Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/7/13
What would a rivalry be without head coaches verbally sparing just days before its contest? This is what big time college football brings to the table each week-along with the ESPN gameday crew to hype the day.Does anyone care if June Jones of SMU is going after Bob Davies of New Mexico?Everyone listens when its Holtz v. Bo or Akers v. Switzer.Its because of the teams and what is at stake year in and year out. Normally at this point of the year, the teams are undefeated, the polls have them ranked accordingly and references to advancing into the national spotlight and onward to a place in a potential BCS bowl game or BCS Championship attaches itself to the conversation.This is the case with Notre Dame and Michigan each year they face each other, and 2013 is no different.Heres what to look for Saturday night in the Big House:The glaring spot of concern for Notre Dame faithful will simply be the play of Tommy Rees. If Rees does not turn the ball over-the Irish win. And mix in some big plays from his tight end Troy Niklas and receivers TJ Jones and Davaris Daniels and the table turns quickly in favor of a Notre Dame victory.Cough it up while trying to elude Wolverine defenders scrambling with his blazing 5.8 fourty yard dash speed or induce a game of keepaway with their cornerbacks and it gets ugly-especially because the crowd must not be a factor. Not to mention the glow stick bracelets Wolverine Nation will be adorned with.Big play/game changing potential: Edge Michigan with GardnerHe's no Shoelace. Yet. But he clearly mirrors the elusiveness Robinson presented for the Irish. 2 years ago showed that even 80 yards wasn't safe for Notre Dame as Denard ran and threw on the Irish because of his agility and arm in the closing seconds.Defensive Advantage: Clearly Tuit,Nix,Shembo and Day for the IrishBright lights bring out big things from great players. These 4 players must play solid and remain a force until the final gun. Any sign of letting up or worse-injuries- leaves Notre Dame in unchartered waters. So goes the Irish front-so go the Irish.Players to watch for the Irish: All the linebackersFreshman Jaylon Smith will see action again. Fox and Calabrese and Grace need to watch the crossing routes. Temple exploited it a bit.Areas of concern for the Irish: Special teamsThe Irish kickers and holder failed last week trying to instill any level of confidence in the coaches. Field goals are gold on the road and will be crucial for success.Forget this rivalry is ending for a few years. Take in the match between 2 of college footballs greatest teams and winningest teams of all time. Eliminate Brent Musberger overhyping any player-because he will- and you have a great game.A game the Irish should win. 
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