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

Sunday on CSN: UIC travels to Valparaiso

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Sunday on CSN: UIC travels to Valparaiso

Horizon League basketball returns to CSN on Sunday as UIC travels to Valparaiso. This game tips at 2:00 p.m. live on CSN.

The Flames (11-8, 4-2) have won three straight games and have played pretty good ball after the loss of Dikembe Dixson to a torn ACL. Junior big man Tai Odiase, a Homewood-Flossmoor graduate, is playing well along with former St. Rita product Dominique Matthews.

Valparaiso (15-4, 5-1) is hoping to maintain its conference lead behind senior All-American candidate Alec Peters. The 6-foot-9 senior is averaging 23.9 points and 10.9 rebounds per game on the season.

The Crusaders won the first time these two teams played at UIC on Dec. 30 as Tevonn Walker had 23 points.

Saturday on CSN: Loyola, Illinois State host Missouri Valley opponents

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Saturday on CSN: Loyola, Illinois State host Missouri Valley opponents

CSN will have two Missouri Valley Conference games with local teams on Saturday. 

The first game tips at 3 p.m. live on CSN as Evansville heads to Loyola. The second game tips at 7 p.m. and is also live on CSN as Drake will play at Illinois State.

Loyola (13-7, 3-4) is coming off of a tough road loss in double overtime to Northern Iowa. The Ramblers have been led by senior Milton Doyle this season as the former Marshall star is one of the better guards in the Valley.

Evansville (10-10, 1-6) has dropped five straight games as they're struggling to gain any momentum in conference play. Senior guard Jaylon Brown is having an outstanding season for the Purple Aces as he's putting up 21.2 points per game.

The second matchup has Drake (6-13, 4-3) traveling to Illinois State. The Bulldogs have won three of four games and junior guard Reed Timmer is dangerous while former Saint Viator product Ore Arogundade is having a solid sophomore season. 

Illinois State (15-4, 7-0) is leading the Valley after a huge win over Wichita State as they've won eight straight games. The Redbirds are hoping to make a run to an NCAA tournament bid with another home win.