Our team of uniform informants are setting our black helmets aside and going to actually talk football for once again.
Predicto starts...right now!
I'm not feeling good about this one. The Boilers come off after a long time off while Notre Dame has added two wins in the last two weeks. The game flow will be decided in the first quarter. With Ross Ade being electric, the team being energized - and possibly with new threads, and a staff looking to make a point, Defensive stops early in the game should help fuel a win. That's right, I said it. It's a possible win for the boys, if they aren't ahead of themselves.
Marve is going to need to be a gunslinging god. I see Caleb being a back up in this game. The run game isn't going to get easy yards, but the strong armed staff can hopefully fight for each inch and make some big plays. Everyone needs to be perfect to pull it off, but if each possession ends up putting them behind their own 10 or putting 3 points on the board, Purdue has the ability to get everything together.
Nothing too specific, Boilers at least put up a fight for 3/4 of the game.
All I know about Notre Dame is that they turn the ball over like it's made of molten lava, they lost in wonderful fashion to Michigan, and they destroyed Michigan State. Among what I know about Purdue is that they would likely get crushed by Michigan State if they were playing them this season. I hate Notre Dame but that doesn't make me unrealistic. The only chance Purdue has is to make no mistakes in the passing game and to have a big day on the ground game and to have a +3 or better turnover margin. I think it's going to be a long and frustrating day though.
THE UND 35
J Doggy Dogg:
I think Tim's transitive property argument is usually not the best way to do things, but in this case his point is well-taken. Could Purdue beat a team like MSU this year? If you don't think so, note they lost to ND pretty handily. I also agree that Purdue absolutely must win the turnover battle. And to that end, no matter how negative you are on this current Boilers season, it looks like it kind of favors Purdue. The Boilers aren't excessively turnover-prone, it does not appear, and on the other side Notre Dame very much is. Sure, they could get that all figured out this week, but they've played four games and turned the ball over an astonishing fifteen times, or very nearly four per game.
My point there is that if you have a bad turnover game and then the next week you right the ship, then it can be chalked up to bad luck or an off day. A solid month into the season and the Irish lead the nation -- the nation! -- in turnovers. That's an epidemic. I think it's fair to look for that to continue. And for Purdue to have a chance here, it must continue.
Perspective is a funny thing. If Carson gets the ball through against Rice, Purdue is 3-0 with two shaky wins and one massive blowout and, likely, everyone is feeling super-amped for tomorrow night's game (more than they already are). The issue of perspective could also be talked about with regard to Coach Hope and Notre Dame. Two years ago, again under the lights, Purdue was outplayed for three quarters and then mounted an inspiring comeback to take a 21-17 lead late in the fourth. Jimmy Clausen needed a fourth down TD pass to win the game for the Irish, but if Purdue had gotten that one last stop, where is the program right now? 1-1 vs Notre Dame (if not 2-0) and Danny Hope has all the confidence he needs heading into this game.
I think the atmosphere will be great under the lights in Ross-Ade and I think, despite all the fan support issues this year, the crowd will make us proud. I think for Purdue to win they need at least one pick-6 or special teams touchdown, plus steady offensive play that keeps the ball away from the ND offense. I think it can happen, but again, we do our best to be objective here when it comes to predictions and so I think ND is just too talented for the Boilers this year. As is one of our all-too-common refrains, I hope I'm wrong.
I've watched UND this season a few times...and I've poured over their stats and post-game reports...and honestly, my eyes and the words/numbers don't jibe. Notre Dame looks like it should be better than it is (at times at least). They looked pretty boring and ineffective versus Pitt...but I think the real UND is actually more like the MSU game and less like the first half of the USF game.
Look at their weapons- they have skilled players that would be tough to match up with in the NFL (specifically Floyd and Eifert)...but inconsistent QB play, bland play calling and inconsistent effort has hampered the Irish all season.
Their defensive front four is one of the biggest Purdue will face all year...but Purdue simply must establish the run to win this game. If they don't, it could get ugly in a hurry.
UND has big, athletic and fast LBs that will dare Purdue to come across the middle...and I'm hoping Hope challenges them a bit, at least in the flat with Bolden on passing plays (which we haven't seen AT ALL this season).
Hope said the Boilers had ample opportunity to plan new wrinkles and install some new plays...lets hope so, because Purdue's offense has been inconsistent and unexciting at times this season...and while running the same play over and over yields big dividends v. SEMO, it won't v. UND.
I'm afraid that the team we saw in Houston is the team we'll see for chunks of the game in God's Country on Saturday night...and I don't feel good about that. I'm hoping Robert Marve can have the game we thought he'd have last year in South Bend...it'll take a big time effort out of someone (or multiple someones) for Purdue to win.
[Boilerdowd is Irish and therefore cannot be trusted. -J]