Tim O'Malley -- PublisherRarely do I side with the favored team coming off a painful road loss vs. an arch-enemy. And rarely do I believe coach- and/or player-speak regarding a focused week of practice after such a crippling defeat. It's usually the opposite -- a group of disappointed, distracted players that are forced to reevaluate their ultimate season goal.
At home, I could see Notre Dame letting down and winning this game ugly, 30-17 with a touchdown needed late to provide breathing room. But on the road, in prime time, on national television, and against an inferior foe, it will be all Irish. Look for the defense to improve and for the offense to do what it does vs. poor teams.
The season re-starts next week when the Spartans visit South Bend:
Notre Dame 34 Purdue 10
Anna Hickey -- Recruiting ReporterThe obvious story line on Saturday will be the Irish looking to rebound after last week's loss to Michigan. Purdue has not met expectations in the least this year, losing (badly) to Cincinnati and barely getting by Indiana State. Kelly and Diaco will have their guys focused and prepared. The entire defensive unit performs much better than last week, and the offense takes advantage of red zone opportunities. The Irish win handily in West Lafayette, 42-18.
SeattleNDFan -- ModeratorIs Devin Gardner that good, or is the Irish defense that bad?
That's the question Irish fans seek and if it is answered on Saturday night, that would be very depressing news. The Notre Dame defense should smother the 2013 Purdue offense, and if it does not, then that question's answer is all of our worst nightmares. On the other hand, if the Irish defense does stifle the Purdue offense, that tells us exactly nothing, as we will likely not see an offense as challenged as this Purdue team the rest of the season. Not even next week at Michigan State, which is having its own issues with offensive productivity.
On offense, Notre Dame should be able to run the ball on Purdue and enable Rees to pick his spots in play action rather than heave the rock 51 times. If so, expect Brian Kelly and Chuck Martin to show no mercy because of what happened last week, as they will likely pour it on the Boilers. If Purdue is as weak as we think based on its first two weeks, that combination could result in a Brian Kelly era record blowout margin.
Since choosing the believe that Notre Dame's defense has gone from best to worst is too depressing to contemplate, I choose the opposite -- Gardner really is that good, or at least was for that one night, and ND's defensive unit will bounce back to form under the West Lafayette lights.
Notre Dame 56 Purdue 6
Morrissey79 -- ModeratorLast week was a miserable game to watch for ND fans. I find myself not wanting to rehash too much just because of the pain and frustration it causes.
Brian Kelly seemed to revert back to 2011, a year in which when things didn't necessarily go great, he would revert back to the pass. On the first two drives, ND faced two straight 3rd and 3s and the OL was blown of the line and ND failed to convert. After that, it seemed Kelly abandoned the run and went to the pass.
This week, ND gets back to the ground and focusing on establishing the physical identity that they showed last year throughout the season. I expect Greg Bryant to get into action this week, and not just mop-up duty.
Last week, the defense seemed very close to making plays, but were beat by Devin Gardner. Countless times it looked like the blitz was about to get home or the cornerback would have a chance to make a play on the ball, but Gardner would put it right on the money and avoid the rush and convert over and over and over. This week, the defense gets back to last year's production level and dominates a poor Boilermaker offense. ND 42 Purdue 10
Amruther24 -- ModeratorThe one thing we know about Notre Dame following last week's game is that they have yet to find an identity on the defensive side of the ball. Though it's difficult to separate last week's result from the fact that it was a loss to UM, keep in mind that Notre Dame looked like anything but a national title contender in their second game last year. It wasn't until a week later in East Lansing that the team really started to form the defensive identity that would carry them to an undefeated season.
That week 2 game last year was against Purdue. Unfortunately for Purdue, they are the week 3 opponent this season and I think Notre Dame's coaches and players are looking to establish who this 2013 team is going to be. Luckily for the defense they get to lick their wounds and find their way against a horrible offense. I look for this matchup to be just what the doctor ordered for beginning to right that ship.
Offensively, the team really needs to get things right in the red zone. Unfortunately, I don't expect them to clean that up this week. However, I do expect the running game to fire up and for them to pound Purdue into submission. This week the defense bounces back (though likely as a result who they're playing) and the offense continues to pile up yards while failing to execute efficiently in the RZ. Notre Dame 27 - Purdue 10
GaviND -- ModeratorRarely do I feel bad for an opponent, but boy do I feel bad for Purdue this week.
After a less than inspired win in the season opener against Temple two weeks ago was followed up by a defensive no show and less than stellar output in the Big House, you can bet that the Notre Dame football team realizes that they are in need of an image makeover.
This weekend the Irish travel to Purdue to face a Boilermaker squad that hasn't been able to get out of its own way early on, getting smoked by Cincy and almost dropping one last week to Indiana State.
An angry Notre Dame combined with an error prone and poorly coached Purdue should prove to be a great launching pad for the Irish to begin getting the ship back on course. ND 45 Purdue 10
KurzND -- ModeratorAfter a disappointing game the Irish look to refocus and they set their sights on Purdue. Purdue, like Notre Dame is 1-1 on the season. With a very unimpressive win over a bad Indiana State team as well as a dismantling from a very looking pedestrian Cincinnati this looks to be an extremely favorable match up for the Irish.
There are two things I saw in Notre Dame versus Michigan that I hope not to see the rest of the year. 1. 53 passes vs 19 rushes and 2. letting a QB get free like Gardner. Fortunately for ND, Purdue's starting QB Rob Henry has thrown the same amount of TDs passes as GaviND this year. 0. With Purdue missing TE Gabe Holmes and a train wreck at QB, their offense lacks talent and will not be able to compete with the D-Line the Irish have. ND will stuff the run and try to force Henry to pass.
As for ND's offense, the game should be over at half if Kelly actually runs choices to run the ball. ND's O-Line is excellent this year and with talented backs it is time to take advantage of that. ND will rush over over 250 yards and the Irish get to see a lot of Greg Bryant. Tommy Rees should only throw 20 passes or so and will protect the ball.
The Irish roll out with another night win in West Lafayette. Notre Dame 48 Purdue 6.