The Fighting Irish (1-0) play host to Purdue (1-0) on Saturday and by the end of the game, the Irish should be 2-0 and we should all be sleepier and rather more lethargic for having watched. Coming off a 50-10 comprehensive (a Latin word for “ignore special teams and some secondary issues”) demolition of Navy, the Irish vaulted into the national polls. Purdue, on the other hand, roughed up perenial FCS powerhouse Eastern Kentucky and promptly delivered unto themselves a quarterback controversy. Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up.
But, wait, there’s more. Purdue will be sporting nifty helmet stickers honoring Neil Armstrong. Which they should. We all should. But addidas didn’t spit out a whole new kit with a moon design on part of the helmet and pants the color of comet dust for Purdue. They do stuff like that, though, for Notre Freaking Dame.
Insofar as analysis goes, there’s a reason we’re playing Purdue between playing Navy in Ireland and Sparty in Sparty-ville: Purdue isn’t really very good. Fact: Robert Marve, Purdue’s quarterback, threw for 295 yards and 3 touchdowns against The Colonels of Eastern Kentucky. Fact: HE’S NOT STARTING! Seriously, Coach Hope (and Pray) is going to start Caleb TerBush (not a made up name) instead. Coach Hope (and Dream) suspended TerBush (neither are the two capital letters) for some unspecified violation of team rules. So he gets to start against Notre Dame. Somewhere, Tommy Rees is weeping into his pillow.
TerBush threw for 101 yards against the Irish last year, but still got yanked mid-stream by Coach Hope(-less). If the Boilermakers (again, not made up) are going to challenge Notre Dame on Saturday, they’re going to have to throw it. A lot. Sure, they torched Eastern Kentucky last Saturday, but that was against guys like Chris Owens. Not this Chris Owens. This Chris Owens. Let’s see TerBush (or Marve) do that with Mr. 4.6 speed Stephon Tuitt, Louis “I broke my Mac Book” Nix, III, Ishaq Williams and Manti Te’o bearing down on him. And they’ll get to him, too. Whereas our O-line is solid, gelled and tuned up, Purdue’s is still taking shape. Sure, they didn’t give up any sacks, but ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!???!!! THEY WERE PLAYING EASTERN KENTUCKY! Do you know what happens if you search YouTube (!) for “purdue eastern kentucky highlights”? This. Nothing. Zilch.
Last year, the Irish thumped on Purdue like a great, big, boring drum to the tune of 38-10. And that was an away game. Notre Dame ran all over them for 287 yards. Purdue was so bad against the run (“how bad were they??!!”), they were so bad that Tommy Rees scampered for 3 yards. Take that, Mr. Minus Eight Against Navy Last Week Everett Golson! But seriously, in 2011 Cierre Wood ran all over the Simmertriers for 191 yards, averaging a George Atkinson III-like 9.6 yards per carry. Expect more of the same from Theo Riddick and GAIII and Cam McDaniel and Robby Toma Time in 2012.
“That’s probably the best Notre Dame team I’ve seen in my 15 years [at the Naval Academy]. Their front four and Manti Te’o, I’ve never seen a group like that.” That’s what Navy’s head coach, Ken Niumatalolo said following Saturday’s game. In the wake of trouncing Eastern Kentucky, an Eastern Kentucky defensive player, Brooklyn Fox (an awesome, not made up name) was named adidas OVC Defensive Player of the Week. He had TWO interceptions and a fumble recovery. Against an FBS team. That’s pretty solid. Pair an ascendant Notre Dame team with a self-inflicted quarterback controversy and a team that turned the ball over five (5) times against Eastern Kentucky and Purdue’s going to have serious problems.
The Bayou Bottom Line: Purdue’s got no chance unless my main man on Audubon Place, Mr. Number Nine, Drew Brees (Purdue ’01), manages to sneak himself into the lineup. Otherwise, expect the Irish to run. All. Over. Purdue. Golson runs for 50, Theo and GAIII run for 100 each. Eifert gets 2 TDs, Niklas gets 1 and the Irish go +3 in turnovers, again. Final score: 60-17.
Hating Hurricanes Since 1990.
Bayou Irish is a Jersey boy and Double Domer who fell under New Orleans' spell in 1995. He's been through Katrina and fourteen years in the Coast Guard, so we cut him some slack, mostly in the form of HLS-subsidized sazeracs. But, when he's not face down on the bar and communing with the ghosts of Faulkner and Capote at the Carousel Bar in the Hotel Monteleone, he's our man in SEC-land, doing his best to convince everyone around him that Graduation Success Rate is a better indicator of success than the number of MNC's won in the last five years.
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