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Live Blog coming — T minus 7 hours until kickoff

Sep 18, 2010, 1:00 PM EDT

The weather report doesn’t look too promising for East Lansing tonight, where the Irish and Spartans could be playing in sporadic thunderstorms. That said, it won’t stop me from live-blogging the event, from the comfortable confines of the Inside the Irish HQ, deep in the heart of USC country.

A couple quick notes:

* After plenty of banter about his cranium, Dayne Crist is healthy and set to start this evening, his first road start, and the first extended experience he’ll have playing in a hostile environment. Kelly mentioned that the spread offense mitigates crowd noise because much of what they do is done with hand signals, but it’ll certainly be a a tough place to win a football game, and we’ll learn a lot about Crist this evening.

* Watching ESPN College GameDay this morning, the crew didn’t have much faith in the Irish. Desmond, Corso, and Herbie all chose the Spartans to win. Not that I’m surprised that Howard picked against the Irish, but a clean sweep against the Irish shows that national expectations might be a little more conservative than Notre Dame fans’ expectations.

* Kelly met with the press for a few minutes after Friday’s walk-through at Spartan Stadium, and he discussed how important keying on linebackers Greg Jones and Eric Gordon is going to be.

“Well, obviously Jones is a guy that you have to worry about,” Kelly said. “You better know where he is. Setting protections, do we fan and go with a tackle on him in their three-down package? You have to know where he is at all times.”

The Irish offensive line has done a nice job protecting Crist thus far, but carrying that momentum into an away game will be critical.

* Not surprisingly, Michigan is sluggish in the first half, falling behind UMass 10-7 midway through the second quarter. It’s almost as if Michigan is trying to showcase Denard Robinson’s throwing ability, though Rich Rodriguez still seems content to give the lion’s share of touches to his 195-pound quarterback. The UMass offense is moving the ball, running the ball fairly consistently against the Wolverines defense, reminding Irish fans what could’ve been during those first two quarters last week.

* Lastly, check back for the final update on the IBG — where I’ve answered the questions that I posed to everyone this week. Let’s just say, I’m looking at you, Darius Fleming. 

  1. sharkey - Sep 18, 2010 at 3:36 PM

    Bah!! A pox on Gameday and their so-called experts!
    GO IRISH!!! and NBC

  2. Jennifer - Sep 18, 2010 at 4:03 PM

    !HERE COME THE IRISH!

  3. jan - Sep 18, 2010 at 6:39 PM

    Come on Irish FAITHful…let’s see more expressions of FAITH in our team. I’m sick of reading all the negativity and the sky is falling mentality. After one close loss, it seems like the Irish fanbase has given up. Maybe the Irish FANS are the ones who are so fragile of psyche and NOT the Irish players. The players haven’t lost all their talent, the coaches haven’t lost all their skills and experience, and MSU isn’t bigger than life. Let’s enjoy a sweet Irish victory tonight. See what you believe instead of waiting to believe what you think you see.

  4. jan - Sep 18, 2010 at 7:52 PM

    Reality Check Irish Fans – review the words to The Fight Song, google them if you must. The words are about We -the Fans – The Loyal Sons (and daughters paranthetically). We and NOT the team are the ones to shake down the thunder, to wake up the echos, to be loyal to ND – what tho the odds be great or small.
    Drop all the negativity and whining – “Oh I’m so disappointed”, “They broke my heart”, “I can’t stand to cheer for them anymore”….Wa Wa Wa. Get a grip. Cheer, Scream, Meditate, Pray, whatever… If you’re truly a ND fan I want your all and total intention and consciousness on a win for the team and not your belly aching and second guessing. Rally Sons (and daughters) of Notre Dame!!!!!!!

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