Observations on the GREAT win over Notre Dame, 38-34!
Notre Dame Rewind
Postgame Press Conference: Notre Dame
1--Wow!!! What a Win! Michigan comes up with a late red zone and converts it into a TD for the W! Redemption Year Victory #2!!! We earn 4 red zones for 21 points while the Irish earned 4 red zones for 17 points; each team converted one turnover for 7 points.
2--Forcier was the player of the game! He completed 23 or 33 for 240 yards, 2 TDs, 1 interception, 13 rushes for 70 yards including a 31 yard TD and if that isn't enough, he punts for 50 yards and it is downed at the 4 yard line. Offense gains 430 yards, 21 first downs, 7 of 16 in 3rd and 4th down conversions and gets the job done in two minute drills to end the first and second half for the victory.
3--Running game improved in the second half, and finished with 190 net yards. Brandon Minor comes through with 107 yards on 19 carries and a TD.
4--Senior Greg Mathews comes up with the game winning TD grab and has 5 catches overall for 68 yards. Stonum has 4 catches for 54 yards, and leaves the game with an injury; hopefully, he removed the towel from his head to see the game winner. Kevin Koger comes through with 4 catches for 38 yards including a TD. Both Laterryal Savoy and Martavious Odoms caught some big ones in the last drive to set up the game winner.
5--Defense could not contain Jimmy Clausen and the Irish passing game with outstanding receivers Michael Floyd and Golden Tate. Irish ratch up 490 yards of total offense, 27 first downs, were 7 of 15 on 3rd and 4th down conversions to gain a 3 minute time of possession advantage. Clausen was 25 of 42 for 336 yards, and 3 TDs. The Irish running game finished with 154 net yards led by Armando Allen's 139 yards in 21 carries. Floyd had 7 catches for 131 yards and a TD while Tate captured 9 balls for 115 yards and 2 TDs. Neither Cissoko nor Warren could cover the two, but the late injury to Floyd contributed to the Irish not being able to ice the game and run out the clock. Troy Wolfolk and Michael Williams had 88 tackles each, and Williams had to leave late in the game due to injury. Obi Ezeh contributed 7 tackles, Stevie Brown had 6 tackles including a forced fumble and Donovan Warren had 6 tackles and 3 pass break ups.
6--Special teams didn't have a great second half after contributing 10 points in the first half with the Stonum 94 yard kickoff return and the Olesnavage field goal. Olesnavage missed a chance in the second half on our first red zone. The Irish kicked to Odoms the rest of the day, and he only had an 18 yard average. Mesko had 4 punts for a 32.5 yard average; probably his worst performance as a Wolverine. Bryan Wright had 3 touchbacks in 6 kickoff although we did allow Gallup a 52 yard return.
7--The coaches did a great job adjusting at halftime, and we easily won the 3rd quarter with solid performances on both sides of the ball.
8--On the dark side, we had injuries to Moosman, Stonum, Williams and Hemingway didn't play at all. Walk-on Jordan Kovacs spelled Michael Williams when he left. No other real line-up or player participation changes.
9--I'm much more optimistic about us beating Michigan State and Illinois. Our toughest games will be Penn State, Ohio State and Iowa. We have a realistic shot at the Big Ten title, and will be ranked in the Top 25 following this win!
Observations on the first half with the Irish, 17-20!
1--Notre Dame is completely dominating this game on both sides of the football! We are lucky to only be behind by 3. The Irish convert 4 red zones into 17 points while Michigan converts one red zone into 7 points. No turnovers for either team.
2--Forcier is 9 of 14 for 118 yards. We are only 3 of 7 in 3rd and 4th down conversions with only 8 first downs. Mathews has 2 catches for 55 yards, Stonum has 2 catches for 34 yards, Carlos Brown and Kevin Koger have 2 catches for 15 yards each.
3--Running game is non-existent! Brandon Minor has 3 rushes for 26 yards and a TD. Team has 49 net yards rushing for the half. No running game for Michigan.
4--Defense cannot contain Jimmy Clausen and the Irish passing game! Irish finish the first half with 302 net yards, 112 net yards rushing, 190 yards passing, 15 first downs and dominated the time of possession by 7 and a half minutes. Irish offense is averaging over 8 yards a play. Clausen is 13 of 18 with 2 TDs, no sacks and few hurries. Michael Floyd is dominating both Cissoko and Warren; he finished with 3 catches for 81 yards and a TD. Golden Tate has 5 catches for 48 yards and a TD. Armando Allen has 13 rushes for 93 yards as the Irish offensive line are dominating the line of scrimmage, preventing sacks and blowing out our DL. Michael Williams has 6 tackles to lead the defense including at least one TD saving tackle.
5--Stonum has an outstanding 94 yard TD on a kickoff return and Olesnavage nails a 39 yard field goal to close the half. 10 points for the special teams and 7 for our offense. Mesko is having a terrible game with 3 punts for a 32 yard average. Lots of penalties for both teams: Irish have 4 and we have 3.
6--Greg Robinson needs to really adjust our defense in the second half if we are going to have a chance.
Friday Walk-Through for Notre Dame
Press Conference: Coach Rod September 9
Official Depth Chart for Notre Dame
Press Conference: Coach Rod September 7
The Notre Dame Rivalry