Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/22/12

After Michigan has dominated this matchup the last two seasons I believe the Irish will be able to win this game at home to improve to 4-0.

Here are three bold predictions for tonight's game.

1. Denard Robinson will not be able to run around Notre Dame like he has in the past. He will be held to less than 50 yards rushing.

Denard Robinson is one of the most exciting players in college football and will look to get back into the Heisman discussion by having a huge game vs. Notre Dame.

He has had great success throwing and running the ball the last two years vs. the Irish and many expect him to do it again. In 2010, Robinson threw for 244 yards while also running for an astonishing 258 yards.

However, I believe Notre Dame has a new determination this season and will have another good game on defense. Their front seven has been fantastic thus far and have been preparing all week to stop Robinson.

Manti Te'o will be all over the field and should be able to contain the fast quarterback. Since the game is in South Bend, I do not see Robinson duplicating the same success he has had the past two years vs. Notre Dame. I believe he will rush for under 50 yards and his offensive lineman will be picking him up off the ground many times.

2. Cierre Wood will get more touches and make big plays including one touchdown.

Cierre Wood has been the starting running back for the Irish the last two seasons and is one of their most exciting true playmakers on the roster. He was suspended the first two games of the year and is trying to get back into the rotation.

Last week’s game vs. Michigan State he was able to get some carries and make a positive impact on the game for his team. He had 10 rush attempts for 56 yards. His highlight run towards the end of the game showed flashes of last season and is why I believe he will step up and have a great game vs. the Michigan Wolverines.

Wood plays better at home and should see more carries in his second game back from suspension. I expect him to have a few big plays including an important touchdown for the Irish.

3. Denard Robinson will have success throwing against Notre Dame's young cornerbacks but will end up throwing two interceptions.

Notre Dame has had a great start to the season on defense and has had a pleasant surprise regarding its starting cornerbacks. Bennett Jackson is a redshirt sophomore who played in nine games for the Irish last season and the other is true freshman KeiVarae Russell who is starting for injured Lo Wood who is out for the season.

Both were wide receivers/running backs that have been converted to cornerbacks. However, they have shown great pass coverage skills and have not made any major mistakes so far this season.

Starting safety Jamoris Slaughter for Notre Dame was hurt last week vs. Michigan State and will not be able to play in this game. That means another young replacement will be starting and should be exploited by Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson.

I believe Robinson will have success throwing the ball rather than running the ball this game. He should post over 200 yards passing while trying to lead his team to a victory. Unfortunately, I think the Wolverines will be playing catch-up at the end of the game and attempt too many deep passes which increases the chances of interceptions.

I think Robinson will be picked off twice tonight vs. the Irish. Tipped balls and bad decisions can result in negative plays for the Wolverines.

Final Score: Notre Dame wins 23-17



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