Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/16/14
Michigan Football will host Notre Dame on Saturday. Kick off is scheduled for 8:12pm and the game will be televised on ESPN. This will likely, barring bowl games, be the last installment in this rivalry. As Brady Hoke put it, and I completely agree, Notre Dame chickened out of the series. They had to dump a Big Ten foe off their schedule and they chose the one that presented the biggest threat. Brian Kelly is a bit confused “I really haven’t seen it as one of those historic, traditional Notre Dame rivalries,” Brian Kelly said on Sunday. He then referred to it as a big regional game. Two days later, Kelly proclaimed Michigan vs Notre Dame as ”a great and historic rivalry.” You must forgive him if he is a little confused. Kelly is still trying to figure out how Temple amassed 25 first downs and 363 yards against the Irish defense last week. [Bookmark our Michigan Football home page] The way I see it Notre Dame has one tactical advantage heading into this game. That is their stout defensive line, led by the massive 6-foot-3, 340 pound Louis Nix. He will line up against the Michigan’s much discussed, inexperienced interior offensive line. Unfortunately for the Irish, Michigan has two tremendous tackles that will negate much of this perceived advantage. Taylor Lewan is quite simply one of the best players in the country and his presence, along with fellow 5th year senior Michael Schofield at right tackle, provides the Wolverines with stability. A defensive revival in Ann Arbor Under the guidance of Brady Hoke and Greg Mattison, Michigan’s defense has been on the rise. Last week, the Wolverines limited an admittedly inferior opponent to 210 yards of total offense and that was without two of their best defensive players, Jake Ryan and Thomas Gordon. Ryan won’t play this week, but Thomas Gordon will return to the line up after serving a one-game suspension. Gordon is a playmaking safety with a lot of experience, 27 career starts, and his return solidifies the secondary. Cam Gordon with the sack (Photo credit: MGoBlue.com) In Ryan’s absence, Cam Gordon and Brennen Beyer provided hope that Michigan can survive without their star linebacker for a couple more weeks. Gordon notched 4 tackles, 2 sacks and a pass break up. Beyer recorded 3 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble. Michigan also had a couple of young players produce on defense. Making his first career start at safety, Jarrod Wilson had 4 tackles, 1 tackle for loss and a pass break up. True freshman, Channing Stribling was second on the team with 5 tackles and also forced a fumble. This defense is loaded with talented players and they are going to be good, if not dominant, this year. The Wolverines will match up well against Notre Dame’s offense. Tommy Rees is a fine quarterback, but he doesn’t pose a threat as a runner and has been susceptible to turning the ball over. Look for Michigan to turn up the heat and keep an eye out for Dymonte Thomas as a blitzer this week. The offense is in good hands Devin Gardner (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) In a little over a half of football, Devin Gardner racked up 214 yards and 3 touchdowns. He did throw two interceptions, including one inside Michigan’s own 20 yard line. He was also 4-4 on third down plays for 73 yards with two touchdowns (1 passing, 1 rushing). It wasn’t a flawless performance, but it did confirm that there is plenty of reason to be excited about Gardner’s potential for this season. The Wolverines churned out 242 yards on the ground and yet it seemed to be an unsatisfying performance. The rushing attack was paced by true freshman Derrick Green who carried the ball 11 times for 58 yards and a touchdown. Fitz Toussaint chipped in 57 yards and 2 touchdowns. Michigan did have 4 runs over at least 20 yards with Green’s 30 yard rumble being the longest of the day. The beauty of the Wolverines offensive performance in the opener and what will likely be their calling card all season was balance. The 242 rushing yards were complimented by 221 passing yards. The Wolverines had three players with at least 50 yards rushing (Green, Toussaint and Gardner). They also had four players with at least 40 receiving yards and eight different players scored touchdowns. Injury updates After taking a shot to the nether regions, Devin Funchess is fine. Joe Reynolds will play this week and Courtney Avery is available. Prediction Last week I picked Michigan to win 56-10, the final score was 59-9. I think Brady Hoke stays perfect at home this week. It won’t take the miracle comeback that it did in 2011 either. This Michigan team is starting to look like the teams of yesteryear. Even if the Irish defensive line can get pressure on Gardner, that is often times when he is most dangerous with his pocket presence and playmaking ability. Michigan wins 31-17 If you would like to receive an email notification each time a Michigan Football and/or Basketball story is posted you can fill out the Email Notification Form. You can follow me on twitter @isportsRob
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Browns GM Ray Farmer suspended over text messages

Aaron Hernandez's fiancee disposed of box after murder

Byron Scott: Opposing players say they want to play for Lakers

Falcons reportedly will lose pick over pumping in crowd noise

Report: Sam Bradford wouldn't sign extension with Browns

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jimbo Fisher: Winston is victim of ‘character assassination’

Russell Wilson on contract: 'It's going to work out'

Kentucky seeks one kind of history, Coach K makes another

Matt Stafford's fiancee rips newspaper over article

Craig Sager's leukemia has returned

Frozen Four: Providence earns first bid since 1985

Tiger Woods drops out of top 100 for first time in 19 years

Top 10 stories from NCAA Tourney's second weekend

The MLBPA has a problem

Final Four preview: How can every team win?

WrestleMania 31 results: Rollins cashes in, Rousey appears

Five soon-to-be NBA free agents with a lot on the line

WATCH: Russell Wilson hits home run during Rangers BP

Hooked 'em: Why Texas had to fire Rick Barnes

Adam Morrison trolled fan who made JJ Redick comment

Jim Harbaugh finished fourth in student government election

WATCH: Notre Dame gets warm reception upon return home

WATCH: Kris Letang hospitalized after hit

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Browns GM suspended for texts

Hernandez's fiancee disposed of box

Mayweather-Pacquiao: It's sparring tall-tale season

The MLBPA has a problem

Final Four preview: Can every team win?

Full WrestleMania 31 recap and results

Why Texas had to fire Rick Barnes

Craig Sager's leukemia has returned

Report: Chris Mullin to take St. John's job

Report: NFL looking into more cameras

CC Sabathia goes off about spring stats

John Fox: Cutler will have to earn job

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.