Legend to Legend: Gardner to Gallon Thrice Buries Irish
Jeremy Gallon

Sep 7, 2013

• Postgame: Press Conference video icon | Highlights video icon | Gardner video icon | Gallon video icon | Lewan video icon
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• Subscription: Hoke Locker Room Speech | Toussaint video icon | Countess video icon
• Harmon Tribute: Pre-Game Video video icon | Game Program

Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Michigan Stadium)
Event: Under the Lights II
Score: #17 Michigan 41, #14 Notre Dame 30
Records: U-M (2-0), UND (1-1)
Attendance: 115,109
Next U-M Game: Saturday, Sept. 14 -- vs. Akron (Michigan Stadium), Noon

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Senior/junior quarterback Devin Gardner (Detroit, Mich./Inkster) accounted for 376 yards of total offense and five touchdowns, while fifth-year senior wide receiver Jeremy Gallon (Apopka, Fla./Apopka) set career highs in both receiving yards (184) and touchdowns (three) to guide the No. 17-ranked University of Michigan football team to a 41-30 victory over No. 14 Notre Dame on Saturday (Sept. 7) in the second-ever night game at Michigan Stadium. The win is the program's 400th at the Big House.

Right before kickoff, Gardner was awarded the No. 98 jersey, the number designated to newly minted Michigan Football Legend Tom Harmon. The U-M quarterback is the first player to wear that number since Harmon in 1940, a span of 73 years. Officially, Gardner went 21-of-33 for 294 yards and four touchdowns through the air, adding 13 rushes for 82 yards and one touchdown. Michigan fifth-year senior running back Fitzgerald Toussaint (Youngstown, Ohio/Liberty) carried the ball 22 times for 71 yards.

Shining under the lights defensively, junior cornerback Raymon Taylor (Detroit, Mich./Highland Park) led the team with 11 tackles, while junior/sophomore cornerback Blake Countess (Owings Mills, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel) had six tackles and two interceptions.

With Michigan clinging to a four-point lead late in the fourth quarter, Gardner orchestrated a 10-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a four-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Drew Dileo (Greenwell Springs, La./Parkview Baptist), putting the Wolverines back ahead by two scores at 41-30 with 4:18 to play. The drive was kept alive by two defensive pass interference calls against the Notre Dame secondary, both of which came on third downs.

After a penalty on the ensuing kickoff allowed Notre Dame to start at the 35-yard line, the Fighting Irish marched all the way to the Michigan six-yard line with less than two minutes to play. Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees fired a pass into the end zone that was initially deflected by Taylor. The ball hung in the air until Countess pulled it down for the interception.

The Michigan defense was stout on the opening drive of the game, forcing Notre Dame into a three-and-out. The Wolverines took over on their own 32-yard line and marched 41 yards in 10 plays, getting points on a successful 44-yard field goal attempt by fifth-year senior Brendan Gibbons (West Palm Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman) -- his 15th consecutive made field goal, a new school record.

Michigan took possession after the defense forced another three-and-out. Back-to-back runs from Toussaint netted 16 total yards on the drive's first two plays. On the third, Gardner found Gallon wide open, and as Fighting Irish defenders converged to make the tackle, the Wolverines wideout slipped away and ran straight to the end zone to complete a 61-yard touchdown reception with 5:35 left in the first quarter. Gibbons tacked on the extra point to make it 10-0 early.

However, Notre Dame tied up the score. First, on a third-and-goal from four-yard line, Rees found TJ Jones in the back of the end zone after it went through the hands of George Atkinson III, the intended receiver. On the second possession, kicker Kyle Brindza tacked on a 44-yard field goal with 14:05 left in the first half.

Gardner then engineered a 12-play, 75-yard drive to put the Maize and Blue back up a touchdown. On a third-and-goal from the 14-yard line, Gardner threw into the end zone, but pass interference was called on Notre Dame, giving Michigan an automatic first down at the two-yard line. On the next play, Gardner kept it on the option, running it in to put the score at 17-10 after the extra point.

The two teams traded field goals on each of their next possessions. Brindza initially cut the lead to 17-13 after a successful 24-yard field goal attempt, but Gibbons matched it, connecting from 38 yards out.

On the ensuing Notre Dame drive, Rees was flushed out of the pocket left on second down and threw an interception to Countess, who returned it 30 yards all the way to the Notre Dame 23-yard line, setting the Michigan offense up with its best starting field position of the day. Four plays later, Gardner found Gallon in the front of the end zone on a comeback route for the 12-yard touchdown, increasing the advantage to 24-10 heading into halftime.

Michigan punted on its first possession to start the third quarter, before Rees took the Fighting Irish down the field in a 12-play, 90-yard drive, finishing with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Troy Niklas, bringing the score to 27-20.

The Wolverines got it back on the next drive, however, with the Gardner-to-Gallon combo playing a big part once again. After Gardner scrambled for a first down on a third-and-eight, he hooked up with Gallon for a 41-yard gain over the middle to set Michigan up at the Notre Dame 25-yard line. Three plays later, the duo connected again, this time for a 13-yard touchdown to put the score back at two touchdowns (34-20) with 1:54 left in the third quarter.

The Fighting Irish drove down the field on the next possession, but the Michigan defense turned them away, stopping a fourth-and-four from the Michigan 17-yard line. Soon after, Gardner was chased into his own end zone and threw up a pass attempt that was intercepted by Fighting Irish defensive end Stephon Tuitt for a touchdown. After Michigan challenged the ruling, the call was confirmed, putting the score at 34-27 with 12:06 to play in the game.

With 9:15 to play, Brindza added another field goal, this time from 40 yards, cutting the lead to four at 34-30.

The Wolverines' three-game homestand to start the season concludes next Saturday (Sept. 14), as they welcome Akron to Michigan Stadium. The game will begin at noon and be televised on the Big Ten Network.

Contact: Justin Dickens, Zach Eisendrath (734) 763-4423

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