Game Prediction

Like the Irish, I'm 2-0. I was one of the few members of the media that picked ND to beat Michigan. I'm feeling good about myself and I think I've got this game picked.

Now that I got a little cocky, I'll probably be put back in my place, but I don't think so. Did you watch Charlie's comments to the media on Thursday?

It appeared Charlie didn't have a care in the world. He was joyful, joking, smiling and I've got to go with that.

Could Charlie be drinking the Kool-aid as well? Will this team be overconfident heading into Saturday's game. What a change that would be….

This is a good Michigan State team heading into Saturday's game. Starting quarterback Drew Stanton makes them a very good football team.

As I said on Irish Eyes Power Hour, Stanton's also a gamer. I love watching a gamer and he's definitely a gamer. He reminds me of a more slippery Brett Favre.

But like Favre, gamers take chances. Stanton takes chances. Will he take one too many against the Irish?

The key to stopping Stanton is to keep him in the pocket and make him throw from the pocket. However, we expect to see him on designed roll outs often and the Irish will have to pressure him to get him off his game. Will there be a spy on Stanton throughout the game? Might be a good idea.

This game is shaping up to be another offensive battle—didn't we say that last week?

Notre Dame scored 31 points (7 on defense) and amassed almost 400 yards of offense against the Spartans last year—not gaudy stats, but not bad considering it was last year's offense and the Irish had the lead and sat on the ball most of the second half.

The Spartans scored 24 points, but Stanton didn't start the game. However, 14 points came on special teams, so it wasn't like this offense set the world on fire against Notre Dame last season.

I've got to believe ND can move the ball and score often against this Spartan defense, regardless of their stats on defense so far this season.

We fully expect to see the Spartan defense load eight or nine men in the box, challenging the Irish to beat them deep, but we also expect Weis to be ready for that.

Look for Maurice Stovall or Matt Shelton to get the vertical passing game going this week. The Spartans are somewhat banged up at corner, and we expect to see some big plays out of the Irish receivers on Saturday.

But the big question will be: Can the Spartan offense score on Notre Dame's defense?

The Spartan offense can and likely will score some points against the Irish defense, but I don't believe it will be enough to overcome the damage the Irish do on offense.

Factor in Weis' first home game in Notre Dame Stadium, the fact that the Spartans have won their last four trips to South Bend, and the confidence the Irish have right now and I think it spells doom for Michigan State.

Mike Frank Prediction

The Spartans hang in there for awhile, but Notre Dame pulls away in the second half.

Notre Dame: 34 Michigan State: 21 Top Stories