Irish fans were split during the week leading up to Michigan State. However, as the game came to a close and the student section enjoyed an Irish jig, life returned to a football team; one previously looking for answers to their season.
Question One: Turnovers have killed the Irish in the first two games of the season. Can the offense hold onto the ball against the Spartans?
Answer One: No! Despite the victory this is still a major concern as the season progresses. An interception and three fumbles, losing two of them, still means the Irish have turnover issues to address. However, the Irish defense also forced a couple of turnovers on the day with a fumble recovery and interception.
Question Two: Can the Irish defense stop Michigan State when they get in the Red-Zone?
Answer Two: Yes! The Spartans had five chances in the red-zone on Saturday and the Irish foiled scoring chances on three of them. Even better was the fact the Irish held the Spartans to one touchdown and a field on their two scores.
Question Three: Can the Irish offense score when they reach the red-zone?
Answer Three: Yes! The Irish had two chances in the red-zone and scored on both with a touchdown and a field goal.
Question Four: Will the Irish punting improve against Michigan State?
Answer Four: Yes! Ben Turk punted four times Saturday finishing with a 41.5 yard average and a long of 50-yards. He also placed two punts inside the twenty and had no touchbacks, using a rugby-style approach on his final two boots.
Question Five: Can the Irish decrease the number of penalties against them this week?
Answer Five: Yes! The Irish saw their penalty average drop, committing six on the day for 53 yards. This area was very much improved on Saturday and a major reason the Irish ended the day with a victory.