Some Thoughts: Purdue @ Notre Dame

I’ve been having a hard time finding pictures from the game online. Usually ESPN has a nice gallery of pictures from the game. Today I only found one: you know, your typical Jimmy Clausen picture, basking in pass protection glory, where he is about to throw the ball. I guess we’ll have to put it up.

jimmy

Notice the lack of luscious locks. I’m torn. But I have to admit, that buzz cut gets the job done.

And Clausen certainly got the job done this week against a challenging defense, going 20/35 for 275 yards and throwing 3 TDs. That’s over that crucial 50% mark we talked about in the preview, especially f the running game proved to be ineffective. Clausen’s success is also the offensive line’s success, surrendering only 1 sack, and giving Clausen plenty of time to throw.

As opposed to the Michigan State game, the o-line provided an effective and dominant running attack this week! Could the Purdue game be considered Armando Allen’s coming out party? The boys pounded 201 yards on the ground… the most since who knows when… and 134 of those belonging to Allen on 17 attempts- a punishing average of almost 8 a carry. We’ll need continued success on the ground to post expected victories against Stanford and the Washington Willinghams.

While after the first quarter the offense was firing on all cylinders, the defense also played a phenomenal game. Countering that Purdue spread, the boys used the nickel defense for most of the afternoon, which came armed with a vast array of confusing blitzes and coverage packages. While the D didn’t register a sack, they had Purdue QB Curtis Painter on the ground most of the game. The pressure certainly affected his overall effectiveness. It was bend but don’t break, as we surrendered 360 passing yards, but the D made the stops when they had to be made.

The return game was good again, as Allen almost broke a few kickoff returns for TDs. Nevertheless, Notre Dame often had excellent starting field position. Maust only had to punt twice, but he averaged 46.5. That’s excellent. One of the punts pinned Purdue inside the 20. Walker was perfect on extra points, but he did miss one close FG. Good thing it didn’t matter. He made one of 41 yards. Keep it goin’ Irish. We’ve matched the win total from last year. We can only continue to go up! Half way to bowl eligibility!

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