The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Fans anticipating an easy win over Purdue

Laura Wilczek and Eileen Duffy | Friday, September 29, 2006

Just a week after Notre Dame students doused themselves with Stonehenge waters in ecstatic celebration of the win over Michigan State, fans have to towel off their cocky attitudes and prepare for a new foe: Purdue.

While the team found itself in dire straits last Saturday, students don’t anticipate this game to be quite as daunting. The stress that opened the fourth quarter in East Lansing has receded – or in sophomore Laura Benca’s case, disappeared.

“I’m not worried at all,” she said. “We can definitely beat them.”

Purdue, though, will ride into South Bend high on a four-win, no-loss record. And even considering that none of its opponents was ranked (while two of Notre Dame’s four were), Purdue has still beaten Notre Dame 25 times in the series history.

That’s more times than any other school, besides University of Southern California’s 29 times and Michigan State’s 25, according to the University’s Official Athletic Web site.

Plus, Purdue beat the Irish 41-26 during their last visit to Notre Dame Stadium in 2004.

In fact, Purdue coach Joe Tiller seems to be just as cocksure as Irish fans.

“Obviously, [Notre Dame is] not connecting and gaining yards,” he said in a recent press conference. “… [That] helps your own team’s confidence and allows you to work your way into the game.”

Sophomore Melissa Lee certainly hopes Notre Dame can wrangle a victory from the Boilermakers. For Lee, more than the football team’s pride is on the line.

“Practically my whole family went to Purdue,” she said. “If we lose this weekend, I will not be able to show my face at Christmas.”

Whether coach Dan Devine was right in the movie “Rudy” when he said “nobody comes into our house and pushes us around” now lies in the hands – and feet – of the football players.

They’ll also set the post-game campus mood – though whether the fountain will provide the setting for a second round of victorious revelry probably rests in the hands of Mother Nature.