The Eye in the Sky

IrishEyes breaks down Notre Dame's offensive effort vs. Purdue with a two-part, full game-film review.

Below is the first half of IrishEyes' full game-tape review of the Notre Dame offense vs. the Boilermakers. The second half of this review will be published later this afternoon.

First Notre Dame Drive

Breakdown: Six plays, 33 yards, 3:20 time of possession. One penalty on the Irish. The drive ended with a whimper at the Boilers' 22-yard line with a 4th and 1 shotgun draw handoff to Jonas Gray who was stopped for a 3-yard loss.

Offensive Line:Nice pull by Stewart on 2nd and 5 run by Olsen, after a strong initial block, loses DT Mike Neal who spun off to make the tackle on Jonas Gray…Robinson executes a perfect block in space on 19-yard screen to Gray. Olsen loses his man, but continues downfield to make contact as Gray runs through arm tackles…Young was whistled for a false start (very close)…consecutive sloppy shotgun snaps by Olsen…looked like the 4th and 1 draw to Gray was intended to go left by Stewart was stood up at the point, Gray cut back and ran into backside traffic.

'Backs and Receivers: Jonas Gray's patience and power on the 19-yard screen was impressive. Shaquelle Evans stayed with his block for most of the play - nice effort by the freshman…Gray needs to out-run WLB Joe Holland on the toss (6-yard loss). Kamara missed his blocking assignment, though likely the result of Holland's run blitz…Clausen understandably a tad off target to start…great throw on the run by Clausen to Duval Kamara and nice concentration by DK who was well-covered while making a falling catch on the sideline…the shotgun draw to Gray on 4th and 1 was a terrible play call.

Tight Ends: Kyle Rudolph was pushed into the backfield on 4th and 1 stop. Rudolph blocked with far too high a base on that play.

Second Notre Dame Drive

Breakdown: Ten plays, 60 yards, 3:57 time of possession. Two penalties on the Irish. The drive culminated in a 34-yard field goal by freshman Nick Tausch. Purdue 7 Notre Dame 3.

Offensive Line:Tremendous pass protection on opening play, 23-yard check-down throw in the flat to Gray. Stewart pulled to pick up Rudolph's man after the TE chipped and released into a pattern…Stewart and LT Paul Duncan execute blocks on 4-yard gain by Gray but the scheme (asking Kamara to block down from slot) limited the gain…nice to see Robinson protecting his grounded QB after the taunting call. Robinson did well to "sheriff" without pushing the defender and drawing a reaction flag…Stewart failed to hold block on Neal but Gray breaks the scrimmage tackle for a gain of 5. Duncan and TE Mike Ragone execute perfect blocks at the point on the play…OL offered good protection when Clausen missed Kamara on post (Clausen's pass sailed deeper and closer to corner)…

'Backs and Receivers: Gray with two catches for 42 yards in two series shows his wares as a backfield receiver…second miscommunication on a route option by Tate and Clausen in as many weeks. Tate should have kept running…Nice to see an arm bar called on a defender vs. Tate (live it looked like good coverage to me)…poor design if Kamara is expected to block down on Purdue LB from his slot position. He needs to motion toward the action to have a chance…might have been another miscommunication with Tate/Clausen when Jimmy throws wide and outside…Unsportsmanlike conduct on Mike Neal was a good call (I was watching the post-play action live) on a totally unnecessary taunt of Clausen on the ground. All Neal did on the play was get completely blocked for the duration...great throw on the (called back for illegal formation on "No. 32" who wasn't in the game) fade TD to Tate and an even better effort by Tate to stick a foot down in the process of the high grab…

Tight Ends: Poor edge block by Rudolph collapses the pocket on 3rd and 6 resulting in eventual scramble and one-yard sack of Clausen…pretty good coverage on Rudolph during the big tight end's double-move to the post (incomplete). Ragone ran a "nothing" route on the play - barely executing a move on his run to the left corner.

First Drive/Second Quarter

Breakdown: Nine plays, 73 yards, 4:07 time of possession. No penalties for Irish. Drive culminated in a two-yard touchdown run by junior Robert Hughes. ND 10 Purdue 3. Dayne Crist replaced Jimmy Clausen at quarterback.

Offensive Line:Perfect kick-out block by Robinson on Hughes' 8-yard gain inside the Boilers' 20-yard line. Young also with a huge down block on the play…Stewart (at the point); Young (at the point) Robinson (clearing hole) and Duncan (downfield) all execute blocks on Hughes' 7-yard carry…Young with a key down block on Hughes' 2-yard TD through Robinson's hole.

'Backs and Receivers: Impressive speed shown by Crist on his first meaningful play - a 16-yard sprint off right tackle. Had Tate thrown any type of block on his defender (cornerback) Crist might have run untouched down the sideline…Crist put some mustard on it, but Kamara (drop) has to make that crossing-route catch on the sophomore's roll left…Tate took a straight hand-off and ran for 16 (including a jump over would-be-tackler at the end of the run). Decent downfield block by Rudolph on the play, but nothing from Parris - and again, Tate might have scored with this single extra block…Tate had a huge hole up middle on first Wildcat carry but he cut into a tackle instead…Hughes runs with true power (where's that been?) while Ragone, Rudolph, and Kamara all execute excellent blocks in space on a toss left…toss right on next play shows an authoritative one-cut by Hughes to pick up eight yards against the grain. Purdue DB wanted no part of Kamara on the end zone block as well.

Tight Ends: Ragone failed to keep his feet on a block in space (rarity for Ragone) and Tate was held to four yards on a sprint-right…both Rudolph and Ragone (especially) with excellent blocks on Hughes' 8-yard toss right (cutback run)…Senior TE Bobby Burger (as lead fullback) throws a great lead block on the middle linebacker as Hughes gained 7 more yards on 2nd and 2…another huge lead block by Burger on Hughes' power touchdown run from two yards out while Rudolph secured the backside edge as well.

Second Drive/Second Quarter

Breakdown: Seven plays, 62 yards, 3:49 time of possession. No penalties for the Irish. The drive culminated in a 14-yard touchdown run by Golden Tate, who took a direct snap from the Wildcat formation. Crist remained at quarterback for the Irish. Notre Dame 17 Purdue 7.

Offensive Line: Tremendous down blocks by both Young and Duncan (outside RT in the Wildcat formation) on Riddick's 24-yard carry over the right side…Robinson with yet another strong block, helping to spring Tate for 13 yards over the right side. Young just a veteran kick-out/screen block on the play…Backup LG Dan Wenger doesn't block anyone on a pull (sweep left) for Hughes…Solid seal by Duncan on Tate's 14-yard TD sprint.

'Backs and Receivers:Kamara with a huge block to spring Riddick on the freshman's career-best 24-yard run…two quick moves by Crist in space on the edge, he'll be a handful in two years…Tate has some quicks, eluding a defender in the hole and sprinting for 13 more yards. Not sure Parris should have gone for the cut block in space on Tate's run but it technically got the defender down…Kamara (crack back); Riddick (lead with a cut block) Crist (big-time crack back) all quality efforts for Tate's Wildcat 14-yard TD run over the right side...this just in: Tate can move.

Tight Ends:Ragone should have sprinted downfield (rather than look for a backside defender) on Riddick's 24-yard run (would have added at least 10 yards to the play). Rudolph could have been more authoritative downfield on the freshman's run as well…Rudolph good downfield effort initially on Tate's 13-yard run to his side…Ragone and Rudolph fail to seal edge (vs. one defender) on a Hughes toss left for two yards…Ragone only okay on Tate's TD run, a bit soft on his seal block.

Third Drive/Second Quarter

Breakdown: Three plays, 5 yards, 0:39 time of possession. Clausen back at QB for the Irish. The drive ended with a poor punt by Eric Maust and a subsequent huge, TD-saving tackle by 5th-Year LB Scott Smith on Boilers' PR Aaron Valentin.

Offensive Line:It appeared Stewart missed an (obvious) assignment on an inside blitz by Purdue LB Joe Holland. Surprisingly, Robinson was also badly beaten on an interior rush by DE Ryan Kerrigan (lined up head-to-head).

'Backs and Receivers: Clausen looked off still as his first pass to Kamara for a short gain bounces in front of the receiver…Tate blocks a whole lot of air on a bubble screen to Kamara (gained just four yards).

Tight Ends:

Final Drive/Second Quarter

Breakdown: Five plays, 29 yards, 0:45 time of possession. No penalties on the Irish. The drive ended with a Clausen Hail Mary interception (to Shaquelle Evans vs. solo coverage in the end zone), Clausen's first of the season.

Offensive Line:Olsen blocks no one on TE Screen to Rudolph, but Robinson delivers a big hit to spring the sophomore…Wenger strugged in pass protection (asked to kick outside) and Clausen is flushed for a one-yard gain…Young shoved back to far into Clausen causing the junior to scramble and throw the ball away…Young beaten around the edge on the next play (near fumble caused on Clausen).

'Backs and Receivers:Hughes threw a decent initial block in pass protection but his blitzing defender recovered to tackle Clausen near the line…good concentration catch by Evans who lost his shoe on a comeback route…too early for Clausen to go to the lob into the end zone with 18 seconds remaining with the snap at the Purdue 35 (intercepted). No effort by Evans to disrupt the easy pick.

Tight Ends: Rudolph is a tough man to tackle when he gets moving on screen passes.

Halftime Score: Notre Dame 17 Purdue 7

Personal Groupings (Includes penalized plays and Weis' chosen groupings prior to time-outs):

  • Three-Wide Receiver Sets: 19. Note: TE Kyle Rudolph often lined up as a fourth "wide receiver" off the line of scrimmage.
  • Two-Tight End Sets: 10
  • Four-Wide Receiver Sets: 8
  • Off-Set I-Formation (Bobby Burger as FB): 4
  • Wild-Cat (Golden Tate as "QB"): 4


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