Irish defense vs. Wolverines: Pick-’em game
BY MARK LAZERUS firstname.lastname@example.org September 23, 2012 12:30AM
Updated: October 24, 2012 6:51AM
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame’s passing game was bad enough in the first half to send Everett Golson to the bench. But Michigan’s passing game was bad enough in the first half to defy all logic.
The Wolverines’ last five passes of the half were all intercepted — the last four thrown by star quarterback Denard Robinson. It was a staggering performance by an offense that had thrown for 582 yards against the Irish over the last two meetings.
Michigan first got the ball at the Notre Dame 10 after Golson was picked off on the opening drive. The Wolverines lost yards on all three snaps, including two sacks of Robinson, and missed a 43-yard field goal.
It only got worse.
After Robinson marched the Wolverines from his own 12 to the Notre Dame 10 — with three passes of 12 yards or more and a 15-yard run — Michigan got cute and tried a halfback pass by Vincent Smith that was snared by Notre Dame freshman safety Nicky Baratti at the goal line.
On Michigan’s next pass, Robinson threw right at ND linebacker Manti Te’o. On his next snap, he was picked off by corner Bennett Jackson. After three runs on the next drive, Robinson’s next pass was again intercepted by Te’o, off a tip from safety Zeke Motta. And to close out the half, his long-distance heave with 15 seconds left landed in the arms of freshman corner KeiVarae Russell.
None of the nagging injuries Notre Dame was dealing with all week affected the starting lineup. Receiver DaVaris Daniels (ankle) and defensive ends Kapron Lewis-Moore (calf) and Sheldon Day (knee) all played.