ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner had just made the biggest mistake of his football career, and he had done it in front of the biggest college-football crowd in 76 years.
His only thought?
"I couldn't let anyone see that I was upset," Gardner said after Saturday's 41-30 victory over Notre Dame at Michigan Stadium.
With Michigan leading 34-20 in the fourth quarter, Gardner dropped back to pass inside his own 5-yard line. He was immediately put under pressure by Notre Dame's defensive line and tried to do the thing he does best -- escape.
He drifted back into the end zone, attempting to elude defenders, but two Irish linemen hit him high and low.
That would have been bad -- he should have stayed out of the end zone at all costs -- but not horrible. A safety would pull the Irish within 12 points and give them the ball, but they would still need two scores to surge ahead.
The problem for Michigan was, Gardner wasn't done showing off his athletic ability. As h...