Irish season in review: ND 20, Purdue 17

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Irish season in review: ND 20, Purdue 17

Everett Golson completed 21 of 31 passes for 289 yards and accounted for two touchdowns, one throwing and one rushing. But that wasn't enough for the sophomore to finish Notre Dame's home opener against Purdue Sept. 8.

Notre Dame's offense stalled after Golson hit T.J. Jones for a touchdown early in the third quarter, and the Irish ultimately squandered a 10-point lead. Purdue tied things up with just over two minutes to go in the fourth quarter, with the game-tying touchdown coming a few plays after Golson fumbled deep in Irish territory.

The luster of Notre Dame's season-opening blowout win over Navy had worn off, and the Irish suddenly had their backs against the wall against a team they should've easily dispatched -- just like South Florida in 2011.

And then, the first twist of 2012 hit.

With the game tied at 17, it wasn't Golson who trotted on to the field to try to lead the Irish to a win. It was Tommy Rees, 2011's starting quarterback who was suspended for Notre Dame's first game of the 2012 season.

Rees marched Notre Dame down the field, and Kyle Brindza hit a field goal as time expired to give the Irish a win. After the game, Notre Dame didn't make Rees or Golson available to the media, certainly not quieting the whispers of a quarterback controversy. Rees had the confidence of his teammates, a confidence that took years to build. Golson didn't gain that complete confidence for another month and a half.

"There is no quarterback controversy," coach Brian Kelly insisted after the game. "Everett Golson is our starter. He will start against Michigan State. We know we have assets at that position with Andrew Hendrix and Tommy Rees."

Kelly and offensive coordinator Chuck Martin didn't have any intention of deposing Golson from his starting role, especially after just two games. But they showed a willingness to cut him off if they didn't feel he was able to perform throughout the season.

Sept. 8 was the first of those instances, and it set a precedent that was followed for the next few months.

Stay with CSNChicago.com every weekday through the end of January for game-by-game reviews of Notre Dame's run to the BCS Championship. Previous reviews: Notre Dame 50, Navy 10

Saturday on CSN: Bradley vs. Nevada; Illinois State vs. New Mexico

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USA TODAY

Saturday on CSN: Bradley vs. Nevada; Illinois State vs. New Mexico

CSN will have two quality college basketball matchups on Saturday as two Mountain West/Missouri Valley Challenge games will be featured live.

Bradley (4-3) has Nevada (6-2) in town for a 7 p.m. game Saturday on CSN while Illinois State (3-2) will host New Mexico (5-2) at 7 p.m. Saturday on CSN+.

The Braves have alternated wins and losses all season as they hope to build momentum off of a road win over Eastern Illinois.

Freshman guard Darrell Brown paces Bradley at 15.3 points per game on 48 percent three-point shooting while junior guard JoJo McGlaston is putting up 12.7 points and 4.6 rebounds per contest.

Nevada enters this one winning four of their last five games as senior guard Marcus Marshall is averaging 20.0 points and 3.9 assists per game. Sophomore forward Cameron Oliver has been generating some pro buzz as he's averaging 16.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game while shooting 44 percent from three-point range.

In the second contest, Illinois State is hoping for a key non-conference win against a quality opponent. Senior forward Deontae Hawkins is doing some solid damage as he's averaging 16.0 points and 7.6 rebounds per game while junior forward MiKyle McIntosh is at 14.2 points and 7.2 rebounds a game.

Proviso East product Paris Lee is also having a good year at guard for Illinois State.

New Mexico is led by a former area product as Homewood-Flossmoor graduate Tim Williams is averaging 19.0 points and 6.9 rebounds per game for the Lobos. Junior guard Elijah Brown, the son of former NBA coach Mike Brown, is also playing well for New Mexico as he's putting up 15.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game.

Preview: Northern Iowa takes on George Mason tonight on CSN+

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USA TODAY

Preview: Northern Iowa takes on George Mason tonight on CSN+

Northern Iowa looks to snap a two-game losing streak as they host George Mason tonight. You can catch this game live on CSN+ at 7 p.m.

The Panthers (3-2) have lost both games to Xavier as Northern Iowa matched up with the top-25 team for the title in the Tire Pros Invitational in Orlando before losing to them on the road less than a week later.

Northern Iowa does own some solid wins over Oklahoma and Arizona State as they're led by senior Jeremy Morgan, who is averaging 16.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game -- which all lead the team. 

Junior forward Klint Carlson has also been strong for the Panthers as he's put up 12.2 points per game while shooting 44 percent from three-point range.

George Mason (3-2) has won three consecutive games -- with two of those wins coming by four points or less. The Patriots haven't played anyone as good as Northern Iowa yet as they beat Kent State, Bradley and James Madison.