Michigan's Memento: A 41-30 Smackdown
Michigan gave Nôtre Dame something to remember them by as they ran up 41 points on the Irish Saturday night.
Devon Gardner, wearing No 98, threw for 294 yards and four touchdown passes, including three to Jeremy Gallon, who caught eight passes in the game. Michigan jumped to a 10-0 lead on a 44-yard field goal by Brandan Gibbons and Gardner's first touchdown pass to Gallon, this one for 61 yards. Gallon looked to be stopped two or three times but broke free to give Michigan a ten-point lead.
Nôtre Dame tied the game on a Tommy Rees' four-yard pass to TJ Jones and a 44-yard field goal by Kyle Brindza, but Gardner ran for a two-yard touchdown to put the Wolverines ahead, 17-10, midway through the second quarter. After trading field goals, Nôtre Dame was driving for the tying score late in the half, but Rees threw the first of his two interceptions to Blake Countess, and Gardner drove them for a touchdown, hitting Gallon again to put Michigan up at the half, 27-13.
The third quarter was evenly matched with the Irish pulling to within 27-20 on a Rees 20-yard pass to Troy Niklas, but Michigan came right back near the end of the third quarter as Gardner and Gallon hooked up again to make the score 34-20. Nôtre Dame scored on a freak play in the fourth quarter, as Garder forced a pass from the end zone and it was intercepted there by Stephon Tuitt for a touchdown. Brindza added a field goal, and Nôtre Dame pulled within 34-30 with over nine minutes left. However, the Wolverines put together a nice drive, aided by a very questionable pass interference call, and salted the game away with four minutes left as Gardner hit Drew Dileo with a four-yard touchdown pass.
Michigan should be favored in every game through October, and with the injury to Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller, the Wolverines could very well be the favorites in the Big Ten. Nôtre Dame, on the other hand, has many questions to answer, especially on defense.
While this week at Purdue should be an easy victory for the Irish, they follow that up with a gauntlet consisting of Michigan State, Oklahoma, Arizona State, and USC.
The Irish should truly be looking forward to an ACC-oriented schedule after that slate.