Tim O'Malley – Managing EditorThe Irish have lost four of their last seven in West Lafayette, escaping a fifth defeat in their last visit thanks to the 2009 last-drive heroics of Jimmy Clausen, Robby Parris, and Kyle Rudolph.
That matchup shouldn't have been close. Neither should this one, but until the Irish prove they can protect the football – a two turnover minimum for an entire month doesn't qualify – there's no chance they can blow out even a lower-tier Big 10 team at home.
Tackling after the catch will be a team-wide key for the Irish defense while matching the competitive fire of Boilermakers defenders Joe Holland, Richardo Allen (as underrated a corner as there is in the Big 10), and Kawann Short is essential for an offense capable of 500-plus yards – but one replete with self-destructive tendencies.
I think the Irish can hold Purdue to two scores, but cannon-legged kicker Carson Wiggs – he of the 70+ yarders in the springtime – is worth an extra three-pointer in what should be a charge atmosphere. Look for a 17-6 halftime handling to reduce to a dogfight and a 24-13 Irish victory.
Brian Dohn (NE/Irisheyes.com Recruiting Reporter)Notre Dame is now over the hump, and for the first time this season a relaxing fourth quarter awaits the Irish. The Boilermakers squeaked by Middle Tennessee State and lost at Rice, and Tony wasn't the quarterback. And while Purdue is averaging nearly 260 rushing yards per game and yielding just 16 points a game, it is against questionable opposition.
The Irish may be mistake-prone, but it will take more than a couple of turnovers for Purdue to win this one. Notre Dame 31 Purdue 17
Dave Berk (Irisheyes.com Recruiting Analyst)What Notre Dame team will show up? That question I kept asking myself as I put together my prediction for this game. After much mulling around, I feel Irish fans will see more of the team that defeated Michigan State than the one seen last week in Pittsburgh.
Some feel Purdue has a solid running game. However, they've yet to face a defense like the Irish so expect the Boilermakers to have some struggles. Look for the Irish to come out quick and for the running game to open up the passing attack. I would not be surprised if several players have big games. In the end all that matters is a win so I have the Irish winning 31-10
Christian Zavisca (Staff Writer)This is one of those odd games that carries more than its share of X factors. Normally we might be tempted to chalk up Notre Dame vs. a shaky Purdue team as a guaranteed Irish victory. But with a bye week to prepare, a night game at home, and Bolden and Marve back around, the Boilermakers are not in a bad position to make this more of a game than some might predict.
Purdue will need to run the ball effectively for four quarters in order to win. I think the Notre Dame defensive front will be up to that challenge, but it won't be a walk in the park.
Notre Dame 24 Purdue 16
SeattleND (Moderator/Man of Few Words)No excuses. 2011 Purdue is pretty much the 2010 Western Michigan squad. 'Nuff said.
Notre Dame 35 Purdue 12
Morrissey79 (Moderator/Perpetually Glass Half-Full )While Purdue hasn't garnered the same amount of attention or worry like Michigan St. or Michigan cause among ND fans, one ought to look at the history of the two and see how NDs trips have gone at Ross-Ade Stadium.
In the past 19 trips at Purdue, ND has enjoyed an easy win against the Boilermakers out only 4 times: 1983, 1989, 1991, and 2005. ND was a top 15 team in each of those trips.
The Irish are 3-4 in their last 7 trips to Purdue, including a miracle come from behind win led by an injured Jimmy Clausen in '09.
What will happen this year? Has ND finally learned "how to win"?
At this point, I've struggled at predicting what type of performance we'll see from this team. However, I'm going to stick with my gut on this one, and behind a steady game from Tommy Rees, and our strong rush defense, the Irish handle the Boilermakers with ease like last year, but this time minimize the costly mistakes and turnovers and put the game to an end early.
ND 35 Purdue 13
BNolan (Moderator/Glass Shattered into a Million Little Pieces)I'll dispense with the obvious platitudes. If this very questionable Notre Dame squad can't defeat this Purdue squad with relative impunity ...Then dark(er) days follow.
How about a day without squandering turnovers? Some basic fundamental football?
ND 27 PU 10
KurzND (Moderator Plotting his Revenge)Purdue lost to Rice and struggled to beat Middle Tennessee. For those of you that like to bet the ponies, I like the line (-12.5) and this should be 2-3 score victory for the Irish
Notre Dame 31 Purdue 9
GaviND (Moderator who'll never "Mess" with a streak)Things worked out as I planned last week, so we'll try to keep the ball rolling here.
As was the case last Saturday, ND holds every advantage imaginable where talent is concerned...only by a larger margin this time around. Purdue has a nice running game, but should be overwhelmed by the ND front seven.
For a fourth week in a row, the Irish will look to play turnover-free football, limit penalties and improve their special teams performance on all fronts -- if they manage to take care of even just the first two, they should win handily.
That said, you know how I roll...Purdue 28 ND 17
ErikSimien (Guest Selector/Joe Tiller Groupie)In my day, Purdue was Notre Dame's Southeast Missouri: a team to roll over no matter where the game was played. Shortly thereafter, the Boilermakers brought in "Basketball on Grass" and a former WAC coach turned things upside down, beating Notre Dame and Ron Powlus (couches burned), beating Notre Dame and Ty Willingham (cornerbacks burned), beating Notre Dame and Charlie Weis (as 21-point favorites, no less).
Today, Purdue is a shadow of the offensive team that took the field under former head coach and program-builder Joe Tiller.
Danny Hope is no Joe Tiller.
Notre Dame should destroy this untested Purdue team that somehow lost in a three-game stretch without a test. They were lucky to beat Middle Tennessee State for crying out loud.
I don't care if this is a trap, if the kickoff is at night, or if they play on gravel, sand, or FieldTurf -- Notre Dame is much better than Purdue, and the Irish will finally play a turnover-free game.
ND 30 Purdue 6