Notre Dame Football vs. Purdue: 3 things we learned in Week 2
The Offense Needs to Help Michael Mayer
You need to credit Purdue’s defense, they took away Michael Mayer for most of the day. In short yardage, Mayer is a dominant force, too big to stop. From distance, Mayer has the speed and hands to get open and stretch the field.
In a lot of ways, he’s the perfect weapon. So, it’s no surprise that Purdue sent double and even triple coverage at the tight end all game long.
This is a decision that the Purdue defense made, which Florida State and Toledo both failed to do on the opening drives of their games. Mayer scored on those drives. However, this decision by Purdue did have a side effect.
It meant that they had to play one-on-one coverage across the board on Notre Dame’s wide receivers. They left athletes in space who could easily make them pay.
Except, the Irish let Purdue off the hook. Whether it was Braden Lenzy dropping a dagger touchdown pass, or Jack Coan overthrowing Kevin Austin, the Irish left a ton of points on the board against the Boilermakers.
If Notre Dame can’t take advantage of their weapons, outside of Mayer, then this strategy won’t change. Mayer will get blanketed and the rest of the of the receivers will be dared to step up in the passing game. If they don’t then the Irish will struggle to score all season long.