NCAA Game Summary - Michigan at Notre Dame|
(Saturday, September 11th)
Final Score: Michigan 28, Notre Dame 24
South Bend, IN (Sports Network) - Denard Robinson's one-yard touchdown run
with 27 seconds remaining proved to be the game-winner as the Michigan
Wolverines slipped by the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 28-24, in a non-
conference affair at Notre Dame Stadium.
Robinson finished the afternoon with an astounding 258 rushing yards and also
converted 24-of-40 passing for another 244 yards through the air as he got the
Wolverines (2-0) into the win column for the second straight week. Robinson's
efforts on the ground again set a new school-rushing mark for quarterbacks,
after putting himself at the top of that list in the season opener a week ago.
"That was amazing. Our team obviously came together and the defense played
well, and we just put it together," Robinson said.
Notre Dame (1-1) quarterback Dayne Crist converted 13-of-25 passing for 277
yards and two touchdowns through the air and also gained 19 yards and scored
once on four carries in the setback.
"Obviously incredibly disappointed. You can't ever feel good about a loss,"
Crist said. "Proud of the way the guys battled back, but at the end of the day
never happy with a loss."
A one-yard plunge by Crist gave the Irish an early 7-0 advantage, but on the
play he apparently suffered an injury that required him to sit out the rest of
the half. In the absence of Crist head coach Brian Kelly sent in backup
signal-caller Tommy Rees, but his very first pass attempt was intercepted by
the Wolverines. After that Rees joined Crist on the sidelines as third-string
quarterback Nate Montana, the son of former Notre Dame star Joe Montana, made
The Wolverines tied things up at seven apiece midway through the opening
period with a 31-yard strike from Robinson to Roy Roundtree. The slot receiver
finished the day with eight receptions for 82 yards.
A one-yard plunge by Stephen Hopkins late in the frame gave the Wolverines a
14-7 lead. Before the first half could end, Robinson again grabbed the
spotlight as he raced 87 yards for the touchdown to put the Wolverines ahead
by a score of 21-7.
Crist made his return in the second half and wasted little time making an
impact, hitting TJ Jones with a 53-yard TD pass, even though it appeared
Jones let go of the ball prior to crossing the goal line.
Later in the third Crist guided the Irish deep into Michigan territory, but
the home team had to settle for a 24-yard field goal by David Ruffer to cut
the deficit to 21-17.
With 4:15 remaining in the fourth quarter the Irish began a drive on their own
nine-yard line, but on the first play they were whistled for a holding penalty
and sent back to the five-yard line. On the next snap Crist dropped back into
his own end zone and then stepped up to the goal line, throwing deep over the
middle where he connected with Rudolph at the 45-yard line. Slipping behind
the defense, Rudolph rumbled his way into the end zone at the other end of the
field, completing the second-longest pass play in Notre Dame history and
giving the Irish a 24-21 advantage.
The only pass play in program history to stretch longer than the Crist-Rudolph
combination took place in 1981 when Blair Kiel and Joe Howard put together a
96-yard pass play versus Georgia Tech.
With plenty of time left on the clock, Michigan went back to work and moved
the ball methodically down the field. With just under two minutes remaining
the Wolverines were stuck at the 35-yard line and were facing a fourth-and-
inches, but Robinson made it look easy as he leaned in over the right side to
give the visitors a new set of downs and eventually capped the 12-play, 72-
yard drive with the winning score.
"I think more than anything else, from my perspective, we challenged our
football team at halftime to make sure that everybody knew the kind of
football that we were going to play and create our own identity and
personality," Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said. "We battled down, 21-7. We
came back to get the lead there. But, again, disappointing in the last drive
that we weren't able to hold Michigan out."
Notre Dame had one last gasp and, aided by a personal foul for a hit out of
bounds, found itself deep in Michigan territory with just six seconds to play.
Crist settled back in the pocket and, with time expiring, threw into the end
zone, but his effort sailed out of play and ended the home team's chances of
pulling off the miracle win.
A week ago Robinson established a new rushing record for Michigan quarterbacks
when he gained 197 yards on 29 attempts in the 30-10 win over the UConn
Huskies at home. Robinson became the ninth quarterback in NCAA history to rush
and pass for 200 yards in a single game, the last player to turn the trick
being Pat White of West Virginia in 2006, under the direction of head coach
Rich Rodriguez as well.
Robinson also set a new standard for single-game rushing by a quarterback in
the Big Ten Conference, topping the 217 yards produced by Mike Kafka for
Northwestern versus Minnesota in 2008.
Last season Michigan defeated the Irish in Ann Arbor by a score of 38-34,
giving the Wolverines a 21-15-1 advantage in the all-time series between the
09/11 23:19:15 ET