USA Today has done a pretty nice write up of the strengths and weaknesses of Notre Dame, accounting for Friday's issues. ND has a very tough schedule this year - even their 'patsies' i.e. Rice and Syracuse have a chance to beat them, and then they have road trips to ASU and FSU not to mention the traditional tilts with UM, USC, Stanford. Outside of Purdue/Navy there is not much out there in terms of 'write it down wins". It's the type of schedule where even a solid team could emerge with 5 losses.
Looks like the matchup with UM is actually going to be a strength on strength thing (ND's offense vs UM's defense) and then a weakness on weakness (ND's defense vs UM's offense) so should be a very good preview for the following month or so of UM football.
ND is switching defenses, has a new defensive coach, and is relying on some young - if very talented players on that side of the ball. They might also be relying on some walk ons, Kovacs style. Sounds like outside of WR they return some good talent on offense (their OL was very impressive last year - took some hits but has a lot of depth), and obviously their QB is the type that has given UM issues for 2 decades now. (I see you McNabb)
Jury still out on if these 4 players will actually miss time but if so, it's a stud CB and their leading returning WR... along with a "Will Campbell" type on the DL (5 star who has not really made an impact thus far in his career).