Ok, video game nerd posts are done for the time being.  Time to switch gears to sports nerd.

Football officially starts tomorrow and the only football that matters starts this Saturday at 3:30pm EST as the Brian Kelly era kicks off in South Bend.  I hear they are even bringing in the largest drum in the world simply to herald his arrival.

For those new to this blog, and how I write Irish football, allow me to paint a quick picture of what you will see here.  Firstly, as we gear up for gameday, expect sarcastic and downright insulting comments to our opponents more often than not (especially for rivalry games).  Sure, I’ll toss in some actual analysis in the middle of it, but college football is no fun unless you get the masses riled up and piss off an opponent here and there.  Afterward, expect (most of) the sarcasm to stop as I’ll break down the game as best I can.  I’d like to think myself a decent voice of reason when it comes to ND and do attempt to back up my opinions as best I can in stats and what I see on the field.

If you are following me on Twitter for the first time this season, God help you.  There will be a whole other post dedicated to that (seriously).

Anyways, on to this little “rivalry” game in which a far inferior school in Indiana tries to take a stick trophy away from us.

Trying to do a pre-game analysis on this is a bit rough because, well…I have no idea what to expect.  Trying to read into spring games and practices can be a real fool’s errand.  This time around, even trying to read too much into last season’s matchup won’t help too much since we are running an entirely different offense, with an entirely different QB.  Even our defense is getting a shakeup as we are back to the 3-4 after running whatever-the-hell-that-hybrid-Tenuta-defense-that-sucked-so-much-ass was last season.

However, I do think there are a few things I think I can say with some confidence that we will see and should look for this weekend.

Firstly, the offense should be just fine, especially in this game.  Remember when Dayne Crist came into the game last season and lead a spread option attack all over Purdue?  Yep, I do too.  Granted he didn’t pass that much; however, we have a small glimpse of what we can see.  Unless Purude’s rushing defense did some major overhauling in the offseason this could end very, very badly for them.  Weis was no spread option master (see: 2007 and Detmetrius Jones); however, Kelly has made a living and got the ND job running this scheme.  If we don’t put up big numbers on Purdue, I will be shocked, and my liver will be in grave danger.

Next comes the offensive line.  Yes, I know it is a part of the offense, but considering that this has been a major issue for quite a while (read: we haven’t been able to run the ball worth a damn), it needs its own category.  Kelly started off his opening presser by talking about all kinds of workout stats and they were beyond impressive.  Thankfully, football is one of those games in which being bigger, stronger, and faster than the other guy usually equals success.  So if our new coaching staff has been able to teach our boys how to block without holding, we should be in phenomenal shape this time around and seriously be able to throw our weight around (finally).

Not only that, but ND has two big things helping the O-line this time around.  Firstly, Kelly’s running game relies on reads and misdirection.  If you remember back to the Weis era, this was how we actually were able to have any success in the running game.  Combine a ton of misdirection with a stronger and quicker O-line and a shitty run defense and good things should happen.  Secondly, we are going to run defenses, starting with Purdue, ragged with our offensive pace (and shorter commercial breaks /CueWorthlessBitchingFromEveryoneElse).  In the second half, I fully expect us to be the team in better shape to close out, and most importantly, not blow games (and hopefully not giving me any more damned heart attacks).

As for our defense, all I have are two words of solid analysis for you: MANTI T’EO.

Now for the opponent analysis: Robert Marve.  Good Lord, where do I begin here… Not that I doubt the kid has talent, but he is being thought of ever so highly as the QB that will be the savior of Purdue and lead them to glory.  Why do I laugh at this Miami transfer?  Well:

At Miami, Marve threw more interceptions than touchdowns and didn’t play in the bowl game because he was academically ineligible. But his strong arm and mobility stand out.

Then there’s that swagger.

Just let the bold sink into your head for a bit.  Purdue’s great hope is a guy that not only has a crappy TD/INT ratio, but also managed to make himself academically ineligible…at the U.  Really?

But hold on! He has that “swagger”.  The only thing that aggravates the piss out of more college football fans than ND being remotely mentioned in anything national (remember folks, we are irrelevant), it would be the “reemergence” of the “U swagger” (that is still non-existent and an insult to the thugs of their glory days).  Marve was part of said “swagger revival” by leading the U to a stunning 7-5 record only to screw himself out of the bowl game and then have his coaching staff decide he wasn’t good enough for U swagger, strating Jacoby Harris instead in 2009.

Where the hell is his so-called swagger coming from again?  Actually, the better question is why is Purdue so damn excited to catch a Hurricon reject?

Oh wait…Purdue went 5-7 and 4-8 the last two seasons.  I take that back, this is exactly the kind of glory Purdue has been waiting for.

Enjoy it Boilers!

Completely non-biased, non-homer Prediction that I didn’t pull out of my ass: Irish 38 – Purdue 20