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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Michigan vs. Notre Dame Showdown

    On Saturday afternoon Michigan and Notre Dame, the two most successful schools’ in college football history, showdown in Michigan. This weekend’s game will decide whether Michigan or Notre Dame will come out with the 0-3 start- an incredible disappointment for either program. With both teams currently 0-2, goals of rescuing either season seem far from reach. To make things even more interesting, both will have different quarterbacks starting this game than who they began the season with.

    Michigan’s star quarterback Chad Henne injured his leg right before half-time in last week’s embarrassing loss to Oregon. According to the Associated Press, Henne will not play this week and may not be available the following week. Starting in his place will be freshman Ryan Mallett, who finished last week’s game 6-17, with 49 passing yards and an interception. Notre Dame will be starting Jimmy Clausen, who played his first full game last week. Clausen finished 17-31, with 144 yards passing and an interception in a losing effort (31-10) to a tough Penn State defense.

    Michigan’s star running back Mike Hart guaranteed a victory in the press conference following their loss to Oregon, but his assurance seems hard to believe. Though the game is at Michigan, where home-field advantage has seemed to disappear, the game’s location won’t really be an advantage. The deciding factor will be the battle between two highly recruited freshman quarterbacks; with a slight advantage in playing time, Jimmy Clausen should win the game for Notre Dame.

    Due to their disappointing starts, both Charlie Weiss (Notre Dame head coach) and Lloyd Carr (Michigan head coach) have seen their jobs become less secure. Even before the season started, Les Miles (coach of LSU) was speculated to replace Lloyd Carr as Michigan’s head coach. With Michigan’s abysmal start, his name has been brought up once again. Miles, a Michigan alum, leads a LSU team that is currently ranked second in the country, and primed to play for the national championship. The Wolverines would love to steal Miles from LSU after the season. He wouldn’t come cheap, however. If Miles were to leave the Tigers for Michigan, there will be a penalty worth over $1 million due to a clause in his contract that only applies if he were to go to Michigan. Therefore, if Miles were to replace Carr, Miles should and will only leave if Michigan pays the fee.

    As far as Charlie Weiss, he has more room for error than Carr, but his team still must show promise in order to keep the pressure off him. Notre Dame brought Weiss to South Bend expecting him to lead the Fighting Irish to their first bowl game victory after losing each their previous 8 tries. However, despite their respectable record 10-2 in the regular season, Notre Dame lost to LSU in the Sugar Bowl and continuing their bowl-game-losing-streak to nine. Unless Notre Dame turns their season around now, they won’t have a shot to end this losing streak, which is why this game is so important.

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