NCAA Football Pick: Notre Dame vs. Purdue
Date/Time: September 14th, 8:00 ET
College Football Odds from WagerWeb
Point Spread: Notre Dame -20.5
Last season, the Purdue Boilermakers gave the Notre Dame Fighting Irish all that they could handle. Now, the two are going to meet once again, this time at Ross Ade Stadium, where Purdue is going to be out in search of an even bigger upset on the college football odds this season.
Notre Dame was beaten in its very first regular season game since the end of the 2011 campaign last week at the hands of the Michigan Wolverines, and it is going to try to get back on track in this one to keep its spot in the Top 25. QB Tommy Rees has been good enough for sure, as he has thrown for 660 yards in two games and has completed 60.8 percent of his passes. The issue is that the ground game really isn't as good as it once was. RB Amir Carlisle should be racking up yards at a much better clip, but his 132 yards in two games isn't good enough to do what someone like RB Cierre Wood was doing last year. The offensive line has left Rees running around more than he would want as well. Head Coach Brian Kelly knows that his big losses are on defense. LB Manti Te'o and so many others from last season's excellent defense are gone, and Big Blue rolled up 460 yards and 41 points against the Golden Domers last week.
Purdue is a 1-1 team and a lousy 1-1 team at that. The club was knocked off by the Cincinnati Bearcats in Week 1 42-7 as a 10-point underdogs, and the very next week against the Indiana State Sycamores, the Boilers were only six-point winners. In fact, if the opening kickoff of the game wasn't returned for a touchdown, it's anyone's guess as to whether Purdue would be 0-2 or not. The offense for Purdue has just two touchdowns this year, and QB Rob Henry has been suspect at best. He is completing 55.9 percent of his passes for 311 yards with no TDs and two picks, and he is averaging just 5.3 yards per pass attempt. No receiver has even 70 yards, and the only member of the offense that has done anything remotely productive has been RB Akeem Hunt. Hunt is an experienced back that could do a lot of damage against Notre Dame, but he is only averaging 3.6 yards per tote this year.
There's not much to like here about Purdue, but there wasn't much to like last season about the team either until it went to South Bend. The Fighting Irish aren't nearly as good as they were last year, and we don't think that they are even as good as Cincinnati was at the start of the season with QB Munchie Legaux in the fold. Don't worry, Notre Dame will win this game, but it will be a lot closer than a three-touchdown number suggests.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Purdue Boilermakers Pick: Purdue Boilermakers +20.5