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Staff Predictions: Notre Dame vs. Purdue

Observer Sports Writers | Thursday, September 6, 2012

Allan Joseph, Editor-in-Chief

Sure, the Boilermakers have Kawann Short. And apparently Caleb TerBush is better than last year. But come on. You can’t seriously think the team Notre Dame pummeled less than 12 months ago is going to make this even close – especially considering that contest was a home night game for the Boilermakers.

Notre Dame is a better team than it was last year, even with Michael Floyd gone to graduation. Purdue is better too, but they had so much ground to make up that it doesn’t really matter. I’ll be concerned about the effects of the Ireland trip and a brutal first month a few weeks down the road, but not this week. The Irish are going to be thrilled to open their home slate. Who wouldn’t be, given the romp this one should be?

FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 42, Purdue 17

Andrew Owens, Assistant Managing Editor

Amidst a logistical nightmare, last week’s excursion to Dublin could not have gone much better for the Irish. A rousing rushing attack and a focused front seven led Notre Dame to a blowout win in the season opener. This week, it’s the home opener and Purdue makes the trek up U.S. Route 31.

The Boilermakers run a pass-heavy attack, which will pose problems for an Irish secondary as green as Ireland’s terrain. Athleticism is not an issue, but the unit simply needs game action to improve. Stephon Tuitt and the pass rush need to pressure Caleb TerBush early and often to relieve the pressure on an inexperienced Irish offense. Everett Golson will manage the game well and benefit from another strong ground game.

FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 37, Purdue 28

Chris Allen, Sports Editor

The last time the Irish played a competitive game in Notre Dame Stadium, they stumbled to eke out a win over an inferior team on Senior Day against Boston College. Since then, we’ve seen the line play on both sides of the ball elevate to the next level to avoid those kinds of letdowns.

Make no mistake: the Irish are a better team both on paper and on the field than Purdue. This is going to be the year Kelly’s team wins all the games it should win on paper. Facing a quarterback making his season debut in TerBush, the defense will do just enough to contain Purdue, and the offensive line will get a push to keep the running game in top form, even against sure first-round NFL draft pick Kawann Short.

FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 38, Purdue 30

Andrew Gastelum, Associate Sports Editor

The distraction is over. The Irish are home, back into the normal routine. Now it’s just about playing football. Irish coach Brian Kelly won’t let his team be caught looking ahead and if the jetlag didn’t affect them in Dublin, there shouldn’t be too much of an effect tomorrow.
This week, Everett Golson shows the nation what he can do, especially against an inexperienced pair of safeties. The Irish running attack should continue to be a major force as well while the Irish defense will have to get to Caleb TerBush to avoid putting pressure on the secondary.
Purdue thinks this game is a rivalry, and the Boilermakers are looking for their first win at Notre Dame since 2004. But it won’t be this year. The Irish will dominate to start the season 2-0 for the first time in the Kelly era.

FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 31, Purdue 7

Matthew DeFranks, Associate Sports Editor

Do you remember last season’s game against Purdue? The one when Boilermaker quarterback Caleb TerBush threw an interception on the very first play? The one when Notre Dame ran roughshod over, around and through the Purdue defense? The one when the first Purdue touchdown came in the closing moments against the second-string Irish defense?
Yeah, well, nothing much has changed on Purdue’s part since then. Simply put, they are not very good.

Last week, I was unsure of how the Irish offense would perform. But now, after watching the veteran offensive line control the line of scrimmage, the points should come as no problem despite facing All-American defensive tackle Kawann Short.

FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 38, Purdue 13