Observations on the loss to Notre Dame, 0-31
Notre Dame converted four red zones for 24 points. Michigan drove twice inside the Irish 25, but missed two field goals early in the game and could not drive into the Irish Red Zone.
Devin Gardner was 19 if 32 for 189 yards, and 3 picks. The Wolverines were 5 of 15 in 3rd and 4th down conversions with 289 net yards of offense and 18 first downs. We were forced into 4 punts, 2 missed field goals, 3 sacks, and 3 turnovers by the Irish defense in 12 drives. Gardner ran 11 times for 5 yards, Derrick Green ran 13 times for 25 yards, Deveon Smith gained 30 yards on 7 carries, both Dennis Norfleet and Justice Hayes carried twice each for 20 yards each. Devin Funchess had 9 catches for 107 yards; both Jehu Chesson and Dennis Norfleet caught 3 passes each, and Amara Darboh had two grabs. It was an auspicious debut for offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier against #15 Notre Dame at South Bend. Jaylon Smith and Elijah Shumate had 10 tackles each for the Irish.
Notre Dame steamrolled our defense with 5 scores with zero turnovers or sacks; we only forced the Irish into 6 punts. The Irish had 280 net offensive yards for 20 first downs, and was 8 of 16 in 3rd and 4th down conversions. We held them to only 54 net rushing yards, but got torched in the air as Everett Golston was 23 of 34 for 226 yards and 4 TDs. Will Fuller burned Blake Countess for 9 catches and 89 yards including a 24 yard TD; Amir Carlisle eluded Delonte Hollowell for 7 catches for 61 yards and 2 TDs. Jake Ryan led the defense with 11 tackles, Joe Bolden had 10 stops, and Delonte Hollowell tackled 6 times in the loss.
Plymouth's Kyle Brindza kicked the "stuffing out" of the ball with 6 kickoffs, 5 touchbacks so Norfleet could only take out one 16 yard return; he also punted six times and hit a 43 yard field goal to close the scoring.
It was the Wolverines first shutout since 1984 ending the longest streak in NCAA football for a team not being shut out. One may say that Brian Kelly and the Irish got the last laugh on the Wolverines as the series concludes after Brady Hoke called Notre Dame "chicken" for ending the series after joining the ACC. Irish fans are now yearning for reinstatement of the Wolverines on their schedule.