Game of the Week: Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs Michigan Wolverines

TicketCity’s weekly ranking of the 10 hottest games in college football is designed to identify the match-ups with the strongest ticket demand on a weekly basis. This week Notre Dame vs. Michigan ranks #1 on our list.  Contributor Jeff K. gives the run-down on who will win this stage-setting match-up.

Why Michigan will win the biggest game of week one:

The Big House. More than 100,000 fans under the lights for a rivalry that dates back to 1887. The last time these two schools met in Ann Arbor, Michigan pulled out a 35-31 thriller. A solid running game will keep Notre Dame’s offense on the sidelines. Last week the Wolverines rolled up 242 yards on the ground versus Central Michigan despite having three new starters on the offensive line. Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly caused a stir last Sunday when he said he didn’t think of Michigan as a rival. Although he did back down from this statement this should add to the game’s intensity.

Why I could be wrong:

Tommy Rees. The senior QB lit up Temple for 346 yards and three touchdowns on just 16 completions. The Fighting Irish needed Rees to step up following the announcement of Everett Golson’s ineligibility. Rees led Notre Dame to 543 yards of offense. Michigan QB Devin Gardner threw two interceptions last week against Central Michigan. Michigan turned the ball over six times in a 13-6 loss to the Fighting Irish last season. Ball security has to improve.

Why you don’t want to miss this one:

This is most likely the final game played in the Big House in this storied rivalry. Notre Dame decided not to renew the series in 2015 due to their new ACC schedule. Michigan fans would love to send the Fighting Irish home with a loss and have bragging rights in what may be the series finale. If Notre Dame has BCS aspirations it cannot afford a loss in this evenly-matched game. Join me in prime time on Saturday night as I’ll be live-tweeting during the game. Follow @TicketCity and @JeffKubiszyn and share your predictions with us.

Jeff Kubiszyn is a long-time college football fan and joins TicketCity this season to highlight the biggest game of the week. He is by no means a college football expert, except at the dinner table.