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Staff Predictions: A clean sweep for the Irish

Joe Meixell | Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bill Brink, Managing EditorThe offense isn’t the problem. The rushing game has shown remarkable productivity this season and will continue to do so. Neither of Michigan State’s D-ends weigh more than 260 pounds, and Paul Duncan weigh a smidge more than this. Armando Allen will run well. Clausen, Floyd, Tate and Rudolph work effectively, as they have in the past two games. The questons arise on defense: can they stop the run? Can they clamp down to finish a game? I think the defense can, whether they make personnel changes or not. The Irish take an early lead, and Michigan State battles back. But Notre Dame remains the better team and hangs on to win.FINAL?SCORE:?Notre?Dame 30,?Michigan?State 27

Michael Bryan, Associate Sports EditorEven in losing in Ann Arbor the Irish proved they aren’t the same team from the past two years. The 2007 or 2008 Irish never would have come back from two 11-point deficits on the road. This Notre Dame team has the poise and maturity to withstand the Michigan heartbreaker and take care of business at home without opening jitters. A few stitches will not stop Michael Floyd from a 100-yard day, but rushing the ball will be a challenge against the Spartans linebacking corps. The Irish defensive line needs to step up against the run, but Michigan State doesn’t have the personnel or complex systems of Nevada and Michigan. It’s close early, but Notre Dame finally gets a leg up in this rivalry.FINAL?SCORE:?Notre?Dame 35, Michigan State 24

Matt Gamber, Sports EditorI wasn’t sure I believed Charlie Weis when, after Saturday’s loss, he said that this team was different than the last two and would be capable of bouncing back from a tough defeat. But the more I think about it, the more I believe the?Irish will roll on from here. Notre Dame will come out hungry and physically dominate Michigan State on the offensive side of the ball. Michael Floyd and Armando?Allen should both be healthy and ready for big days, along with Jimmy Clausen, Golden?Tate and?Kyle Rudolph. Weis said to look for some changes on the defensive front, and while the?Irish won’t completely shut down the?Spartans’ offense, this one won’t be close at any point. FINAL?SCORE:?Notre?Dame 38, Michigan State 14

Sam Werner, Associate Sports EditorConsidering I was four the last time the Spartans won at Notre Dame Stadium, I can’t say this game will be a walk in the park. Michigan State always plays the Irish tough, especially in South Bend. That being said, though, there’s a certain point where Notre Dame just has to out-talent other teams, right? With no Javon Ringer and a first-year quarterback, the Irish should at least be able to contain the Spartan offense. On the other side of the ball, well, we’ve all seen what Jimmy Clausen and company are capable of. In the bigger picture, this is a game Charlie Weis absolutely has to win. Last week’s loss didn’t help his job security, and a 1-2 start could begin the final countdown.FINAL?SCORE:?Notre?Dame 34, Michigan State 17