<
>

Notre Dame what to watch: Week 3

What to watch from Notre Dame in its game Saturday night at Michigan State (ABC, 8 ET):

1. Keeping Dayne in the game: The No. 1 priority for the Irish is keeping Dayne Crist healthy and at quarterback. Notre Dame likely would have beaten Michigan last week had Crist not missed the majority of the first half. Head coach Brian Kelly says his quarterback is feeling no ill aftereffects from the head bruise he sustained last week. If the Irish have to turn to their backups again this week, they'll be feeling some ill effects.

2. Safety dance: Notre Dame has been depleted at safety with Jamoris Slaughter (ankle) and Dan McCarthy (soft tissue) sidelined. Harrison Smith and Zeke Motta had to basically play the entire game last week. Michigan State will test the secondary with veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins and receivers Mark Dell and B.J. Cunningham.

3. How tough are the Irish?: Kelly has talked about putting the fight back in the Fighting Irish. Well, here's a good time to find out how far that's come along. Coming off the team's first loss, Notre Dame has to go on the road for the first time this year in a night game. Michigan State will be physical, with defenders such as Greg Jones not afraid to hit people. How will Kelly's team stack up?