When the Irish face Purdue on Saturday, Notre Dame will enter a game with an 0-4 record for the first time in school history. Purdue, meanwhile, is a perfect 4-0.
The game will feature one offense still trying to find itself and another that is averaging 48.5 points per game.
The Irish will have to contend with an explosive spread attack, led by Boilermaker quarterback Curtis Painter. The senior captain has thrown 16 touchdowns and just one interception so far this season.
The Irish know they will have to score points. They will look to control the game's tempo by establishing the run. Last week, James Aldridge broke out with 104 yards on the ground.
"We're going to run the football," Irish head coach Charlie Weis said Wednesday night. "Last week we established that we have to start with a core."
"We're not going to throw that out. I think 14 might not get it done. I think we might have to get a few more than that."
"Fortunately, we're not playing the Notre Dame tradition or the Notre Dame fight song," Purdue coach Joe Tiller says. "We're playing Notre Dame the team."
"We need to prepare to play a football game against a football team that is capable of breaking out and doing anything at anytime."