Observations on the win over Notre Dame, 28-24!
Michigan comes back after losing a 4th quarter lead, and leading for three quarters with a heroic 72 yard drive in 12 plays with only 3:41 on the clock when they got the ball to win an exciting rivalry game against the Irish. Michigan converted two red zones for 14 points while Notre Dame converted 10 points from three red zone trips. The Wolverines cash in on 7 points off 3 Notre Dame turnovers, and give the Irish no turnovers to capitalize on.
Denard Robinson is now the leading Heisman Trophy candidate after two games! He was even better than last week setting a new Michigan rushing record for quarterbacks. He was 24 of 40 for 244 yards and a TD plus he ran for 258 yards on 28 carries including a 87 yard TD romp and 2 TDs. Offense had a poor second half, the three, 3 and outs; however, they responded when they needed to with the game on the line. It was nice to see Stephen Hopkins barrel in for his first TD as a Wolverine! Roy Roundtree had 8 catches for 82 yards and a TD. Martavious Odoms had 7 catches for 91 yards, and Darryl Stonum added 4 catches for 36 yards. We had 532 yards of total offense, and 22 first downs; however, we were only 4 of 17 in 3rd and 4th down conversions against a tough Irish defense led by Manny Te'o with 13 tackles, 1 for loss, a forced fumble and a pass break up. We did come back to dominate the all important time of possession in the second half, and came out with over an 8 minute advantage.
Defense was bad! The defensive line has only managed one sack in two games, and that was on a safety blitz by Thomas Gordon. Mike Martin was only in on one tackle, Greg Banks and Ryan VanBergen had two each. Five tackles for our defensive line. Our defensive line is not good, and both Connecticut and Notre Dame were able to control them pretty easily. I've been watching Michigan football for 50 years, and never have seen a free safety as bad as Cameron Gordon looked today. Hopefully, he'll become better as a result of his mistakes and poor tackling. The NBC announcer pegged it right after the 95 yard bomb to Rudolph that gave Notre Dame a temporary lead by calling the safety play "horrid." Our two free safeties are Redshirt freshman Cameron Gordon and true freshman Ray Vinopal; it will be an interesting competition the next few weeks. The two big play TDs of 53 yards to Jones and 95 yards to Rudolph did not look good, at least not to Michigan fans. Gordon did contribute 7 tackles, but missed many and took a lot of poor angles. Mouton had a good game with 13 tackles, 1 for loss and a 9 yard interception. Kovacs had 10 tackles, and an interception. J.T. Floyd contributed 5 tackles and got his first interception, too.On the bright side, our linebacker play has been better and we did contain Michael Floyd pretty well on the day; he had 5 catches for 66 yards. Notre Dame actually outgained us with 535 yards ot total offense, 23 first downs, 4 of 14 in 3rd down conversions, but the three turnovers have killed them.
Will Hagerup punted 9 times for a 38.3 yard average with two downed inside the 20 and one touchback; he did not look good. Jeremy Gallon had no runbacks, but several fair catches inside the 20.
Brendan Gibbons looked bad missing two short field goals, but did make 3 of 3 points after touchdown with Seth Broekhuisen kicking the last PAT. We have forced Notre Dame into 5 punts, and they have put us inside the 20 on 3 occassions. We took a lot of second half penalties and finished with 99 yards on 8 penalties which is very high for us especially after last week when we only had 2 penalties. We forced the Irish into 8 punts, 5 in the first half with 2 turnovers and 3 in the second half with one turnover.
Well, we did improve and with two sure wins in the next two week and the opportunity to play many players, we'll be ready for our October trip to Bloomington with a chance to be 5-0 and win our first in the Big Ten. Indiana should also be 4-0 when we meet.