In front of an exuberant crowd of 115,109, a new NCAA single-game record, the Michigan Wolverines beat the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 41-30 on Saturday night in the much-anticipated "Under the Lights II" matchup at Michigan Stadium between two of college football's most storied programs.
In a switch from his usual No. 12 uniform to the No. 98 "Michigan Football Legends" jersey in honor of fabled Wolverine and 1940 Heisman Trophy winner Tom Harmon, quarterback Devin Gardner led the charge for U-M, as the junior connected on a pair of first-half touchdown passes to senior wide receiver Jeremy Gallon. Gardner also ran in a score and kicker Brendan Gibbons booted two field goals to give the Maize and Blue a 27-13 lead at the break.
Ranked No. 14 coming into the game, the Fighting Irish notched the first score of the second half on a TD pass from quarterback Tommy Rees to tight end Troy Niklas, which narrowed the Wolverine lead to 27-20. But No. 17-ranked Michigan drove right down the field on their next possession, which culminated in another Gardner strike to Gallon to increase its lead to 34-20. After it stopped Notre Dame on fourth down on its next possession, Michigan surrendered an easy score when Gardner threw an interception while being chased in his own endzone, which Stephon Tuitt caught for an Irish TD. After a Notre Dame field goal closed the gap to 34-30, Michigan regained command on a Gardner scoring pass to wide receiver Drew Dileo with 4:18 left to go up 41-30. Blake Countess intercepted Rees to seal the victory for the Maize and Blue.
Gardner finished the night 21-33 passing for 294 yards, 184 of which went to Gallon. U-M moves to 2-0 on the young season and will host Akron next Saturday. Read a recap of the win over the Fighting Irish on U-M's official athletic website, MGoBlue.com, and stay current with U-M football on Facebook and Twitter.