It’s the third week of the 2010 college football season and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1-1) find themselves facing the wrath of another Big Ten team.
This time it’s the Michigan State Spartans (2-0), a team coming off a 30-17 win over Florida Atlantic; the Irish (1-1) are coming off a loss to the Michigan Wolverines.
The matchup is important for both teams. Notre Dame is looking to stay about .500 while Michigan State is looking to carry positive momentum into its Big Ten schedule.
Michigan State-Notre Dame Viewer’s Guide
- Notre Dame-Michigan State Date: Saturday, September 18th
- Notre Dame-Michigan State Kickoff Time: 8:00 pm ET
- Notre Dame-Michigan State TV: ABC
- Notre Dame-Michigan State Spread: MSU -3
- Click to see the complete college football Week 3 TV schedule
Michigan State-Notre Dame Preview
Notre Dame faces a much more traditional offense than they saw against the Wolverines last week. The Spartans’ offensive game revolves around a strong running game, one that is averaging 261 yards per game, which is 11th best in the country. Their production comes from true sophomore Edwin Baker.
Stopping the the running game is going to again be key for the Irish. They were unable to contain the Wolverine’s running game, led by Denard Robinson, and it cost them the game. This week’s matchup will be another test for a mediocre Notre Dame defense.
Along with a great running game, the Spartans boast a tough defense, especially at the linebacker position. Greg Jones already has 20 tackles for the Spartans and has helped Michigan State’s defense allow only 130 rushing yards total the past two weeks.
This sets up a problem for the Irish. You need an established running game before the passing game becomes efficient. The Irish are going to have to figure out a way to get their running game up to par, otherwise it could be a very tough offensive day for them.
Last week, the Notre Dame offense sputtered once starting quarterback Dayne Crist left the game early on due to lack of vision in his right eye. Crist came back in after the half and finished the game, but the damage was already done to the Irish after struggling under backup quarterbacks Tommy Rees and Nate Montana.
Michigan State-Notre Dame Prediction
I am expecting this game to be just as exciting as last week’s game. On paper, this game looks like it could go down to the wire.
This week I am putting my faith in the Irish because Crist is expected to play and be 100 percent. A healthy Crist, despite Notre Dame’s defensive issues, would have most likely led to a win against Michigan.
For those reasons I am picking Notre Dame to beat the Spartans.
Michigan State-Notre Dame Pick: Notre Dame 24 Michigan State 21