Purdue Rush Offense vs. ND Rush DefensePurdue has feasted on lesser opponents so far this season, so much so that their pass-happy offense is averaging 202.8 rushing yards per game. They're led by senior 24 Kory Sheets, who is averaging 25 carries, 94 yards, and a touchdown per game. Sheets is backed up by 25 Dan Dierking, who is averaging 6 carries and 39 yards per game. WR 9 Dorien Bryant has 6 carries through 4 games, and FB 44 Frank Halliburton has 3 rushes in as many games. QB 12 Curtis Painter has been credited with a total of 7 carries and 13 yards this season.
Notre Dame's run defense has been porous, to say the least, giving up 232.8 yards per game on the ground. Though the Boilermakers like to pass, Sheets and company are probably licking their chops at those numbers.
ND Rush Offense vs. Purdue Rush DefenseNotre Dame is finally starting to establish itself on the ground. James Aldridge is the leading rusher, averaging 8-9 carries and 43 yards per game, and more importantly 4.9 yards per carry. Armando Allen is averaging 6 carries and 18 yards per game, but was not seen much against Michigan State. Robert Hughes appears to have established himself as the short-yardage back; he's picked up 33 yards on 6 carries this season. Fullback Asaph Schwapp has carried twice without any success, and any positive scrambles made by QB Jimmy Clausen are overshadowed by his sack numbers.
Purdue hasn't exactly spectacular against the run, as they are giving up 147 yards per game on the ground. Linebackers 59 Stanford Keglar and 17 Josh Ferguson have combined for 48 tackles, and are second and third on the team, respectively, in that category. Fellow LB 42 Anthony Heygood leads the team with 5 tackles for a loss. Surprisingly, none of those five stops have been sacks. The Irish would love to establish the run and build on the small success they had against MSU; Purdue should give them that chance.
Purdue Pass Offense vs. ND Pass DefenseCurtis Painter has put up scary numbers in his first four games. His average day consists of completing about 29 of 41 passes for 323 yards and 4 touchdowns. That's an average day! Painter has completed a staggering 68.7% of his passes thus far, and has only one interception. Dorien Bryant has been Painter's main target; Bryant is averaging 8 catches and 92 yards per game. Tight end 28 Dustin Keller is averaging 4 catches and 70 yards per game, and WR 21 Greg Orton is averaging 4 for 45. 1 Selwyn Lymon and Kory Sheets are also averaging 3-4 catches per game; Lymon for 36 yards and Sheets for 22. Keller leads the team with 4 TD receptions, and Bryant is right behind with 3. Orton, Lymon, and TE 85 Kyle Adams have two each. In other words, WATCH FOR THE TIGHT ENDS IN THE RED ZONE!
Notre Dame's pass defense has been respectable, giving up 119 yards per game. But again, why pass against ND when you can just run? Darrin Walls and David Bruton each have an interception, and Bruton, Kerry Neal, and Morrice Richardson each have a sack. Those singular interceptions and sacks both lead the team.
ND Pass Offense vs. Purdue Pass DefenseJimmy Clausen is growing, slowly but surely. His average day consists of completing 10 of 17 passes for 76 yards. A pittance compared to Painter's numbers, but they could be worse. David Grimes is ND's leading receiver, averaging 3 catches and 21 yards per game. Armando Allen and George West are each averaging 2 catches per game; Robby Parris and Duval Kamara are each averaging more than one a game.
Purdue is giving up a respectable 227 passing yards per game. CB 5 Terell Vinson leads the team with 29 tackles. Safety 23 Justin Scott's 2 picks lead the Boilermakers. DE 32 Cliff Avril has a team-high two sacks.
Special Teams14 Chris Summers is Purdue's field goal kickers. He's 4 for 6 on the season, but both of those misses have come from 40+ yards. For Notre Dame, Brandon Walker is still 2 for 2 from inside 30 yards, while Nate Whitaker has missed a 50-yarder.
11 Jared Armstrong punts for the Boilermakers. He's averaging 4 punts per game, and 39 yards per punt. For the Irish, Geoff Price has been very good and very bad. He's now averaging 41 yards per punt. Backup Eric Maust has now punted 4 times, and is averaging 43.5 yards per boot.
Dorien Bryant is the do-everything man for Purdue. He's returned 10 kicks for an average of 35.6 yards per. He also has a 91 yard TD. Nate Whitaker is now getting 61 yards per kickoff. But the Irish are giving up 27 yards per return, meaning opponents start at the 36 on average.
Golden Tate and Armando Allen now share kick return duty for the Irish. Tate is averaging 24.9 yards per return with a long of 40; Allen, 19.3 yards per return with a long of 25. Chris Summers kicks off for the Boilermakers. He's averaging just 53.9 yards per kick, but Purdue's coverage team has held solid at 18 yards per return. That gives opponents an average start at the 34. Hopefully, that field position will give the Irish the little extra it needs.
Bryant has also returned 4 punts. He's averaging 11.5 yards per return with a long of 24. Notre Dame's coverage team is giving up a so-so 10.9 yards per punt return.
ND's Tom Zbikowski is still averaging 14.4 yards per punt return, with a long of 47. Purdue's punt coverage team has good, giving up just 7.7 yards per return.
Look for a big game from Aldrige, Hughes, Grimes, Trevor Laws, Pat Kuntz, Bruton.
ND 24, Purdue 23: BEAT PURDUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUE!