A series of three sets of predictions, we'll start first with the game I expect the Irish to win. With only the spring game underneath the coach's belt, it is hard to get a feel for this team. Of course, I was expecting 9 wins minimum the previous two years, so maybe the less knowledge the better.
One of the few teams on the schedule that had a worse record than Notre Dame (5-7), although they also had one win better than any in the Weis era, beating Ohio State. They return an All-Big 10 wide receiver in Keith Smith and add a QB that started his freshman year at Miami, in Robert Marve. A torn acl for Ralph Bolden leaves the Running Back situation a question mark and there are numerous holes in the defense, including filling all four defensive back spots.
-Notre Dame 38 Pudue 13
Western Michigan (Home)
A that lost 4 games in the MAC and went 5-7 overall, finished third in the MAC West last year. They will be lucky to finish similarly this year which means the Irish should win big.
-Notre Dame 56 WMU 7
Another team from a non-BCS conference, who had a 5-7 record last year that comes to Notre Dame Stadium. They return their leading passer and rusher from last year in Texas transfer QB G.J. Kinne. Last year they lost close games to Boise State (28-21), Houston (46-45) and UTEP (28-24). The offense should be much improved with four returning wide receivers including Damaris Johnson one of the most explosive players in C-USA.
-Notre Dame 45 Tulsa 24
Army (Yankee Stadium)
Another 5 - 7 team from last year. Army should be improved from last year as they have 16 returning starters. Playing them after Navy makes adjusting to the option easier (which is why ND should play them before Navy) but it's still a completely different defense then The Irish will use the rest of the reason. Army's QB Trent Steelman was their first freshman starting QB in the modern era and while no Ricky Dobbs is a good option quarterback.
-Notre Dame 42 Army 10
Michigan (Notre Dame Stadium)
Why not list all the 5-7 teams from last year. I don't expect Michigan's defense to be any good especially after losing Brandon Graham so another big offensive game is expected. Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson are back at QB and are joined by true freshman Devin Gardner, who was one of the top QB recruits in the nation last year. The rest of specialty players are new to the starting line-up outside of TE Kevin Koger. On defense they return Obi Ezeh and that's about it, but they should still improve as they continue to adjust to the Rich-Rod 3-3-5.
-Notre Dame 35 Michigan 24
Those all the guarantee games, I'm willing to make and putting Michigan on this list scares me just because of last year. 5 wins or bust for The Irish you heard it here first. I'll be back with my coin toss games and scare tactics games.
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