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(14) Notre Dame (1-0) at (17) Michigan (1-0)



Saturday, September 7, 8 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By Scott Haynes, College Football Senior Editor

GAME NOTES: Top 25 foes collide in the Big House, as the 17th-ranked Michigan Wolverines play host to the 14th-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

Brady Hoke's Wolverines began the post-Denard Robinson era with an impressive display against Central Michigan, routing the Chippewas last weekend in Ann Arbor, 59-9. Last season, Michigan posted an 8-5 record, with the five losses coming against powerhouse teams in Alabama, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Ohio State and South Carolina, all outside of Ann Arbor.

Brian Kelly's Irish certainly have a lot to live up to. Last year's squad ran the table in the regular season and entered the BCS National Championship game with a perfect 12-0 record. However, the team's weaknesses were revealed in an ugly 42-14 loss to Alabama. Notre Dame opened the 2013 campaign last weekend at home and posted a 28-6 win over Temple.

These two teams have won a collective 20 national titles and rank first and second in terms of all-time winning percentage. Michigan leads the country at .7341 (904-315-36), while Notre Dame is a close second at .7339 (866-301-42).

This is the 41st all-time meeting in this series, with the Wolverines holding a 23-16-1 advantage. Notre Dame won last year's matchup in South Bend, forcing six turnovers, including five interceptions, en route to a 20-3 victory.

No added storylines are necessary when these two teams meet.

"Well, we go on the road this week against a very good opponent in Michigan," said Kelly. "Excited about the opportunity. Certainly we'll have to play very good football. It's a great and historic rivalry that we'll be playing this Saturday, so let's get that out of the way right away so we don't have to answer any more questions about this rivalry. We're excited about the game, excited about playing it. This will be decided by the players on the field and the preparation that goes along with it so we can stick to that and dispense with the nonsense."

The Irish didn't light up the scoreboard last weekend against the Owls, although they did fill up the stat sheet by churning out an impressive 543 yards of offense. The ground game was credited with 188 of those yards and featured several RBs making contributions, led by Amir Carlisle (68 yards, 9.7 ypc), Cam McDaniel (65 yards, 5.4 ypc) and George Atkinson III (4.2 ypc, one TD).

The threat of the run definitely helped quarterback Tommy Rees, who earned the starting job after Everett Golson was ruled ineligible. Rees definitely has some confidence heading into this matchup, after torching the Owls, completing 16-of-23 passes, for 346 yards and three TDs. All-American candidate T.J. Jones led the way with six catches, for 138 yards in the win, but it was DaVaris Daniels who took two of his three receptions to the end zone.

Replacing everything Heisman runner up Manti Te'o brought to the Irish defense is impossible. Notre Dame will be charged with finding a new identity on that side of the football in 2013. Luckily for Kelly, there are plenty of standout playmakers who should step up. Veteran linebackers Dan Fox and Carlo Calabrese provide leadership in the middle. Fox led the team with 10 tackles against Temple, while Calabrese finished with nine stops and a fumble recovery.

Up front, Notre Dame has a pair of All-American caliber players in end Stephon Tuitt and tackle Louis Nix III. Tuitt was an All-American in 2012 and opened this season with one of the team's two sacks against Temple. Nix may be the best nose guard in the country at a mammoth 6-3, 357 pounds.

Michigan may no longer have Robinson under center but Devin Gardner did a pretty good impression in the Wolverines' rout of Central Michigan. The 6-4 signal-caller led an offensive attack that rolled up 463 yards against the Chippewas, including 242 yards on the ground. Gardner was responsible for just 52 of those yards, but did score two of the team's six rushing touchdowns. He also found time to complete 10-of-15 passes, for 162 yards and one TD.

Michigan showed patience and balance in its rushing attack, as both senior Fitzgerald Toussaint and freshman Derrick Green led the way in terms of carries, combining for three touchdowns.

The team doesn't have a standout receiver after one game, as eight different players caught passes against the Chippewas. However, senior Jeremy Gallon did lead the way with four catches, for 47 yards and one score.

The defensive numbers for Michigan are probably skewed due to the competition thus far and the Wolverines should be tested more in this one. Still, the team limited CMU to just 210 yards of total offense, including a meager 66 yards rushing (2.3 ypc). In addition, UM registered nine TFL, four sacks and two turnovers.

Junior middle linebacker Desmond Morgan led the way in the win with seven total tackles. Fellow linebacker Cameron Gordon got off to a fast start as well, posting four tackles, 2.5 TFL and two sacks.

Hoke knows his young Wolverines have a tough task ahead of them.

"Does it make you a little nervous when you have a young football team playing in this environment? I think the best thing we do is try to educate them as to what it's going to be like," said Hoke in his weekly press conference. "We started that last night. They're off today, but on Tuesday, we'll talk more about the atmosphere and have some of the older kids talk about what it's going to be like. That's part of it. With technology today, you can show them it. We also talk about not being distracted. That's taking care of your job and being accountable to your teammates."

Michigan is one of just four schools with a winning record against Notre Dame. The Wolverines should be able to add to their win total here, as the Irish have some things to work out on both sides of the ball.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Michigan 20, Notre Dame 17

09/04 10:46:39 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UNC 66
BUT 74
Final
ECU 73
HAW 75
Final
DUKE 93
FUR 54
1st
CHA 22
POR 25
 
1st
NCSU 28
RICH 26
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
CAR
1st
PHI 13
BRK 25
 
1st
ORL 16
GSW 23
 
1st
CHA 22
POR 25
 
1st
CLE 19
WAS 10
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
LAC
7:30pm Tonight
DAL
NYK
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
MIL
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
SAC
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
UTA
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
IND
9:00pm Tonight
PHO
DEN
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
MEM
Final
UNC 66
BUT 74
Final
FRES 64
MAR 68
Final
CHAT 61
RMU 46
Final
EMICH 68
ROCH 35
 
Final
MRGST 51
LIB 50
 
Final
HAMP 60
AMER 64
 
Final
BEL 78
DEN 57
Final
UMASS 79
NE 54
Final
JMU 79
SHU 72
 
Final
KNST 84
SAMF 71
 
Final
ECU 73
HAW 75
Final
CHAM 60
MIZZ 74
Final
CCAR 61
LAMON 48
Final
OKLA 75
UCLA 65
Final
ELON 65
UNF 72
 
Final
UWMIL 66
ORU 69
Final
WCU 66
CHIST 61
 
Final
DUKE 93
FUR 54
1st OT
BYU 81
PURD 83
 
2nd
EVAN 67
USF 54
 
1st
COL 20
GTDNS 18
 
1st
VERM 16
BRY 9
 
1st
OSU 24
CAMP 10
 
1st
LOU 13
CLST 6
 
1st
UCF 19
DAVID 21
 
1st
IONA 29
DELST 19
 
1st
OU 16
UGST 24
 
1st
TOWS 24
GOUCHER 12
 
1st
ND 28
GRAM 16
 
1st
YALE 24
LAF 14
 
1st
GWU 18
LONG 8
 
1st
VT 14
UMO 9
 
1st
WAKE 25
MNTER 8
 
1st
NAVY 14
PSUHARRIS 9
 
1st
NCSU 28
RICH 26
 
1st
MINN 17
STJ 18
 
1st
JVU 23
TRINBAPT 23
 
1st
YOUNG 21
UMKC 10
 
1st
UAB 8
WISC 18
 
7:30pm Tonight
CORN
CAN
7:30pm Tonight
WVU
VMI
8:00pm Tonight
PITT
KYST
8:00pm Tonight
DEP
LEH
 
8:00pm Tonight
UNT
MVSU
 
8:00pm Tonight
MARS
MORE
8:00pm Tonight
TCU
RAD
 
8:00pm Tonight
SELA
TENT
 
8:00pm Tonight
SMU
TXSOU
 
8:00pm Tonight
UTAH
TXPA
8:00pm Tonight
LMU
UCR
8:00pm Tonight
SCAR
UNCA
 
8:00pm Tonight
SD
WAYNEST
 
8:30pm Tonight
UWGB
FLGC
8:30pm Tonight
IOWA
NILL
9:00pm Tonight
ORST
AUB
9:00pm Tonight
MONT
CARROLLMT
 
9:00pm Tonight
SUTAH
EKENT
9:00pm Tonight
NMST
FAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
WYO
STET
 
9:05pm Tonight
EWASH
NKENTUCKY
 
9:05pm Tonight
IDST
WLVRN
 
9:30pm Tonight
GEOR
UF
9:30pm Tonight
GONZ
UGA
9:30pm Tonight
NIOWA
NW
10:00pm Tonight
SDST
ARZ
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
CPSL
10:00pm Tonight
UCD
UTST
10:30pm Tonight
NDAK
ALAST
11:00pm Tonight
CSNO
PORST
11:30pm Tonight
AKAN
PAC
11:30pm Tonight
OKST
TULSA
1st
NYI 1
WAS 0
 
1st
BUF 0
WIN 1
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
CAR
7:30pm Tonight
TAM
NYR
7:30pm Tonight
DET
PHI
7:30pm Tonight
PIT
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
LOS
9:00pm Tonight
COL
CHI
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
CAL