Thursday, September 20, 2012

What ND/EMU are saying about Michigan/MSU

As I do each Thursday, I thought I would see what the opponents for MSU and Michigan are saying about Saturday’s games.

Notre Dame
Earlier this week, the focus for Notre Dame was on moving past Michigan State.
Brian Hamilton, of The Chicago Tribune, has a piece about Brian Kelly quickly having his team forget about last week’s win and thinking about Saturday’s game with the Wolverines
"As soon as we got in the locker room, (Kelly) brought us down to earth," tailback Cierre Wood said. "He said celebrate, but also know this isn't anything. We haven't reached our peak yet. We haven't done anything."
As of Sunday, Notre Dame (3-0) has a sparkly No. 11 ranking, its best since late 2006. It has a bitter rival visiting for another night-game spectacle. And it has the memory of what happened under similar circumstances last year, as it is possible facial bones never set properly after the Irish fell on them.
The article also talks about the injury issues for the Irish as safety Jamoris Slaughter is now out for the year with a torn Achilles’ tendon. Three of the four starters in the Irish secondary are now in their first year of solid game action.

Eastern Michigan
It has already been a long season for Ron English and Eastern Michigan, as the Eagles are off to a 0-3 start.
It probably won’t get much better on Saturday when the Eagles head to East Lansing to face a Michigan State team eager to get the taste of last week’s game out of its mouth.
Joe Rexrode, of The Detroit Free Press, spoke with English about facing MSU and English didn’t see much weakness in the team.
"They look pretty good to me. That's an excellent football team," English said. "I know they dropped a few spots in the polls after that loss, but I think by the end of the year you'll see Michigan State back in the top 10."
The Eagles (0-3) don't appear to have much of a shot at their first win over MSU in nine tries Saturday. They are coming off a 54-16 loss at Purdue, and English's focus is on improvement this week before an off week and full immersion in Mid-American Conference play.
EMU ranks 120th out of 120 FBS teams in rush defense (312.3 a game) and 116th in total defense (514.3). English said his team has been "feast or famine" against the run -- solid for several plays before yielding a big one.
Another interesting note about this game is that EMU running backs coach is Mike Hart, the very same Mike Hart that made the “Little Brother” comments that have sparked the MSU run over Michigan for the last four seasons.
Hart is not taking interview requests this week.

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