WHAT'S AHEAD: Michigan (2-1) visits South Bend this Saturday for a game under the lights. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. (Eastern). The Wolverines were a 46-point favorite and scored early and often in a 63-13 blowout of Massachusetts in Ann Arbor last Saturday as Denard Robinson collected 397 yards total offense.
--The Irish have given up just 30 points over the first three games. It's been 24 years since Notre Dame gave up that few. In that 1988 national championship season -- their last -- the Irish gave up 27 in the first three contests.
--Notre Dame will maintain its status as a football independent but will play five games against conference foes when it moves its affiliation in all sports but football and hockey from the Big East to ACC in 2014. That could put at least some traditional rivalries in jeopardy in future schedules, but athletic director Jack Swarbrick said that's not necessarily so. "We are still going to be in California every year and we are still going to find ways to get into southwest. And of course, this gives us a great East Coast footprint and we want to make sure we keep a Midwest presence, too." Notre Dame plays Purdue, Michigan State and Michigan on a yearly basis and also has longstanding rivalries with Stanford, Navy and USC.
--According to the South Bend Tribune, coach Brian Kelly jokingly told his staff the Irish were actually bound for the SEC. "They didn't laugh," Kelly said.
KEEP AN EYE ON
Freshman DE Sheldon Day, who had his first career sack and a pass break up on consecutive plays. That forced the Spartans to opt for a field goal with 3:43 left in the second quarter.
PK Kyle Brindza had a much smoother outing this week. He hit two fourth-quarter field goals -- including a 47-yarder -- and added two extra points. Playing for the second straight week in place of injured Nick Tausch, Brindza missed his first collegiate try last week against Purdue then bounced back to nail a 27-yard game-winner against the Boilermakers.
STILL NEEDS WORK
QB Everett Golson and Notre Dame's offense are still undergoing a shakedown although the offensive line showed considerable improvement this week. "We're not even close to where we want to be, especially on the offensive side of the ball." Golson fell short of a chance for an early score when he missed on a throw to wide-open receiver Chris Brown. "He just needs a lot more seasoning and he's going to get it," Kelly said. "He's got a great demeanor, he gets it and he's going to continue to get better."
QUOTE TO NOTE
"(It was a) tough day at the office I guess you could say. Without watching the film, you don't really have a great idea about the breakdowns but we didn't run the football, we didn't protect the quarterback very well and we had some drops. We need to have more explosive plays on offense. We didn't get in the red zone and missed a field goal. ... Notre Dame did a great job with their quarterback. Zero turnovers, he avoided pressure and did a nice job throwing the ball to the wide side of the field." -- Spartans coach Mark Dantonio.
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