This is always the most anticipated game of the season for Purdue fans. Point blank we don’t like Notre Dame. We don’t like their arrogance, we don’t like their “tradition”, we don’t like that after every third year their new coach writes a book about ND being “Back to Glory” or “Good as Gold” or whatever the hell ridiculous title they come up with, and we especially don’t like that they won’t join a conference because of…well…no damn good reason. I simply can’t stand the attitude you get from their fans, it’s insufferable. Couple that with the fact that most IU basketball fans are also Notre Dame fans and you’ve got a toxic combination that we here at Jumbo Heroes (with the exception of Westfall which is a whole other story) can’t stand Notre Dame.
Does Purdue have a chance? I’ve wrestled with this one for a long time. Purdue is trying to become more of a passing offense which goes against the weakness of Notre Dame’s defense. The ND secondary is weak, inexperienced, and Lo Wood’s injury puts additional pressure on them. The questions for Purdue is does Caleb TerBush have the ability to continue the high flying offense of last week. Sure it was EKU but that’s not important. The fact is Purdue with Robert Marve put points on the board. We will have to see if Purdue with TerBush, to start, can put points on the board to compete against what is a high powered ND offense. With Purdue on defense Tyler Eifert is going to be the focal point of the ND offense especially since Cierre Wood is suspended for the Purdue game. The Purdue linebackers and defensive ends will need to be on top of their game in order to disrupt the ND offense. The final position that worries me is the offensive line of Purdue. They are not experienced and are going against a ND defensive line that is very experienced and can be disruptive.
I want to believe in this Purdue team but I’ve seen better teams go into South Bend and lose. Coach Hope has been able to make his Purdue teams win in places that Purdue historically doesn’t win Ohio State and Michigan for example. Drew Brees wasn’t able to win in South Bend and Caleb TerBush is no Drew Brees. Things could go better than I think but right now I’m going with a cautious optimism but I can’t pick Purdue here. I’d love to be wrong.
Purdue 21, ND 31
I like Purdue in this game, but I have like Purdue’s chances against Notre Dame every time they have met since 2003. This caused me to look into the last 8 seasons and figure out if I am a complete homer when it comes to Notre Dame (because I have no problem picking against Purdue in other games) or if there was something to each of those picks. We all know what happened in 2005… moving on. In 2006, Purdue was undefeated but they didn’t really look good doing it, there really wasn’t any reason to expect them to win that year. 2007 we did win, 2008 was actually the year where it was tied at 14 at halftime but one of Purdue’s defensive backs dropped a pick 6 that would have actually swung it to 21-7 at the half and Purdue didn’t show up to play the second half. I stand by expecting Purdue to win that game, they did have a legitimate chance. 2009 was the heartbreak night game. 2010 was Marve’s first game where the offense never really got going and even though we were within a score in the 4th quarter, we just didn’t get it done. Last year was a complete mess. So this will be the 10th meeting I have closely watched, Purdue is 3-6. They realistically didn’t have a chance to win in 2006 or last year, so that leaves 7 out of the past 9 years I was right to give Purdue a shot.
Now that this is out of the way, let me talk myself into a Purdue victory this year. Historically in sports, West coast NFL teams struggle in eastern time zone games. NBA teams play poorly in their first game back from West Coast road trips. This leads me to believe that Notre Dame will play poorly due to their long trip. I just can’t imagine college aged kids having top notch focus the week after that trip. Reason number two is Notre Dame’s secondary. Purdue has some athletes at Wide Receiver and Tight End, and Navy’s quarterback went 14 for 19 against Notre Dame and only threw one interception. Purdue will pass more than Navy did. Purdue has better athletes at WR and TE than Navy, and yet, Navy threw for nearly 200 yards on the Irish. We have to take this with a grain of salt, Navy was playing from well behind and they focus on running the ball so Notre Dame was focused on stopping the run, but they weren’t exactly breaking up passes left and right.
I don’t think Notre Dame will run on us the way they ran on Navy. Purdue gave up 105 yards on 31 carries, but when you take away the one 30 yard touchdown run, it becomes 75 yards on 30 carries, 2.5 yards per attempt. There is always going to be something said about the competition, but Notre Dame completely controlled their game on the ground. If Purdue can limit the run game, it will or their Freshman QB to beat Purdue’s experienced secondary. A couple short fields allowed by the return game could completely flip the pace of the game. If we can return the ball out to the 40-45 yard line, even if we go 3 and out, we could be able to pin Notre Dame deep. If they cant get anything going, now we are fielding the punt at Midfield. Big returns don’t always set up an immediate touchdown, but they could lead to one later because of field position. At the same time, blocked kicks, muffed punts, and penalties will always hurt you.
The X-Factor here is Caleb Ter Bush. There is a reason he is starting, what that reason is remains to be seen. Maybe he really is that much better than Marve. Maybe he is poised to have a Joey Elliot like senior campaign. Maybe Hope thinks he takes fewer risks and will not turn the ball over as much. Maybe Hope is being an idiot and trying not to give away someones starting job to injury. Maybe Hope is a good ole boy and doesn’t like Marve’s big city attitude. Maybe Caleb has compromising pictures of Hope that he has threatened to release to the public (JUST KIDDING!!!) We can only wait and see, while begging it to be a performance based decision.
I like Purdue’s chances, but they need to execute. Below are 4 things Purdue MUST do to win this game
Purdue wins if:
1. They can emulate last week with regards to penalties
2. They win the turnover margin
3. They can avoid broken assignments resulting in big runs and/or Tyler Eifert catching wide open 35 yard passes over the middle
4. No special teams blunders
That is it. Purdue cannot stall drives with penalties or keep their opponents drives going with penalties like they did last year. Purdue cannot give Notre Dame extra possessions. Purdue cannot let Tyler Eifert run free over the middle of the field or allow a halfback draw to go for 50 yards. Finally, Purdue cannot muff punts, shank kicks, allow kicks to be blocked, etc.
If you take away those four things, you have eliminated beating yourself. What it comes down to at that point is Notre Dame and their game plan against Purdue and its game plan. Maybe they still beat you, but they have to do it with their offensive line controlling the LOS, with their freshman QB’s arm, with their defensive backfield…etc.If that is what it comes down to, the odds are much better for Purdue.
I stand by what I said in my preseason preview. Purdue win’s this game. Brian Kelly has quite a task getting his guys to forget about their dominating first performance, forget about their once in a lifetime trip to Ireland, don’t be too excited about their top 25 ranking, and focus on Purdue while not looking ahead to the showdowns they have coming up.
Purdue has every reason to steal this game as of right now, it is up to them to execute and take it away
Purdue 28, ND 24
Each team is coming off of a dominant performances against an inferior opponent and ready to start the competitive part of their schedule. The challenge for Purdue is to show up and make this a competitive game. The Boilers have all of the necessary requirements to go into South Bend, compete, and give themselves a chance to win and it’s time they show it. While many are disappointed that TerBush gets the start; in the grand scheme of things that likely won’t make a damn bit of difference as each Boiler QB will get a chance to showcase his abilities. The Boilers are going to be able to score some points regardless. The key to the game will be our run defense. Can our now experienced (and quite large) d-line hold up against ND’s vaunted offensive line and talented running backs? That will be key to put ND’s inexperienced QB in 3rd and long situations against a talented Boiler secondary. I’m calling for the Boilers to win a close one. Just a gut feeling that we’re due and it’s time.
Purdue 28 Notre Dame 27
Controversy and leprechauns; this is what I live for! I really think there’s less controversy at the quarterback position than everyone is making here because I think Marve will end up playing a lot anyway regardless of who starts. I do think that starting Terbush ensures that the Irish must prepare for both quarterbacks because they know Marve is going to play. If Marve had started, then Terbush would’ve been a longshot to get a lot of snaps. Honestly, I’m a Marve fan, but I’m also not a fan of telling a guy how to do his job until he screws up, and I don’t think that I can say Hope has made a mistake until I see that he has. The guy makes a million dollars a year to win football games. I can’t imagine he’s starting Terbush because his mom’s hot.
This game comes down to the Boiler defense. Can they create pressure on the quarterback? Because if they can’t, it’s going to be a long day. The front line is going to have to get a big push up front or the defense is going to rely heavily on an inexperienced secondary and a very inexperienced linebacking group.
Ultimately, I think there are two, maybe three professional football players on the defensive line on Purdue’s side. I don’t think Golson knows how to deal with professionals breathing down his neck yet, and I think he’ll end up throwing on the run a lot which will lead to turnovers. If the Boilers can force turnovers and keep their own in check, they’ll have a chance here.
I think the Boilers have a legitimate shot in South Bend tomorrow, and this could be the start of what we call a winning streak. I can’t believe I’m writing this, but I’m going to take Purdue here in a punting contest.
Purdue 14, Notre Dame 10
Purdue and Notre Dame is always a great rivalry game that usually is pretty close. Notre Dame is coming off their trip to Ireland and will have some momentum after killing Navy and it’s in Notre Dame Stadium. I think Purdue’s defense will struggle and their offense will not figure out the three quarterback system and lose the game. Boilers fall in this one bigger than expected.
Purdue 23 Notre Dame 46