Michigan offense carves up Notre Dame in final Big House battle
BY LaMOND POPE Sun-Times Media September 7, 2013 11:26PM
Michigan wide receiver Jeremy Gallon (21) pulls away from the Notre Dame defense for a touchdown during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
No. 17 MICHIGAN 41,
No. 14 NOTRE DAME 30
Notre Dame 7 6 7 10 — 30
Michigan 10 17 7 7 — 41
Mich—FG Gibbons 44, 9:00.
Mich—Gallon 61 pass from Gardner (Gibbons kick), 5:35.
ND—T.Jones 4 pass from Rees (Brindza kick), 2:01.
ND—FG Brindza 44, 14:05.
Mich—Gardner 2 run (Gibbons kick), 8:43.
ND—FG Brindza 24, 5:49.
Mich—FG Gibbons 38, 1:56.
Mich—Gallon 12 pass from Gardner (Gibbons kick), 1:09.
ND—Niklas 20 pass from Rees (Brindza kick), 4:55.
Mich—Gallon 13 pass from Gardner (Gibbons kick), 1:54.
ND—Tuitt 0 interception return (Brindza kick), 12:06.
ND—FG Brindza 40, 9:15.
Mich—Dileo 4 pass from Gardner (Gibbons kick), 4:18.
TEAM STATISTICS ND Mich
First downs 23 25
Rushes-yards 19-96 39-166
Passing 314 294
Comp-Att-Int 29-53-2 21-33-1
Return Yards 18 30
Punts-Avg. 2-40.0 3-31.3
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 1-0
Penalties-Yards 4-33 6-50
Time of Possession 25:56 34:04
RUSHING—Notre Dame, Carlisle 12-64, G.Atkinson 5-37, McDaniel 1-4, Rees 1-(minus 9). Michigan, Gardner 13-82, Toussaint 22-71, Gallon 1-14, Norfleet 1-1, Green 1-(minus 1), Team 1-(minus 1).
PASSING—Notre Dame, Rees 29-51-2-314, Hendrix 0-1-0-0, Team 0-1-0-0. Michigan, Gardner 21-33-1-294.
RECEIVING—Notre Dame, T.Jones 9-94, Niklas 6-76, Daniels 6-63, C.Brown 3-28, Carlisle 2-9, G.Atkinson 1-16, Prosise 1-16, Robinson 1-12. Michigan, Gallon 8-184, Funchess 3-19, Dileo 3-18, Butt 2-17, Jackson 2-13, Toussaint 1-31, Reynolds 1-10, Norfleet 1-2.
NOTRE DAME (2-0)
Aug. 31 Temple W, 28-6
Sept. 7 at Michigan W, 41-30
Sept. 14 at Purdue 7 p.m.
Sept. 21 Mich. State 2:30 p.m.
Sept. 28 Oklahoma 2:30 p.m.
Oct. 5 Arizona State 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 19 USC 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 26 at Air Force 4 p.m.
Nov. 2 Navy 2:30 p.m.
Nov. 9 at Pittsburgh TBA
Nov. 23 BYU 2:30 p.m.
Nov. 30 at Stanford TBA
Updated: October 10, 2013 6:20AM
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Notre Dame won’t miss playing at the Big House.
Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner and wide receiver Jeremy Gallon carved up Notre Dame’s defense on the way to a 41-30 victory in front of the largest crowd to watch a college-football game (115,109) on Saturday at Michigan Stadium.
“Overall, we want to be smarter and more disciplined,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said.
Gallon finished with eight catches for 184 yards and three touchdowns. Gardner had 294 passing yards and four touchdowns.
“Obviously, Devin Gardner played outstanding,” Kelly said. “They were the better football team today.”
Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees had 314 passing yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
“I’ve got to do better, give our team a better chance to win the game,” Rees said.
The contest marked Notre Dame’s last scheduled trip to Michigan for the foreseeable future. It ended like so many of the recent trips, 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.
“This was one of those games where our offense needed to carry the day for us. We just came up short on a couple of key plays for us,” Kelly said. “One of those games we’ve got to win, and we weren’t able to come up with some key plays offensively.”
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. But 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 to 34-27 with 12:06 left. A Kyle Brindza field goal made it 34-30 with 9:15 to go.
Michigan faced a pair of third downs on its next possession. Both times, Notre Dame was called for pass interference to extend the drive. Then Gardner threw a four-yard touchdown pass to Drew Dileo. Blake Countess picked off Rees in the end zone with 1:29 left to essentially end the game.
“We hold ourselves to a higher standard than what we went out there and played with today,” linebacker Dan Fox said.
One of the turning points came right before halftime. Countess picked off a pass with less than two minutes left. Four plays later, Gardner threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Gallon, giving Michigan a 27-13 lead.
“In a two-minute situation, I can’t turn the ball over,” Rees said. “I’ve got to be smarter than that.”
Notre Dame trailed 34-20 early in the fourth quarter when the team decided to go for it on fourth-and-four from Michigan’s 17-yard line. Rees’ pass was incomplete.