Can Notre Dame stop Denard Robinson in their quest to a BCS Bowl?
Last year’s nightmare collapse will be on many minds at South Bend
Who can forget Denard Robinson bringing the Wolverines back from a 24-7 deficit in the fourth quarter last year against the Fighting Irish for the most unlikely of wins?
It was the game that broke the heart of the Irish and they have waited a year for a chance at revenge. After their 3-0 start they will surely be confident they can do it.
As Coach Brian Kelly says "He's a superior football player. He is a difference maker, We have to find a way to limit big chunk plays, just like we have the first few weeks. It's about our defense not giving up those big, chunk plays. We gave them up in the running game in year one and we gave them up in the passing game in year two."
So the stage is set. No.11 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (3-0) welcome the No. 18 Michigan Wolverines (2-1) to their home at Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday, September 22nd at 7:30 pm. The game will be broadcast on NBC.
The Fighting Irish cemented themselves as a top national team downing the Michigan State Spartans last week 20-3. The Wolverines also found themselves in the win column against a weak UMass team 63-13.
In a game that came down to the wire last year in Ann Arbor the maize and blue pulled one out against the blue and gold on a pass thrown by Denard Robinson to Roy Roundtree with two seconds left. RB Cierre Wood (134 yards, 1 TD) ran roughshod on the Wolverines in the stunning loss in a game that also saw QB Tommy Reese put up 315 yards passing and three touchdowns.
The ranked squads facing each other for the 40th time in a rivalry dating back to 1887. In that inaugural matchup The Wolverines dominated the Fighting Irish 8-0 in the first football game in Notre Dame history. The teams have played consistently since 1978 and have extended the yearly rivalry to 2031. The Wolverines hold the all-time series 23-15-1 lead, winning three straight. Michigan is one of four schools to have a winning record against Notre Dame (Florida State, Ohio, Nebraska)
Here’s how the teams matchup for the College Football Game of the week:
Notre Dame Offense
QB Everett Golson (611 yards, 3 TD, 1 rushing TD, ) has ended the Notre Dame quarterback controversy with his domineering play this year. The running and passing dual threat will be asked to produce more under more pressure in perhaps the most important game for the Fighting Irish in several years. Golson proved especially proficient in the red zone against Michigan State capitalizing on both opportunities improving upon the weak red zone play against Michigan last year (2 interceptions).
He has very capable receivers in All-American TE Tyler Eifert (120 yards, 1 TD) and WR TJ Jones (130 yards, 1 TD). The squad is very deep. Eight receivers have at least one reception of 20 yards or more.
Last week also saw the welcome return of a productive Cierre Wood who will look for a repeat performance of last year in Ann Arbor and will join backs Theo Riddick (198 rushing yards, 2 TDs) and George Atkinson III (144 yards, 2 TDs) against a Michigan run defense that yielded 232 yards to Alabama in week one.
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