This isn’t exactly 1966, when #1 Notre Dame faced off against #2 Michigan State in the game of the century. But considering this is just the third week of the season, the #10 ranked Spartans against the #20th ranked Fighting Irish is about as big as it gets.
First the injury update. “Coach Brian Kelly, do you have any updates on the injured players from the Purdue game?”
“Yeah, let me get my list here…Jamoris Slaughter and Tyler Eifert have been cleared. Everett Golson had a thumb [injury]; he’ll be fine. Strain on Kapron Lewis-Moore, he’ll be moving around by Thursday, should be cleared. Ankle sprain on DaVaris Daniels. We’ll progress him during the week. He should be able to answer the bell.”
“What else do I have here? I’ve got Manti Te’o with a bruised sternum. So everything looks to be okay for not ruling anybody out for this game.”
So after much trepidation, the Irish escape the Boilermaker game without any serious injuries. Perhaps the worst “injuries” are Golson’s bruised ego (after Tommy Rees relieved him to close the Purdue game) and Te’o's broken heart, after the untimely deaths of souls very close to him.
But back to today’s game. As for the offenses, much has been made about Golson’s gaffes, but MSU’s Andrew Maxwell is just as inexperienced and has more turnovers. On defense, the Spartans are stout, allowing only ten points a game for twelfth best in the country.
However, the Irish “D,” at 13.5 points per game, is not far behind, and Notre Dame’s dynamite “TNT” trio of Te’o, Louis Nix, and Stephon Tuitt should be able to keep Spartan star RB Le’veon Bell‘s Heisman aspirations on hold for another week.
My prediction? Golson holds his own, and the Irish defense makes a big stop at the end. Notre Dame 24, Michigan State 21.
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