Michigan vs Notre Dame

Posted: Saturday, September 13, 2008 by Travis Cody in

Notre Dame got off to a good start against Michigan, recovering a fumble and punching it in for an early TD. And then the Wolverines mis-handled the ensuing kickoff, which the Irish recovered and capitalized on for another TD. Before I could even get settled in, ND was up 14-0!

That's my kind of Saturday!

The 1988 National Championship team was honored this weekend with a statue unveiled of Coach Lou Holtz flanked by QB Tony Rice and WR Tim Brown. Coach Holtz addressed the team, and whatever he said must have really scored with this group. They played inspired football early in the game to grab that quick lead.

But then Michigan got organized and executed a fake punt at midfield for a first down to keep a drive going. The Wolverines nearly got a big play on a deep pass into the endzone, but the catch was disallowed as the ball was trapped against the ground. Then the Irish held on 4th down.

Wooooooooooooooooo!!! QB Jimmy Clausen throws deep on 1st down and gets an interference call against Michigan. And Clausen immediately throws deep again to WR Golden Tate for another TD!!!! Wooooooooooooooooooo!!! It's 21-0!

Good stuff in the first quarter for the Irish!

Dang this team is playing well. Maybe we need Coach Holtz to address the team every week. They are playing with emotion and they are doing all the right things so far.

But Michigan has some weapons as well, and gets a big play on a screen pass and 40 yard run after the catch by Sam McGuffie into the endzone to make it 21-7.

Yikes! Then Michigan comes back and picks off a Clausen pass, which reminds Irish fans that there's a lot of football left in this game.

The Irish need to figure out how to tackle this McGuffie kid. Luckily the Wolverines don't give the ball to McGuffie on every play, and the Irish are able to slow down the rest of the Michigan offense enough to keep them out of the endzone and only give up 3 points, making the score 21-10.

Wooooooooooooooo!!! Clausen hit Tate on a short slant. Then Tate broke a tackle and the play goes for 60 yards! A few plays later the Irish get another pass interference call in the endzone. Then RB Robert Hughes drives in for the score from a yard out.

It's been a long time since I've seen Notre Dame play this well. It's 28-10.

One thing they haven't done well though is stay away from bad penalties. There have been a couple of personal fouls that were avoidable...one for a late hit and another for a facemask. Emotion is great, but you have to be contained and smart.

Michigan isn't about to fold under the atmosphere and the early mistakes. They answer Notre Dame's TD with a strong drive with a TD on the end of it and the score is 28-17.

So much for the experts who thought these two teams would be lucky to score 20 points between them today.

Michigan finally forces the Irish into the first 3 and out. For a moment I thought Coach Weis would go for it on 4th and short, but he does the prudent thing inside his own 35 yard line and punts.

Oh man! Coach Weis got his leg buckled on the punt return. One of the Irish defenders on the coverage crashed into him from behind. He's got a brace on the leg and remains on the sideline. The Irish defense holds Michigan and forces a punt.

RB Robert Hughes gets a big run on first down. Then there's a penalty tacked on for a late hit out of bounds. ND keeps challenging deep, but this time the pass interference is called on the offense and the drive stalls. The Irish get great coverage on the punt, and Michigan is content to take a knee to end the first half.

Excellent first half for Notre Dame!



  1. Thanks for the 1st half recap. Left the house at 8:30 this morning, and just returned - forgot to set my DVR!!!!!! ARGH! Bu-bye, Blue! Helloooooooo Irish!

  1. Anndi says:

    Great Saturday! Great football and catching up with a wonderful friend.

    GO Irish!

  1. Travis says:

    Songbird: You missed some good stuff in the first half, but the best part was getting all those turnovers in the second half!

    Ann: Agreed!