We’re taking a look at some key matchups for the Notre Dame football when Michigan has the ball Saturday.
As the countdown to the Notre Dame football season-opener shifts from months and weeks to days and hours, the excitement levels of both fanbases are in the stratosphere with no signs of coming down before 7:30pm ET Saturday night. Until then, we will continue to dissect every facet of this game and play out every possible outcome. That just what we do.
On the Thursday before each Notre Dame football game this season, I will be identifying the key matchups for the Irish when they are on defense. Given the talent on this defense’s depth chart, I like Notre Dame’s chances in most of those matchups.
Here are some battles to watch when the Irish defense takes the field against Michigan:
Donovan Peoples-Jones vs. Julian Love and Troy Pride Jr.
Peoples-Jones appears to be Michigan’s number one receiver heading into this game. This was solidified when teammate Tarik Black suffered a foot injury earlier this month that may sideline him for the entire season. While losing Black hurts the Michigan passing attack, the Wolverines have enough talent to make up for his absence.
Peoples-Jones has the talent to be the team’s top receiver, and he will test the Irish cornerbacks early and often. As a freshman, he had 22 catches or 277 yards. With Black’s injury and an upgrade at quarterback, Peoples-Jones could double his output from a year ago.
I don’t anticipate that Love or Pride will be shadowing Peoples-Jones on Saturday night. Todd Lyght and Clark Lea are confident in both players’ ability to effectively cover the top receiver on the opposing team.