- Matt Fortuna, ESPN Staff Writer
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Here is what to take away after the Fighting Irish's 31-24 win at Purdue.
1) The D still has work to do. Purdue had two offensive touchdowns entering the game. The Boilermakers managed only one last week in narrowly escaping Football Championship Subdivision program Indiana State. But they scored three Saturday night against Notre Dame, one week after the Irish surrendered 41 points at Michigan. Bennett Jackson's pick-six was huge, and the front seven pressured Rob Henry often, but the defense needs to play better. Plain and simple.
2) DaVaris Daniels is a big-time player. Daniels was phenomenal again, grabbing eight passes for 167 yards and scoring touchdowns on back-to-back plays in the fourth quarter. Daniels roomed with Tommy Rees when the Irish were at Shiloh Park last month, and the connection has resulted in four touchdowns through three games. He can really help open up the offense as he continues to become a very good deep threat in the passing game.
3) Tommy Rees is ... Tommy Rees. Rees did not look great in the first half, during which Notre Dame fell behind 10-0. But he never gets rattled, as we know, and he was much better in the second half, resulting in a 20-for-33 line for 309 yards and two touchdowns. He now has eclipsed the 300-yard mark in all three games this season, and he received a game ball for his efforts Saturday. He is now tied with Rick Mirer for fourth all-time on the school's passing touchdowns list with 41. Brian Kelly had a colorful quote on Rees' "legacy" after: "That's for you guys to write. He's one of our players. The guys love that. He's a college student. He goes to class. He's got pimples. He's a college kid. You guys are 35,000 feet -- he's a college kid. And I'm really proud of the way he settled down in the second half and helped our football team win. That's really where I fit when it comes to thinking about Tommy. I can't think about legacies and all those other things. I'm sorry."