Michigan and Notre Dame has been one of the storied rivalries of college football. In the last meeting of the two teams at the Big House in Ann Arbor, Mich. in the foreseeable future, the No. 17 Wolverines jumped all over the No. 14 Irish in front of a record-setting crowd, winning 41-30.
Notre Dame started the game with the ball but went three-and-out. The Wolverines took advantage by scoring a field goal on their first drive and then, after forcing a fumble, adding a touchdown following 61-yard pass from junior Devin Gardner to Jeremy Gallon for a touchdown.
The Irish offense finally started to click as Notre Dame scored a touchdown and two consecutive field goals. However, the Irish struggled to contain the Wolverines, who added two touchdowns and a field goal to take a 27-13 lead into halftime.
Notre Dame looked better out of halftime, forcing a punt from the Wolverines. The Irish then put together a 90-yard, 12-play drive that ended with a 20-yard touchdown pass as senior quarterback Tommy Rees connected with junior tight end Troy Niklas.
Although Michigan held Notre Dame on fourth and four in the red zone to force a turnover on downs, the Wolverines’ next two drives ended with a pick-six and a punt. The Irish were able to cut the lead to 34-30, but Michigan put the game out of reach with a final touchdown with 4:18 left to go following a 10-play 75-yard drive.
Gardner finished the game completing 21 out of 33 passes for 294 yards, four passing touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed for 82 yards on 13 carries with one touchdown on the ground. Senior running back Fitzgerald Toussaint had 71 yards on 22 carries. Senior Jeremy Gallon was the Wolverines' leading receiver with eight catches for 184 yards and three of Michigan’s four passing touchdowns.
Rees struggled for the Irish, hitting only 29 of his 51 pass attempts. He amassed 314 yards and two touchdowns, but he also threw two interceptions, including an interception that resulted in a touchdown for the Wolverines. The Irish combined for 96 yards on 19 carries and no touchdowns on the ground.
Michigan will face the Akron Zips on Sept. 14 at noon (ET) while Notre Dame will play the Purdue Boilermakers on Sept. 14 at 8 p.m. (ET).
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