For better or worse the Charlie Weis Era is over in South Bend and the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame will begin their first college football betting season in four years without him on Saturday. Their opponent is the Big Ten doormat Purdue Boilermakers and it should be a major test for this rebuilding Irish squad.
Kickoff for this Saturday matchup is set for 3:35 Eastern Time and SBG Global opened with the Irish as a 11-point favorite with an over/under total at 541/2.
That the Irish are favored by double-digits says a lot about what the sports betting odds makers think of new coach Brian Kelly’s offense game plan. Kelly inherits some talent from the Weis regime but will have to go about installing a new QB after last year’s starter Jimmy Clausen left for the NFL.
For Kelly, the game is football is too slow and he’d like to run something like a fast-break on the turf if he could. He’s already contacted NBC (the network with broadcasting rights to Notre Dame’s NCAA football betting games) about arranging commercial breaks in such a way so as not to take any time away from his no-huddle offense. You have to like that hungry, innovative approach, even if you’re an Irish hater.
Dane Crist has been anointed the next starter under center and by reports out of camp Kelly has confidence in his ability to lead this offense and veteran RB Armando Allen should give the Boilermaker defense trouble.
But the worrisome part of the game for the Irish will be playing defense against a new look Purdue offense. The Irish offense defense gave up 397.8 yards a game last season and a great many of those yards coming late in games.
Purdue will look to torch the porous ND unit behind the arm of new starting QB Robert Marve. Marve, a former starter at the University of Miami, will take over an offense that boasts the Big Ten’s leading receiving from a year ago, Keith Smith (91 catches). In fact, the Purdue receiving corps is stacked with talent and if the new starters on the O-line can give Marve some time, the Boilermakers could pull off the upset.