"It's the battle for the megaphone," Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said, referring to the trophy the teams play for.
The Irish will try to turn the tables after it was Michigan State that controlled the line of scrimmage and ran the ball effectively last year.
Michigan State sophomore Brian Lewerke has taken over at quarterback this year and has been effective with both his arm and his legs.
Notre Dame's Brandon Wimbush has completed only 51 percent of his passes, but he's run for 314 yards and six touchdowns through three games.
FILE - In this Nov. 28, 2015, file photo, Notre Dame linebacker Greer Martini celebrates after sacking Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Stanford, Calif. Martini's not necessarily an Irish star, but he has started multiple games all four of his seasons, was chosen as a captain this year and is viewed as particularly reliable against the run as ND gets set to visit 2-0 Michigan State.
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