Who: Michigan @ Notre Dame
When: Saturday, September 11, 2010; 3:30 ET
Line: Notre Dame -4
Forecast: High of 67º; showers and thunderstorms before 2pm
Two of college football’s most storied programs collide again tomorrow in a game that should say a lot about the strength of each team this season. With both teams coming off of decisive victories last week, its still too difficult to tell just how good either team is. And there’s the drama. For the Irish, revenge should be on their minds after last year’s thrilling defeat in Ann Arbor. For the Wolverines, a victory would signify progress as head coach Rich Rodriguez continues to develop his system, and move the program towards relevance once again among college football’s elite programs. What does all of this mean for the Wolverines? Well, its a mixed bag. On one hand, history tells us that the Wolverines have struggled in South Bend. In fact they’ve only won 4 times since 1978. The weather forecast should give Michigan fans pause as well. The last time the two teams met in South Bend, the conditions were also wet and Michigan turned the ball over 6 times! Oh and one more thing, Rich Rod has only won 1 game on the road during his tenure. Quarterback Nick Sheridan led the Wolverines to a victory against the hapless Minnesota Golden Gophers (thanks Milman).
Still, glaring facts notwithstanding, Michigan has clear advantages over Notre Dame in the personnel department. Neither team plays great defense. But both have weapons on the offensive side of the ball. For Michigan, quarterback Denard Robinson is as dangerous as they get. For Notre Dame, first year starter Dayne Crist has the talent to make Michigan’s weak secondary pay by connecting to either tight end Kyle Rudolph or wide receiver Michael Floyd. So, as is often the case in football, the game comes down to the trenches, and there, Michigan clearly has the edge. Michigan brings back an experienced group featuring senior guard Stephen Schilling and junior center David Molk, while only 3 of Notre Dame’s 10 offensive linemen have actually started a game. While I doubt Robinson will equal his performance from last week, the offense will prove too much for the Irish D. Michigan 31 Notre Dame 24