Michigan State looms as Irish attempt to bounce back

Michigan State has beaten Notre Dame in seven of their last nine meetings. But the Spartans might just be the perfect opponent for a struggling Irish squad.

Updated: September 21, 2006, 4:25 PM ET
By Adam Rittenberg | Special to ESPN.com
Maybe Charlie Weis is right. Maybe Michigan State is the perfect opponent for a Notre Dame team needing to revive and replenish straight away.

The Spartans are undefeated and talented, enjoying their typical September boom (before their October slide). They have owned Notre Dame, winning seven of the last nine meetings. And don't forget about flag-gate, the impromptu 'pole dance by Michigan State players on the 50-yard line at Notre Dame Stadium following last season's overtime win.

"They're riding high, they have a lot of confidence playing against us, they've had a little roll going against Notre Dame," said Weis, the second-year Irish coach. "There's a lot of factors that get the players' attention."