2013 Notre Dame Football
September 14, 2013 8:00 P.M. ET
Last Meeting (2012): Purdue 17-Notre Dame 20
Line (as of 3:00 p.m. on 9/14: Notre Dame (-20.5)
Lead Editor, Andrew Hall: Notre Dame 31-Purdue 7
Staff Writer, Nick Combs: Notre Dame 45-Purdue 14
Podcast/Contributor, Brett Arney: Notre Dame 49-Purdue 21
After the disheartening loss to Michigan and the dismantling of the defense by Devon Gardner, Notre Dame will welcome with open arms a Purdue offense that has looked anemic thus far this season. The Irish defensive front will pressure Henry without a complicated blitz package which should help a secondary that was completely exposed by Gardner.
The only opportunity I can see for Purdue to move the ball is, believe it or not, the game plan they have executed up to this point: short passes to receivers and backs out of the backfield. Notre Dame’s linebackers have shown a weakness in underneath coverage and, outside of Jaylon Smith, do not have the speed to stay with Hunt or Dawkins.
Honestly, I respect the Purdue program and they had a shot at winning last year’s game, but the 2013 team simply lacks the across the board talent they will need to compete against Notre Dame. If the Irish defense allows Purdue to score several times, even if Notre Dame wins, serious concerns will linger about this team’s ability to compete on the national level in 2013.
Tommy Rees and his offense should have a chance to get into a rhythm and establish an identity this week. I also hope to see Brian Kelly take some of the onus off of Rees and see how Tarean Folston and Greg Bryant do running the ball. It was clear in the Michigan game that the Irish couldn’t maintain possession, mostly due to the lack of a running game (that Kelly never seemed to want to establish). Assuming the starters take care of business, this game is a chance for the talented youth of the Irish offense to get on the field and show what they can do.