The proverbial birth of the dominant 2012 Notre Dame defense transpired within the confines of Spartan Stadium last September during a rivalry game that has been earmarked by stingy defensive play and physicality.
Roughly one year later, the Irish defense is the team's leading storyline once again, though for unfavorable reasons this time around.
Defensive coordinator Bob Diaco's unit allowed 24 points and 294 total yards to Purdue's 116th-ranked offense last week in West Lafayette, Ind., a sign that this season's Notre Dame defense has certainly regressed from its 2012 form.
Meanwhile, Michigan State has been enjoying incredible defensive success during its first three games, earning a No. 1 ranking in total defense.
That unit spurred the Spartans to a 55-17 home victory against Youngstown State last week, limiting the Penguins to just 172 total yards.
The Spartan defense could well indeed be a critical factor in avenging last season's 20-3 loss to the Fighting Irish.
Here's what you need to know about Saturday's meeting.
Time: 3:30 p.m. EDT
Place: Notre Dame Stadium
Radio: Notre Dame IMG Radio Network, Spartan Sports Network
Spread: Notre Dame by 6.5, per VegasInsider.com