Saturday's Keys

Stopping Drew Stanton is obvious. If No. 12 Notre Dame is able to do that Saturday in East Lansing , the Irish (2-1) will beat Michigan State (3-0). But the Spartans signal caller is going to make a play or two. That's ok, but if the Irish can execute a few other things, they will improve to 3-1 on the season.

Here are the keys to the game.

Score Quickly: The Notre Dame offense has struggled to find consistent rhythm through the first three games. A quick score could ignite an offense that is looking for a spark. It would always quiet what's going to be a raucous crowd. If the Irish eliminate the mental mistakes that constantly haunt them, they should have no problems finding the end zone against a mediocre defense.

Contain Matt Trannon: The receiver killed the Irish last season, catching five passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns. Make Stanton find receivers other than his favorite target. When Trannon has a big day, the Spartans are celebrating in the locker room afterwards.

Absolutely no turnovers: The crowd is going to be hype and the Spartans offense is good. Don't give them any extra opportunities or a short field to work with.

Notre Dame 28, Michigan State 27: The Irish show resiliency in a big win over one of its rivals.

Offensive MVP: Brady Quinn: The Irish quarterback tosses three touchdown passes and rejoins the Heisman race.

Defensive MVP: Maurice Crum Jr.: The middle-linebacker does a great job playing in space, registering double-digit tackles and forcing a turnover along the way. Top Stories