It’s still a big rivalry for two teams that already have their share of them. Can the Spartans announce that they’re back, or will the Fighting Irish dive back into the College Football Playoff hunt? Check out the Michigan State vs. Notre Dame fearless prediction and game preview.
Michigan State (1-0) vs. Notre Dame (1-1) Game Preview
Date: Saturday, September 17th
Game Time: 7:30 pm
Venue: Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame, IN
Why Michigan State Will Win
Spartans, meet the Notre Dame vs. Texas game film.
The Fighting Irish eventually figured it out, with the defensive front doing a terrific job of holding up in the Austin heat as the game went on against the Longhorn power running game. Of course, Tyrone Swoopes powered away in the overtime and Texas got the win, but the formula was there with thump after thump to take control of the game early on and ease in Shane Buechele’s debut.
The Spartans didn’t quite run as well as they were supposed to against Furman to kick things off, but the combination of LJ Scott and Madre London should be rested and ready to roll after getting a week off to relax. Run hard, get a sharp game from Tyler O’Connor, and the get the offense moving to keep DeShone Kizer off the field.
The Spartan secondary is still going to be a bit of a question mark until it proves it’s back up to Michigan State snuff, but the interior of the defensive front should hold up more than fine against the loaded Irish offensive line. Malik McDowell dominated Furman – yeah, yeah, ooooh – but he’s the absolute real deal.
He’s the prototype pocket-collapser, disruptive force all the NFL types are looking for, and at the very least he’ll require the full and undivided attention of the Notre Dame blocking scheme. While he’s on everyone’s list of top ten prospects for the 2017 NFL Draft …
Why Notre Dame Will Win
DeShone Kizer is generating a deafening buzz as the possible No. 1 overall guy whenever he’s ready to roll.
Michigan State’s secondary was fine against Furman – it was Furman – but it’s still an X factor after allowing way too many big performances last season. The No Fly Zone isn’t back yet, and this is the game for Kizer to test the Spartan corners and keep the momentum going after a terrific first two games.
What can overcome a shaky receiving corps with too many untested parts? A bomber like Kizer who hit Texas with five touchdown passes and completed 15-of-18 throws with two scores against Nevada.
Yeah, Michigan State didn’t open up the playbook against Furman – it didn’t want to show anything – and it might have had a week off to prepare, but that looked like a team in Week One that needed another tune-up in Week Two.
The Spartans committed too many penalties – 10 for 120 yards – couldn’t move the chains even though the downfield passing plays were coming, and the offense took way too long to put the game away. There’s a good chance Notre Dame is simply sharper, especially at home.
Pound away with the excellent offensive line, keep Kizer upright and clean, and come up with a key special teams play. Do that, and the Irish survive and advance.
What’s Going To Happen?
Michigan State is going to be all Michigan State.
It’s not going to look good at times, it’s going to bog down too much, and Kizer will connect on a few big plays that’ll make it seem like the Irish are on the verge of pulling ahead and taking over, but this MSU coaching staff knows how to pull out games like this.
The game will bog down in the second half with the Michigan State offense pulling out a maddening performance. It’ll run just enough to come up with manageable third down chances, and it’ll convert on key play after key play to grind it out. It won’t be a thing of beauty, but the Spartans will take it.
Michigan State vs. Notre Dame Prediction
Final Score: Michigan State 27, Notre Dame 24
Line: Notre Dame -7.5, o/u: 51.5
ATS Confidence: 5: Vegas, Now – 1: Talk To Wife … 3.5
Must See Rating: 5: Hell or High Water – 1: This Is Us … 5