Irish, Wolverines, Spartans looking to go 2-0

Published 3:40 pm Wednesday, September 8, 2021

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Week two of the college football season will feature non-conference games for Notre Dame and Michigan, while Michigan State steps away from conference play for its home opener.

The No. 8-ranked Fighting Irish will play its first-ever game against the Mid-American Conference’s University of Toledo Saturday. Michigan will play host to the University of Washington, while the Spartans will face Youngstown State.

Here is a quick look at all three games:



Toledo (1-0) at Notre Dame (1-0)

Date: Saturday, Sept. 11

Kickoff: 2:30 p.m.

Stadium: Notre Dame Stadium (77,622)

Surface: Natural Grass

TV: Peacock


All-Time Series: First meeting

All-Time vs. MAC: ND leads, 4-0



ND Head Coach: Brian Kelly

ND Record: 103-39 (12th year)

Overall Record: 274-96-2 (31st year)

Record vs. Toledo: 2-1


UT Head Coach: Jason Candle

UT Record: 39-21 (seventh year)

Overall Record: 39-21 (seventh year)

Record vs. ND: 0-0



  • The Fighting Irish’s 41-38 win over Florida State was the first-ever overtime win in Notre Dame history. Notre Dame was 0-3 in previous overtime games dating back to 1996.
  • Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly is two wins away from tying Knute Rockne for most wins all-time for the Fighting Irish.
  • Notre Dame has won nine straight home openers under Brian Kelly. It is the longest winning streak since Ara Parshegian won 10 straight from 1964 to 1973.
  • The Fighting Irish have a 24-game home winning streak. The Notre Dame streak is the second-longest active streak in FBS.
  • Notre Dame has won 33 consecutive games against unranked opponents dating back to 2016.
  • Fighting Irish quarterback Jack Coan set a Notre Dame record for most yards passing in a season opener with 366 against the Seminoles. Current Notre Dame Offensive Coordinator Tommy Rees held the previous record of 347 that he set in 2013.
  • Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer had 120 yards receiving against Florida State, most since Kyle Rudolph had 164 against Michigan in 2010.



Notre Dame

Rushing – Kyren Williams (18 carries for 46 yards, 2.3 avg.)

Passing – Jack Coan (25-of-35, 74.3 pct., 366 yards, 4 TD, 1 INTs)

Receiving – Michael Mayer (9 catches for 120 yards, 13.3 avg., 1 TDs)

Tackles – J.D. Bertrand (11 tackles)



Rushing – Dequan Finn (9 carries for 83 yards, 9.1 avg., 1 TD)

Passing – Carter Bradley (8-of-12, 66.7 pct., 183 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs)

Receiving – Bryant Koback (3 catches for 35 yards, 11.7 avg.)

Tackles – Jonathan Jones (6 tackles, 1 TFL)



Youngstown State (1-0) at Michigan State (1-0

Date: Saturday, Sept. 11

Kickoff: 12:01 p.m.

Stadium: Spartan Stadium (74,866)

Surface: Natural Grass

TV: Big Ten Network


All-Time Series: MSU leads, 2-0

Series in East Lansing: MSU leads, 2-0

Last Meeting: MSU 55, YSU 17 (2013)

Current Series Streak: 2 by MSU (2011-)



MSU Head Coach: Mel Tucker

MSU Record: 3-5 (second year)

Overall Record: 8-12 (third year)

Record vs. YSU: 0-0


Youngstown State Head Coach: Doug Phillips

YSU Record: 2-6 (second year)

Overall Record: 2-6 (second year)

Record vs. MSU: 0-0



  • Fresh off a 38-21 season-opening win at Northwestern last Friday, Michigan State hosts Youngstown State in the 2021 home opener on Saturday, Sept. 11 at noon in Spartan Stadium. YSU also won its season opener with a 44-41 overtime victory against Incarnate Word. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network, with Lisa Byington (play-by-play), Anthony Herron (analyst) and Coley Harvey (sidelines) on the call.


  • Michigan State and Youngstown State will meet for the third time in series history on Saturday. The Spartans won the previous two meetings in East Lansing (28-6 on Sept. 2, 2011, and 55-17 on Sept. 14, 2013).


  • Saturday marks the first time since the 2019 regular-season finale vs. Maryland (Nov. 30, 2019) that fans will attend at Spartan Stadium. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a limited number of family and staff members attended the first two home games of the 2020 season in East Lansing, but the final two games did not have anyone in the stands in Spartan Stadium.


  • After a record-setting debut as a Spartan, junior running back Kenneth Walker III was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week by the conference office on Monday. A transfer from Wake Forest, Walker rushed for a career-high 264 yards – the seventh-highest total in school history – and scored a career-high four touchdowns to lead the Spartans past Northwestern. It marked the most rushing yards by a Spartan in a debut wearing the Green and White.


  • Walker is just the second Spartan to record more than 250 rushing yards and four touchdowns in the same game (Eric Allen, school-record 350 yards and four TDs vs. Purdue on Oct. 30, 1971). Walker is also the first Big Ten running back with 250-plus rushing yards and four rushing TDs in a single game since Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin) in 2014.


  • Walker’s 264 rushing yards are the most ever by a Spartan running back in an MSU season opener. He also posted the first 200-yard rushing game for a Spartan since Le’Veon Bell in 2012 (266 yards at Minnesota on Nov. 24) and the four rushing TDs are the most since Edwin Baker had four vs. Minnesota in 2010.


  • Walker currently leads the nation in rushing and is tied for first in rushing touchdowns. He scored 17 rushing TDs in his first two seasons at Wake Forest and now has 21 overall in his career.


  • Michigan State rushed for 326 yards against Northwestern, marking the first time the Spartans gained more than 300 yards on the ground since Oct. 18, 2014, at Indiana (330 yards). MSU enters the second week of the season ranked No. 2 in the Big Ten and eighth in the FBS in rushing.


  • Saturday’s game marks just the seventh time in school history that MSU has played an opponent from the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision. The Spartans defeated Montana State, 44-3, in the 2009 season opener; Northern Colorado, 45-7, in Week 4 of the 2010 campaign; Youngstown State, 28-6, in the 2011 season opener; Youngstown State, 55-17 in Week 3 of the 2013 season; Jacksonville State, 45-7 in the 2014 season opener; and Furman, 28-13, in the 2016 season opener. Michigan State has outscored its FCS opponents, 245-53 (average score of 41-9), in the six previous meetings.


  • Michigan State’s streak of 21 straight wins in its home opener was snapped in 2020. The Spartans are 102-22 (.823) all-time in-home openers, including victories in 23 of the past 25 years.



Michigan State

Rushing – Jr. Kenneth Walker III (23 carries for 264 yards, 11.5 avg., 4 TDs)

Passing – R-So. Payton Thorne (15-of-25, .600, 185 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs)

Receiving – R-Jr. Jayden Reed (5 catches for 64 yards, 12.8 avg., 0 TDs)

Tackles – Sr. S Xavier Henderson (9 tackles, 2 TFLs, 1 sack) and So. S Angelo Grose (9 tackles, 1 PBU)


Youngstown State

Rushing – Sr. Jaleel McLaughlin (29 carries for 242 yards, 8.3 avg., 2 TDs)

Passing – R-Fr. Demeatric Crenshaw (9-of-12, .750, 112 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs)

Receiving – Sr. Jaleel McLaughlin (2 receptions for 46 yards, 23.0 avg., 0 TDs)

Tackles – So. DB D’Marco Augustin (7 tackles, 0.5 TFL) and So. DB Jordan White (7 tackles, 1 PBU)



Washington (0-1) at Michigan (1-0)

Date: Saturday, Sept. 11

Kickoff: 8:14 p.m.

Stadium: Michigan Stadium (107,601)

Surface: Field turf



All-Time Series: UM leads, 7-5

Last Meeting: UM 31, UW 29 (2002)

Current Series Streak: 1 by UM (2002)

Series in Ann Arbor: UM leads, 3-1



UM Head Coach: Jim Harbaugh

UM Record: 50-22 (seventh year)

Overall Record: 50-22 (seventh year)

Record vs. UW: 0-0


Washington Head Coach: Jim Lake

UW Record: 3-1 (second year)

Overall Record: 3-1 (second year)

Record vs. UM: 0-0



  • Michigan has won 10 games in three of Jim Harbaugh’s seven seasons.
  • The Wolverines have compiled a 31-8 home record during the Harbaugh era.
  • Michigan has gained more than 5,000 yards in total offense in four of Harbaugh’s seven seasons.
  • Michigan has topped the NCAA in attendance in 43 of the last 46 seasons.
  • The Wolverines have drawn more than 100,000 fans for 294 straight home games dating back to Nov. 8, 1975.
  • Michigan had four first-time starters on defense against Western Michigan.
  • The Wolverines have played in 63 night games in school history. Michigan is 36-27 in those contests and have a 7-2 mark at Michigan Stadium. Wisconsin defeated the Wolverines 49-11 in its last home night game on Nov. 14, 2020.
  • Washington returns 10 starters on offense and eight starters on defense.
  • The Huskies have not allowed an opponent to score more than 35 points since a 44-30 loss to UCLA in 2014. That is a streak of 74 consecutive games.
  • Since 1947, Washington is 221-69-3 when a player runs for more than 100 yards. The Huskies are 22-3 since 2016 when a player reaches the century mark.



Rushing – Blake Corum (14 carries for 11 yards, 7.9 avg., 1 TD)

Passing – Cade McNamara (9-of-11 for 136 yards, 2TDs)

Receiving – Ronnie Bell (1 reception 76 yards, 1 TD)

Tackles – Daxton Hill (6 tackles), Josh Ross (6 tackles, 0.5 TFLs)



Rushing – Dequan Finn (9 carries for 83 yards, 9.1 avg., 1 TD)

Passing – Carter Bradley (8-of-12 for 183 yards, 66.7 pct., 1 TD)

Receiving – Bryant Koback (3 catches for 35 yards, 11.7 avg.)

Tackles – Jonathan Jones (6 tackles, 1 TFL)