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Pregame at Notre Dame

Danny Hope has been wandering up and down the field at Notre Dame Stadium, about 80 minutes before kickoff.

He's been smiling -- remember it's his first game as head coach here -- but also spending most of his time chatting with his assistants and watching Notre Dame players warm-up.

Purdue players have been randomly popping out from the tunnel and running, throwing passes and stretching. Robert Marve did a jump-and-bump with assistant coach Lou Anarumo soon after he came out.

It looks pretty windy on the field today, so we'll see if that has an effect on either team's pass-first offense. With the kind of arm Marve is supposed to have, it probably won't matter.

So many unknowns with this team, it'll be interesting to watch. I'm most curious, I think, about Peters Drey and Nick Mondek, the new offensive linemen. Drey is the center, and Mondek is at right tackle. They'll have a lot of pressure today with the environment, then add on Notre Dame's 3-4 defense. We'll see if they hold up.

  • Purdue's travel roster has nine true freshmen. Besides the ones in the two-deep, there's also quarterback Sean Robinson, long snapper Jesse Schmitt and tight end Gabe Holmes. Junior Waynelle Gravesande also is on the list. Gravesande could return punts, though some published reports said he's been nursing an injury.