Rees to the rescue as Irish edge Purdue but Golson still ND starter

There is no quarterback controversy at Notre Dame.

Tommy Rees came off the bench to lead Notre Dame on a last-minute, winning drive Saturday as the No. 22 Irish got a 27-yard field goal from Kyle Brindza with seven seconds to go and beat Purdue 20-17.

Rees, who was suspended for the opener after he was involved in a skirmish with police at a party in May, relieved starter Everett Golson late in the fourth quarter.

Irish coach Brian Kelly said after the game that Golson hurt his hand on a 4th quarter fumble and had trouble gripping the ball. Rees then came in the game for the final two minute drive to win the game.

"I think he could have probably still have gone," Kelly said of Golson. "I just felt like two minute drive, the experience that he has, you know, Everett was having a hard time gripping the football. This is not going to be an excuse for Everett that he's pulled out because of an injury. We also made the decision with the flow of the game that Tommy could come in there and manage our two minute and he did a great job."

"I will further say, there is no quarterback controversy. Everett Golson our starter. He will start against Michigan State. We know we have assets at that position with Andrew Hendrix and Tommy Rees."

Neither Golson or Rees were made available after to the media after the game. Originally, both were scheduled but Kelly apparently made a last minute decision to only make Manti Te'o and Zack Martin available. The Irish usually make about 6-8 players available after games, win or loss. Saturday only Te'o and Martin were.

Brindza missed his first field goal attempt then made his 2nd. He came on for the game winning field goal and hit. He was only playing because of an injury to Tausch that occurred two days ago.

Injuries were an issue for the Irish who lost Kapron Lewis-Moore, Tyler Eifert and Jamoris Slaughter throughout the game. But Kelly said afterwards that none of the injuries were no serious.

Purdue (1-1) had tied the game at 17-17 when Caleb TerBush threw a 15-yard TD pass to Antavian Edison with 2:12 left, the score set up by Josh Johnson's recovery of a Golson fumble. Golson was shaken up on the play and the Irish turned to Rees, who started 12 games last season.

Rees connected on key third down passes of 10 yards to John Goodman and 21 yards to Robby Toma to get Brindza in position for the game-winning kick. Notre Dame is 2-0 for the first time since 2008.

Notre Dame, now 2-0, takes on Michigan State next Saturday at Spartan Stadium.


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