Notre Dame vs. Michigan: Live Score, Highlights and Analysis
Michigan 35, Notre Dame 31- Final
We're minutes away from the first night game in Michigan Stadium history, pitting the Fighting Irish against the Wolverine in the "Under the Lights" game.
To add a bit more flare to the already red-hot rivalry, both teams will be donning retro uniforms at the urging of Adidas.
Notre Dame is coming off a heartbreaking 23-20 loss to the Bulls of South Florida while Michigan is rolling in on the heels of a 34-10 victory over Western Michigan.
Tommy Rees has taken over as the starting quarterback for the Irish, and hopes to right Notre Dame's ship after the lackluster start.
Can the Irish contain Michigan's Denard Robinson?
Will the Wolverines' defense be able to shut down Notre Dame's high-octane offense?
We'll see the answers to those questions shortly.
Stay tuned to the blog for updates throughout the game!
Denard Robinson marches the Wolverines 80 yards in two plays, first hitting Jeremy Gallon on a 64-yard completion to the Notre Dame 16. Then with everyone in the stadium thinking Michigan would set up for a FG attempt to force OT, Robinson tossed a 16-yard TD pass to Roy Roundtree with 2 seconds left. An absolute crushing loss for the Irish. There's not much left to say.
What a clutch drive by Tommy Rees and Notre Dame!
The mental toughness we've all been waiting to see is finally showing itself.
That drive has proved that Notre Dame has what it takes to win on the biggest stage.
Does it make them BCS candidates? No.
Does it prove they have what it takes to win? Yes.
That final drive was championship-caliber football.
The remainder of this game will be a large test of Notre Dame's mental toughness which has been questioned ever since the conclusion of last week's game against USF.
The Irish need to prove that they can finish a game and hold a lead. Any credibility the team has now will be gone if it fails to maintain this lead and win the game.
With Michigan knocking on Notre Dame's door once again, it's time to start worrying if you're a Notre Dame fan.
Brian Kelly has to get in the heads of his players and will them to victory.
Notre Dame's goal line defense has shown that it's a very stout unit as it stuffed Michigan on the goal line and forced a fumble.
However, Denard Robinson scooped the ball up and ran into the endzone untouched for the score.
You can't discredit the Irish defense as it has played extremely well to this point. The previous score was simply an unfortunate stroke of luck for the Irish.
It's up to Notre Dame to protect the 10-point lead it currently holds.
Fold and let Michigan back into the game, and the frustration will reach a boiling point. Shut the Wolverines down, and the faith will remain.
The fourth quarter is set to be very exciting.
Michigan's offensive coordinator, Al Borges, made some excellent halftime adjustments to get Denard Robinson more active.
Those adjustments have shown as Robinson has been free to run and has used that freedom to his advantage.
His speed and agility have also helped him buy time in the pocket and find the open receivers down field.
The long gain to Junior Hemingway was a prime example of that.
If Robinson can continue to hang in there and stay alive in the pocket, the Irish defense will be in for quite a challenge.
Through the majority of the third quarter, Tommy Rees has shown that he is much more calm and relaxed in the pocket while going through his progressions.
On the touchdown pass to T.J. Jones, Rees was patient and knew that the crossing pattern would be there, and it was.
The play certainly made up for last week when Rees' pass to Jones on the crossing pattern bounced off of Jones' shoulder pads and resulted in an interception.
The momentum is clearly with Notre Dame, and with Michigan struggling to move the ball, a win for Notre Dame is very likely at this point.
Current score: Notre Dame 24, Michigan 7
We've reached the halfway mark of the "Under the Lights" game in Ann Arbor. There is plenty to be discussed, so let's cut right to the chase.
Notre Dame's defense has done a tremendous job of containing Denard Robinson and the Michigan offense thus far, only allowing one big play which was a 43-yard touchdown pass.
Robinson hasn't been able to run freely like he did last year against the Irish, and that is due to Notre Dame's effort to make him beat them with his arm.
Robinson's has not been a consistent passer to this point, and that's not a good sign for the Wolverines. They need him to be able to get the ball to the receivers and take pressure off of the run game.
As for Notre Dame, the Irish are performing much better than a week ago against USF. The play of Tommy Rees is the only thing that concerns me.
He started hot, completing each of his first eight pass attempts, but has cooled off since then by throwing two interceptions.
Brian Kelly needs to coach him up and tell him to throw the ball away if nothing is there.
If Rees can avoid mistakes and the defense keeps up its solid play, a win is in the books for the Irish.
Tommy Rees is showing that he can be late on his throws at witnessed by the interception he just threw.
Michael Floyd was locked up in triple coverage, but Rees was greedy and threw to him despite the fact.
Rees needs to learn that he simply can't force passes, especially in the red zone. He's a had a good game so far, but needs to avoid the silly mistakes.
If Kelly can continue to teach Rees and help him develop, the offense will be in great hands.
The coverage on Michigan's previous touchdown was abysmal. Gary Gray was entirely unengaged and left Junior Hemingway wide open for the 43-yard strike.
The defensive gameplan was to make Denard Robinson beat the Irish with his arm, and he did just that on the last play.
If he can keep it up, it might turn out to be a long night for the Irish.
However, Robinson hadn't been consistent with his passes before the touchdown. He needs to be consistent throwing the ball for the offense to have success.
Cierre Wood rumbles in for the Notre Dame touchdown to put the Irish ahead 14-0.
Brian Kelly reinforced the idea of establishing the run game first in order to take the pressure off Tommy Rees and the passing game, and that gameplan is working to perfection.
Michigan has been bringing the pressure in a number of different blitz packages, but Tommy Rees has done an excellent job of reading the defense and distributing the ball to his receivers.
Notre Dame needs Michael Floyd and Theo Riddick to keep producing and playing at a consistent level.
Also, the offensive line has been dominant thus far.
Michigan simply doesn't have the weapons or strength on the defensive line to pressure Rees.
Michigan's offense doesn't seem to have any fluidity thus far, so offensive coordinator Al Borges must find a way to get Denard Robinson going.
Robinson's play is critical to Michigan having a chance to beat the Irish.
Touchdown Irish! Tommy Rees to Theo Riddick for the score.
The offense seems very calm and composed with Rees taking the snaps. The drive was extremely efficient and the best thing; no turnovers.
Cierre Wood looks solid on his first two carries of the game. Will he eclipse the 100-yard mark for the second week in a row?
There's no doubt he will if he keeps it up tonight.
Don't these teams look great in the throwbacks?
Michigan goes three and out on its first drive. Let's see how the Irish fare on their first drive.
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