Notre Dame Improves to 3-1 with win over Purdue

It may have taken 4 games, but the Irish offense has finally looked dominant against a quality opponent.  No my friends,  that is not a typo.  Saturday’s showdown with the rival Boilers proved to be a coming party for many, and when the smoke cleared, Notre Dame had pulled out a 38-21 victory over Purdue

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Here’s the highlights:

OFFENSE

Armando Allen Jr. – 17 car 134 yds, 1 TD, 1 rec 9 yds

Allen looked damn fast, and played damn tough.  He has been ripped repeatedly in the past for his small stature and inability to keep moving forward after contact, but that weakness was non-existent Saturday.  Armando displayed an unmatched burst of speed, and achieved his first 100 yd game and rushing touchdown.  Congrats.

Michael Floyd – 6 rec 100 yds

This freshman is the REAL DEAL.  Floyd is big, physical, has great hands, and has established himself as Clausen’s most reliable target.  Watching these two mature together should be fun.

Golden Tate – 5 rec 64 yds, 1 TD

Not to be ignored, Tate is the guy on offense who opposing defenses fear can break a huge one on every single play.  He is the kind of player we have been unfortunately seeing in USC and SEC colors instead of blue and gold.  The passing game is in very good hands (no pun intended) with Tate, Floyd, rising star TE Kyle Rudolph, and wideout Duval Kamara.

Jimmy Clausen 20/35, 275 yds, 3 TD, 0 INT

This was the definitive game of the Clausen era up to this point.  He showed poise, leadership, intelligence, and played a whale of a game.  I’m not going to chug the Kool-Aid until I puke, but you must admit that the enormous hype and potential surrounding Jimmy finally seems like something that can be realized. 

DEFENSE

No single player stood out too much, as the defense simply chugged along, and made big stops at important moments.  The unit collectively surrendered 462 yds, but anytime you hold an opponent like Purdue to 21, something went right.  Defensive back Robert Blanton’s 47 yd INT return for a touchdown was one of the game’s many highlights, as he sliced and diced his way through numerous roadblocks en route to paydirt.  Kyle McCarthy continued to play like a maniac, flying all over the field making tackles and breaking up passes.  Much maligned cornerback Terrail Lambert put in a veteran performance, and stacked up against the physical Purdue receivers quite well for 4 quarters.

OVERALL

This Irish team continues to improve, and it will be exciting to watch this offense when (and if) they hit full bloom.  With two road games in distant locations (UNC, WASH) looming, this week’s matchup against Stanford needs to be about continuing improvement on both sides of the ball, not upkeep or a gutsy win.  Blow ’em out of the water boys…..

Notre Dame 38  Stanford 20

GO IRISH

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