One last time at the Big House
Fri, 06 Sep 2013 03:49:00 GMT —
No. 14 Notre Dame at No. 17 Michigan, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Line: Michigan by 3 1/2
Series record: Michigan 23-16-1.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
The scheduled matchup between the rivals in Ann Arbor, Mich. After next season's game in South Bend, Ind., the storied programs will probably not play again for at least a decade because Notre Dame chose last year to cancel the last three games of the series to help it adjust to playing five games against Atlantic Coast Conference teams.
Michigan's offensive line against Notre Dame's defensive line. The Wolverines broke in three new starters in the middle of their line in last week's tuneup against Central Michigan, but the trio is in for a big test. Wolverines offensive coordinator Al Borges said the Fighting Irish have the best defense he'll see all year, and the unit is led by defensive end Stephon Tuitt and 6-foot-3, 342-pound nose guard Louis Nix.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Notre Dame: Tuitt. The 6-6, 312-pound junior is projected as one of the top picks in the 2014 NFL draft if he skips his senior season.
Michigan: OT Taylor Lewan. The 6-8, 315-pound senior turned down a chance to be a first-round pick to play another year of college.
FACTS & FIGURES
The Big House hosted its first night game two years ago against Notre Dame, and it lived up to the hype. Former Michigan QB Denard Robinson threw 2 TD passes in last 1:12, including one with 2 seconds left in a 35-31 win in front of an NCAA-record crowd of 114,804. Current Notre Dame QB Tommy Reese threw a 29-yard TD with 30 seconds left in the instant classic in 2011. ... Notre Dame picked off five of Robinson's passes last year and forced a sixth turnover in last year's 13-6 win. ... Michigan leads major college football with 904 victories and a .7347 winning percentage and Notre Dame's .7337 winning percentage trails only Michigan and its 866 wins rank third.