The Closer: Notre Dame Vs. Purdue Recap

Sep 8, 2012; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Tommy Rees (11) throws in the fourth quarter against the Purdue Boilermakers at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame won 20-17. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE

Z.W. Martin recaps the Notre Dame vs. Purdue contest resulting in a 20-17 victory for the Irish.

I've never seen TNT's recently cancelled The Closer. The premise seemed basic, formula'd and dull. I'd imagine it being frustrating and unfair to the secondary characters, as well: investigate a crime, collect evidence and make an arrest, all leading to some reverse-carpetbagging Southern belle using her peers' hard work to coerce a plot-forced confession out of some arrogant Californian (because they all are), who misinterprets a Southern twang for unintelligence.

Saturday, the role of hard working detective was played by Everett Golson, opposite the familiar, credit-nabbing blond, Tommy Rees.

On paper, Golson had a tremendous day, going 21-for-31 with 289 yards and a TD, adding another on the ground. However, those numbers are misleading, as the Purdue Boilermakers were able to get to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback with ease, sacking the redshirt freshman five times. Twice the talented DT Kawann Short simply beat the Irish o-line, but the remaining three were the fault of Golson, taking too much time to make a read, or simply holding onto it when a favorable matchup seemed too risky for the green QB.

Golson seemed afraid to make a mistake, taking multiple sacks instead of trusting the Irish's extremely talented, and much larger, group of tight ends against the skilled, but diminutive, Boilermaker cornerbacks in one-on-on match ups. This led to stalled Irish drive after stalled Irish drive, culminating in only 17 points (a 3 yard Golson TD scamper, a 3 yard Golsen TD strike to TJ Jones and a 30 yard Kyle Brindza field goal) and a tie game after Caleb TerBush hit Antavian Edison on a 15 yard TD pass with 2:12 left in the game. (A drive that got its start after Golson injured his hand fumbling the ball, resulting in the Irish's only turnover.)

"Tommy's a guy, if you look at it in baseball terms, he's a closer. He can close for you," Kelly said.

Phone the bullpen. Call for the righty. Cue the closer music. Or in Rees's case, a series of boos. This is what happens when this, this and this happen all the time. (The last one being the best/worst.) Rees would turn those boos, er, upside down, leading the Irish 55 yards down the field on 12 plays in only two minutes and two seconds, setting up a 27 yard game winning Brindza field goal.

Brian Kelly has made it clear that Golson will be his starter moving forward, but is leaving his options open.

"We'd like [Golson] to go all nine innings. But occasionally, you need help. You might need long relief, you might need short relief. I'm not taking anything off the table."

Kelly's willingness to use his bullpen may open the door for Rees to regain the controls -- to my dismay -- of the Irish offense. Then again, if Golson plays well, like the real The Closer, maybe this was Rees's final episode.


  • Stephon Tuitt is Julius Peppers 2.0. Book it.
  • My theory that Coach Kelly was moving towards a run heavy game plan was not accurate. (44 pass plays to 31 rushing. [I adjusted the five sacks to reflect the plays' intentions.] )
  • In fact, the Irish could NOT run a lick, only gaining 52 yards on 36 attempts. (Not adjusted for sacks.)
  • It really hurts to like Rees. Even if it is only for a week.
  • Purdue's defense is actually super awesome. Short is an animal and CB Ricardo Allen played out of his mind after getting torched last season by Michael Floyd.
  • The Irish defense looked very good again, allowing only 288 total yards. Even the young corners looked solid.
  • Notre Dame has turned the ball over only twice in two games, compared to ten in 2011.

My Level Of Anger Towards Brian Kelly For Playing Tommy Rees By # Of Tommy Rees Mug Shots


1/2 out of 5

Past Recaps

Navy (I was in Dublin)

@Twitter ZWMartin

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