The second week of the 2012 college football season features an intriguing intra-state rivalry game with the Purdue Boilermakers (1-0) of the Big Ten traveling to Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, IN to take on the 24th ranked Fighting Irish this Saturday afternoon (3:30pm ET) in their 84th meeting. Purdue rolled to a 48-6 win over Eastern Kentucky at home last week in their opener, easily covering the 22 point line. Notre Dame also rolled to a 50-10 win over rival Navy in Dublin Ireland, covering a 15 point line with ease. The two teams last met on October 1, 2011 in West Lafayette; a game won by the Irish 38-10 as they covered an 11 point line.
The Boilermakers started Robert Marve at quarterback last week against Eastern Kentucky, and he threw for 295 yards in the win. Returning QB Caleb TerBush was suspended last week and could see action this week. TerBush threw for 1,905 yards with 13 TDs and 6 INTs last season. The Irish have last season’s starting QB Tommy Rees returning from suspension this week, although he is not expected to start, and will again be without suspended leading rusher Cierre Wood this week against the Boilermakers. The Irish did not seem to miss Wood or Rees last week, as they ran for 257 yards against Navy; the ninth straight game in which they have rushed for over 200 yards. The defense showed big play ability, with a 77 yard fumble return for a TD by defensive end Stephon Tuitt and an interception and fumble recovery by All-American linebacker Manti Te’o. The Irish defense held Navy’s strong triple-option running game to 149 yards on 40 carries, its worst performance since the 2010 season.
Purdue vs. Notre Dame Spread and Betting Odds:
Purdue Boilermakers +14
@ Notre Dame Fighting Irish -14
Over 52 (-110)
Under 52 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv <- $250 FRRE BET
Purdue vs. Notre Dame Pick:
Purdue is 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall, and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games. Notre Dame is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games and 3-9 ATS in their last 12 September games. The over is 7-1-2 in the Boilermakers last 10 games on grass and 4-1 in their last 5 games overall. The under is 4-0 in ND’s last games against a team with a winning record, and 14-5 in their last 19 home games. In head-to-head play, the underdog is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 meetings, and the road team is 6-2 ATS in their last 8 meetings. Notre Dame holds a 55-26-2 lead in the 83 meetings in the series.
Both teams can put up points, as they showed last week albeit against over-matched opponents. Everett Golson is again expected to start at quarterback for the Irish, and his ability to run and throw should give the Purdue defense matchup problems all game long. The Irish ran for a whopping 7.2 YPC (287 yards total) in last season’s victory over Purdue, with the immobile Rees under center, so they should be able to establish the run and open up the play-action passing game and roll outs for Golson in this game. Purdue has a pair of experienced quarterbacks, so regardless of who starts the Boilermakers should be able to produce a respectable showing on offense and put up points against an Irish defense that is among the toughest in the country. Notre Dame does not have a great record of covering in the recent past, and they could suffer from the after effects of their ling trip back from Ireland this week, which makes taking them to cover a two touchdown line a bit dicey. There should be some scoring in this one however, as the Irish have averaged over 30 PPG in their last games against Purdue, and they appear to have an explosive offense again this season. Take the over here as the safer play rather than playing the point spread.
PICK = Over 52