It has been a dreadful start to 2011 for the Fighting Irish and Al Dannity says more trouble is in store when the Spartans visit South Bend on Saturday.
No ignoring turnover problems Statistically the Fighting Irish look solid in most departments. Cierre Wood has impressed on the ground and Tommy Rees has put up good numbers in the passing game. There’s one major flaw that can’t be masked by yardage totals. The season may be only two games old but it’s not too soon to say that the Fighting Irish have major problems with ball security. The Irish have turned the ball over 10 times in their first two games. Just for some context, Boise State’s quarterback Kellen Moore has given up 10 interceptions in his entire career. An elite outfit shouldn’t give up the ball that easily. Notre Dame can keep free-wheeling on offense but until they learn to protect the football, they won’t be able to close out games.
First real test for Spartans The Irish are 0-2 but will still be by far the biggest test the Spartans face before Big Ten play. Home wins over Youngstown State, a FCS school, and the Sun Belt’s Florida Atlantic didn’t force the Spartans out of first gear. Michigan State’s defense still managed to stand out in these games as they held FAU to a meagre 44 yards of offense. The offense looks a lot like last season with Kirk Cousins proving efficient if not explosive, completing 79.1 percent of his passes, and the ground game proving the main point of attack for State.
The verdict The sole cause of concern for College Football betting fans should be the strength the Irish have shown against the run so far this season. Michigan State’s rush offense could come up against a brick wall if they try to dominate between the tackles. The Fighting Irish secondary is however perfectly designed for Cousins. I like the Spartans to control this game with a clinical passing game, with B.J. Cunningham as the primary target man. Anything less than a complete about face in turnover margin will leave Notre Dame struggling to find an answer all day. The Fighting Irish should be able to find the end-zone a couple of times but I don’t like them to come out on top in a war. South Bend may be hungry for revenge after last year’s overtime shocker they will have to wait for another day. Michigan State should do more than enough to win as +4.5 underdogs.