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Turning Point: Notre Dame 2018

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On a night of missed opportunities, one play in particular stunted second half momentum in South Bend.

NCAA Football: Michigan at Notre Dame Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan faltered in last night’s business trip to Notre Dame, failing in its negotiations with the Fighting Irish worse than an Irishman buying potato stock in 1845.

Too high-brow? Michigan blew several opportunities in its 24-17 loss in South Bend.

Many plays qualify as significantly changing the tenor of the game. Brandon Wimbush’s 43-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-0. His third-and-18 scamper for a first down, which led to a field goal. The dropped pick-six by Brad Hawkins.

With all the mistakes above and more, Michigan found itself poised to slash the lead to single-digits early in the third quarter. Shea Patterson unleashed a 52-yard bomb to Nico Collins, and then another first-down toss to Donovan Peoples-Jones to creep into the redone.

How’d that drive end?

Really, the play is the ugly culmination of a botched sequence. It is the rotten cherry on a manure sundae.

After reaching the 16-yard line, Shea Patterson threw three straight incompletions. On the first one, Jon Runyan slides right towards the defensive tackle, giving the Notre Dame’s Khalid Kareem a free run at Patterson. An off-balance toss falls short on an open Grant Perry.

Next, a well set-up tunnel screen is batted down by Adetokunbo Ogundeji. Lastly, Patterson overthrows Peoples-Jones to the corner to set up the failed field goal.

Full sequence starts at 19:04 below.

Michigan, despite a nightmarish first half, seized momentum early in the second half. By not converting, they continued to trail by double-digits, which forced them to throw 36 times with sub-par tackle play.

With a smaller deficit, Pep Hamilton and the staff might have opted to re-establish Karan Higdon, who picked up chunks of yards throughout the night. While 21 carries for 72 yards isn’t stellar, his 3.4 yards a touch looks pretty nice next to intense pressure on the quarterback.

The play changed the complexion of Michigan’s attack in the final 30 minutes, so its stink lingered throughout the dud of a night.