What To Watch For – Purdue at Notre Dame

Here are five factors which will likely determine the outcome of Saturday’s contest with Purdue.

  • Kyle Rudolph over the middle. Purdue has allowed some big games from opposing tight ends – Ed Dixon (Oregon) had 7 catches for 93 yards and Ryan Chesla of Northern Colorado had 9 for 99 yards.  Purdue also remembers what Golden Tate can do after his 3 catch 104 yard outburst against them last yArmando Allen - Notre Dame RBear.  Look for Notre Dame to look Rudolph’s way over the middle early.
  • The Notre Dame blitz vs. Curtis Painter. Notre Dame is certainly blitzing a lot more this year, but the increased pressure has yielded just one sack.  With Purdue’s pass-happy spread offense, the Irish defense will get their chances this week.  Curtis Painter has been sacked six times in the first three games.  If the Irish blitz does not pressure Painter and at least force him to get rid of the ball before he’d like, Purdue will be able to move the ball through the air easier than we’d like.  Remember, Painter put up nearly 400 yards on us last year.
  • Kory Sheets vs. the Notre Dame Linebackers. Sheets might not have the fan fare of Javon Ringer, but he is a solid back who has lost just 6 yards all season on negative rushing plays.  By comparison, Ringer lost 16 yards on such plays last week against the Irish alone.    If the Irish can stop Sheets in the backfield as often as they did Ringer last week it will put the Boilermakers in obvious passing downs allowing the Irish to use the blitz.
  • Michael Floyd. I think Purdue will pay a lot of attention to Golden Tate which will make Floyd a likely target for Jimmy Clausen early.  If he can show that he deserves the same amount of attention early, it’ll create some opportunities for Tate as the game wears on.
  • Armando Allen. Allen has not been much of a factor so far this year, but against a team like Purdue he might be able to.  Purdue’s defense isn’t as physical as Michigan or Michigan State’s and I think Notre Dame might spread the field out since the run game has been ineffective.  I would love to see us get the ball in Allen’s hands on quick passes like the ones to Robby Parris last week.

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  1. Amen C-Dog attitude sums it up! I said to myself as I watched OS take SC apart in the first half – this is why I love college football! This used to be ND’s territory – they relished the role of spoilers however apparently no more. We simply should not be anxious about the Purdues and Michigan States – should have won last weeks game. If ever there was a need for emotion and an opportunity to capitalize on the emotion coming off the win against Michigan it was last week! Another failed oppportunity – the good teams dont let those opportunities slip away – plain and simple. They come out and come at you and they dont let up – remember Florida – Ohio State? Say what you will about Urban Meyer however that team played tremendous for 60 minutes and kept the offense in scoring mentality the entire game. That is why you never coast in the end of a game – you begin coaching and instilling confidence in your team for the next game.

  2. Chris and valpodoc,
    This week should be a good indicator. Purdue’s lines defense and offense are middle of the road. Not dominant, but not weak. So if ND’s coaches have learned and adjusted. We’ll see.

    This week is a complete question mark for me. What I do see is this:

    1. Joe Tiller hates ND. It’s his last game against us. He will have Purdue fired up. We better be too.

    2. We must run the ball. Our offensive line and run blocking schemes need to give the ball carriers at least a chance of picking up 2 to 4 yards on 3rd down to convert. USC stacked the line against Oregon State in those situations and they still picked up good yardage. That’s coaching.

    3. The passing attack must and will be competant if not spectacular. We’re fine with the QB and receiving corps. No turn overs please.

    4. The defense must pressure Painter. Our cornerbacks play quite well now. coverage is tighter than I’ve ever seen it. We just need to get more sacks and hurries. Hurries create interception opportunities.

    5. Special teams are great except the kickers themselves. We need to be able to make field goals.

    6. Overall: Emotion and Execution. The players better be fired up. That’s already been determined by how intense practice was this week. I cna only hope. On the execution side, they need to maintain discipline and cannot turn the ball over. Field position will be a factor. Weis’s “pound it” strategy better get utilized here. If Purdue’s offense gets too many chances, this won’t go our way. Let’s hope the line finally shows up. Again coaches are just as acountable for that.

    Finally, relating last night’s game. Put in perspective that Oregon St. lost to Stanford, and got beat by Penn St. 45-14. Consider that USC didn’t make stupid mistakes, in fact Oregon St. might have blown a bigger lead. USC’s vaunted lines got manhandled, both physically and by better schemes. Oregon St.’s O-line made holes and pushed the pile and their D-line penetrated and disrupted. That’s Football 101. Let’s hope the Irish saw and learned the lesson.

  3. I hope ND can learn from Oregon State. This game is about plays, and each play is a new opportunity to excel. Hopefully there will not be a Sparty hangover, and th e good guys will make the big plays on Saturday.

  4. C-Dog – good call on Oregon State – I watched that game and was pumped to see OS get the win – they totally dominated the 1st half! Funny how a team like that with an attitude and execution on the O-line not to mention no fear, can smack around the hollywood hoodlums! Thus far this year on the other hand ND fans have already written this game off from day 1. So it is not only the offensive line that is the difference as you point out – in my opinion it is more so the attitude and I havent seen a kick butt attitude coming from Weis and company in all four years. These kids simply aren’t challanged by this coaching staff nor does the coaching show any confidence evidenced by some poor and conservative play calling. Just look even now how the bloggsters are already holding their breath for the Purdue game…

  5. I hope to see better line play. Let’s see if our guys can blow the holes and the backs time hitting those holes.
    I’d also like to see the defense disrupt Purdue’s offense.

    Don’t look now but USC just lost. Their O-line was not dominant. Oregon St.
    s O-line WAS dominant. The difference in the game. HMMM!

  6. Good Points Frankie, Kyle has been wide open often.

    I hope Allen indeed has a big game, however, this is a good time to take a look at Jonas Gray to see if his running style offers a new dynamic.

    I certainly think Floyd is there and we can’t get enough of Tate.

    Hopefully, Painter will have grass stains on his jersey all day long would be nice.

    Gooooooooo Irish!

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