Every week of the college football season, we'll hit the main bullet points for Indiana, Notre Dame, and Purdue.
Brian Kelly's debut: while Saturday may not have been the offensive explosion that Kelly was used to at Cincinnati, it was a smart, efficient, and fitting start to his coaching tenure. For the first time in a long time, the Irish played terrific fundamental football with solid tackling and some spectacular Special Teams' play. Considering Notre Dame was four yards away from turning this game into a 27-3 blowout, and then weathered a furious Purdue comeback in the fourth, there are reasons for optimism going forward.
MARVElous: perhaps the only debut that was just as highly-anticipated as Brian Kelly's was that of Miami transfer Robert Marve for the Boilers. Playing in his first game in nearly two years, Marve showed some rust at times, but overall showed why he earned so much praise in the offseason. The final line - 31-42, 220 yards, 2 TD - isn't jaw-dropping, but Marve was able to show-off his powerful arm and deceptive speed. Though the two interceptions were largely the fault off defensive pressure (ND had four sacks on the day), both were crucial because they came in Notre Dame territory. The flip into the endzone on the touchdown run was not only in poor taste (Still trailing by eight? On the road? Seriously?), but it gave Notre Dame a chance to change the field position after their next possession, and pin Purdue deep into their own territory.
Cupcakes, please: say what you want about IU's pillowy-soft non-league schedule, but for the Hoosiers a win is a win (is a win). Considering their struggles in year's past against teams such as Nicholls State and Eastern Kentucky, Indiana was far more impressive in their 51-17 drubbing of FCS-team Towson. Ben Chappell (2 TD, 0 INT) was his usual solid self, while Darius Willis (14/102) continued to show promise. The score may be a bit misleading, as the Hoosiers were actually outgained by Towson 392-360. The defense is still a work in progress, but IU will have a bye week before their 2nd game against Western Kentucky to iron some things out.