Michigan beats Notre Dame 41-30
BY LaMond Pope September 7, 2013 8:57PM
Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees (11) passes during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game against Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Updated: September 7, 2013 10:49PM
Ann Arbor, Mich. – Notre Dame won’t miss playing at the Big House.
Quarterback Devin Gardner and wide receiver Jeremy Gallon carved up Notre Dame’s defense on the way to a 41-30 Michigan victory in front of the largest crowd to ever watch a college football game, 115,109 fans Saturday at Michigan Stadium.
Gallon finished with eight catches for 184 yards and three touchdowns. Gardner was had 294 passing yards and four touchdowns.
Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees had 277 passing yards in the loss.
The contest marked Notre Dame’s last scheduled trip to Michigan for the foreseeable future. It ended like so many of the recent trips to Ann Arbor, Mich., with a Michigan victory. The No. 17 Wolverines (2-0) have won seven of the last eight against the No. 14 Irish (1-1) at Michigan Stadium.
Some of those games went down to the wire.
Saturday was no different.
Michigan led by 14 points early in the fourth quarter when Gardner was hit while trying to throw an ill-advised pass out of his end zone. The ball didn’t get out of the end zone. Defensive end Stephon Tuitt caught it for an interception and a touchdown, pulling the Irish within 34-27 with 12:06 remaining. A Kyle Brindza field goal made it 34-30 with 9:15 to go.
Michigan faced a pair of third downs in its next possession. Both times, Notre Dame got called for pass interference to extend the drive. Gardner threw a 4-yard touchdown to Drew Dileo. Blake Countess picked off Rees in the end zone with 1:29 to essentially end the game.
It was all Michigan early. The Wolverines opened up a 10-0 lead when Gallon caught a pass over the middle and avoided at least four would-be tacklers on the way to a 61-yard touchdown.
Notre Dame rallied. First, Rees threw a pass in the end zone that went off the hands of running back George Atkinson III and right to wide receiver TJ Jones for a touchdown. Then, Brindza connected on a 44-yard field goal.
Gardner scored on a 2-yard run on the next possession and the teams traded field goals to make it 20-13.
Countess picked off a pass with less than two minutes remaining in the half. Four plays later, Gardner threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Gallon, giving Michigan a 27-13 halftime lead.
Notre Dame cut the deficit to 27-20 with a 20-yard touchdown from Tommy Rees to Troy Niklas with 4:55 left in the third quarter.
The Wolverines decided to get the ball back in Gallon’s hands. It was a good call. The wide receiver jumped over KeiVarae Russell on the way to a 13-yard score.
The Irish gambled on their next drive, deciding to go for it on fourth-and-4 from Michigan’s 17. Rees threw an incomplete pass.
Notre Dame got right back in the game though with the interception, setting up yet another exciting finish.
Too bad this series is ending after next season.