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Irish face another stout running game

Notre Dame will go for its third victory in a row tonight as the Irish play at Purdue.

All is quiet on the field at the moment as kick off is still a little more than an hour away.

Linebacker Danny Spond, who has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury, is listed as a backup behind Prince Shembo at an outside linebacker spot.

Spond is sharing the backup role with Troy Niklas.

"I think if it was a situation where we needed him we could probably go with him," Kelly said of Spond leading up to tonight's game.

Notre Dame faces another challenge for its run defense after it kept Michigan State and Pittsburgh in check the last two games.

Purdue has the 11th best rushing attack in the NCAA, averaging 258.7 yards per game. The Boilermakers are led by running back Ralph Bolden, who missed last year with a knee injury. The junior is averaging 74.3 yards per game.

The Irish have made a habit out of stuffing the running game this season, limiting opponents to 93 yards per game.

Notre Dame's No. 1 thing going into this game is limiting turnovers. The Irish are last in turnover margin with a minus-2.5 differential.

On the plus side for Notre Dame, the Boilermakers haven't been causing many turnovers. Purdue has only two interceptions and one fumble recovery this season.

Because of the Irish's penchant for mistakes, tonight will not be an easy win. But Notre Dame will emerge with the victory, 28-14.

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