106,000 spectators filled the Michigan Stadium today to witness the Wolverines break down Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish. ABC televised the game; Sean McDonough and Matt Millen provided commentary. The first quarter was scoreless until four minutes were left to play. Wolverines Brandon Minor running back caught quarterback Tate Forcier pass and nudged the ball into the end zone. Michigan 7 and Notre Dame 0. Fighting Irish halfback Armando Allen Jr. answered with a TD. Michigan then challenged the TD ruling, citing that Allen Jr.’s right foot stepped out of bounds at the twenty-two yard line. Michigan won the challenge. With under a minute left on the clock, Nick Tausch landed a field goal for the Fighting Irish. Wolverines wide receiver Darryl Stonum then made a ninety-four yard kickoff-return for a TD. Going into the second quarter, Michigan 14 and Notre Dame 3.
The top of the second quarter saw an increase in the Fighting Irish’s score, thanks to quarterback Jimmy Clausen’s pass to wide receiver Golden Tate for a TD. Michigan 14 and Notre Dame 10. By the bottom of the quarter, the Fighting Irish bumped up their number with another TD, courtesy of wide receiver Michael Floyd, and a field goal. With seconds remaining in the first half, the Wolverines narrowed the score gap with a thirty-nine yard field goal by kicker Jason Olesnavage. Notre Dame 20 and Michigan 17.
The third quarter gave the Wolverines an opportunity to tie the score, but Olesnavage shuttled that ball very wide left (from the kicker’s POV, the ball sailed beyond to the left of the uprights). Halfway through the quarter, though, the Wolverines took the lead with a TD reception by tight end Kevin Koger. Michigan 24 and Notre Dame 20.
The fourth quarter spat out a thirty–one yard touchdown, taken into the end zone by Tate Forcier himself. He ran right down the field with no threat of being tackled. Michigan 31 and Notre Dame 20. The Fighting Irish nearly clocked in another TD on their next possession, but Golden Tate dropped the ball as he came down in the end zone. His mouth guard fell out as well. A couple of plays later, though, he would get the prolate spheroid across the goal line without dropping it. A two-point conversion was unsucessfully attempted. Michigan 31 and Notre Dame 26. Halfway through the quarter, Forcier threw an interception. Irish safety Kyle McCarthy made the catch and ran the ball back twenty-some-odd yards (he travelled in more of horizontal trajectory). With five minutes left on the clock, the Fighting Irish took the lead with a second Allen Jr. TD. This time, the two-point conversion worked. Notre Dame 34 and Michigan 31. Down to sixteen seconds and Wolverines wide receiver Greg Mathews made a TD reception. He caught the pass and took a step into the end zone. Michigan 38 and Notre Dame 34.
Observations & Miscellania:
1. The yellow from those Wolverines’ uniforms were so bright! Pacman bright. The Michigan fans in the stands also made me think of Pacman.
2. Denard Robinson stepped in as QB for Michigan intermittently from the middle of the second quarter onwards.
3. In the bottom of the third quarter at 3:48 seconds, a flag was thrown on the field, a holding penalty on Notre Dame. The camera cut to one of the Fighting Irish (in long shot) standing somewhat nonchalantly on the field (the flag was in the background, slightly to screen right). Was it Jimmy Clausen who was standing there…and readjusted the cloth about his crotch? Oh yes, his hand gestures bore a striking resemblance to picking a wedge–only in the front rather than in the rear.
4. Did Matt Millen say something about Darius Fleming’s jock strap being on the field after Tate Forcier’s fourth quarter TD? What could Millen have said if he didn’t say “jock strap.”
5. After Notre Dame got on top towards the bottom of the fourth quarter, the camera cut to a couple shots of the Fighting Irish fans. Imagine a moshpit, if you will, except there’s no crowd-surfing. There’s crowd-pushups.
6. Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis has to get his other knee replaced?
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