South Bend, IN (Sports Network) - Jimmy Clausen threw for three touchdowns as he led the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to a convincing 38-21 win over the Purdue Boilermakers in non-conference action at Notre Dame Stadium.
Clausen completed 20-of-35 passing for a career-high 275 yards and was sacked only once as the Irish (3-1) bounced back from their 23-7 loss to Michigan State last week. Armando Allen picked up a game-high 134 yards and scored once on 17 carries as well.
Losers of two of their last three outings, the Boilermakers (2-2) were paced by Cutis Painter who converted 29-of-55 for 359 yards and two touchdowns, but was also picked off once in the setback.
Less than six minutes into the first quarter Purdue surged ahead on the strength of a 22-yard touchdown run by Kory Sheets. Sheets finished the contest with 87 yards on 13 carries.
In the second quarter the Notre Dame defense put the home team on the board when Robert Blanton returned an interception 47 yards for a TD to knot the score at 7-7.
Five minutes later Painter's three-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Valentin capped a 14-play, 78-yard drive to give the Boilermakers a 14-7 edge with 4:46 to play in the half.
Barely two minutes after that Notre Dame struck again, this time with a six- yard scoring strike from Clausen to Golden Tate to lock the score at 14-14 at the break.
In the third period Allen's 16-yard scoring run for the Irish was followed by a five-yard TD connection between Clausen and Kyle Rudolph to put the home team up by a score of 28-14.
Refusing to go away quietly, Purdue's Desmond Tardy reeled in a 54-yard touchdown pass from Painter to cut the deficit to 28-21 at the 5:24 mark of the third frame.
Clausen finished off his day with a 30-yard touchdown pass to David Grimes late in the third to raise the Notre Dame advantage to 35-21. The final blow for the Irish came on a 41-yard field goal by Brandon Walker in the fourth period.
Notre Dame, which controlled the ball for more than 35 minutes, converted not only 6-of-14 on third down but also 3-of-4 on fourth down on the day.
Purdue is now just 1-15 at Notre Dame Stadium since the 1976 campaign.