Notre Dame No.12 hosts Purdue in an undefeated team clash on Saturday. Few teams have shed more blood than the Fighting Irish for two weeks. Brian Kelly’s side needed extra hours to beat Florida State, which quickly lost to FCS Jacksonville State a week later. In week 2, Notre Dame needed a last second touchdown pass to beat the MAC Toledo team.
Purdue’s 2-0 path was much more comfortable. The Boilermakers beat Oregon State in the season opener at home before crushing the interim UConn staff 49-0 at home. Purdue is in his first 2-0 start since 2007.
The Boilermakers and Fighting Irish have played 84 times, but not since 2014. Notre Dame has won nine of the last 10 clashes, including a 30-14 victory over Purdue in South Bend, Indiana in 2014. The state’s rivals are playing for the Shillelagh Trophy each year. However, Purdue hasn’t won the trophy at South Bend since 2004.
Notre Dame vs. Purdue: what to know
Coan area: While the start of 2021 has been inconsistent at Notre Dame, Wisconsin transfer QB Jack Coan has been surprisingly strong. His 69% two-game completion rate is consistent with his numbers in Wisconsin, but Coan has gone from 181.5 yards per game in 2019 to over 300 yards in two games. The quarterback was seen as a potential weakness for this team, but that’s the least of Notre Dame’s problems.
Purdue’s passing game: The Boilermakers quietly set up a very effective passing attack on the backs of quarterback Jack Plummer and NFL-caliber wide receiver David Bell. Bell has 14 catches for 255 yards and three touchdowns in his first two games, as well as nearly 2,000 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns in just 20 career games. Purdue coach Jeff Brohm is known for his offensive innovation and his 2021 squad is designed to capitalize.
Common woes: Notre Dame’s swift defense was secretly gruesome. Despite only playing Toledo and Florida State, the Fighting Irish rank No.104 nationally with over 194 rushing yards allowed per game on 4.91 yards per carry. For perspective, Notre Dame ranks just behind UNLV and Vanderbilt in metrics. Purdue didn’t rush the ball particularly well, but Notre Dame must find a way to control Boilermaker’s running game while still devoting enough defenders to cover.
How to watch Notre Dame vs. Purdue live
Dated: Saturday Sep 18 | Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
Site: Notre-Dame Stadium – South Bend, Indiana
TV: NBC | Direct: fuboTV (Try for free)
Notre Dame prediction vs. Purdue, pick
Featured Game | Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Purdue Boilermakers
Notre Dame still ranks high in the rankings, but the Fighting Irish have gone through each of the past two weeks. Whether Purdue is a good enough team to finally make the Fighting Irish pay remains to be seen, but Bell and Plummer have shown encouraging signs. After Notre Dame wins its first two games by nine points combined, take the points. Prediction: Purdue (+7.5)