Notre Dame Football: Why Irish Will Stumble Against Michigan State

Matt WestCorrespondent IISeptember 10, 2012

SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 08: Everett Golson #5 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish runs around end to try to score a touchdwon against the Purdue Boilermakers at Notre Dame Stadium on September 8, 2012 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish started the season in impressive fashion, blowing out Navy, 50-10, in Week 1, and then barely edging Purdue last week by a score of 20-17.

But the real test is coming this weekend in the form of No. 10 Michigan State, and there's just too much firepower on the side of the Spartans for the Irish to handle.

Michigan State has looked tremendous in its first two games, and it possesses one of the best running backs in the land in Le'Veon Bell.

Notre Dame will most certainly be spending ample time this week reading and studying up on Bell, who has carried the ball 62 times in two games this season for 280 yards and four touchdowns. The 6'2", 244-pound back can run over or around any defense, and will likely get quite a few carries this weekend.

Another problem that may seem a bit more glaring for the Irish is their ground attack. The team gutted out their ugly win over Purdue last week measly 52 rushing yards on 36 carries. Those sorts of numbers won't get you very many wins against tough opponents, and when the opposing team has a player of Bell's caliber, you need to chew up as much clock as possible.

The Irish escaped last week and find themselves ranked No. 22 in the nation, but I see that coming to a halt this weekend. Michigan State is playing at a very high level, and the matchup problems will be too much for Kelly and co. to handle.