Friday, September 16, 2011
What to watch: Week 3 vs. Michigan State
By Matt Fortuna
Here are a few things to look out for Saturday as Notre Dame looks to break into the win column:
Return of the freshmen ends: Aaron Lynch and Stephon Tuitt didn't play last week because of the Michigan team they faced and the small number of plays (50) the Wolverines ran. But that should change this week against a physical MSU offense that will almost certainly run more plays and look to wear down the Irish front-four. Brian Kelly said as much this week.
Big day for Theo Riddick: With his punt return duties gone, Riddick bounced back Saturday, grabbing six catches for 62 yards and two scores. He had career-highs of 10 catches and 128 yards in last year's game at MSU, and with all the focus expected to be on Michael Floyd once again, don't be surprised if the junior gets a chance to replicate his performance from a year ago.
Regular playing conditions: As mesmerizing as it may have been to play in front of the largest crowd in college football history, and as unnerving as it must have been to have nearly three hours of delays, Notre Dame can expect a regular, old-fashioned afternoon home game in nice weather Saturday. Forecasts call for temperatures to reach the 70s, with no sign of precipitation. Considering the schedule calls for at least four more night games, the Irish probably shouldn't get too used to it.