A Glance at ND's Opponents

Here is a rundown of how Notre Dame's opponents played last Saturday.

***Michigan (0-2): The spread offense got the Wolverines again. A week after its embarrassing home loss to Appalachian State, Michigan's defense couldn't stop Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon and the Ducks' wide-open attack, falling hard, 39-7. The last time Michigan opened a season with two-straight home losses was 1959.

Making matters worse, the Wolverines will head into Saturday's game against Notre Dame without quarterback Chad Henne. A lower-leg injury in the second quarter knocked the senior signal-caller out of the game in the second quarter. Freshman Ryan Mallet, the consensus second-ranked quarterback recruit behind Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen, is expected to start against the Irish. He was 6-of-17 passing for 49 yards and an interception, as Michigan only gained 54 yards in the second half.

Senior running back Michael Hart, who guaranteed a Michigan win this weekend, ran for 124 of his 127 yards in the first half, before a thigh bruise got him late in the second quarter. He should be fine for the Notre Dame game.

Oregon had 624 yards of offense, 390 coming in the first half, as Michigan's defensive woes continued. Dixon threw for 292 yards and three touchdowns, and also ran for 76 yards and another score.

Michigan was susceptible to the big play. Brian Paysinger got behind the defense for an 85-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter. Dixon found Derrick Jones for a 61-yard score in the second quarter. Jaison Williams had a 46-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter.

***Michigan State (2-0): As usual, the Spartans are playing well early in the season.

Michigan State shook off a rough first half, beating Bowling Green 28-17 at Spartan Stadium. First-year starter Brian Hoyer, completed 17-of-29 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns. The junior hooked up with Devin Thomas four times for 156 yards and a fourth-quarter score.

Jehuu Caulcrick, a 6-foot, 255-pound bulldozer added a five-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, giving Michigan State a 21-14 lead. Caulcrick had four touchdowns in the Spartans' season-opening 55-18 win over the University Alabama-Birmingham.

Kendell Davis-Clark had 12 tackles, and Jonal Saint-Dic wreaked havoc with three sacks.

The Spartans host Pittsburgh this Saturday, before traveling to Notre Dame for their first road game.

***Purdue (2-0): The Boilermakers had the top offense in the Big Ten last season, and they look like the league's best again. Curtis Painter tied a school record with six touchdowns passes, leading Purdue to a 52-6 victory over Eastern Illinois.

Painter joined Drew Brees, who did it twice, and Kyle Orton in the six-touchdown club. He completed 38-of-49 passes for 348 yards. Dorien Bryant caught 12 of those balls for 111 yards and a touchdown.

Purdue held Eastern Illinois to 236 total yards.

The Boilermakers host Central Michigan on Saturday.

***UCLA (2-0): The Bruins held off a late BYU rally, and ended the Cougars 11-game winning streaking, with a 27-17 victory at home.

Now ranked No. 11, UCLA built up a 20-3 halftime lead. Trey Brown had a 56-yard interception return for a score in the first quarter, and Kahlil Bell added a four-yard scoring run in the second. But BYU scored on its first two possessions of the second half.

Chris Markey, who rushed for 50 yards on 16 carries, iced the game with a four-yard scoring run with under two minutes to go. Bell ran for a team-high 79 yards on 16 carriers, as the Bruins go with a two-back attack.

UCLA plays at Utah on Saturday.

***Boston College (2-0): The Eagles forced seven turnovers, and ruined Tom O'Brien's return to the campus he coached at the previous 10 seasons, in a 37-17 victory over North Carolina State.

No. 21 Boston College picked off five Harrison Beck passes, and scored 23 points off of turnovers.

Andre Callender ran for 158 yards and two touchdowns. He had a long of 68 yards. Quarterback Matt Ryan struggled, completing just 15-of-34 passes, for 142 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

The defense was the story. Senior free safety Jamie Silva had two interceptions, and helped hold North Carolina State to just 56 yards rushing.

The Eagles play at No. 15 Georgia Tech on Saturday.

***USC (1-0): The top-ranked Trojans were off this past weekend. They travel to No. 14 Nebraska on Saturday.

***Navy (1-1): The Midshipmen played now No. 13 Rutgers tough, but fell to the much more talented host, 41-24, last Friday night.

The nation's top rushing attack the past three seasons, Navy ran for 254 yards against Rutgers. The week before in the win over Temple, the Middies rushed for 361 yards.

Trailing 24-7 at the half, quarterback Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada scored on the opening possession of the second half. Ketric Buffin then intercepted Rutgers quarterback Mike Teel on the ensuing drive. But Kaheaku-Enhada was intercepted in the end zone, and Navy never got closer.

Navy hosts Ball State on Saturday.

***Air Force (2-0): The Falcons beat Utah for the first time in five years, stopping the Utes twice from the 1-yard line with under 1:25 to play, winning on the road, 20-12.

Expected to open up its attack this season, Air Force quarterback Shaun Carney ran for 113 yards, including a 53-yard run in the fourth quarter, setting up a Jim Ollis touchdown run. Air Force went up 17-6 at that point.

In the season opener, Carney threw for 176 yards and a touchdown, and Kip McCarthy ran for 129 yards to lead Air Force past South Carolina State, 34-3.

Air Force hosts TCU on Thursday.

***Duke (0-2): The Blue Devils lost their conference opener to host Virginia, 24-13, extending the nation's longest losing streak to 22 games.

Duke quarterback Thaddeus Lewis completed just 14-of-30 passes for 137 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. The sophomore was a high school teammate of Notre Dame freshman running back Armando Allen.

As usual, not a lot of positives for Duke. Patrick Bailey had nine tackles. Chris Davis and Adrian Aye-Darko each added eight tackles from their safety positions.

Duke plays at Northwestern on Saturday.

***Stanford (0-1): The Cardinal did not play last Saturday. They host San Jose State for the 62nd time this weekend, renewing the South Bay Rivalry.

***Georgia Tech (2-0): Up to No. 15 in Sunday's poll, Georgia Tech followed up its 33-3 season-opening win over Notre Dame in South Bend, with a 69-14 thrashing of Samford in the program's home opener.

In only playing the first quarter, senior Tashard Choice continued his outstanding play, running for 110 yards and two touchdowns. Choice has run for over 100 yards in nine-straight games, breaking the century mark on his career-long 73-yard scoring run.

The Yellow Jackets 45 points in the first half was a school record.

Freshman Jonathan Dwyer, who scored his first career touchdown against Notre Dame, showed he's is the back of the future, running for 138 yards and three touchdowns on just nine carries. Georgia Tech ran for 380 yards on the afternoon.

Quarterback Taylor Bennett was 8-of-9 passing for 85 yards.

Georgia Tech hosts No. 21 Boston College, a future Irish opponent, this Saturday night.


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