No. 9 Irish shift focus to Central Michigan this weekend

North Carolina State's Devan Boykin (12) breaks up a pass intended for Notre Dame's Jayden...
North Carolina State's Devan Boykin (12) breaks up a pass intended for Notre Dame's Jayden Thomas (83) with State's Payton Wilson (11) looking on during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)(Associated Press)
Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 7:32 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - It’s time to turn the page from Saturday’s road win over NC State.

Up next is another opponent who may not be the strongest on the schedule but can still provide a challenge. Central Michigan comes to South Bend this weekend boasting a 1-1 record, with their lone loss coming to Michigan State.

This is the third opponent that the Irish face that they could play down to. They haven’t done it the first two times this season against Navy and Tennessee State, and head coach Marcus Freeman said that the Chippewas’ head coach, Jim McElwain, is going to have his guys ready.

“He’s got a good football team,” Freeman said during a press conference Monday. “Their offense is explosive, their quarterback (Bert Emanuel Jr.) makes it go. He is an athletic quarterback, and he can run it. And you can watch the first series of the last game, he takes the ball 40, 50 yards and scores a touchdown. So, we have to be ready for that. I think they’ve got some good skill, and our defense will have a good challenge.

“Defensively for them — a team that ranked top as one of the top teams in the MAC defensively,” he added. “I think they have nine of 11 returning starters. So, an experienced group.”

Kickoff at Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday is set for 2:30 p.m. EDT. A reminder, the game will be streamed exclusively on Peacock.

Meanwhile, we want to hear from you ahead of this weekend’s matchup. In this week’s Lochmandy Auto Group Irish Fan Poll, we’re asking you who you think has been the MVP of Notre Dame’s defense so far this season? Click here to vote!

We’ll share the results on Countdown to Kickoff, which airs right here on WNDU Friday night at 7 p.m.

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