USA Today Sports

Game of the Day: Notre Dame at Michigan

Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Michigan Wolverines (-4, 50)

Notre Dame hasn't won at Michigan's "Big House" since 2005, a fact the 13th-ranked Fighting Irish need to remedy Saturday to keep their hopes of getting back to the national championship game alive. The 17th-ranked Wolverines seek their 400th victory at Michigan Stadium - and their 16th straight under coach Brady Hoke. Michigan has won six of its last seven home games versus Notre Dame, including three straight - one shy of its longest home win streak in the series.

The Wolverines hold a 23-16-1 edge in the series between the teams with the two best winning percentages in college football history. But the Irish defense dominated last year's matchup, intercepting Denard Robinson five times in a 13-6 victory. That sort of defensive performance would be even more impressive against this Michigan team, which rolled up 463 yards in a 59-9 win over Central Michigan last week.

TV: 8:12 p.m. ET, ESPN.

LINE: Michigan opened at -3.5 and has been bet up to -4.

WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low-70s and there is a 29 percent chance of thunderstorms in the forecast. Wind will blow toward the north end zone of the Big House at 4 mph.

ABOUT NOTRE DAME (1-0): The Irish faced some turmoil in the offseason, most notably losing quarterback Everett Golson when he was suspended from the school for the fall semester. Tommy Rees stepped in under center and was effective in last week's 24-6 win against Temple, going 16-for-23 for 346 yards and three touchdowns. The defense, dominant during the undefeated regular season a year ago, picked up where it left off but will have its hands full with a Michigan team loaded with talent at the skill positions.

ABOUT MICHIGAN (1-0): The Wolverines' offense flourished last week under quarterback Devin Gardner, who was 10-of-15 for 162 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 52 yards and two scores. Gardner has accounted for at least two touchdowns in six straight games. The defense had a strong showing, as well, holding Central Michigan to 210 total yards and forcing two turnovers as the Wolverines aim for a third consecutive season ranking in the top 20 in the nation in total defense.

TRENDS:

* The Fighting Irish are 4-1 ATS in their last five versus the Big Ten.
* The over is 4-0 in the Wolverines' last four home games.
* The home team is 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings.
* The underdog is 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings.

EXTRA POINTS:

1. Notre Dame is 11-0 when it does not commit a turnover under coach Brian Kelly, whose five-year contract extension was announced Saturday.

2. Michigan K Brendan Gibbons has made a school record-tying 14 consecutive field goals dating to last season.

3. Eighteen of the past 28 meetings have been decided by seven points or fewer.

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Top Response

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10 months ago

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