As the calendar turns to mid-September, the daunting Notre Dame schedule kicks into high gear with back-to-back games against Michigan State and Michigan. First up are the Spartans on Saturday night in East Lansing. Michigan State comes into the game ranked No. 10 in the country, having defeated Boise State and Central Michigan in its first two games.
The Spartans possess the best defense in the Big Ten, and one of the best in the nation, led by defensive end William Gholston and cornerback Johnny Adams. Their offensive line is experienced, and Le'Veon Bell is a sneaky-elite running back. The passing game has question marks with quarterback Andrew Maxwell taking over for three-year starter Kirk Cousins and an entirely new receiving corps.
As Brian Kelly and the Fighting Irish put the finishing touches on their game plan for Saturday night's spotlight game, let's look at five keys for Notre Dame to get to 3-0 for the first time in 10 years.