College Football Preview: Notre Dame Needs a Big Road Win

Al Dannity | Updated Oct 04, 2017

Brian Kelly’s honeymoon in South Bend is over after just two games. Can the Fighting Irish bounce back at Michigan State?

Defense must deliver for Irish Notre Dame’s defense was praised for shutting down Purdue in week 1 but then Denard Robinson came along and racked up 502 yards of total offense to lead Michigan to a 28-24 win in South Bend. The Irish were confounded by Robinson’s ability to beat them with his feet and his arm. Against the Spartans they will only need to worry about the former.

Michigan State has started the season with some bulldozing performances on the ground against cupcake opponents. The Spartans are averaging 261 yards on the ground through two games, albeit against Florida Atlantic and Western Michigan. Edwin Baker’s personal tally of 300 yards on the ground is just 127 yards short of his total for the whole 2009 season. The problem for the Spartans comes through the air. Kirk Cousins has just 328 passing yards and has completed just 57.9 percent of his passes, which is a poor return against teams like the Owls and Broncos.

The more predictable nature of the Spartans should be easier for Brian Kelly’s team to contain. If Dayne Crist can avoid getting knocked out of the game this week, he should be able to do enough with this Irish offense to get a crucial win on the road. Bet on Notre Dame as a +3.5 underdog with Sports Interaction.

Lockdown for Locker Jake Locker, the early favorite to go first in the 2011 NFL draft, will have a chance to make a Heisman-worthy statement this weekend. After failing to light it up against BYU, Locker moved up a gear with 4 passing touchdowns against Syracuse. Now the Washington quarterback comes up against a defense familiar to all College Football betting fans. Nebraska’s Blackshirts are legendary and have been far more impressive than the box scores suggest.

Idaho put up 279 yards but only had two substantial drives, one of which ended in a turnover, before Nebraska sent in its back-ups. Western Kentucky had 299 yards of total offense but no drives of note outside of garbage time. In two games the Cornhuskers have forced 8 turnovers and this should prove the difference on Saturday. For all Locker’s talent, he hasn’t got a lot to work with. Nebraska’s defense will force turnovers and ensure a comfortable victory. Bet on Nebraska as a -3.0 favorite with Sports Interaction.