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Final thoughts before kickoff

Sep 14, 2013, 2:45 PM EDT

Cam McDaniel

Watching the start of many early games this Saturday, you see the collective hangover that’s wreaking havoc on a few highly touted Irish opponents. Michigan was down 10-7 to Akron in the third quarter, while Stanford was hanging tight to a 20-13 lead over Army around the same time. That’s college football, where as Brian Kelly often reminds you, motivating 18-to-21-year-olds is a big part of the equation.

With that in mind, Saturday night is a game that’s mighty important to Purdue. The Boilermakers will have what is likely their only nationally televised game of the season, and that’s plenty motivation for Darrell Hazell’s troops. What kind of crowd will it be? That depends. If you go on StubHub, plenty of good seats are still available. But if Purdue can stay in this game early, the environment will be plenty hostile for the Irish.

Let’s go over a few final thoughts before tonight’s national broadcast.

How will the Irish offense attack Purdue? After two games with Greg Hudson coordinating the defense, it’s hard to feel too confident about any known tendencies. But Cincinnati ran and passed for 200 yards against the Boilermakers and the Irish have much better personnel than the Bearcats.

After last weekend, many Irish fans are hoping to get the running game started. But with safety Landon Feichter gone and a stout and veteran front seven for the Boilermakers defense, throwing the ball might make the most sense.

Still, back to the basics for the Irish, who could use a lot of pistol in the running game, where I expect to see at least four runners get carries this evening.

Can the defense get their mojo back? There’s no offense to do it against like Purdue’s. This is a group that has played horrific football, gaining just 226 yards with four turnovers against Cincinnati and followed that up with just 284 yards against Indiana State, a team that gave up 73 points to Indiana.

Quarterback Rob Henry is a mobile guy, but the offense is a mess. If the Irish can get an early lead, this is one of those games that turns into a stat parade, with the Irish likely able to cause turnovers and get to the quarterback in bunches tonight.

Will youth be served? This feels like one of those football games where the future of the Irish makes itself known in the present. After waiting a few weeks to see guys like Greg Bryant, James Onwualu, Corey Robinson and Max Redfield make a difference, perhaps tonight is the night.

After an impressive spring and fall camp, Kelly talked about Robinson helping the Irish in certain segments of the game. Well, the red zone offense is needing a spark, and the beanpole receiver with hands covered with stick-em might be a nice solution. Likewise, last Saturday night showed that the safety position and secondary isn’t quite as bulletproof as we might have thought. Bringing an athlete like Redfield into the game tonight would get his feet wet against an offense that’s pretty inept.

Anybody that thought freshmen would come in and be immediate contributors hasn’t watched this football team the past three years. But on a night like this, it could be the right moment for a talented group of youngsters.


Does this football game need to be close? Not really. But that will be determined by how sharp the Irish are and how quickly they get started. Notre Dame went three-and-out on their first two possessions against Michigan, while the Wolverines scored on their first two touches.

At this point, it doesn’t matter if the Irish offense comes out with tempo, in the pistol, under center or in the spread. They’ve just got to be efficient, distribute the ball to the open man and run the ball effectively. If that happens, it’ll be a fun Saturday for the Irish.


  1. irishlee10 - Sep 14, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    Go Irish!!

  2. irishlee10 - Sep 14, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    With Michigan trailing in the 4th quater Brady Hoke decides to start coaching i.e. puts on his head set

    • dickasman - Sep 14, 2013 at 3:37 PM

      Goes to show you that We Are not that good but why couldn’t they be hungover against us? If I’m swarbrick, I would stop scheduling night games and stick to Saturday day games. We have better strategical chance of beating them when the opponents are hung over! Chances are that our opponents party more than ND and we should use that to our advantage.

    • jommy995 - Sep 14, 2013 at 3:42 PM

      Yikes. If UM is so so, we are in for a long season.

      • dickasman - Sep 14, 2013 at 3:50 PM

        Hello there long season!!!

  3. dickasman - Sep 14, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    What time and channel is the game on? Jesus Christ I have to constantly dig around. I wish every game was on same channel all the time.

    • don74 - Sep 14, 2013 at 3:34 PM

      8 EST on ABC. Cocktails at 7.

      • don74 - Sep 14, 2013 at 3:35 PM

        sorry daylight savings, not standard.

      • dickasman - Sep 14, 2013 at 3:39 PM

        Thanks babe, XOxO! For those I can’t program my VCR guys, you can also watch on ipad via watch abc app if you have cable. I was gonna cut off Comcast but I think I’ll wait til seasons over!

      • dickasman - Sep 14, 2013 at 3:53 PM

        Don I think I am going to stay classy and do the Asian teriyaki steak w grilled veggies with bottle of 2010 Kenwood Napa Cab.

      • don74 - Sep 14, 2013 at 6:58 PM

        Tonight’s a wine night here as well. Might be more than one bottle.

  4. 25kgold - Sep 14, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    Michigan is at least a three loss team waiting to happen.

  5. dbldmr - Sep 14, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    ABC. 3:30 EDT.

    • don74 - Sep 14, 2013 at 3:36 PM

      ok, now I’m confused. ND is a night game. What game are you talking about?

      • dickasman - Sep 14, 2013 at 3:49 PM

        Easy on the druggie don, we gotta help him. Adultfriendfinder me so we can stage an intervention!

  6. dbldmr - Sep 14, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    …oops, 8:00 EDT…sorry, must have been the drugs.

    • dickasman - Sep 14, 2013 at 3:46 PM

      It’s ok, i understand…**hugs*** and if ur good looking kisses. Hi, my name is David and I used to be a coke head. Your name is?

      Sometimes in our lives
      We all have pain, we all have sorrow
      But if we are wise
      We know that there’s always tomorrow

      Lean on me when you’re not strong
      And I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on
      For it won’t be long
      ‘Til I’m gonna need somebody to lean on

      • nudeman - Sep 14, 2013 at 4:56 PM

        Dick is a coke head? Who knew.

        This one’s for you dick

      • dickasman - Sep 14, 2013 at 6:21 PM

        Eazy there…holy old school! Almost had heartattack. Time to bust out my tie dye shamrock space your face t shirt!!!

      • dickasman - Sep 14, 2013 at 6:24 PM

        Tanks nude…good ol greyfolded! Good times…I actually hadn’t heard it in so long. Used to have all the bootleg n sht! Tiesto n deadmaus is the new Dead these days

      • dickasman - Sep 14, 2013 at 6:29 PM

        Nude, stay away from the viagara triangle you pervert!

        Nude I thought your azz waz gettin lobster faced out in AZ sun inside Davonte’s underwear, when did you move to shitcago? I’ve been to racine plumbing when it used to be called something else. Too many drunken annoying white sluts in there n gave me the coke itch so I had to bounce out. I couldn’t focus!

        I dunno what’s your ideal football watching environment but I don’t like being around too many drunken sports bar rats. Hey if you get the chance check out Hydrate on Halsted. You will see why I’m against gay marriage.

        0 0

  7. fnc111 - Sep 14, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    michigan is simply an average team. Notre Dame consistently makes the media believe they’re better than they really are by choking to them. Akron hasn’t beaten a D1A team since 2010. Saying that game was a let down is a lie. It’s Akron!!!!

  8. fnc111 - Sep 14, 2013 at 5:42 PM


    I don’t see that happening. Michigan will not lose a home game. The refs won’t allow it. The OSU and Michigan schedules are embarrassingly easy. They’ll both be undefeated come Thanksgiving when they play each other that weekend.

    • wisner74 - Sep 15, 2013 at 12:49 AM

      I actually agree with you on the refs, fnc. I thought there was clear pass interference on the last play of the Akron/UM game, and it was not called. The back judge was right there. Gutless, I thought.

  9. jimbag1983 - Sep 14, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    This game is a no-win situation for ND. If they beat Purdue 56 – 3 then it is because Purdue stinks. If they win 28 – 14 then all the doom and gloom and grumbling will continue. If they lose, the message boards will blow up and fans will be figuratively jumping out windows. They just need to get the win and move on to Michigan State. BK was correct – the 2012 season is ancient history, this is a new team that is obviously still in search of an identity and leadership on defense, and is trying to do the best they can with the (non-mobile) quarterback that they have to go with until Malik Zaire is ready to take the helm. Under the circumstances, an 8 – 4 season seems reasonable, 9 – 3 would be great, and 10 – 2 would be heroic but the lights would have to go on very quickly for that to happen, and we would need to see something out of the team that we as of yet we have not seen.

  10. sm29irish - Sep 14, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    Hope to see a lot of Bryant, Folston, and Redfield tonight! GO IRISH!

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