Observations on the electric win over Notre Dame, 35-31
Michigan outscores Notre Dame 28-7 in the 4th quarter after falling behind 7-24 entering the 4th quarter, and scores the winning TD with 2 seconds on the clock with a 16 yard strike to Roy Roundtree. Michigan converted three second half red zones for 21 points while Notre Dame also comes up with 21 red zone points in 5 visits, and two huge Wolverine red zone stops. Each team comes up with one TD off the other team's turnovers, and Notre Dame had 5 giveaways compared to Michigan's 3 miscues. This game tied the second greatest comeback in the history of The Big House with the 17 point deficit to Virginia in 1995, 17 point deficit to MSU in 2004 and the biggest comeback was the 19 point deficit to Wisconsin in 2008.
Michigan ended up with 462 net yards in total offense with 338 in the air. Denard Robinson was 11 of 24, 4 TDs, 3 interceptions, 1 sack and ran for 108 yards in 16 carries for another TD when he recovered a Stephon Hopkins fumble. Junior Hemingway caught 3 passes for 168 yards and a TD, Jeremy Gallon grabbed 2 for 78 yards, a TD and a 68 yarder that gave us the final red zone opportunity at the Irish 16. Roy Roundtree not only sealed the win with the 16 yard TD catch with 2 seconds to go, but also gave Vincent Smith the seal block on his 21 yard TD catch that gave us the lead, 28-24, with 1:12 to go. We made big plays when we needed to and that was the difference tonight. In fact, we averaged 9 yards per play on only 50 offensive plays, 2 of those 50 plays were "knee's" at the end of the first half.
Notre Dame ended the game with 513 net yards of offense. Rees was 27 of 39 for 315 yards, 3 TDs and 2 interceptions by Kovacs and Floyd. Cierre Wood had 134 yards on 25 carries for a TD, and Jonas Gray added 66 yards on 6 carries for a total of 198 net yards on the ground. Floyd had 13 catches for 159 yards, and Theo Riddick had 6 catches for 62 yards and 2 TDs. The Irish amassed a 14 minute time of possession advantage, 28 first downs and were 8 of 14 on 3rd down conversions. They ran 22 more offensive plays as a result. Our defense was bent and broke, but came up with 5 turnovers and two key red zone stops to thwart a great Notre Dame offensive effort. Kenny Demens had 12 tackles, Thomas Gordon had 9, Jordan Kovacs had 8, Marvin Robinson had 7 tackles and forced a fumble, J.T. Floyd and Brandin Hawthorne had 6 tackles each to lead the defensive effort. Ryan VanBergen, Will Campbell and Terrence Robinson came up with fumble recoveries.
Matt Wile had 5 punts for a 38.6 yard average, one inside the 20 and overcame a bad snap almost over his head on his first punt. He also kicked off 6 times for a 60.2 yard average. Vincent Smith had 5 kickoff returns for 98 yards, and Jeremy Gallon had one punt return for 21 yards. Penalties and missed tackles hurt us on special teams. We took 9 penalties for 82 yards. Thank goodness we didn't have to kick a field goal for overtime. Ruffer had a field goal for the Irish. Ben Turk only averaged 33.5 on four boots, and Riddick gained 99 yards on 5 kickoff returns. Goodman gained 10 yards on 3 punt returns. Plymouth native, Kyle Brindza, averaged 69 yards on 6 kickoffs with one touchback. Special teams improved, but has a LONG way to go.
Michael Shaw started at Tailback because Fitz Touissaint was injured. Desmond Morgan got his first start at WILL, and Brandon Herron didn't play after a great first game because of a quad injury. Marvin Robinson got his first start for Michigan at Safety.
3 Suspended/Ineligible Players for Notre Dame