Michigan State-Notre Dame Preview and Prediction

Midwest Sports FansAnalyst ISeptember 16, 2009

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 12:  Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis shakes the hand of Andrew Nuss #76 before the game against Michigan at Michigan Stadium on September 12, 2009 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  (Photo by Domenic Centofanti/Getty Images)

This game is not as hyped up as the Michigan-Notre Dame game, but it’s still a big game—maybe even bigger—for the Fighting Irish.

Let me just say one thing looking back at last weekend and then we can get into the preview: Notre Dame lost the Michigan game because of terrible, crazy, offensive play calling.

What were they thinking when they called two pass plays with the lead late in the fourth quarter!? Run the ball and make Michigan use their timeouts! It was just dumb play calling at its “finest.”

Now back to the ND-MSU preview. Before we delve into the analysis, here are the particulars for Saturday’s matchup.


Michigan State at Notre Dame

  • Michigan State-Notre Dame Date: Saturday, Sept. 19
  • Michigan State-Notre Dame State Kickoff Time: 3:30 ET
  • Michigan State-Notre Dame TV Channel: NBC
  • Michigan State-Notre Dame Point Spread: Notre Dame -10.5

Notre Dame has to win this game, and on paper Notre Dame is the stronger team; but this is sports, and if you haven’t found out yet that anything can happened in sports, well you’re not a very astute fan.

So while Notre Dame should win this game, don’t count out Michigan State too easily.

Despite the 30+ points given up against Michigan, Notre Dame’s defense has improved dramatically. While the Irish offense is explosive, I believe it is their defense that will be the key to this game. Defense wins football games, as the old adage goes, and Notre Dame has the defense to do beat Michigan State, along with the offense to back it up.

Michigan State needs to stay to the basics of football. That is playing smart football, not giving up many turnovers, and converting on chances. Michigan State is running against the wind in this game, but playing smart football can make all the difference.

This game will go to the team with the better choices, play calling, and whoever converts on the others mistakes. Those are fairly common things you have to do to win a football game, but not many teams can do that in a game, and they end up paying the price for not sticking to the basics.

Overall, I see Notre Dame winning this game comfortably. If not, then maybe Notre Dame isn’t as good as they were hyped to be.