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Notre Dame

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Notre Dame
at Michigan State
When: 8 p.m. today
Radio: 1190 AM, 92.3 FM, 107.3 FM
Associated Press
Notre Dame tight end and Bishop Dwenger grad Tyler Eifert is expected to play tonight after a concussion against Purdue last week.

Irish expecting more rugged play

– Notre Dame had plenty of bumps and bruises after last weekend’s 20-17 victory over Purdue.

And the No. 20 Irish (2-0) are expecting more of the same tonight when they travel to play No. 10 Michigan State (2-0).

“All of the Big Ten teams are like that,” center Braxston Cave said of the physical nature of last week and the same tough game that is expected tonight.

Notre Dame had eight players removed during the win over Purdue because of various injuries.

Tight end Tyler Eifert, a Bishop Dwenger graduate, suffered a slight concussion; safety Jamoris Slaughter injured his shoulder; defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore hurt his right calf; defensive end Sheldon Day suffered from dehydration and cramps; linebacker Manti Te’o bruised his sternum; linebacker Ishaq Williams had an elbow contusion; quarterback Everett Golson hurt his thumb; and receiver DaVaris Daniels sprained his ankle.

All of those players are expected to be available to play tonight.

But the Irish could have another game where everyone has to be ready to step in for an injured player.

“Big guys. Huge guys. Power football,” nose guard Louis Nix III said of what comes to mind when he hears Michigan State.

“It’s like punch you in the mouth. They want to come right at you. They don’t want to do these trick plays or none of that. They just want to come straight at you and pound you in the face.”

Coming straight at somebody is how Eifert suffered his concussion. The 6-foot-6, 251-pound senior said he was hurt while blocking.

“It was just a big collision,” Eifert said. “He saw it coming, and it was just two big guys running into each other.

“I was in for like three more plays after it happened, and I came off and some of the guys noticed that I wasn’t right and grabbed the trainer. I didn’t feel right during those plays. I was unsure of the plays that I was actually in after I had the collision, but I remember everything else.”

Michigan State also remembers its 31-13 loss to Notre Dame last year, and the Spartans do not want a repeat of that performance.

“That game was really out of character, and we didn’t feel like we played the tough physical brand of Michigan State football that we are accustomed to playing and we want to play every week,” Spartans quarterback Andrew Maxwell said.

“That’s not something we are accustomed to or used to, and that’s not something that we want to be accused of come (tonight).”