Notre Dame Football: 5 Players to Watch on the Michigan Wolverines

Junior SkeppleContributor IISeptember 6, 2011

Notre Dame Football: 5 Players to Watch on the Michigan Wolverines

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    The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will take on the Michigan Wolverines this weekend in the first-ever night game in the 84-year history of Michigan Stadium.

    Michigan is coming off a weather shortened 34-10 win over Western Michigan.

    The Irish will be the first true test for Michigan's new head man, Brady Hoke. Hoke took over for Rich Rodriguez at the end of last season, and a win over Notre Dame would be huge for his resume.

    These are five players who the Irish need to watch out for to avoid an 0-2 start to the season.

    Michigan Quick Facts

    Founded: 1817

    Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

    Enrollment: 42,000 students

    Last Meeting vs. Notre Dame: 28-24 Michigan

No. 12 Roy Roundtree

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    Roy Roundtree is the playmaker of the receiving corps for the Wolverines. Last season against the Irish he had eight grabs for 82 yards and a touchdown.

    Roundtree is listed on the Fred Biletnikoff watch list for the country's elite wide receivers. 

    He is also the active leader in career receiving yards and receptions for the Wolverines.

    When Denard Robinson does drop back to throw, he will be looking Roundtree's way. The Irish must take away Robinson's best option and make him throw the ball elsewhere.

No. 53 Ryan Van Bergen

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    Ryan Van Bergen is the big defensive end for the Wolverines.

    The 6'6", 288-pound redshirt senior has the skill set and experience to give the Irish fits.

    Van Bergen started all 13 games last season and had three tackles and a recovered fumble last week against Western Michigan.

No. 68 Mike Martin

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    With the issues at quarterback for the Irish, it is important to keep Tommy Rees upright. Containing Mike Martin is a good place to start.

    Martin is listed on the Bednarik watch list for best defensive player in the country.

    Martin was quiet last year against the Irish, but he will be a point of concern for the Irish offensive linemen this week.

No. 29 Troy Woolfolk

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    Troy Woolfolk is the leader and best pro prospect in the secondary for the Wolverines.

    The redshirt senior missed last season with a foot injury and recorded two tackles last week against Western Michigan before sustaining an ankle injury.

    Woolfolk is listed as probable to face the Irish.

No. 16 Denard Robinson

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    Denard Robinson lit up Notre Dame last season, and the Irish will key in on him all night. Robinson broke the longest run in the history of Notre Dame stadium, an 87-yard touchdown. He finished the night with 258 yards rushing, 244 yards through the air and three touchdowns. 

    No, those are not typos.

    Robinson is the key to the success of the Irish defense.

    If you stop him, you will stop Michigan and hopefully leave with a win.