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Saturday, September 26, 2009
Notre Dame running over Boilermakers

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com


Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg


After a quick start against Notre Dame, Purdue's season-long struggles against the run are starting to show up.

Notre Dame leads 17-7 at halftime despite playing without its best wide receiver (Michael Floyd) and with quarterback Jimmy Clausen fighting turf toe. Running back Armando Allen also is banged up, but the Fighting Irish are finding running room with several players, namely wideout Golden Tate and burly back Robert Hughes.

Purdue couldn't stop the run in 2008, and it doesn't appear like much has changed this year. Northern Illinois ran wild on the Boilers last week, and Notre Dame has 138 rush yards in the opening half. Boilers quarterback Joey Elliott tossed a 36-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Valentin early on, but the air attack hasn't done much since the opening minutes. Penalties are really hurting Purdue, which has been flagged eight times in the opening half.

The Boilers need some more big plays on offense and more importantly, they need to stuff Notre Dame's rushing attack to have any shot in this one.