Notre Dame Gears Up For Bitter Rivals from Michigan

Bob WaltersContributor ISeptember 9, 2008

It is once again time for another matchup between the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame and the Michigan Wolverines. Neither team has played exceptionally well yet this year, and it looks like it will be a close game.

The way I see it, whoever makes the fewest mistakes will win, as neither team has a very potent offense.



If it weren't for the turnovers, the score of the San Diego State game may have looked very different. Jimmy Clausen took a while to get going but ended up leading the offense down the field to score in the final quarter of the game to secure a victory for the Irish.

Golden Tate may finally have emerged as one of the leaders in the receiving corps, and freshman Michael Floyd showed his ability with a touchdown grab for the first score of the game.

If the offensive line does their job and Jimmy Clausen stays safe in the pocket, then the passing attack could work for the Irish.

In the backfield, sophomores Armando Allen and Robert Hughes are sharing all the carries, it appears. Allen has shown flashes of his speed and agility along with improved strength from last year. Robert Hughes didn't look as good as he did at the end of last year, but it was the first game and we have seen that he can still be a threat.



With John Tenuta on the staff this year, the Irish defense is looking to bring the pressure and dictate the game. That was apparent last Saturday.

Although some may see the lack of sacks as a failure, they rushed the quarterback and forced the offense to rely on three-step drops and quick passes. So in reality, the defense was a success because they dictated the offense.

San Diego State was 29-of-59 passing for 274 with one touchdown and one interception. I would call holding a team to 274 yards on 59 passes a success.

Safety Kyle McCarthy registered 15 tackles, and fellow safety Sergio Brown seemed to be all over the place at times and playing with fire. The cornerbacks were solid in coverage and the linebackers did a fine job in the middle of the field.


Special Teams

Armando Allen and Golden Tate both showed they have some returning ability in them, and it could only be a matter of time before one of them breaks a return for a big touchdown.

Walk-on Mike Anello was all over the place on coverage teams, being the first one down the field to make the tackle a majority of the time. The field goal kicking still isn't up to par, but it was the first game, so let's hope for some improvement.

This game will be close; that is all there is to it.

Notre Dame 21

Michigan     17