SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Dayne Crist threw for 205 yards and a touchdown pass to wide receiver and Gainesville High graduate Tai-ler Jones in his first start, Armando Allen ran for a score and Notre Dame's defense was solid Saturday in a 23-12 win over Purdue that gave coach Brian Kelly a victory in his Fighting Irish debut.
Kelly came to South Bend after a successful run at Cincinnati where he led the Bearcats to 12-0 regular season a year ago. His goal was to win immediately and that's what he did in his first game on a windy, sunny day at Notre Dame Stadium.
Notre Dame led 20-3 after three quarters before Purdue rallied behind transfer quarterback Robert Marve, who got the Boilermakers back in the game with a 23-yard TD run early in the final period but was penalized for celebrating with a somersault.
David Ruffer kicked three field goals for the Irish, including a 37-yarder with 4:30 left to restore the lead to 11.