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Michigan-Notre Dame Preview Capsule

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ANN ARBOR, MI - NOVEMBER 19:  Denard Robinson #16 of the Michigan Wolverines runs for a second quarter touchdown while playing the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Michigan Stadium on November 19, 2011 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

ANN ARBOR, MI – NOVEMBER 19: Denard Robinson #16 of the Michigan Wolverines runs for a second quarter touchdown while playing the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Michigan Stadium on November 19, 2011 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

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No. 18 Michigan (2-1) at No. 11 Notre Dame (3-0), 7:39 p.m. (NBC)

Line: Notre Dame by 6

Series record: Michigan leads 23-15-1

WHAT’S AT STAKE

The Fighting Irish are looking to show they are again a contender on the national stage, trying to improve to 4-0 for the first time since Tyrone Willingham’s first year as coach in 2002. After an embarrassing 41-14 loss to top-ranked Alabama in the opener, the Wolverines are looking to bounce back and regain respect for Big Ten teams that have stumbled at the start of the season.

KEY MATCHUP

Michigan QB Denard Robinson against an inexperienced Notre Dame secondary. Robinson has made the Irish defense look inept the past two seasons, totaling 944 yards in total offense. Two years ago he set a school-record with 502 yards total offense. Last season, he led a fourth-quarter comeback victory for the Wolverines in Ann Arbor. The Notre Dame defense has given up 30 points in the first three games, but has a young secondary and will be without its most experienced player. S Jamoris Slaughter sustained a season-ending injury against Michigan State.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Michigan: WR Roy Roundtree. Last season Junior Hemingway, wearing Desmond Howard’s No. 21 “Michigan Football Legend” jersey caught three passes for 165 yards and a TD against the Irish. This year it will be Roundtree, who last season caught the game-winning 16-yard TD pass against the Irish.

Notre Dame: LB Mani Te’o. After playing what he thought was a sub-par game against Purdue, Te’o played an emotional game following the deaths of his girlfriend and grandmother, making 12 tackles against Michigan State, with a fumble recovery and two pass breakups.

FACTS & FIGURES

Michigan has beaten Notre Dame three straight for the first time 1908, winning all three with touchdowns in the final 27 seconds. … The game will be just the second night game at Notre Dame Stadium in 22 years. The Irish are 6-2 all-time in night games at Notre Dame Stadium. … The Leprechaun Legion, a Notre Dame spirit student group, planned to pass out 7,500 white leis to students at the Friday night pep rally as a show of support for Te’o. … Robinson is a touchdown throw away from becoming only the eighth player in NCAA history to pass for 40 touchdowns and run for 40. … Michigan (.736) and Notre Dame (.732) are the winningest FBS schools.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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