Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
Ah, the game we've been waiting for. We will be looking live at Spartan Stadium, under the lights in East Lansing as Michigan State plays host to longtime rival Notre Dame. The two teams' history indicates this'll be a great game, as does the talent level on both teams—especially across the front seven.
Expect a slog in the rushing game for both teams, especially if Michigan State's unable to get its blockers to the next level and open up lanes for Le'Veon Bell. Bell's not exactly going to be beating tacklers to the corner—especially with linebackers as fast as Manti Te'o and the rest of Notre Dame's men.
There's a bit of a quarterback controversy on the other side of the ball as Notre Dame's now having to decide between Everett Golson and Tommy Rees to lead the team. Golson started last week, but Rees came in and led the Irish on a game-winning field goal drive against a strong Purdue defense.
We'll probably see Golson start again, as he adds a mobile dimension to an offense that would gladly like the opportunity to add some versatility against a punishing, talented Michigan State defense.
Meanwhile, Michigan State has looked shaky under center itself, as Andrew Maxwell struggled against Boise State then started slowly at Central Michigan before eventually putting together a solid outing. Notre Dame's secondary is a bit more forgiving than Michigan State's, so we could see a decent passing day for Maxwell and his young receivers.
At the end of the day, though, this'll come down to Le'Veon Bell against Notre Dame's front seven. Strength on strength. And while Bell should face his toughest resistance of the year, he should be able to wear down the Irish defense and help lead a late scoring drive for the win.
Final score: Michigan State 24, Notre Dame 20