WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - So much for Michael Floyd the decoy.
Twenty-four seconds into Notre Dame's game against Purdue, the star receiver surpassed his yardage total from the previous week. His 35-yard touchdown catch from Tommy Rees sparked a 38-10 rout of Purdue on Saturday night.
Floyd caught four passes for 27 yards against Pittsburgh, and he talked during the week about his willingness to do his job and help the team's other talented receivers get open.
This week, Floyd was featured.
"Getting Mike Floyd the ball early on really gave us a lot of confidence offensively," Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said. "It was more of a concerted to make sure he got his touches and making it part of our game plan that he has to touch the ball and not that if the offense comes to him it comes to him. We're not going to play that way. Mike has to get the ball and that's what we saw."
Floyd thought it was important for the Fighting Irish to get off to a quick start, considering the way some of their games have gone during this up-and-down season.
"That's what we needed," he said. "When you go on the road, you have to make a point as soon as you get the ball, and that's what we did."
Floyd's excellence was just one element of the team's most dominant performance of the season. Notre Dame outgained Purdue 551 yards to 276. It was a season-high yardage total for the Irish and their third game with at least 500 yards of offense.
Tommy Rees passed for 254 yards and three touchdowns for the Fighting Irish (3-2).
Cierre Wood ran for a career-high 191 yards on 20 carries and Jonas Gray rushed for 94 yards, highlighting a running game that churned out 287 yards on 40 attempts.
"We always talk about it just being another day at the office," Wood said. "I have to give a big shout out to my offensive line. It wouldn't have been possible without them. They opened up the holes and they blocked perfectly."
The Irish had committed 15 turnovers in their first four games, but none against Purdue. This time, Notre Dame's opponent made the mistakes. The Boilermakers also committed 13 penalties for 118 yards.
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.
"We're just trying to play," Kelly said. "If there's nine guys on the line of scrimmage, and they want to blitz ... I don't know if you saw the last play, we ran a screen and they brought everybody. Both teams were still playing."
Antavian Edison's performance was one of the few bright spots for Purdue (2-2). He caught seven passes for 105 yards and a score.
The Boilermakers entered the game with a two-quarterback system, and they left it with nothing settled. Caleb TerBush started and completed 10 of 15 passes for 101 yards and a touchdown. Robert Marve relieved him in the second quarter and got the start in the second half, but couldn't move the team. TerBush re-entered the game and threw a touchdown pass, but it came in the final minute with Purdue down 38-3.
"We didn't play well," Purdue coach Danny Hope said. "We didn't have any luck. We didn't match up well. We're a better team than that."
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