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Notre Dame7671030
Michigan10177741
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41


(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
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
Final
SFG 11
KAN 4
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
Final
WASU 37
ARZ 59
Final
CLEM 16
SYR 6
Final
LAMON 18
TXST 22
Final
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 34
Final
COLST 45
WYO 31
Final
LSU 10
MISS 7
Final
TENN 20
ALA 34
 
Final
AUB 42
SCAR 35
Final
PSU 24
OSU 31
 
3rd
UTAH 10
USC 14
 
Half
WASH 0
ARST 10
 
1st
HAW 0
NEV 0
 
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
Final
TOR 1
BOS 4
Final
NYI 7
DAL 5
Final
PHI 4
DET 2
Final
OTT 2
NJD 3
Final
MON 3
NYR 1
Final
STL 3
CHI 2
Final
NAS 0
PIT 3
Final
MIN 7
TAM 2
Final
ARI 2
FLA 1
3rd
CAL 1
WAS 3
 
3:00pm Today
WIN
COL
 
4:00pm Today
LOS
CLB
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
OTT
 
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
SJS
 
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
WAS
 
9:30am Today
ATL
DET
1:00pm Today
CIN
BAL
1:00pm Today
NYJ
BUF
1:00pm Today
NEP
CHI
1:00pm Today
TEN
HOU
1:00pm Today
JAC
MIA
1:00pm Today
TAM
MIN
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
1:00pm Today
KAN
STL
4:05pm Today
ARI
PHI
4:25pm Today
PIT
IND
4:25pm Today
CLE
OAK
8:30pm Tonight
NOS
GBP
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14