2012 College Football Preview: No. 19 Notre Dame at No. 10 Michigan State

Game of the Day Preview: No. 19 Notre Dame at No. 10 Michigan State

9/15/12 in NCAAF   |   Tyler_Waddell   |   426 respect

Notre Dame hasn't beat an opponent ranked inside the top 10 since 2005 and is currently on a nine-game losing streak is such contests. The Irish also haven't started a season 3-0 since 2002.Sep 8, 2012; Mt. Pleasant, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans running back Le'Veon Bell (24) jumps into the end zone for a touchdown first quarter against the Central Michigan Chippewas at Kelly/Shorts Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US Presswire

It's safe to say that the odds are in Michigan State's favor, which will take the field after dominating Central Michigan 41-7 last weekend.

While Sparty's defense has been downright impenetrable thus far, the offense has been potent as well, averaging 478.0 yards per game. A lot of this success comes directly from the running game led by Le'Veon Bell, who already has 280 yards on the ground.

What to expect with Notre Dame: Linebacker Manti Te'o to have a huge game. The senior All-American had an awful week that nobody deserves with his grandmother and girlfriend passing away within 48 hours of each other. Te'o, a tackle machine, will perform with a new intensity and could anchor the Irish's front seven to another stellar outing.

What to expect with Michigan State: Le'Veon Bell to receive 40-plus carries. Like the performance against Boise State where he rushed 44 times for 210 yards, the 6-foot-2, 245-pound power back will be the base of the offense. The Spartans have had very good success running the ball at home against Notre Dame lately — they have compiled 406 yards rushing in two games dating back to 2008.

Prediction: Michigan State's barbaric defensive front seven is going to give Notre Dame freshman quarterback Everett Golson some problems. This will be his first prime-time appearance against a top tier opponent and it could get out of hand early.

Although he has great running ability, Golson hasn't seen a defense anywhere near the caliber of that he will face tonight. MSU junior defensive end Will Gholston's name should be called often and Sparty should have no issues keeping Golson in check.

Still, Michigan State QB Andrew Maxwell will need to have a much bigger impact than what he did against Boise State in the season opener. I believe he will.

Michigan State 24, Notre Dame 17 --- via Week 3 predictions


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