On September 17, MSU and Notre Dame will renew a series that is probably more of a rivalry game for MSU fans than it is for Notre Dame fans. Notre Dame fans tell me that even their game against USC is not a big deal. No “if’s, “ands,” or “buts,” Notre Dame wants to get back to the National Championship Game.
So what’s going to happen on Saturday? Notre Dame feels good about itself because they pounded a team they were supposed to pound – 39 to 10. Let’s take a cursory look at what happened last Saturday before we predict tomorrow night’s game. Deshone Kizer threw two touchdown passes and ran for another. Josh Jones ran for 106 yards. (Yawn!)
Nevada made a lot of mistakes early- a safety on a kick-off, coming up short on 4th down and 1 to go at the ND 17-yard-line, and 11 penalties for 88 yards. Talk about self-destructing. Notre Dame was supposed to win and they did. It was not impressive! Notre Dame didn’t score until the 2nd Quarter.
MSU brings a new QB, several young receivers, and a lot of great karma from earlier games in the series- Little Giants! Can you believe it? Coach D has only one in South Bend once as head coach for MSU.
Keys to the game: The Spartans can not have the same kind of penalties they did against Furman. ND had plenty of penalties- 8 of ’em. Whoever improves in this area will have an advantage. The Spartans O-Line needs to open up the running game. LJ Scott is as good as any Running Back in the country, but he can’t continue to create yards out of nothing.
The MSU D-line must neutralize (contain) Deshone Kizer. It doesn’t matter if Torri Hunter Jr plays. . . and he is a dandy. And, of course, Tyler Collins must keep his ears open as Brian Hoyer (Come on Brian!) explains how he remained cool and collected in a loud stadium against a team favored not to win, but spank MSU.
Prediction: Tyler Collins will go 15-24 for 300 yards. Donnie Corley Jr emerges as the next Aaron Burbridge and RJ Shelton excels on kick-returns. The D- Line holds Deshone to 5 for 10 passing and 40 yards on the ground.
The most success Notre Dame has is right here: