came off the bench for Notre Dame to run a two minute drill and lead the Fighting Irish on a 12-play 55-yard scoring drive to defeat Purdue, 20-17, in the closing seconds today in South Bend.
Rees entered the game in a backup role but when Purdue tied the contet, 17-17, with just over two minutes remaining, Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly decided to insert the veteran Rees.
“We decided we would go with the guy who had experience in these situations,” Kelly said after the game on an interview with NBC Television. Tommy has been in these situations before.”
Facing third and 10 on the Purdue 41 with just over 30 seconds remaining, Rees connected with Robbie Toma on a 21-yard completion to set up the winning 37-yard field goal.
After spiking the ball to stop the clock, running it to the middle of the field to take a knee and spiking it again, Rees put the Fighting Irish in position for a 37-yard field goal. Kyle Brindza made the kick.
“I just wanted to find a way to win the game,” Rees said in the NBC interview on the field after the game. “We didn’t want to go into overtime.”
Notre Dame is 2-0 for the season.