I went across a couple ND blogs and put together some very "telling" comments. I mostly picked out the "bad" passages as that'll make me sleep better at night. Enjoy.
Notre Dame has major problems defending the perimeter which should be a big concern with Michigan and Denard Robinson coming to town next weekend. Look for Notre Dame to play a lot of nickel next week to get more speed on the field.
The front 3 got a nice push at times, but were pretty inconsistent. Ian Williams did a nice job collapsing the pocket at times, but outside of the first drive of the second half, the push just wasn’t there from the front 3 most of the time.
The offense had its moments, but was very inconsistent.
Dayne Crist .... On the negative side, he threw underneath too often and had trouble putting touch on his passes down the field. He had Floyd open for touchdowns twice in the 4th quarter but over threw him. He needs to just keep the ball in play there and let Floyd get it. Crist also had Rudolph open for a touchdown in the second, but air mailed it forcing Notre Dame to settle for field goals both times.
The offensive line is still a work in progress. Both new tackles - Zack Martin and Taylor Dever - struggled at times both with their assignments and their blocking when they did get their assignments right. It’s tough to start two tackles with such little experience so this much is to be expected. Both will benefit the most among the offensive line from film study.
The push from the defensive line was better and the secondary did a good job keeping things in front of them most of the day, BUT, the tackling still left a lot to be desired
This defense has got to figure out a way to contain the QB option prior to Michigan’s arrival next week.
I can’t shake the feeling that, were Purdue playing with a more experienced QB and line (to say nothing of Ralph Bolden), this game could have been much different.
Crist did a nice job managing the game, but definitely missed opportunities to hit open men (particularly in the red zone) against a very bad and inexperienced secondary (he also nearly had two passes picked off, including his first of the day). It was his first game and, generally, he played well, but as the season progresses and the defenses improve, he needs to start seeing the field better.
The coaches are going to need to work on ball-handling this week. Crist was stripped in the first half, Allen fumbled and got it back (he also lost the ball as he was going out of bounds on his great punt return) , Floyd had his big gaffe and Cierre Wood fumbled on his kickoff return in the fourth quarter. The Irish were lucky this wasn’t something that hurt them too badly this week, but it needs to be addressed before it becomes a major issue.