Week 3: Notre Dame

When: September 15th, 3:30PM
Where: Ann Arbor, MI

Overview: If this game goes anything like the one I played on my brand-spanking new copy of NCAA Football 08 for Xbox last night, then on September 15th, I'll be one happy camper. Almost as happy as I was last year when the boys in blue put an ole' fashioned hurtin' on the Irish just as I was walking down the isle. Yes, the football gods were gracious enough to give my wife and I the most unexpected of wedding gifts; a huge Michigan win in South Bend. Nothing sweeter.

However, wins like that one come very far and few between in a rivalry like this. Notre Dame is far too proud and Charlie Weis is far too good of a coach to allow that to happen again. Even though this match will be played within the friendly confines of the big house, something tells me it will be a tough one.

However, this game not being the first honest test for Michigan of f the season (see: Oregon), Michigan's fate will rest heavily on the performance of a week earlier. A win against Oregon will make this game that much bigger in terms of putting together an undefeated September. A loss to Oregon will make this game (and all of the rest actually) a must win. However, a loss to either school will not necessarily mean that Michigan is out of the title hunt. But the road will be that much more tougher.

What to watch for: I really like the Michigan defense in this game. The matchups are heavily in Michgan's favor. Notre Dame has a new QB. Which, given Brady Quinn's performance last year, might be a good thing. Lets face it, he can't do much worse. A young QB in a hostile environment is never usually a good thing. So unless this guy turns out to be a total stud, look for Michigan to really put on the pressure. However, also look for Notre Dame to try to establish a ground attack. That could be their greatest source of success.

Michigan will once again take the game and try and drag it out. Running Hart at least 25-30 times will not be that surprising...especially since about 3 DB's will have at least one eye on Manningham this year. So look for short dump offs and screens to RBs and tight ends.

Preduction: Michigan 24-14

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