Golson goes out with injury; backup leads Irish to victory

Myrtle Beach native Everett Golson earned his first home victory as the starting quarterback for Notre Dame on Saturday, but he didn’t get to finish.

Golson suffered an injury to his throwing hand on the possession before backup quarterback Tommy Rees came off the bench with 2:18 remaining to spearhead a rally.

He led the Fighting Irish downfield to set up Kyle Brindza’s 27-yard field goal with seven seconds left for a hard-fought 20-17 victory over the visiting Purdue Boilermakers.

Although the move was seen by Notre Dame fans and TV broadcasters as a move to restore Rees as the starter, Irish coach Brian Kelly shot down that idea in the postgame interview.

“I’ll put that to bed right now,” Kelly told an NBC sideline reporter after revealing Golson’s injury as the reason for pulling him. “Everett Golson is our starter.”

After sitting out the opening game against Navy with a suspension, Rees entered the game for Golson and calmly led the 12-play, 55-yard drive that was capped by Brindza’s field goal.

Notre Dame played with the lead almost the entire second half, before Golson’s fumble set Purdue up 1st-and-10 at the Irish 15-yard line with 3:24 remaining in the game and the Boilermakers trailing 17-10.

Golson appeared to be hit on the right hand to force the fumble and cause the injury. There was no immediate word on the extent of the injury but early indications were a bruise, not a break.

Golson went 21 for 31 passing for 289 yards with one touchdown pass and another rushing touchdown. Rees was only 3 for 8 for 35 yards on the final series, but he showed the confidence to lead the Irish in the clutch.

The Irish defense held the Boilermakers on the first three downs, but Purdue quarterback Caleb TerBush hit Antavian Edison with a 15-yard touchdown pass on a fourth-down play to tie the game and set up the late heroics from Rees.

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