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Notre Dame Football: Fighting Irish Secondary Faces Another Stiff Test From MSU

Twentieth-ranked Notre Dame looks to go 3-0 Saturday, but the Irish will have to upset No. 10 Michigan State to do so.

That's a tall order in East Lansing, even though both teams are 2-0 and have played at least one quality opponent. Notre Dame's defensive backfield will be tested by the Spartans, who will come with a balance offensive attack that is led by running back Le'Veon Bell but also feature a solid passing game.

Quarterback Andrew Maxwell, a junior who took over for departed NFL draft pick Kirk Cousins, has completed just over 60 percent of his passes for 523 yards and two touchdowns, but he has also thrown three interceptions. The Spartans will throw the ball downfield, though, as it helps set up the running game.

Maxwell has found good targets in wide receiver Bennie Fowler and tight end Dion Sims. Though Notre Dame has given up less than 200 yards a game through the air so far this season, it has not faced an offense this good with this kind of balance.

Game time is Saturday at 7 p.m. CT on ABC.

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