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As is so often the case, many people think Michigan will have to run the ball effectively to win this game. Hence, this may be the matchup people are most excited for.
Even though some of the national stats are still a bit skewed and have to be taken with a grain of salt, it is OK to start putting some stock into them.
For example, Notre Dame's rush defense currently ranks 23rd nationally, which is very impressive when considering the competition they've faced.
Combined with the fact that Michigan's offensive line has run blocked very poorly so far this year, it will be tough to run the ball on this Notre Dame defense.
Even though the Wolverines may only face three down linemen for much of the night, it will still be tough to have success.
Louis Nix is an anchor at nose tackle, while Stephon Tuitt is quickly turning into an absolute monster off the edge. And both players are only sophomores. Combine that with Kapron Lewis-Moore on the other end, who provides them with experience and senior leadership.
The linebacking core is also very good; Manti Te'o just may be the best linebacker in the country, and Prince Shembo has turned into a solid player. Dan Fox, Danny Spond, Ishaq Williams and Carlo Calabrese are all guys to watch out for as well.
Michigan's rush offense currently ranks 46th nationally, which is obviously disappointing. Fitz Toussaint is going to have to get going, and the offensive line needs to step up big time.
Al Borges also has to let Denard Robinson do what he does. Still, I think this Notre Dame defense learned its lesson in the fourth quarter of last year's game and won't get burned again.
Robinson and Toussaint may have some success running the ball at times, but I don't think they'll run wild on this defense or get an effective run game going throughout.
Advantage: Notre Dame