Big Plays: 2 of Purdue's 3 touchdowns came on plays of 35 yards or longer. The first score featured perhaps the worst tackling I've ever seen from this defense, and the second was a blown coverage that allowed Jaycen Taylor to trot untouched for a 38 yard score. Domer Law Blog sums up my feelings on the big plays given up on Saturday:
"You know, they (Purdue) had a couple of carries where they got yards, and then the rest of the carries I mean, they gained 56 yards on three carries, and they gained 11 yards on the other 14 carries. They had a 26 yard run, a 15 yard run and a 15 yard run, and they were really the only runs that were over ten yards, and the rest of it averaged less than a yard a carry."
So to sum up, if we wouldn't screw up a few times a game, we could be really good.
Pass Defense: Joey Elliott shredded the defense for 289 yards and 3 TDs, and our lone interception was on a 4th and 3 where an incompletion may have been the better option. Robert Blanton had eight total tackles on the night, but the overall production is still not there. A better pass rush will help, but we need our talented corners and safeties to start producing some turnovers and better cover the opposition.Injuries: Purdue may have been the "wounded animal" after losing at home to Northern Illinois the previous week, but even though Purdue came out and played a great football game, it is obvious that while Notre Dame may be able to play without Floyd, putting points on the board without Floyd and Clausen and Allen will be a struggle. Kudos to Weis for using some creativity, but we need JC and AA back at 90% or better if we want to get to 9 or 10 wins.
Golden Tate: Everyone is quick to point out Brian Smith's enthusiasm and leadership on defense, but I never hear the same about Golden on offense. This cat never goes down easy and always seems to know how to get past the first down markers when its third and long. With 5 receptions for 55 yards and 9 carries for 55 yards, the versatile Tate helped keep Purdue's defense guessing for most of the game.Front 7: Who would have guessed that our run defense would have been doing better than our pass defense by the fourth game of the season? The 2008 recruiting class of Ethan Johnson, Darius Fleming, and KLM is starting to mesh nicely with young gun Manti Te'o. The unit held the nation's second leading rusher Ralph Bolden to a season low 67 yards on 17 carries. Now if only this group could start getting after the quarterback...
Kyle Rudolph: Check out this line about our tight end and tell me he didn't merit the title of "Stud" for this week:
Jimmy Clausen: Speaking of refusing to lose, in the last three games, JC has found his team down late in the fourth quarter and responded with three touchdown drives. It makes sense that a player currently 5th in ESPN's Heisman watch list should find himself in the Studs category week in and week out. At this point, if the Irish find themselves less than 1 score down and on offense as time is running out, I think that we have a good chance of winning because of this guy.
Thats it for this week. Go Irish!