Hoosier State Showdown

College football eyes will be focused on the state of Indiana this Saturday night as #21 Notre Dame takes the short drive to Purdue’s Ross-Ade Stadium to try to right the floundering Irish ship after last weekend’s defeat to the Wolverines. The Boilermakers have an identical 1-1 record. Purdue’s 6-point win last weekend over another in-state rival, Indiana State, failed to cover the 17-point spread.  So, going into tomorrow night the Las Vegas odds-makers expect Notre Dame to romp by almost three touchdown.

Purdue is perceived as a weak team in the Big Ten, which was enforced by their season-opening 35-point drubbing at the hands of Cincinnati.  The Illini’s smackdown of the Bearcats the following weekend has provided the perspective. Nevertheless the weekends game will be on a national stage with plenty of hoopla surrounding it. The Boilermakers are led by junior RB Akeem Hunt, who will be the focal point of Purdue’s offensive attack. The Boilermakers should be pumped up for this game and the opportunity to knock off the Irish will be best realized in the first quarter.  This game could get ugly by the second half.

So, who are these Irish?  They were thoroughly manhandled by the Wolverines. Michigan’s Devin moved the ball too easily through a defense that suddenly seemed to realize they had lost a lot of players from last year’s very good team. The Irish surrendered 41 points and 460 yards of total offense, which would have been unfathomable last year.

On offense the Irish moved the ball well in gaining 410 yards, though it appears that too will take a step back this year with the loss of Eifert and the ineligibility of Golston. The Irish have a very tough stretch coming up after next week’s game against Michigan State at home. This weekend’s game becomes a must-win for Brian Kelly’s squad, who know that this season will be a postscript to last year’s fortune.