It’s week two of the college football season and we have another great Midwest matchup for you this week. It’s the Michigan Wolverines going head-to-head with the their rivals, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
Both teams come in off a win in their season opener. Michigan is coming off of a 30-10 victory over UCONN while Notre Dame played well in a 23-13 victory over Purdue.
Both teams went into Week 1 not knowing what to expect, but are confident after solid victories to open the season. Still, there are looming questions for both teams that must be answered, and some of them may be answered this weekend.
- Michigan-Notre Dame Date: Saturday, September 11th
- Michigan-Notre Dame Kickoff Time: 3:30 ET
- Michigan-Notre Dame TV: NBC
- Michigan-Notre Dame Spread: Notre Dame -4.5
Michigan-Notre Dame Preview
Michigan, to me, looked strong against UCONN. Their running game was sensational, amassing a whopping 287 total yards, 197 of which came from their quarterback Denard Robinson. That number is definitely a jaw-dropper. Add to that a solid passing and defensive game, and Michigan was one of the biggest surprises of Week 1.
Coming into this weekend’s clash with Notre Dame, Michigan has to establish their running game. Despite his better-than-expected showing last weekend, Robinson is not known for his passing ability. Without the running game clicking, the Wolverines could find themselves in some hot water and potentially leaving South Bend with a loss.
Notre Dame, on the other hand, used more of a balanced offense against Purdue. Perhaps that is the reason why I wasn’t as impressed with their offense last week, at least not as much I anticipated being. Notre Dame’s offense this year just doesn’t seem to have the same glamor or explosiveness that last year’s offense had, but that is because they lost Jimmy Clausen, Golden Tate, and are now breaking in a new system. It doesn’t seem to be clicking quite yet, and that’s a major reason why I am skeptical about Notre Dame coming into Week 2.
The Irish defense is improved from last year, but that doesn’t make them great; they still have a lot way to go. Luckily for the Irish, they shouldn’t have to be great against Michigan. Limit the effectiveness and explosiveness of Michigan’s run game, and there is little doubt that Notre Dame can put itself in position to get a W.
Michigan-Notre Dame Prediction
This is another great rivalry matchup early on in the season. I really like the potential in both teams, but I believe Michigan, now in Year 3 of Rich Rodriguez Era, is the better team coming into this week, which is only Week 2 of the Brian Kelly Era in South Bend.
That’s why I am picking the Wolverines to beat Notre Dame 27-14.
* – Rich Rodriguez photo credit: AP Photo via MLive.com