Notre Dame-Purdue: Preview and Prediction

Tyler JuranovichCorrespondent IIISeptember 2, 2010

SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 03: The leprechaun mascot for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish runs onto the field with a flag before a game against the Washington Huskies on October 3, 2009 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Washington 37-30 in overtime. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Week One of college football seemed to just sneak up on us.

If you're a fan of Indiana football, you have to enjoy this first week matchup between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Purdue Boilermakers.

Both teams come into this season with a kind of mystery to them. Both teams come into the season with a new quarterback and an inexperienced backfield, which makes analyzing and predicting that much harder, but it also leads to surprises, some bad and some good.

Purdue, after starting last season 1-5, finished 5-7, 4-4 in the Big Ten. The Boilermakers are lead by quarterback and Miami transfer Robert Marve, whose main weapon is receiver Keith Smith. The Boilermakers' success on offense will be determined on how well they balance their running and passing game. There's definitely a lot of pressure on the newcomer Marve.

Purdue has a very young, athletic offense that has some big play potential, especially against a weak defensive team like the Irish.

Notre Dame comes into this season with a new coach, and hopefully, a new defensive outlook. With a defense that let up almost 400 yards total offense last season, fans have been wishing for a better performance this season. Problem is there is little proof that the Irish will be better on defense.

There are even more mysteries in the offense.

Questions start right at the quarterback spot. Leading the Irish is junior Dayne Crist. An early rival game is a perfect chance to see how this kid will perform under some pressure.

First week rival games seem to show, early on, a little more from teams than starting the season against a non-rival team. Knowing this, I am expecting to see a hard fought, close game.

Prediction: Notre Dame wins a nail bitter 23-20.