Saturday's Keys

No. 9 Notre Dame (8-1) should have an easier time beating Air Force (4-4), Saturday, than Irish fans have finding a local bar to watch the game on television.

Here are the keys to the game.

1. Keep the momentum going on offense: The Irish have gained over 400 yards in wins over Navy and North Carolina the last two weeks, the most productive outputs of the season. The Falcons are another defense Notre Dame should have no problems moving the football against. With not much season remaining, and the big showdown against USC looming, the Irish can't take any steps back on offense.

2. Get up two scores early: With Air Force being a running football team, ranking third nationally at 266.88 yards per game, they obviously would struggle coming from behind. The players on the Falcons team are tough, and the longer they hang around, the more confidence they will gain. The Irish need to take Air Force out of what they like to do and make them throw the ball.

3. Contain Shaun Carney: The Air Force quarterback is their best player, and the guy that makes their offense tick. Carney has rushed for 521 yards and six touchdowns this season. Trevor Laws and Derek Landri need to keep it up with the great penetration they've been getting, and blow up the misdirection plays in the backfield.

Game Prediction: Notre Dame 35, Air Force 14

Offensive MVP: Darius Walker goes for over 200 yards of total offense and three touchdowns, helping the offense roll up a season high in total yards.

Defensive MVP: Tom Zbikowski will play his best game of the season, being in on over 10 tackles and forcing a turnover. Top Stories