They had an interesting graphic during the Purdue Boilermaker-Notre Dame Fighting Irish game on Saturday night — it seems that Purdue likes to save the wins over Notre Dame for when it counts. They have upset the Irish on several occasions when the Irish were ranked and they were not.
Saturday night was almost another one of those cases, as most overlooked the Boilermakers (1-2) going into their matchup with in-state rival Notre Dame (2-1).
The home crowd was rocking, hoping to see the upset, and the offense carried that energy on the field, scoring their first possession quite easily. But that wasn’t where the idea of an upset was actually realized. The play from Purdue’s front seven fueled the team for the first half as they dismantled the Irish’s powerful offensive line.
The Irish offensive line came into the game believed to be one of the best in the nation, and the matchup against a veteran defensive line was one of the highlights of the game. For almost three quarters, they mangled the offensive line, clogged running lanes, made the Irish one-dimensional and impossible for them to move the ball.
A lack of depth as well as the overabundance of talent that Notre Dame possesses finally wore out the defense, but the Irish game never found that balance on offense they have been searching for all season. While it will be no different than their loss to Cincinnati in the loss column, new head coach Darrell Hazell can use this as a building block for the rest of the season.
Like this game, much wasn’t expected out Purdue this season, but with a front seven that can man-handle an offensive line like Notre Dame’s, they can compete in more games than you would expect.