I Disagree with Hondo, this Game Won't be a Blowout!
Weâ€™ll let me keep this short. This weeks game with Notre Dame will be decided by two
factorsâ€¦.big plays and turnovers.
Notre Dame has forced a whopping eight fumbles in the first two games this year and have recovered five, including big 35-yard fumble return against Michigan when the Wolverines had gained momentum, and a big fumble on the goal line against SDSU. They have also picked off three interceptions in 2008, and so job one for the Spartans will be protecting the football and winning the turnover battle.
The Irish cannot be afforded easy opportunities that they can capitalize on. In fact the Wolverines out gained the Irish in yardage 388-260 and had a big time of possession advantage in the first quarter only to find themselves down 21-0 early in the game.
Another area the Spartans must shut down is the Irish passing game. After giving up a ton of sacks the last two years to the Wolverines in losing 38-0 and 47-21, they finally have found a way to protect the passer and it is paying big dividends in a win.
Notre Dame had three touchdown passes against San Diego State, including two big ones in the 4th quarter, and added two early ones against Michigan to shock the Wolverines. Much of this can be attributed to finally protecting QB Clausen and getting production at the receiver position from Golden Tate, a big, physical, fast wide out. Narduzziâ€™s boys played well against FAU, but the weather conditions may have skewed that result somewhat. We will found out this week. Iâ€™m still worried about the free releases opposing tight ends are getting. FAU had success there.Attacking the Notre Dame defense, who added coaching legend Jon Tenuta to the staff, will come from a balanced offense with emphasis on the short passing game. To many long developing pass plays usually end up in a defender getting to the QB, and yet, the best way to beat a Tenuta deffense is threw the air. Eventually, people are going to put more people in the box to slow down the smash mouth offense that MSU plays, and Hoyer and company will have to step up. This will be the game for this to happen if they want to win. You can run the ball down the throats against EMU and FAU, but Notre Dame is another animal and arrogance usually never leads to victories.
Tenutaâ€™s defense usually give up yardage between the 20â€™s but keeps people in check in the red zone, and the red zone will be where this game is also won or lost. Finally, I am concerned that many are picking MSU to blow out Notre Dame. When has that prediction ever been proven to be right? I say MSU still wins, but in much closer fashion. MSU-24 Notre Dame-20.