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What to watch: Week 4 vs. Michigan

9/20/2012

Here's what to watch for Saturday as Notre Dame hosts Michigan under the lights:

1. A big play from Shoelace. I may as well put "lights," "tackles" and "a big crowd" while I'm at it. The Irish defense is much better equipped this season to handle Denard Robinson, but he will still break off one long run -- say, 40 yards or more -- at some point Saturday night, regardless of how well Notre Dame plays.

2. One quarterback. Amid the ACC news and a sound performance at Michigan State, the "starter-closer" story line has gotten buried. Everett Golson will keep it that way Saturday night, directing an offense that won't need another perfect two-minute drill to get the victory. (Garbage time snaps do not apply to this prediction.)

3. Leis everywhere. The school spirit group, the Leprechaun Legion, will distribute 7,500 white leis to students at Friday night's pep rally to support Manti Te'o after the senior's tragic losses last week. That should make for an interesting sight in the student section, and it is certainly a great cause.