the first five games. He finished with seven catches for 153 yards.

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