Saturday, October 1, 2011
Halftime: Notre Dame 21, Purdue 3
By Matt Fortuna
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Notre Dame goes into halftime leading Purdue 21-3. Here's a quick analysis of what went down in the first 30 minutes:
Turning point: It's never early to establish momentum, and Gary Gray did that by picking off Caleb TerBush on the first play from scrimmage. Michael Floyd caught a 35-yard touchdown pass two plays later and the Fighting Irish set the tone early, playing ahead the whole half.
Stat of the half: Purdue has nine penalties for 78 yards, an inexcusable number for a whole game, let alone one half against an Irish team it is overmatched against. To put those numbers in perspective, the Boilermakers have just 122 total yards in the first half.
What Notre Dame needs to do: The Irish need to stick to their ground game until Purdue otherwise proves it can stop it. Notre Dame rushed for 160 yards on 19 carries in the first half, good for a ridiculous 8.4 yards per rush.
What Purdue needs to do: Aside from shooting themselves in the foot with dumb penalties, the Boilermakers need to make some kind of a stand defensively. Notre Dame has two missed field goals that could have put this game that much further out of reach, but the Irish have gone the entire half without a turnover after entering the contest with an FBS-leading 15.