Notre Dame is back in action today for their third game of the season. The Irish have underwhelmed thus far in their first two games but look to clean up some of the mistakes that have made for back-to-back anxiety-producing contests for Notre Dame fans. The Irish host old in-state rival Purdue for the first time since 2014 when the ACC scheduling agreement forced Notre Dame to ditch the one-time yearly foe.
Countdown to Kickoff
- Kickoff: 2:30 PM ET
- Notre Dame Stadium
- Opposing Coach: Jeff Brohm – 5th year at Purdue (21-25)
- Notre Dame leads the series 58-26-2
How to Watch Notre Dame Today
Today’s game is back on normal, old NBC after last week’s streaming experiment on Peacock. Mike Tirico and Drew Brees will be in the booth. Brees made his debut last week for the Toledo game, but this will be his first time on broadcast TV with NBC. The game will also be broadcast on SIRUS satellite radio channel 179 and on the Notre Dame radio network (96.1 FM, 101.5 FM & 960 AM in South Bend) with play by play by Paul Burmeister and commentary by former Notre Dame OL Ryan Harris.
There are no new injuries to report on the Notre Dame side, but the Irish get a key contributor back this week. Jordan Botelho is back after missing the first two games on the “unavailable” list. Botelho should be a key contributor on 3rd downs and in the dollar package if he is 100% back.
According to Brian Kelly, left tackle Michael Carmody is a game-time decision, but conventional wisdom here says expect Tosh Baker to start in place. Carmody suffered an ankle sprain that forced him to miss the 2nd half of the Toledo game. So coming back this week to face one of the best pass rushers in the country on a bum ankle doesn’t seem likely. We’ll see what starting lineup the Irish use, though.
Notre Dame continues to play without starting LT Blake Fisher, starting WILL Marist Liufau, and backups Kevin Bauman (TE), Shayne Simon (WILL), C’Bo Flemister (RB), Prince Kollie (WILL), and Paul Moala (ROVER) this week.
The Boilermakers lost their starting running back Zander Horvath last week on the Purdue side of the ball. He is out 4-8 weeks and unavailable today.
Last Minute Story Lines
The stupid drum
The story that dominated the news cycle for the last two days regarding this game is Purdue’s big drum won’t be inside Notre Dame Stadium. To be honest, the whole incident is pretty silly and pointless, but at the same time, I respect the level of pettiness being shown by Notre Dame here. Still, you’ll hear about it during the broadcast, and if this thing is close at all in the 2nd half, you’ll hear about it a lot.
Potential OL rotation
Brian Kelly said Notre Dame expects to deploy a rotation on the interior of the OL with guards Andrew Kristofic and Rocco Spindler potentially getting into the mix at some point. Kelly said Kristofic is first off the bench at this point. Which guard comes out first – Cain Madden or Zeke Correll will be interesting to watch. The struggles of the Notre Dame offensive line are no secret at this point. If the line struggles again early, look for Kelly and Jeff Quinn to go to the bench in hopes of finding something.
With how much Tyler Buchner played last week, it was clear that the plan was to play him all along. You don’t trot out a system like that against Toledo if you don’t intend to use it a lot throughout the season, either. Buchner should play again today and could play a lot. He took 17 snaps last week and only attempted three pass attempts. I expect his pass attempts and snaps to increase this week as the Irish staff gets their heralded true freshman more experience.
Home field advantage?
One thing to look for early is how many Purdue fans there are in the crowd. Last week the paid attendance was just over 60,000 – a far cry from the old sellout streak that Notre Dame used to boast. With Purdue being so close, the Boilers thinking this is their chance to knock off Notre Dame, and it being their first appearance at Notre Dame Stadium since 2012, there could be way more Purdue fans in the stands than most Notre Dame fans would like.
Latest Notre Dame Line & Betting Odds
As of Saturday morning, the line from Vegas Insider is sitting at 7.5 with an over/under of 58. In my prediction post, I have Notre Dame 38-20 as my final score. That perhaps optimistic margin of victory aligns well with that over/under. Notre Dame opened as an 8 point favorite, so this line hasn’t moved a lot in either direction.