The #12 Notre Dame Fighting Irish will be featured on NBC Saturday afternoon as they host the Purdue Boilermakers in South Bend, Indiana inside of Notre Dame Stadium. Kickoff is set for 2:30pm ET.
This weekend Notre Dame (2-0) will face in-state rival, Purdue (2-0) for the 85th time. The last time these two teams met was in 2014 and the Irish came away with a 30-14 victory. Notre Dame leads the all-time series, 56-26-2. The Irish will enter their game against the Boilermakers coming off yet another close scare as Notre Dame squeaked by Toledo last week, 32-29.
Meanwhile, Purdue was virtually untouchable last week beating UConn, 49-0. Like Notre Dame, Purdue is also 2-0 on the season, and after its decisive win they look to have all the momentum heading into this week’s game versus the Irish.
About Last Week
Last week, Notre Dame’s offense did just enough to win the game. Quarterback, Jack Coan passed for 239 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. The lone interception was costly as it was returned for a score. The Irish’s ground game developed some. It improved from averaging 1.9 yards per carry in week one to averaging to 3.4 yards per rush against Toledo. Part of the added boost was due to Notre Dame freshman quarterback, Tyler Buchner. He entered the game against Toledo with the intent of providing a spark due to his mobility and he did not disappoint. He carried the ball seven times for 68 yards. Notre Dame’s passing game was not as electric as week one, but tight end, Michael Mayer stood out again hauling in seven catches for 81 yards and two touchdowns.
Notre Dame’s defense looked sporadic at times. It seemed like Toledo would match every big stop by the Irish with an explosive play of their own. There were also a ton of missed tackles which is something the Notre Dame defense must improve upon this week, or it may be a long day. Linebacker, JD Bertrand showcased a performance of his own with 11 total tackles (10 solo), one sack, and three tackles for a loss. That kind of output will be needed again this week.
Purdue was leading Uconn 35-0 by halftime last week after scoring on its first five possessions. Unfortunately for the Boilermakers, in the first quarter, leading rusher, Zander Horvath left the game with a broken fibula. He was replaced by running backs, King Doerue and Dylan Downing who combined for 146 yards rushing and one touchdown. Coming out of halftime, Purdue’s head coach, Jeff Brohm called off the dogs scoring just 14 points in the third quarter and zero points in the fourth quarter to win easily, 49-0. Purdue quarterback, Jack Plummer completed 16 of 20 passes for 245 yards and four touchdowns. Wide receiver, David Bell caught three of those touchdown passes in addition to 121 yards receiving on six catches.
- Linebacker, Marist Liufau was lost for the season due to a lower-leg injury.
- Linebacker, Paul Moala tore his Achilles tendon and will be out for the remainder of the season.
- Linebacker, Prince Kollie is unavailable.
- Running back, C’Bo Flemister is unavailable.
- Offensive tackle, Blake Fisher will be out for eight weeks due to a torn meniscus.
- Offensive lineman, Michael Carmody sprained his ankle last week and is questionable this week.
- Linebacker, Shayne Simon out for season due to a torn labrum.
- Tight end, Kevin Bauman will miss six weeks due to a fractured leg.
- Defensive end, Jordan Botelho remains questionable for this week’s game due to undisclosed reasons.
- Wide receiver, Lawrence Keys III left the team.
- Running back, Zander Horvath is out four to eight weeks due to a broken fibula.
- Tight end, Garrett Miller is doubtful this weekend for undisclosed reasons.
- Wide receiver, Abdur-Rahmaan Yaseen is questionable this weekend for undisclosed reasons.
Point Spread and Total
Purdue (2-0) (2-0 ATS) at #12 Notre Dame (2-0) (0-2 ATS)
According to Odds Shark, the early betting line opened with Notre Dame as an 7.5-point favorite and it has remained there since. The total on the game has also held steady at 58.5. Looking at the roster, Notre Dame possesses the superior talent, but looking at each of their previous games this season, it appears Purdue is on the right track while Notre Dame is still finding its way. With that said, Notre Dame being a touchdown favorite at home seems to be fair here as it could very well be a one-possession game late in the fourth quarter. The total is also right on point even though some will see Purdue’s 49-0 shutout over Uconn, but let’s remember that was Uconn’s football team; not its basketball team. In week one, Purdue surrendered 21 points to Oregon State. On the other side of the ball, Notre Dame has given up plenty of explosive plays to both of its opponents thus far, so it is fair to assume there will be points scored in this game by both teams.
- Notre Dame is 1-4 against the spread (ATS) in its last 5 games.
- Purdue is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games.
- Notre Dame is 18-2 straight up (SU) in its last 20 games.
- Purdue is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games against Notre Dame
- At home against Purdue, Notre Dame is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games.
- In 6 of the last 7 games against a Big Ten opponent, Notre Dame’s games have gone over the total.
- In 14 of Purdue’s last 18 games on the road, the total has gone under the total.
Behind Enemy Lines Week 2
Wake Forest -5.5 (2-0) (0-2 ATS) at Florida State (0-2) (1-1 ATS)
The Demon Deacons destroyed lowly Norfolk State last week, 41-16. Their offense looked steady on the ground and through the air while rushing for 161 yards and throwing for another 244. Meanwhile, Florida State suffered another heartbreaker falling to Jacksonville State, 20-17. The Seminoles’ defense allowed Jacksonville State to score twice with less than five minutes to pull off the upset win. This week’s matchup opened with Wake Forest being favored by seven points, but the line has since fallen to 5.5. Nearly every sportsbook has the total on this game at 61.5. Florida State is 7-1 SU in their last eight games against Wake Forest. The under has cashed in the last six meetings between these two teams.
Colorado State (0-2) (0-2 ATS) at Toledo -14.5 (1-1) (1-1 ATS)
The Rams are coming off a tough loss from last week as Vanderbilt kicked a last-second field goal to win the game, 24-21. The Rockets are returning home from South Bend with a similar loss as Toledo allowed Notre Dame to score in the final two minutes to defeat them, 32-29. This week’s matchup will show which team has the strength to pick itself up off the mat first. The line on this game opened with Toledo -13 and has since increased to 14.5. The total has fallen one point to 58.5. Colorado State is 2-4 ATS in its last six games while serving as the underdog. The total has gone over in six of Toledo’s last seven game against a team from the Mountain West conference.
#18 Wisconsin (1-1) (1-1 ATS) -bye week-
#8 Cincinnati -4.5 (2-0) (1-1 ATS) at Indiana (1-1 (1-1 ATS)
The Bearcats have destroyed its first two opponents including a 42-7 beat down of Murray State last week. This week will likely be Cincinnati’s first true test of the season as they head to Bloomington to face the Hoosiers. Indiana will enter this matchup coming off an explosive win of their own after defeating Idaho, 56-14. This line opened with the Bearcats being favored by 3.5 and has since inched its way up to 4.5. The total on this game remains 50 across the board. In its last 15 games against teams from the Big Ten conference, Cincinnati is 3-12 SU. Indiana is 6-1 ATS in its last seven home games.
#15 Virginia Tech (2-0) (2-0 ATS) at West Virginia -3 (1-1) (1-1 ATS)
The Hokies are on a hot streak winning and covering each of their first two games not only as a favorite, but also as an underdog. Last week, Virginia Tech defeated Middle Tennessee State, 35-14. They are in a familiar position as the Hokies will carry their #15 ranking into Milan Puskar Stadium as an underdog. Although West Virginia enters this game unranked, sportsbooks have them listed as a three-point favorite. The total on this game is sitting at 50. Virginia Tech is 7-2 SU in its last nine games against West Virginia. As a favorite, the Mountaineers have gone over the total in 11 of its last 14 games.
USC -8.5 (1-1) (1-1 ATS) at Washington State (1-1) (0-2 ATS)
Last week, the Trojans were embarrassed by Stanford losing at home, 42-28. The loss also dropped them out of the top 25 completely. To make matters worse, USC fired head coach, Clay Helton after the game. Washington State is coming off a 44-24 win against Portland State. The Trojans opened as a ten-point favorite in this game, but the uncertainty swarming the team’s leadership has dropped the line to 8.5. Some books have it at an even eight. USC is 11-2 SU in their last 13 games against Washington State. The Cougars are 1-5 ATS in their last six games versus teams in the Pac-12 conference.
Virginia (2-0) (2-0 ATS) at #21 North Carolina -9(1-1) (1-1 ATS)
After defeating Georgia State last week, 59-17, the Tar Heels moved up three spots in the rankings to #21. North Carolina quarterback, Sam Howell was back in form completing 21 of 29 passes for 352 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for another 104 yards while adding two touchdowns on the ground. Virginia looked the part as well in their game against Illinois beating them handily, 42-14. The Cavaliers have only given up 14 points through two games this season. Something has to give this week. UNC opened as an 8.5-point favorite before the line slid up to nine. The total increased a couple of points to 66.5. Virginia is 4-1 SU in its last five games against the Tar Heels. At home, North Carolina’s games against Virginia have gone under in 11 of the last 16.
NAVY (0-2) (0-2 ATS) -bye week-
Georgia Tech (1-1) (1-1 ATS) at #6 Clemson (1-1) (0-2)
The Yellow Jackets stung Kennesaw State last week, 45-17. Georgia Tech quarterback, Jordan Yates threw for 254 yards and four touchdowns. This week will likely be much more difficult facing a Clemson defense that has surrendered just three points all season. Last week, the Tigers dismantled South Carolina State, 49-3. Clemson opened as a 30.5-point favorite before the line dropped to a modest 28.5. The total on this game has remained at 52. Georgia Tech has lost its last six games at Clemson and is 0-5-1 ATS. The total has gone over the total in in six of the last nine matchups played at Memorial Stadium.
Stanford (1-1) (1-1 ATS)at Vanderbilt (1-1) (1-1 ATS)
Last week, Stanford routed USC 42-28. Cardinal running back, Nathaniel Peat stampeded the Trojans rushing for 118 yards on just 9 carries including a touchdown. Vanderbilt will be coming off a tough win versus Colorado State. It took a game winning field goal to defeat the Rams, 24-21. The Commodores surrendered 207 rushing yards in that game for an average of 6.3 yards per rush, so it will be interesting to see if they can hold down Peat. Stanford enters this week’s game favored by 12 and the total is currently at 50 points. Since 2019, Vanderbilt has entered a game as a double-digit underdog 15 times, but only managed to walk away with an upset one time. Stanford is 5-0 SU in their last five games on the road.
*Notre Dame’s 2021 opponents listed in bold.