Before too much is made over Notre Dame's 33-30 win over Michigan State in South Bend on Saturday, lets keep things in perspective.
This win does break the Spartans' obscene 7-game winning streak playing under the Touchdown Jesus. And the win also likely does save Charlie Weis' job, for now. But this a Notre Dame team loaded with talent, featuring a top 5 quarterback and two of the best receivers in the nation (although Michael Floyd was injured at the end of the first half). And this is a Michigan State team that is one week removed from a loss to their new apparent interstate rival... Central Michigan.
Its obviously fortunate for the Irish and Weis to win this football game — a win can never be a negative — but there is still a big problem with the Notre Dame football team, and judging by the stats the issue may not be on the field.
Jimmy Clausen was once again highly effective, going 22-for-31 for 300 yards and two touchdowns. In three games Clausen has now thrown for 951 yards (317/game), nine touchdowns and has still not tossed an interception. Golden Tate was his usual dynamic self, posting 127 yards and a touchdown, and after Michael Floyd went down (with what has since been reported as a broken collar bone), 6'6" 260-pound wrecking ball TE Kyle Rudolph helped fill the void, bringing in 7 receptions for 95 yards. Even the ground game was strong, with Armando Allen racking up 115 yards and a touchdown, averaging 5.0 a carry.
So it would seem the problem has to be the defense. The offense obviously did its job — putting up 33 points — but it was the defense that surrendered 30 points to a team that managed only 27 against Central Michigan.