The Edge? ND O vs U-M. Plus Game Prediction

The Irish scored 23 against Purdue last Saturday, while the U-M defense gave up just 10 to UConn. What does this portend for Saturday when Michigan is on the defense? Plus an overall prediction.

(Who has the Edge? Michigan O vs. Notre Dame D)


The Notre Dame rushing attack versus the Michigan run-defense

Notre Dame's Armando Allen rushed for 93 yards ad a TD on 18 carries (5.1 ypc) against Purdue, and Cierre Wood added 58 yards on 7 carries (8.3 ypc).

However, the offensive line is still considered an area of concern for the Irish, with OC Braxton Cave the star of the unit.

Against UConn, the Michigan defense gave up 105 yards on 20 carries (5.25 ypc) to Jordan Todman but a decent 138 yards overall, albeit on 4.6 yards per carry.

The U-M DL vs ND OL battle will be a good one -- in fact it might just be the 2nd biggest key to the game (the first key being the performance of Shoelace Denard Robinson), particularly U-M NT Mike Martin versus Cave.

THE EDGE: Notre Dame ... but as long as this edge is just a slight one, it'll bode well for U-M.


The Notre Dame Passing attack versus the Michigan pass-defense

Notre Dame took to the air 26 times compared to 36 rushing attempts. Dayne Crist had a good day, going 19-26 for 205 yards and on ints. Michael Floyd and Kyle Rudolph had 5 catches each, Floyd for 82 yards (16.4 ypc) and Rudolph for 43 yards (8.6 ypc).

The Irish offensive line gave up two sacks to Purdue.

The Michigan pass defense also gave up 205 yards to UConn last Saturday, as Zach Frazer was a less-than-sharp 18-38, but the UConn catches averaged 11.4 yards each. The U-M defenders did a pretty good job all day in limiting the big play, excepts for a tipped-ball situation that went for 47 yards. An already-thin/young U-M defensive backfield got thinner/younger for several games as Carvin Johnson went down with an MCL sprain and Vlad Emilein bailed.

Michigan recorded one sack (that didn't get put into the books) against UConn.

THE EDGE: Notre Dame. The Floyd-Rudolph receiving combo is the scariest part of the Irish team ... U-M has to do better than one sack in order to pressure Young Master Crist.


Misc: Notre Dame was 3-4 in the Red Zone vs. Purdue, but with just one TD. ND was a good 6-12 on 3rd down, whereas U-M held UConn to 4-15. The Irish fumbled once last week, and the U-M D forced one as well.


OVERALL EDGE: Notre Dame. We think, barring injury or heavy rain or Denard-nerves, this game will be somewhat of a shootout. Buckle Up for offensive fireworks.


OVERALL PREDICTION: If the weather is good Denard rolls again, but so do the Irish. The home field advantage counteracts a U-M D-Rob-edge. 30-30 with one team or tuther winning it in OT.

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