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Irish Insights

  • Irish get more watch list honors
    Three more Notre Dame players were named to watch lists.
  • Brindza on Lou Groza watch list
    Notre Dame's Kyle Brindza was named to the preseason watch list for the 2014 Lou Groza Award. The Lou Groza Award is given annually to the nation's best placekicker.
  • Two more Irish land on watch lists
    Notre Dame center Nick Martin was placed on the watch list for the Rimington Trophy, given annually to the nation's best player at that position.

Another challenge

An already challenging season will not get any easier for Notre Dame this weekend.

The Irish (0-2) play host to No. 15 Michigan State (2-0) at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

"We start again with an opponent that is the reigning Big Ten champ, so after playing in front of 114,000 in a very difficult environment (in Saturday night's 35-31 at Michigan), our guys get another challenge which they're looking forward to, and that is playing against Michigan State," coach Brian Kelly said during his Tuesday news conference.

The Irish and Spartans have played to very close finishes recently. Nine of the last 11 games in the series have been decided by seven points or fewer.

Michigan State stunned Notre Dame last season by pulling off a fake field goal in overtime for a 34-31 win. The Spartans have won 10 of the last 14 games against the Irish.

"You know, I think the down and distance was a bit of a surprise," Kelly said of the Spartans' gamble in last year's game. "We know in that situation, regardless of it, we had to defend it better. But, no, I thought it was a great call. It worked."