Sept. 22, 2012
Site: South Bend, Ind. (Notre Dame Stadium)
Score: #11 Notre Dame 13, #18 Michigan 6
Records: U-M (2-2), Notre Dame (4-0)
Next U-M Game: Saturday, Oct. 6 -- at Purdue (West Lafayette, Ind.), 4 p.m.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Unable to overcome five first-half turnovers, the University of Michigan football team (No. 18 AP/No. 17 USA Today Coaches) fell to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (No. 11 AP/No. 15 USA Today Coaches), 13-6, on Saturday night (Sept. 22) at Notre Dame Stadium. The Maize and Blue cut the Notre Dame lead to a touchdown late in the contest but could not halt the Fighting Irish offense on their final drive as time expired.
The Michigan defense held strong throughout the game, allowing just 239 total yards and only 13 points for the second consecutive week. Fifth-year senior safety Jordan Kovacs (Curtice, Ohio/Clay) and sophomore linebacker Desmond Morgan (Holland, Mich./West Ottawa) led the way with seven tackles. Senior/junior corner Thomas Gordon (Detroit, Mich./Cass Tech) also added six takedowns and an interception.
Senior quarterback Denard Robinson (Deerfield Beach, Fla./Deerfield Beach) led the U-M offense with 138 yards through the air and 90 on the ground, allowing him to surpass Chad Henne (9,400, 2004-07) as the career yardage leader at Michigan (9,438). Meanwhile, fifth-year senior Roy Roundtree (Trotwood, Ohio/Trotwood-Madison), senior/junior Jeremy Gallon (Apopka, Fla./Apopka) and junior Devin Gardner (Detroit, Mich./Inkster) each hauled in three passes.
The Wolverines surrendered five interceptions to the Fighting Irish in the opening 30 minutes -- the final five Michigan pass attempts of the half. Despite the giveaways, the Michigan defense held Notre Dame to just 111 yards of offense and 10 points in the first two quarters while forcing two turnovers of its own.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Maize and Blue claimed an 80-25 advantage in total yards of offense but failed to capitalize on two trips to the Notre Dame red zone -- one ending in a missed field goal and the other in an interception on a failed half-back pass attempt.
Early in the second period, after a Fighting Irish interception return by Manti Te'o to the Michigan 17-yard line, sophomore kicker Kyle Brindza connected on a 33-yard field goal to give Notre Dame a 3-0 lead.
Minutes later, Notre Dame threatened to score again, but Gordon picked off a Fighting Irish pass in the end zone to nullify the threat.
Late in the first half, Te'o garnered his second pick of the game, and with 1:21 left, replacement quarterback Tommy Rees ran the ball in from two yards out to give Notre Dame a 10-0 halftime advantage.
The Michigan defense stayed strong to start the second half, allowing 29 yards and zero points in the third quarter.
Just 1:50 into the fourth quarter, senior/junior kicker Brendan Gibbons (West Palm Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman) split the uprights from 33 yards away to get the Wolverines on the board, cutting the Notre Dame lead to 10-3.
On the ensuing Notre Dame possession, the Fighting Irish took the ball down the field and Brindza added a 39-yard field goal to extend the lead to 13-3.
The Wolverines took the ball following the score and marched the field, capping a 56-yard drive with a 31-yard Gibbons field goal, bringing the Maize and Blue within seven points with just 3:27 left in the contest.
With Michigan needing a third-down stop in Notre Dame territory, the Fighting Irish completed a 32-yard pass to extend the final drive of the game. Notre Dame garnered one additional first down en route to running out the final seconds.
The Wolverines take next week off before heading to West Lafayette, Ind., to take on the Purdue Boilermakers on Saturday, Oct.6, at 4 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.
Contact: Justin Dickens (734) 763-4423