Detroit News predictions: Notre Dame at Michigan

The Detroit News

Angelique S. Chengelis, Matt Charboneau, John Niyo and Bob Wojnowski of The Detroit News offer their predictions on the outcome of Saturday’s Michigan vs. Notre Dame game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. (7:30 p.m., ABC/950).

Jim Harbaugh

Angelique S. Chengelis: In the last five meetings between Michigan and Notre Dame, the home team has won, including the Wolverines’ victories under the lights in 2011 and 2013. Of course that will have nothing to do with Saturday night’s game, but it’s an interesting little factoid. Michigan has yet to put together a consistent performance, start to finish, but the way the Shea Patterson-led offense played in the second half at Penn State was encouraging for the Wolverines. The Irish were off last Saturday so they’ve had additional time to prepare for the Wolverines. They’ve played their last three games at Notre Dame Stadium and will be on the road for the first time since playing at Georgia, where they suffered their only loss. Crowd noise was an issue that game for the Irish, and that was evident with six false-start penalties, but will that be an issue at Michigan Stadium? You’d have to believe they’ve gotten that sorted out. Michigan, out of the Big Ten championship hunt, needs a big win, and the players know it. The Wolverines have to be turnover free, for starters, and the defense has to have the type of game it had at home against Iowa when they got after the quarterback. Michigan 24, Notre Dame 21

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Matt Charboneau: It’s back to primetime for the Wolverines as they try and overcome the loss last week at Penn State, a game they played well enough in the second half to win. They’ll need a full four quarters this time if they expect to knock off the Fighting Irish, who take care of the ball and have started to fire up the running attack, going for more than 300 yards against Southern Cal. There’s was a lot to like about Michigan’s offense last week, but the Irish are coming in fresh and will do just enough defensively to head back to South Bend with a win. Notre Dame 28, Michigan 24

John Niyo: The home team has won the last five in this series, and eight of the last nine dating back to Lloyd Carr and Charlie Weis. And for all the talk about Jim Harbaugh's struggles on the road, Brian Kelly hasn't fared much better: His Irish teams are just 2-10 against ranked opponents on the road. Notre Dame's healthier coming off a bye, but Michigan's offense finally found a rhythm in the loss at Penn State. Michigan 23, Notre Dame 17

Bob Wojnowski: Michigan’s offense hopes it found something in the second half last week, as Shea Patterson got comfortable and the receivers made plays. They’ll get more opportunities against a Notre Dame defense susceptible to the pass. But for the Wolverines to grab a coveted win against a top-10 team, the defense will have to throw the book at QB Ian Book. Their pass rush will generate pressure and they’ll slow tailback Tony Jones just enough to pull it out. Michigan 23, Notre Dame 19