Part of the reason that I decided to start this blog up again was the fact that my two favorite teams met yet again on the gridiron. This was my 10th matchup in person between Purdue and Notre Dame. This year may have been the biggest toss up over who would win. I really never knew until the game was nearly over. I go to so many Purdue games that it is hard to root against them. That is until the Purdue fans get going. They really are hard to take when you are wearing the other teams colors. Maybe that has something to do with the fact that I had Notre Dame colors on. That seems to bring out the worst in Purdue fans. For some reason they release all their hate on one opponent. That is the biggest reason why I still root for the Irish every year during the game even though I am a Purdue season ticket holder. It made me feel good to see the Purdue fans that were so obnoxious early leave with their heads down. With nothing to back up their talk they just had one option to leave early. Enough about the fans. Here are some thoughts on the game.
Purdue seemed like the better team early. Korey Sheets scored a touchdown early, and it looked like the Irish would not be able to stop Purdue. Then Curtis Painter took control of the game. He threw a touchdown pass to Robert Blanton that changed the game. The only problem is that Blanton is a member of the Irish. That play was a gamebreaker. For some reason it woke up the Notre Dame offense. They traded a few touchdowns until the Irish took over the game late. Painter was terrible though under the shadow of the dome. I love the guy to death, but he missed so many wide open receivers that even I wanted him out of the game. I saw his brother at the half, and he was just sitting under the stands looking very unhappy. Enough about goats lets talk about stars. Two of them are on special teams. All season long I have been watching Dan Dierking star as a gunner on the kickoff team for the Boilers. Last year he was amazing, but this year he has been even better. He really was not a factor Saturday, but is still fun to watch coming down the field. Notre Dame seemed to key on him a little. One player that I cannot believe Purdue did not key on was Mike Anello. He is a former walk on that is now a scholarship player for the Irish. He was in on every tackle for the kickoff team. Somehow he ends up untouched every time. At some point you would think to account for the man.
One matchup that was great last year, and was great this year was between WR Golden Tate for the Irish, and David Pender the cornerback for the Boilers. The picture to the left shows one of the times that Pender lost. It was for a touchdown. Pender did a great job for the most part though. He really is a good corner, and he shut down a very explosive player today. Michael Floyd took advantage of the cover corner on Tate, and had a solid game. Notre Dame had not broken a run of 20+ yards all year, but they got the running game going at the right time. Armando Allen broke a couple long runs, and that running success helped open up the passing game. That balance is what the Irish need, and what won them the game.
Now that the game is over I can go back to rooting for the Boilers. They have a tough test ahead of them Saturday when Penn State comes to town. I will in in West Lafayette to see the game, but I don’t have a great feeling about it. I may actually have to do a preview for the game though since it is a big one.