SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — The road ahead for Notre Dame is about to get tough.
The 20th-ranked Fighting Irish (2-0) play at No. 10 Michigan State (2-0) on Saturday, the first of three road games against teams now in the top 10. The Irish play at No. 5 Oklahoma on Oct. 27 and at No. 2 Southern California in the regular-season finale.
Notre Dame is just 2-11 on the road against top-10 teams since Lou Holtz left in 1996.
Irish coach Brian Kelly said he saw a sign of the mental toughness the Irish will need when they came back to beat Purdue 20-17 last week after squandering a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter, with backup quarterback Tommy Rees leading the Irish down the field in the final 72 seconds to set up a game-winning 27-yard field goal by Kyle Brindza.