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The Anti-Preview: Notre Dame Fighting Irish VS Michigan State Spartans

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Before we burn Troy to the ground, we must blow Sparta up. Yes, yes... I know that makes no sense.

The Megaphone
The Megaphone
via @CBusIrish

Welcome to this week’s Anti-Preview for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Michigan State Spartans! Friends, the Irish are really cooking now... well, depending on your definition of “cooking.”

The biggest questions for the Irish are on the offensive side of the ball right now, but it’s not quite as bleak as many have made it out to be. Here are five stats that say a different story (only look at these and ONLY these unless you want a heart attack):

Anti-Preview The wonderful @phillykelly
  • Brandon Wimbush is tied for 2nd in the country with 6 rushing touchdowns.
  • Josh Adams is 5th in the country in rushing yards with 443.
  • Notre Dame is ranked 5th in the country in rushing offense at 330.7 yards per game.
  • Notre Dame is tied for first in Red Zone efficiency with 15 scores in 15 trips (11 rushing TD / 2 Passing TD / 2 Field Goals).
  • Notre Dame is ranked 23rd in the country in total offense with 494 yards per game.

If we didn’t know anything about the passing game, those stats would make you pregnant - I don’t care what gender you are. So, maybe just take it all for what it is, and let’s wait to crown or crucify the offense after the game against...

SPARTY

If you felt some sort of twisted gut rot going on with your body this wekk, then you already know it’s time to head to East Lansing to take on the Spartans. MSU is 2-0 and is coming off of a bye week. They beat Bowling Green and Western Michigan, which basically makes them MAC champions. That’s good for the S.O.S. right? Right.

WHAT SHOULD YOU BE DRINKING?

Night games take a lot of endurance by the fanbase. It doesn’t matter if you’re going to the game, or watching at home. Gin is a good partner in that endeavor. While I would normally just push a gin and tonic with lime, that seems a bit too green for this week. It needs to be a bit more Golden.

Gin, Lemon, & 7

  • Gin. Tanqueray works for me.
  • Lemon
  • 7UP®

Pour gin in a large glass. Cut the lemon and squeeze the juice into the glass with the gin. Add ice cubes, then fill up the glass with 7UP®. Garnish with a lemon slice.

WHAT SHOULD YOU BE EATING

Go Greek! Seriously, because it’s just wonderful. It’s a bit “labor intensive,” but it will be worth every bit of it. (For real... this makes you appreciate just popping in at King Gyros).

Gyros

  • 1/2 onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon ground dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon ground dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Place the onion in a food processor, and process until finely chopped. Scoop the onions onto the center of a towel, gather up the ends of the towel, and squeeze out the liquid from the onions. Place the onions into a mixing bowl along with the lamb and beef. Season with the garlic, oregano, cumin, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, black pepper, and salt. Mix well with your hands until well combined. Cover, and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours to allow the flavors to blend.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

Place the meat mixture into the food processor, and pulse for about a minute until finely chopped and the mixture feels tacky. Pack the meat mixture into a 7x4 inch loaf pan, making sure there are no air pockets. Line a roasting pan with a damp kitchen towel. Place the loaf pan on the towel, inside the roasting pan, and place into the preheated oven. Fill the roasting pan with boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the loaf pan.

Bake until the gyro meat is no longer pink in the center, and the internal temperature registers 165 degrees F (75 degrees C) on a meat thermometer, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Pour off any accumulated fat, and allow to cool slightly before slicing thinly and serving.

Tzatziki Sauce

  • 2 (8 ounce) containers plain yogurt
  • 2 cucumbers - peeled, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled

In a food processor or blender, combine yogurt, cucumber, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, dill and garlic. Process until well-combined. Transfer to a separate dish, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour for best flavor.

WHAT SHOULD YOU BE WEARING?

If you’re going to go all out on the food, and you’re feeling pretty slick off the gin, you might as well dress for success. Go out to Michael’s, or Jo-Ann’s, or even Wal-Mart, and buy some blue plaid fabric. No, I have no freaking clue how many yards you’ll need. You’ll just need enough for a toga. OWN IT.

Send pics for glory.

“I’m so damn fierce!”

WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT THIS GAME?

It’s an honest to god rivalry. It’s not that fake shit with Boston College or Purdue (yes I’l looking right at you Pete and I ain’t scurred). There is a rivalry trophy that isn’t a Gaelic war club, physical play, bad calls, bad blood, weird streaks, massive collapses, last minute / last second wins, mutual hate for Ann Arbor (whore), and general fuckery.

It’s the number 2 game for me each year - or whatever the hell we’re doing with the series now. [weeps to James Taylor in the background].

5 REASONS TO HATE MICHIGAN STATE

Just five?

  1. Planting a flag at midfield of Notre Dame Stadium.
  2. The entire Bullough family.
  3. Little Giants (the clock was at 00:00 you bastards)
  4. Every triplet combo in their history QB, RB, WR.
  5. Joining the Big 10 (You could have been somebody!)

SHAMROCK STARS

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Boston College Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Wimbush. As long as Brandon Wimbush is playing quarterback for the Irish, it’s probably safe to say that as he goes - so goes the offense. After a brutal 2 weeks of everyone within arms reach of internet service bashing Wimbush for his passing accuracy, Brandon gets competent in the air to pair with his ground attack. It will be shocking. [prays].

Te’Von Coney. Coney might be playing better than any other linebacker for the Irish. During times when Greer Martini or Nyles Morgan appeared to be in a bit of trouble, Coney stepped up to the plate and delivered. Look for another big game from the Florida native on Saturday night.

AT THE END OF THE NIGHT...

Notre Dame is favored, but I have a feeling that most people think Notre Dame is destined to be 2-2 when it’s over. I say... NOPE. Coaches get no better intel on their players and their system than during a game. I think Chip Long and Brian Kelly will come up with the right portion of the playbook for Wimbush to use both his arms and his legs. The Irish defense locks in and owns the line of scrimmage. Here comes 3-1 IRISH 27, SPARTY 20.