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Interviews with the Enemy: A Q&A with Patrick from One Foot Down

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SB Nation's One Foot Down is the third and final Notre Dame site visiting the site this week.

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The final Q&A this week is with our own Patrick with the SB Nation Notre Dame site One Foot Down. As with the other, Patrick faced the same gauntlet of questions that the other two Notre Dame writers faced:

T-Mill: On paper, this game shouldn't even be close, but that was also the case the last two years. How has Purdue deceptively matched up so well with ND?

Patrick: Purdue always seems to catch ND in a tough spot in the schedule, or at the right time. In 2012, it was when Everett Golson was still getting broken in and needed Tommy Rees to pitch relief for him. Last year, despite having the motivation of a tough loss to Michigan, ND came out flatter than flat.

In addition to the "lull" factors that often plague ND against Purdue in recent memory, it is a HUGE game for Purdue that they are always up for. In seasons where teams' outlooks aren't the greatest, they have a tendency to circle one or two big games and really put it all together for those games.

ND has a bunch of young players coming off of a huge beatdown -- I hope Brian Kelly and Co. have them focused and ready to take on Purdue.

T-Mill: Purdue has been extremely vulnerable to the run in the first two weeks. Does this mean a breakout game for Greg Bryant or Tarean Folston?

Patrick: I expect a solid game from all 3 running backs; I don't believe any one will get such a workload as to have an enormous day. I do expect to see plenty of yards on the ground, however, as Michigan was able to load the box and stuff the run last weekend. The O-Line will be ready to get their hands dirty and show what they can do. That being said, if Purdue puts 8 or 9 in the box, Brian Kelly won't be afraid to start hucking it all over the yard.

T-Mill: Who is William Fuller and how has he become such an integral part of the offense?

Patrick: Will Fuller (as one of OFD's other writers said) is this year's recipient of the Golden Tate "Receiver who knew how to run go routes now knows how to do other stuff good too" award. He was mainly used as a deep threat last season, but has really turned into a solid all around WR. He had some drops against Michigan, but Fuller has taken full advantage of the opportunity presented to him by Davaris Daniels' suspension. He is one of the fastest players on the team and has some surprising hops for someone his size.

T-Mill: Is there anyone on Purdue that you consider a concern for the Irish?

Patrick: Given Notre Dame's new penchant to blitz, if a team and QB are able to get the ball out quickly to a TE like Gabe Holmes, he can certainly do some damage after the catch. The Irish secondary has shown flashes of solid tackling, but also some poor ones mixed in there.

Also, I have an irrational fear of Akeem Hunt. Not sure why.

T-Mill: What are your thoughts on a 69-year series coming to an end until 2020 after Saturday, especially when the schools are FINALLY playing basketball against each other again?

Patrick: It sucks. I'm originally from NW Indiana, and almost half of my high school class went to Purdue. Plenty of friends and family with ties there, and there's always a good chatter between the two sides that make it an interesting intrastate rivalry. Add in the hatred that Purdue fans have for the reversible jacket fans, and we start getting into what makes the series so much fun. Sure, it is often one sided on the field, but I'll miss the game every year. Conference expansion sucks, and at least the Boilers didn't play the chicken dance or anything.

T-Mill: Was the Notre Dame defense that good last week or the Michigan offense that bad?

Patrick: All of the above, but I think Notre Dame forced many of the mistakes that the Michigan offense made. Brian VanGorder's defense is much more risk-reward than former defensive coordinator Bob Diaco's defense, but it really looks like he has his guys playing at a high level and not missing many assignments. There is versatility in the blitzes up front and the coverage in the back which make ND a much harder team to gameplan against.

I really think the combination of the fundamentals that Bob Diaco instilled into this group along with the aggressive, attacking style that BVG has brought to the defense will make this an extremely fun defense to watch this season. It may be a long night for Purdue.