Notre Dame versus Purdue, the battle for the Golden Shillelagh trophy; these are just two of the names synonymous with the Irish-Boilermaker rivalry. With Brian Kelly's first season fast approaching, and this being the first game on the schedule, will the Kelly era opener make or break the Irish Season?
In my opinion, it will make the season. Not only that but it will be a huge win for the Kelly era.
Not that Purdue is a better team, but rather that this is easily a game the Irish could lose. Quarterback Dayne Crist is getting his first "official" start under center for Notre Dame, and quite frankly hasn't had a major chance to show off his skills.
The good news his he did play a few series during the trip up to West Lafayette last year, so it's not like he doesn't have any experience against the Boilers.
With Seniors Armando Allen and Robert Hughes in the backfield to take some pressure off of Crist, and with it being a home game at Notre Dame Stadium the Irish have a very good chance of pulling out the "W" in this contest.
I mean lets not forget since 2002, the Irish are 6-2 in home openers, and I do not expect any different outcome this time around.
Just remember Irish, if you come in over confident and come out with a loss, a huge dent is made in the hopes of a BCS Bowl this year.
~James Cook Future Associated Press
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