Kickoff: Saturday, 8 p.m. ET (ABC)
Spread: Michigan State by 4
Watchability: Obvious. The Irish can prove they belong on the road against a quality opponent. Must-see.
Notre Dame: RB Cierre Wood. Oh, hey, remember him? Wood was suspended for the first two games but will be back for the Spartans. The guy rushed for more than 1,000 yards last season (and two scores against MSU), and it would be huge for him to take pressure off QBEverett Golson, who will be facing a tough defense in just his third collegiate start. LB Manti Te'o is arguably the best linebacker in the country. Although he's not solely responsible for stopping the Spartan run game, it's hard not to think of this game as a match up between Te'o and Michigan State RB Le'Veon Bell.
Michigan State: RB Le'Von Bell. The junior has been an absolute wrecking ball in the first two games. He touched the ball 50 -- fifty -- times in the opener against Boise State, and he figures to again be a major part of the offense Saturday. He'll likely have a tougher time with the Irish defense.
Who could steal the show: Notre Dame: QB Tommy Rees. Although coach Brian Kelly has maintained that Everett Golson is the starter, Rees was responsible for the game-winning drive Saturday against Purdue. If Golson is shaky, don't be surprised if Kelly pulls the trigger early and goes to Rees. Michigan State: QB Andrew Maxwell. All eyes will be on Bell, but Maxwell is no slouch. The Irish had some difficulty with the Navy passing game, so imagine what the Spartans could do. One problem: Maxwell had a bit of an interception problem against Boise State, when he threw three. Straighten that out and Maxwell and his receiving corps can put pressure on an untested Irish secondary.
You going? Ranking the road trip: Go. You should go. Saturday night game in East Lansing against a ranked Notre Dame team. Go.
Magic number for Notre Dame: 10. It has been 10 years since Notre Dame has started a season 3-0. That came in 2002 under Ty Willingham, when the Irish started 8-0.
Magic number for Michigan State: 5. Notre Dame has lost five straight road openers. More bad news for Irish fans: Notre Dame has won only once in 10 tries at Michigan State when the Spartans are ranked.
The game comes down to: Pressure. Notre Dame QB Golson was shaky under pressure against Purdue. He'll have that to deal with, along with this being his first true road test as a college quarterback. [To read Eye on College Football's keys to the Notre Dame/Michigan State game, click here.]
Prediction: Michigan State 21, Notre Dame 20
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the Big East, follow bloggers Evan Hilbert and Matt Rybaltowski @CBSBigEast.