SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The two-quarterback attack was effective enough for Purdue to stick with Notre Dame, and it even gave the Boilermakers a shot at an upset Saturday.
Caleb TerBush and Robert Marve split the duties as coach Danny Hope tried to mix it up.
Marve led the Boilermakers to 10 points with his passing, and when he was injured late in the game, starting quarterback TerBush returned and threw a touchdown pass to Aantavian Edison to tie it up 17-17 with 2:12 to go.
But backup Tommy Rees entered for Notre Dame in place of Everett Golson and moved the Irish in position for a game-winning, 27-yard field goal from Kyle Brindza with seven seconds to go.
"It's a bummer. We came in here expecting to win and we definitely felt like we had a bunch of mojo behind us this whole week," said TerBush, who, like Rees, had been suspended for last week's season opener.
"We're always going to play more than one quarterback," Hope said. "We don't want the No. 1 quarterback to go down and have to wave a white flag right in the middle of the game or right in the middle of the season. ... I thought the classic example today was when Robert Marve went down and TerBush came back in the game and put us in position to potentially go into overtime."
TerBush completed 8 of 19 for 79 yards with two interceptions and Marve was 11 of 18 for 118 yards. TerBush also gained 27 yards on four carries.
After throwing the game-tying TD, TerBush had some words of encouragement for Marve, who said he will have an MRI on his left knee Sunday.
"I was just letting him know that we're in this together," TerBush said.
Purdue's defensive front spent most of the day chasing or trying to get to Golson, who was making his home debut. Golson was sacked five times and his fumble after a hit by Josh Johnson set up the game-tying touchdown -- it also had a role in him leaving the game. After that play, he had trouble gripping the football.
"He's a very shifty guy so we just had to play our scheme first and when he rolls out we just have to catch him. He's a pretty fast guy so the rollout was getting us in the second half," said Purdue defensive tackle Kawann Short.
But Short wasn't surprised when Rees entered the game.
"We thought we would see him earlier in the game because he's a better passer than Golson," Short said. "We stopped the run, it was just the pass game that they executed against us."
A starter for 12 games last year, Rees didn't have time to ponder what his performance might mean for the future. He'd been suspended from the opener for his role in a skirmish with police following a May party.
"I was just thinking we've got to win this game," he said to an NBC interviewer on the field.
Rees connected on key third down passes of 10 yards to John Goodman and 21 yards to Robby Toma to set up the winning kick and now Notre Dame is 2-0 for the first time since 2008.
"That was a pressure situation and certainly would have been a tough assignment for a rookie quarterback," Hope said. "I was kind of excited about the idea of maybe having a rookie quarterback in there on the last drive. I thought that may have given us an opportunity to get after him some and get ourselves in position to win. I thought it was a good coaching decision. Tommy Rees is a good player, heck of a quarterback, too."
Golson completed 21 of 31 for 289 yards with a TD and ran for another but he did take the five sacks in a sloppy game that featured 16 penalties -- eight on each team. Coach Brian Kelly said Golson would start next week at Michigan State.
With Golson out, Kelly elected to go with Rees over Andrew Hendrix, who'd seen action last week against Navy.
"This is not going to be an excuse for Everett that he's pulled out because of an injury," Kelly said. "We also made the decision with the flow of the game that Tommy could come in there and manage out two-minute and he did a great job."