Michigan and Notre Dame renewed one of the most historic rivalries in college football for the last-scheduled time for the next 14 years on Saturday night, and while it was ugly times, boy, was it fun to be a Wolverine fan if you were one of the 110,000 at a rainy Big House.
Michigan obliterated the eighth-ranked fighting Irish by a score of 45-14 to move to 6-2 on the season and respond to last week’s tough loss at Penn State in the only ideal way they could: with a decisive victory in a rivalry game.
Things started out slow for both teams with the Wolverines heading into the second quarter up 3-0 after a 21-yard field goal from Jake Moody. The second is when things started to heat up on the scoreboard with a pair of rushing touchdowns from Zach Charbonnet (15 rushes, 74 yards, 2 TD), who along with Hassan Haskins (20 rushes, 149 yards) combined for a prolific day on the ground in a game that was mostly rainy until the third quarter. The Wolverines would head into the locker room up 17-0.
Michigan’s offense would have trouble coming out of the locker room, but things got dicey due to some shoddy officiating from John O’Neill’s crew and a phantom pass interference call that led to the Irish’s only touchdown of the day. The Wolverines responded with a six-play, 75 yard drive capped off by an eight-yard touchdown pass from Shea Patterson (6-for-12, 100 yards, 2 TD) to Donovan Peoples-Jones to take a 24-7 lead after three quarters.
Michigan busted it wide open with a touchdown pass to Nico Collins from 16 yards out and a Tru Wilson 27-yard rush to take the 38-7 lead in the fourth quarter. The backups did their part as well with a 26-yard strike from Dylan McCaffrey to Mike Sainristil to extend the lead even more to close out the game. Notre Dame would score a touchdown late to get the score to 45-14.
Michigan’s offensive line beat the tar out of the Irish on both sides of the ball and their young stars on defense shined once again. That was a ton of fun. Now, let’s get to the best plays.
The true highlight of the night was O’Neill’s incompetence on display by mistake the on/off switch on his ref mic, so instead of getting penalty calls, we instead were getting grunts and blows of the whistle.
What’s up next
Michigan travels to Maryland for a noon kickoff next Saturday before a bye week on Nov. 9. After that comes another rivalry showdown with Michigan State, a road trip to Indiana and then a date with the Ohio State Buckeyes to close out the year.