Sunday, February 18, 2018
Sports

Fighting Irish roll, reward Kelly

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame got off to a strong start to the new season, then received more good news after the game.

The No. 14 Fighting Irish scored on their first two possessions, each of them three-play drives, with Tommy Rees hitting DaVaris Daniels for two 32-yard touchdown passes in a 28-6 victory on Saturday.

The Irish announced after the win that coach Brian Kelly had signed a new five-year contract.

Kelly said he wasn't too worried that the Irish (1-0) couldn't quite seem to put the Owls (0-1) away, saying he had confidence in his defense.

"I was okay with the dink and dunk that they were going exhibit on offense," he said.

For Notre Dame, the victory was welcome after a turbulent offseason following an embarrassing 42-14 loss to Alabama in the national championship game.

The victory sets up a big game against Michigan next Saturday night.

"We're going to have to play better in all phases against Michigan next week, but we're going to enjoy this victory today," Kelly said.

Kelly and the school signed a new deal months after the coach took the Fighting Irish to an undefeated regular season and a spot in the national championship game last year.

Cincinnati 42, Purdue 7: Temporary starter Munchie Legaux threw for a score and ran for one for the host Bearcats, who handed the Boilermakers their worst opening loss in 17 years.

Legaux, who subbed for incumbent Brendon Kay (sore passing shoulder) was more concerned about his two interceptions — one off a tipped pass, the other in the end zone.

"I had two bad throws," Legaux said. "I played okay."

Both teams had coaches making their debut — Tommy Tuberville for Cincinnati and Darrell Hazell for Purdue.

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