Boilermaker Offense Big Challenge For Irish

Notre Dame defensive coordinator Kent Baer has the very difficult job this week of slowing down the potent Purdue offensive attack. Led by a very experienced quarterback in Kyle Orton, the Purdue offense has put some up some mind-boggling numbers such as averaging 49 points per game. Baer says the Irish defense will have their hands full on Saturday.

"I've got them down by heart. 561 yards a game, 64 percent third down conversions, they've scored 20 touchdowns, 356 yards a game passing, 201 yards rushing, you don't get those in practice," said Kent Baer of the Purdue offensive numbers. "It's unbelievable. I've never heard of numbers like that."

Despite the big numbers, the Purdue offense isn't a homerun offense. They're usually happy to take less than 10 yards per passing attempt.

"It's a very controlled passing game," Baer said. "They take their shots when they can. They look at different coverages, and they try to split some coverages so you've got to be careful what you're doing with them."

The Irish have played some good offenses in the past, but Baer says this might be the best offense he's seen in quite a while.

"To me, I don't know if I've seen a better offense because of the quarterback and he's very efficient with what he does. He knows right where to put the football. It's a heck of a challenge."

As impressive as Orton and the Boliermaker offense has been, Baer still believes you can do some things on defense to slow them down.

"I think you can do some things and disguise them, but he understands where to put the football," Baer said. "He'll see different things coming from one direction, throw it to the other, he's awfully good. He's dangerous."

The Purdue offensive attack will get their yards on Saturday according to Baer, but he says he's only concerned about one thing.

"I don't care about the yards, I care about the points, that's the most important thing," he said. "You look at last year, one of the better defensive games in terms of yards we played, but we gave up a couple of cheap touchdowns and those are the things concern you."

"I think you've got to mix it up with them. You've got to give them different looks, you've got to disguise your coverages. You can't do the same thing all the time or you're going to be in trouble."

Despite the impressive numbers, Purdue's competition thus far hasn't exactly been the best. Baer admits that the Boilermakers probably haven't played a defense as talented as the Notre Dame defense this year.

"I don't think they have, still, there's a lot caution in there," said Baer when asked if Purdue had faced a defense as good as Notre Dame's. "They believe they're the best offensive team in the country and they probably are, and he's probably the best quarterback. I've got a great deal of respect for him and how they coach that offense."

Purdue hasn't played the best competition so far, but their offense is dangerous. The Irish defense will have their hands full and will have to make sure they tackle very well on Saturday to have a chance to win. This is shaping up to be a great chess match between some good coaches on Saturday. Top Stories