Notre Dame Vs. Michigan State: Mitch Picks Week Three CFB

Mitch Wilson@sportschatplaceSenior Writer ISeptember 17, 2009

BALTIMORE - NOVEMBER 15:  Golden Tate #23 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish runs the ball past Blake Carter #1 of the Navy Midshipmen on November 15, 2008 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland. Notre Dame defeated Navy 27-21.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Michigan State Spartans at Notre Dame Fighting Irish

The Line: Notre Dame -11 1/2


Two teams that suffered tough losses last week will meet in South Bend as they try to get back to a winning record for the 2009 college football season.

Both the Michigan State Spartans and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish lost tough games last week; both were games that each team very well could have won.

Notre Dame led Michigan early and into halftime but couldn't hold the lead. A few of the Irish's flaws were exposed in that game, and it will be interesting to see how other teams take advantage, or if they are able to take advantage.

Two things were crystal clear in the Irish loss at Michigan: Charlie Weis had no answers for Rich Rodriguez's halftime adjustments, and Notre Dame has one heck of a time stopping the run. If they don't remedy these things in a hurry, it could be another long, disappointing season for the Irish.

For Michigan State, it was the same old story. Over the past several years it has seemed that whenever another talented team stands up to the Spartans, the Spartans end up on the wrong side of the scoreboard.

While the Spartans went to a bowl game last year, they never showed up in their big games, and when they played the better teams they were usually on the wrong end of a blowout.

Michigan State owns this series in the games that are played in South Bend. In fact, the road team has dominated the series against the spread, going 7-1 against the number in the last eight games.

The Michigan State offense was anemic in their loss last week, and whether it was a confidence killer or a motivator remains to be seen, but the offense will have to improve for MSU to have any chance in this spot.

Jimmy Clausen seemed to have trouble throwing any kind of pass except for a fade last game. He could very well struggle this week because that fade won't be there.

This is a tough call, but history says Notre Dame hasn't covered against Michigan State at home in 12 years. With a double digit spread, I don't see it changing now.

Mitch's Pick: Michigan State +11 1/2