Michigan State (1-0) at Notre Dame (1-1)
When: Saturday, September 17th 2016
Where: Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, IN
Time: 7:30 ET | TV: NBC
Michigan State will get their first test of the season when they visit the 18th-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Saturday night. The Spartans had some intense practices during their bye week after the offense was very inconsistent in a 28-13 win over FCS member Furman. Senior Tyler O’Connor is taking over at quarterback after spending three years backing up Connor Cook and threw three touchdowns against Furman. O’Connor started last year’s game at Ohio State in place of the injured Cook and threw for just 89 yards, but came out with a huge 17-14 victory. The Spartans have had two weeks to prepare for Notre Dame due to an early bye in Week 2. “The biggest thing for us was to make sure that we came out of last week as if we had played a game,” Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio told reporters. Michigan State has won nine of its last 12 games against ranked opponents and will rely on a defense that was ranked 11th nationally against the run in 2015.
Notre Dame will be playing it’s third game and second tough contest in three weeks. The Irish fell at Texas in Week 1 bye the score of 50-47 and bounced back with an easy 39-10 against Nevada. DeShone Kizer was named the full-time starter over Malik Zaire after throwing five touchdown passes in the loss to Texas and cemented his position with another solid performance against the Wolfpack. Kizer completed 15-of-18 passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns in the Week 2 win and added a rushing score. Sophomore running back Josh Adams leads the team in rushing with 149 yards and a 7.1 yards a carry average, but has yet to find the endzone. Another sophomore leads this young and talented team in receiving. Equanimeous St. Brown has 11 catches for 160 yards and two scores. Notre Dame has taken three straight in the 77-meeting rivalry, which dates back to 1897.
Seven points seems like a lot against a team ranked 8th in the country, but Michigan State hasn’t been tested and they didn’t look good against Furman. The Irish are incredibly talented and really should win this game easily. I don’t trust O’Connor yet.
Pick: Notre Dame -7