Notre Dame had every chance in the world to defeat a Michigan team that struggled to score. If not for Dayne Crist's injury in the first quarter, the Irish likely would have won.
Notre Dame backup quarterbacks could only throw interceptions, giving the Wolverines short fields and easy touchdown scores. Michigan quarterback "Shoelace" Robinson put up impressive numbers, but proved unable to consistently lead his team down the field. Two missed field goals has to leave the Wolverines in a position of desperation leading to the Big Ten schedule.
Notre Dame meanwhile now knows that they have the most valuable player in Dayne Crist. A Crist injury leaves the Irish without an opportunity to score, making victory nearly impossible. Coming into the Michigan State game this has to be scary. No team relies upon one player so heavily as Notre Dame does upon their starting QB.
The Spartans come into the game at 2-0 with victories at home over Western Michigan and at Florida Atlantic. They are an untested squad with what appears to be a very dominant running game. This will be the first road test for the Irish this season, and Spartan Stadium can be imposing and loud.
If this year's game is like last year's, it'll be a great game to watch. Last year Michigan State had a chance at the end of the game. With time running out and Notre Dame leading 33-30, Michigan State marched down the field, getting inside the Red Zone. A short pass over the middle landed right in the hands of an Irish linebacker, sealing victory for the Irish.
This year should be a very similar story. The Irish and the Spartans are both good, but neither is top 25 material. With Dayne Crist leading this year's squad, it appears the Irish have an opportunity to win this one on the road. Ultimately, though, the Spartans are the favorites, and should win in a back and forth battle.