I've been real busy this year between work and school and finishing the text book for my professor, and dealing with stuff at home, so I haven't really had time to do the research that I like to do for each game's post.
And this week is no different.
I know what I'm getting from Stanton (QB), Caulcrick (RB), and Trannon (WR) from Michigan State, 'cause I've seen them first-hand during last year's 44-41 nail-biter shootout in the home opener. Their offense has been clicking on all cylinders the first few games, but their inexperienced offensive line (who lost three starters from last year's team) haven't faced the talent that we have on the defensive line. Also, the refs will be keeping a close eye on holding penalties, as the Big 10 refs have been, shall we say, notified (read: bitch-slapped) about the 10-0 holding call differential against the Irish through three games.
What I don't know about is their retooled defense. They have two young corners that haven't really been tested, and three new starters on the defensive line (which might mean that Brady has some time to throw the ball). They return their entire linebacking corps, but we seemed to do fine against the best linebacking corps in the country (Penn State).
And, ultimately, I expect to see a Penn State type of performance from this team. While the home field advantage may keep the Irish from running out to a 41-3 lead like they did against the Nittany Lions, the Irish should score at about a 2-1 pace today. These kids are angry and pissed off after their performance last week, and they are playing with nothing to lose.
Brady no longer has the Heisman hype wearing him down, and I expect him to be more relaxed and focused today.
After review, the prediction stands as called on the field.
Notre Dame 42
Michigan State 17