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Irish Insights


Notre Dame-Michigan: 3 things to watch

Notre Dame is playing is playing a home night game for the second straight year as the No. 11 Irish (3-0) play host to No. 18 Michigan (2-1) at 7:30.

Here are three matchups to watch as the Irish try to end a three-game losing streak to the Wolverines:

Notre Dame running back Theo Riddick, Cierre Wood and George Atkinson III vs. Michigan's run defense: The Wolverines game up 247 rushing yards in a season-opening loss to Alabama and are ranked 104th in run defense, giving up 211.3 rushing yards per game. The Irish are averaging 155.7 rushing yards per game, led by Riddick's 63.3 rushing yards average.

Notre Dame's front seven vs. Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson: The Irish are holding opponents to 96.3 rushing yards per game, and they have 11 sacks this season. Robinson has been sacked twice, but he has been a thorn in Notre Dame's side running the ball. He has rushed for 366 yards in the last two games against Notre Dame.

Notre Dame cornerbacks KeiVarae Russell and Bennett Jackson vs. Michigan receivers Devin Gardner and Jeremy Gallon: Russell and Jackson have done well in their first three starts of their career, combining for 21 tackles and two pass breakups. Jackson also has two interceptions. Michigan will likely try to attack the two first-year starters with Gardner and Gallon, who have combined for 301 receiving yards. Gardner has three touchdown catches.

Prediction: Notre Dame 27, Michigan 14