Two of college football’s most prestigious programs are set to face off in one of the biggest games of Week 2 in college football. Both Notre Dame and Michigan had only one game to warm up before things got real really fast. Some might call this a regional matchup, others would contend this is a game between perennial college football juggernauts.
Others might dismiss the matchup as having no implications, and it not being a true rivalry game. For those who do not hold this week’s matchup in high regard, perhaps they should defer to the experts at college game day who will be taking a week off of their typical SEC coverage schedule to travel to Ann Arbor to spend a day celebrating two outstanding football programs.
Notre Dame and coach Brian Kelly are coming of a great 2012 campaign which ended in a disappointing loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide. Notre Dame licked their wounds, and coach Kelley began preparing them for the 2013. Unfortunately for the Fighting Irish, they will be competing this season without quarterback Everett Golson.
That does not mean the Fighting Irish are without an experienced signal caller under center. Tommy Rees did lead the Irish to a victory over the Wolverines last season.
Like the Irish, the Wolverines had two quarterbacks taking snaps a season ago. But now gone is the flash and flair of Denard Robinson and left is Devin Gardner. This season is Gardner’s and expectations are high at Michigan. It is time for coach Brady Hoke and his Wolverines first true test of the 2013.
For Michigan to get the victory at home on Saturday, there are a few essential things that need to go their way. The Notre Dame faithful have at times taken to referring to their quarterback as “Turnover Tommy”. The Wolverines’ defense needs to be opportunistic and take advantage of these situations.
Keeping the ball out of Notre Dame’s hands and allowing Gardner to methodically move his team down the field will be vital for a Michigan victory. The defense should be able to get into the Irish backfield and Rees’s head throughout the game.
The offense should attack the Notre Dame defense with confidence. They have the skill and an extremely talented quarterback, but they do not need to become too flashy or one-dimensional. The Wolverines should show their versatility in executing an effective ground game and passing attack.
The Wolverines’ offensive line allows the team to effectively move the ball, so expect them to lean on the size and power of the big guys up front. If the Wolverines stick to this, plan fans can expect to see the Wolverines pull away throughout the game.