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NCAA Football Michigan State Spartans

Keys to the Game For Michigan State vs. Notre Dame

Max Bullough Michigan State Spartans

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Say what you will about how the Michigan State Spartans have played this season, but at the end of the day, they are 3-0 and that’s all that matters in football.

By now, we all know the narrative of this team. There is questionable offense, followed by amazing defensive play. The Spartan offense finally kicked it into gear last week against Youngstown State, a much-needed game for the unit which put up 547 yards of total offense and scored 55 points.

This week, the Spartans will travel to South Bend to take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish for the next chapter in one of the most storied rivalries in college football. Notre Dame leads the all-time series between the two, but there have been some incredible games in this rivalry.

Michigan State will look to get its first win since 2010, which you might remember involved the “Little Giants” play in overtime to win the game. Beating the Fighting Irish will be no easy task as they have an extremely talented roster.

Michigan State must be able to run the ball and control the line of scrimmage to be able to win this game. The Fighting Irish’s front seven, headlined by defensive tackle Louis Nix, is one of the toughest against the run in all of football. If the Spartans are able to run the ball effectively, it will take some pressure off of the fragile passing game and allow Connor Cook to settle in a tough road environment, something he has never faced.

Defensively, the Spartans match up well with the Irish. They like to spread the ball out and throw a lot, but quarterback Tommy Rees is very turnover-prone and this plays right into Pat Narduzzi’s defensive game plan.

Notre Dame is currently favored by a touchdown over the Spartans, but this should be a great game as it always is. Don’t be surprised by a last-second finish — that’s what this rivalry is known for.

Erik Sargent is a college football writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Erik_Sargent, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.