Found September 06, 2013 on
The Detroit Sports Site:
George Atkinson III
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Roy Roundtree’s game-winning catch stunned Notre Dame in 2011.
There was little to be learned from either Notre Dame’s or Michigan’s opening-weekend wins. The Irish stomped an overmatched Temple team, while Michigan ran roughshod over Central Michigan. Those games were little more than prologues for Sept. 7.
The last Notre Dame-Michigan showdown at the Big House: an instant classic. Denard Robinson hit Roy Roundtree for a touchdown with less than 10 seconds to go, following a long catch-and-run by Jeremy Gallon. Notre Dame’s previous trip to the Big House before that? Tate Forcier hit Greg Mathews with 11 seconds on the clock for a win.
The stakes are high again, with both teams in the top 20 and meeting in Ann Arbor for what will be the final teams for at least several years. How will it all play out on Saturday night?
Michigan’s Key to Victory: Establish the run.
Easier said than done. Notre Dame features one of college football’s more feared defensive lines, anchored by future draft picks Stephon Tuitt and Louis Nix. Michigan’s young interior line will have its hands full keeping that duo from getting into the backfield, both on run plays and when Devin Gardner drops back.
Gardner’s task will be even tougher if Notre Dame can force the Wolverines in second- and third-and-long situations by stuffing Fitzgerald Toussaint, Derrick Green and the rest of Michigan’s running backs. Michigan needs to be a dual-threat team in this one — and Gardner is not near the dangerous weapon on the ground that Denard Robinson (and Tate Forcier) proved to be in recent matchups with the Irish.
Notre Dame’s Key to Victory: Get Tommy Rees in the zone.
In the inaugural Under the Lights game, Rees threw for 315 yards and three TDs, including one in the closing seconds that looked like it might give the Irish a win. But his mistakes proved costly — Rees fired a pair of interceptions and fumbled deep in Michigan territory in the fourth quarter. Last season, he came off the bench in Notre Dame’s win over Michigan to hit on 8-of-11 passes.
Rees, now a senior, came out cooking last week against Temple, finishing 16-of-23 for 346 yards and three touchdowns. If he has that level of success against Michigan on Saturday night, Gardner’s offense will have a real hard time keeping up.
Michigan’s Player to Watch: Blake Countess.
The Wolverines were without Countess in that sloppy South Bend loss last season. He returned to game action last week, and he’ll be part of that Michigan secondary which will be tested by Rees early and often Saturday. The emergence of freshman Channing Stribling, to go along with Countess’ return to action and the presence of Raymon Taylor, means that the Wolverines are in as solid a shape at CB as they have been in some time.
Countess, though, is a potential game-changer, with the ability to step up and make some plays. Given Rees’ tendency to commit inopportune turnovers, Countess might get a shot or two to turn momentum.
Notre Dame’s Player to Watch: George Atkinson III.
As important as it is for Michigan to get its ground game churning on Saturday, the Irish also need that run-pass balance to avoid putting Rees in those questionable situations. Notre Dame, like Michigan, has a host of capable backs — Amir Carlisle and Cam McDaniel led the way last week with 68 and 65 yards rushing, respectively.
Atkinson, though, figures to be first up at RB for Notre Dame. He has to find his footing in the first quarter, so Rees can go to work from there out.
Prediction: Anyone figuring on a blowout one way or the other hasn’t been paying attention to this series for the past several seasons. These games rarely go as expected — Forcier’s heroics, Roy Roundtree’s catch, five straight passes picked off by Notre Dame — but they usually get into the waning moments with the outcome undecided.
There’s no reason to expect anything different on Saturday night. Both the 14th-ranked Irish and 17th-ranked Wolverines have loads of talent, and both would love to use this game as a springboard toward a big season.
Notre Dame, though, cannot count on Michigan to self-destruct in the manner it did last season. This is a more complete Michigan squad than the one that fell in South Bend last September, and it’s probably not as elite an Irish group on the other sideline.
Michigan 34, Notre Dame 27
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Will Saturday night be the final game that the Notre Dame Fighting Irish play in Ann Arbor? It’s entirely possible.
(Check out the Michigan perspective here)
The Notre Dame-Michigan rivalry will be taking a “hiatus” beginning with the 2015 season that will last until at least 2017, and may not resume until after 2020, if ever. When Notre Dame agreed to join the ACC in...
ANN ARBOR, Mich. Every Notre Dame quarterback leaves a legacy.
As a senior who threw for 314 yards Saturday night but came up short in a 41-30 loss to the University of Michigan, Tommy Rees is running out of time to make a positive lasting impression. His legacy just might end up being that he was hard to love.
Despite scoring 30 points against what was expected to be a pretty...
Notre Dame and Michigan always promises to be an entertaining game — the two schools are currently squaring off in ESPN’s game of the week. Michigan took an early 10-0 lead on the Irish after a ridiculous play by Jeremy Gallon, but Tommy Rees has just responded with a pretty impressive touchdown drive.
Notre Dame put the ball in the end zone in a pretty unconventional way, however...
With the game on the line, Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees was driving his team down the field to try and make a come back win. With 1:28 left in the 4th quarterback, Rees threw into the end zone. The pass was deflected off of his own teammate, kicked and then intercepted by Michigan’s Black Countess.
This may be one of the whackiest plays you see all season!
Check out the video...
Michigan and Notre Dame are in the middle of a nice back and forth game right now. After Michigan WR Jeremy Gallon scored on a play that Notre Dame had no interest in tackling, Tommy Rees drove the team right back down the field for a score. Rees actually had a pass go right through RB George Atkinson III’s hands and directly into WR, T.J. Jones’ waiting hands. It looks like...
Tommy Rees took it on himself. He couldn't outplay Devin Gardner, and the Notre Dame defense couldn't stop the Michigan quarterback.
Gardner, wearing No. 98 to honor Michigan great Tom Harmon, threw four touchdown passes and ran for a score to lead No. 17 Michigan to a 41-30 win over No. 14 Notre Dame in front of an NCAA-record crowd of 115,109.
Rees threw the first of...
We all feel like crap, right? Good. Let's review the important facts.
"But what about those bogus Pass Interference calls?!?!?"
FACT: The Notre Dame defense gave up 41 points.
"Those Tommy Rees interceptions cost us the game!!!"
FACT: The Notre Dame defense gave up 41 points
I was in the stands last September as an emotional Notre Dame...
ANN ARBOR -- Tommy Rees, TJ Jones and Sheldon Day discuss Notre Dame's 41-30 loss to Michigan on Saturday night.
The first one happened with Michigan with ball and complete control of the game. Devin Gardner of Michigan made what might be one of the worst plays in the history of college football. Lucky for him that the Wolverines won this game and this play can now be laughed at....
The second was from Tommy Rees and Notre Dame. With the Wolverines up 11 points last in the fourth...
In a thrilling back-and-forth affair at the Big House in Ann Arbor, the Michigan Wolverines prevailed, 41-30, handing Notre Dame its first regular season loss in the past two seasons. Notre Dame, trailing by 11 late in the fourth quarter, had a chance to get back within one score before Tommy Rees threw a terribly unlucky interception on the team’s final drive.
Crisis averted, Devin Gardner.
GoBlueWolverine.com reporter Josh Newkirk stops by to offer Irish fans five players to keep an eye on when Michigan attempts to stop Tommy Rees and the Notre Dame offense Saturday night.
What would a rivalry be without head coaches verbally sparing just days before its contest? This is what big time college football brings to the table each week-along with the ESPN gameday crew to hype the day.Does anyone care if June Jones of SMU is going after Bob Davies of New Mexico?Everyone listens when its Holtz v. Bo or Akers v. Switzer.Its because of the teams and what is...
Another week, another slate of awesome games in college football! We know about the in-state games happening this weekend, the biggest one being the Texas-BYU game in Provo. The Utah State Aggies look to bounce back from their loss to the Utes last weekend by taking on Air Force. Utah has a much easier matchup as they take on the Weber State Wildcats. It should be another exciting...
(Editor's note... Herring slipped this note to me before he left for a night of debauchery. No intro neccessary)
5. ESPN Waxes Poetic On Temporary End of ND/Michigan - Quite a few fine articles have been written this week by Irish leaning columnists who arm themselves with things like facts and history pertaining to the series. In the meantime - not one, but TWO, high profile...
We missed our weekly Gameday signs post last week, but we're back to show the best that the kids in Ann Arbor have come up with. Tweet us your favorites @DCoverageFB or send us your picks if you're at the Big House. We'll keep updating the post until Corso picks Notre Dame and sends us all to Miami...