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Irish Insights

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Michigan State issues

Michigan State has kept its offense pretty simple in wins over Western Michigan and Florida Atlantic to start the season.

The Spartans have run the ball on 67 of their 106 plays in the first two games.

Edwin Backer has run for 300 yards, Le'Veon Bell has 190 rushing yards. And Michigan State hasn't even gotten to its third option at running back, Larry Caper, who has missed the first two games with a hand injury.

"Their system is set up to accentuate their running game," Irish coach Brian Kelly said. "They have always been known as an offense that loves to run the football. They have such great depth at that position with the third back not even playing yet, but arguably, may be one of their best."

But Michigan State isn't only about the run. Junior quarterback Kirk Cousins has thrown for 328 yards, completing 57.9 percent of his passes, and threw for a touchdown in each of the first two games.

To get ready for Cousins, Notre Dame has used freshman quarterback Andrew Hendrix on the scout team.

"He came out of a pro-style offense, so he's pretty familiar with it," Kelly said of Hendrix. "He's got a great arm and really gives our defense a great look."

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