Editor's note: Kelly Kitchel, a native of Walton, Ind., was an offensive lineman for the Boilermakers from 1998-2002 playing on the Boilermakers' Rose Bowl team. Look for weekly blogs from Kitch throughout the season.
Every year this week rolls around I get a shiver down my spine.
Now most would think its because the Boilers are playing the Irish. However it goes a little deeper than that.
For five years when I walked through the coaches offices or out to the practice field and even in training table I would hear the loud, high-pitched voice with just a hint of a southern drawl of Jim Chaney saying "IT'S NOTRE DAME WEEK".
If you know or have spoken to Coach Chaney you know the voice.
Notre Dame week is always a special week for the Purdue program. No matter how poorly or how well the team is playing, a win this week can really put you in a good place heading into the Big Ten season. I'm not sure if it is because of Notre Dame's tradition or its fans inflated sense of self, but beating the Irish is always extra sweet.
Coming off of a disappointing loss to Northern Illinois, the Boilers have a tough road ahead of them this week. For myself, as well as most of Boiler Nation, I am looking forward to seeing the team that came out the first two weeks of the season and played with extremely high energy.
The Boilers are going to have to find a balance between playing error-free football and playing fast and loose. It's time for this experienced secondary to step up and make some plays against one of the hottest Quarterbacks in the country right now.
Is this a game of which defense will step up?
All those questions will be answered in time. Until then, I still hear the immortal words of Jim Chaney ... "IT'S NOTRE DAME WEEK."
Kitchel is part of Lafayette's Sports Guys on ESPN 1450AM. He can be heard two hours before every Purdue game and for two hours after every game as part of their Post Game Call-In show. You can rant or rave about the the Boilers by calling 765-447-0414 after the game. E-mail Kitch at [email protected]