You couldn’t draw it up any better. If you believe in fate, this game’s for you. Michigan beat Notre Dame 35-31 under the lights for the first time ever in the Big House. The last three years this game has come down to the last play, with Michigan winning each time. Two years ago, Tate Forcier threw a touchdown at Michigan Stadium to cap off a comeback, last year Denard Robinson did it in “Touchdown Jesus’s” face as time elapsed, and again this year Robinson stole the show. Robinson was cold to start the game, and scalding hot to finish it. The team went as he did, which makes sense because he was responsible for 99% of Michigan’s gained yardage (456 yards, 338 passing/108 rushing, 452 yards total).
Michigan was down 24-7 entering the 4th quarter, when Robinson stole the show. He picked up a loose fumble on the 2 yard line and scored to make it a 24-14 affair. At that point Michigan’s defense got tired of being run all over. They made key stops on key downs, down the stretch. They did it in the same fashion that the defense dominated last week, by attacking. There wasn’t a play that I remember that Michigan didn’t blitz. In passing situations, they pass blitzed, in running situations they run blitzed, and each time it seemed to pay off. Jordan Kovacs, the bonafide emotional leader of the defense, keyed a charge in the second half. Though he intercepted a ball in the first half, he was all over the field late in the game when it mattered. The Notre Dame offense will wake up sore, because Jordan Kovacs hit everyone like a heavyweight belt was on the line.
Michigan forced a Cierre fumble late in the 4th quarter, but could not capitalize, as Robinson threw an interception in the end zone, but he quickly atoned, with a perfectly set up screen to Vincent Smith, who ran 21 yards in between Notre Dame defenders for the score. This was thought to be the game ender, but Notre Dame responded with a 29 yard strike to Theo Reddick on a busted coverage. Things looked grim in Ann Arbor before Notre Dame had a blown coverage of their own as Jeremy Gallon scampered from Michigan’s 20 yard line to the Notre Dame 16. Seconds later Roy Roundtree, who was a sensational run blocker last night, decided to make an impact with his hands as he caught a 16 yard post fade in the end zone. It was mayhem after that, with nearly 115,000 people jumping and screaming, and the only reasonable thing to do seemed to be pumping their pom-poms in the air. Players jumped into the stands, as Brian Kelly walked into the locker room. It was a night to remember in Ann Arbor, although for Kelly it’s likely a game he’d like to forget.