For Notre Dame fans, the third Saturday in September is synonymous with the Michigan State Spartans. The longtime rivals have played every year since 1997, but will take a two-year hiatus in the series following this season's meeting.
Mark Dantonio's Spartans were one of the biggest disappointments in college football last season, falling from No. 10 heading into their game with the Irish to 7-6. Michigan State failed to win a Big Ten home game for just the second time in 30 years.
A bowl victory gave the program some positive momentum heading into the offseason, but there are still some major losses on defense and a quarterback competition that needs to be settled. The Spartans kicked off spring drills last week and will play their spring game on Apr. 20.
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