Michigan and Notre Dame Put Together Game for the Ages

Alex FergusonSenior Analyst IISeptember 12, 2009

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 12:  Quarterback Tate Forcier #5 of Michigan is hugged by a teammate after scoring a touchdown late in the game against Notre Dame at Michigan Stadium on September 12, 2009 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  (Photo by Domenic Centofanti/Getty Images)

Michigan have been hopeless over the last year or so, and you know what? We've loved it.

Any good Penn State would hate Michigan after the joke loss in 2005, thanks to some bad defensive calls and some VERY BAD refereeing calls.

But today, any good college football fan could not deny Michigan the victory in what was a classic 38-34 victory over Notre Dame.

We weren't cheering for anybody today. The VFA doesn't like Maize and Blue and certainly doesn't like faux Irish and Golden Domes, but this was another classic that went down right to the end.

Like the Florida State-Miami game on Monday night, which featured two sleeping giants that had at last woken from their slumber to put on the biggest football party since the last Super Bowl, Notre Dame and Michigan needed a proper game to wake us all up.

And they did. ND's Jimmy Clausen and Michigan's Tate Forcier (remember the latter's name, college football fans), put up 576 yards of passing offence, while the rushing games added a near-350 each.

But more than anything else, it was brilliant because throughout the game, you were never quite sure who was going to win. No side took more than an 11-point lead (Michigan), and when they did, the Irish—much to their credit—came fighting back.

Clausen, who would have probably won the game had Brandon Tate not dropped two fairly basic catches and had help from his offensive line throughout the game, was brilliant, showing people why people will be talking about him as a high NFL draft pick in 2011.

And Forcier? The kid's got guts. He's not the polished article, so it was perhaps unwise for the ABC/ESPN commentators to have their nose quite so far up his behind in quite such a undignified fashion, but darn, he's good.

And with Rich Rodriguez' offense, which loves to let quarterbacks run, he'll be a dangerous opponent for Golden Domers—and Big Ten defenses—for a few years to come.

From a Penn State point of view, we thought the Nittany Lions' visit to The Big House would be a pretty easy. After seeing the Wolverines this year, it could be the hardest road trip of the season.

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