Notre Dame Football: Biggest Worries for Irish Ahead of Michigan State Matchup

Jeff Langridge@@JeffLangridge1Correspondent IIISeptember 12, 2012

SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 17: Robert Blanton of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish returns an interception 82-yards while playing the Michigan State Spartans during the second half September 17, 2011at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Michigan State 31-13. (Photo by John Gress/Getty Images)
John Gress/Getty Images

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are 2-0 early in the season as they get set to face a tough opponent this Saturday in Michigan State. While the Irish have every reason to be confident heading into Saturday's game, there are also some things Notre Dame should be worried about.

Coming off 50-10 and 20-17 wins against Navy and Purdue, respectively, at home, the Irish travel to Michigan to take part in their first road game. That is where the first problem for Notre Dame lies. 


Road Opener Record

The Fighting Irish have not won their first road game of the season for the past five years. Four out of those five games have taken place in the state of Michigan. Two losses have come at the hands of the Michigan State Spartans, while the other two took place against the Michigan Wolverines.

Now, for the fifth straight year, Notre Dame enters Michigan looking to end its losing streak.


Record Against Top-10 and Top-25 Teams

The last time Notre Dame beat a team that ranked in the Top 10 was September 10, 2005, against Michigan. That's good for a nine-game losing streak. 

Winning against Michigan State would also snap a six-game losing streak against teams in the Top 25. That has existed since October 1, 2005, when the Irish beat No. 22-ranked Purdue.

A win would would take care of both losing streaks, so it could be a motivating factor. 


No 3-0

They have all been different teams, but since 2002, the Fighting Irish have been unable to go 3-0 to start a season. They will try once again to break that streak, but succeeding means they have to do something they haven't done in a decade.


Michigan's Record in Televised Home Games

This will be the 13th prime-time televised game in the history of Spartan Stadium. The Spartans' record in the 12 previous games is 8-4. What might be in Notre Dame's favor is that two of those losses were at the hands of the Fighting Irish. However, two of the wins also came against Notre Dame, so they're even in that respect.


As you can see, there are no worries that have to do with the current teams. This season, both teams have blown out a team and had a close game as well.

What the Fighting Irish have to worry about is history. Some people don't put much stock in it, but as the old saying goes, "Those who don't remember history are doomed to repeat it."

No matter the result, the Irish and Spartans should have a good game on Saturday.