In an exciting fourth quarter, Michigan defeated Notre Dame.
Three touchdowns were scored in just 1:10.
Pundits will call this a classic.
It wasn’t. The defense was horrible.
Michigan 35 and Notre Dame 31. Notre Dame dominated everything: total yards, time of possession, first downs, but lost the turnover battle 5-3.
What makes this loss even more difficult for Notre Dame is how bad Michigan is.
Michigan’s offense is horrendous. CBS analyst Gary Danielson said it best via twitter, “ND….. Self inflicted wounds keeping Michigan in game.. Mich offense, jump ball and QB scrambles. Gosh , Rich Rod set this program back.” (Source).
The jump ball was all Michigan needed since Notre Dame’s secondary did a bad job in defending the jump ball or any ball.
In time Brady Hoke will get things fixed at Michigan. He’ll get Michigan playing fundamentally sound football. That will include some defense. On Notre Dame’s final touchdown drive, there were times when the Wolverines decided to drop into coverage, but none of the Wolverines covered anyone. It was a reminder of too many Rich Rodriquez coached games.
Notre Dame’s offense seemed able to move at will on the Wolverines. Notre Dame amassed 513 yards of offense, but five turnovers were a killer.
Last week, Notre Dame amassed 508 yards of total offense, but five turnovers were the killer.
On defense, Notre Dame could not stop Denard Robinson. Well, not when it mattered. Robinson was very average a times, but spectacular at other times–often thanks to an inept Irish secondary. Robinson was 11 of 24 for 338 yards and four touchdowns and three interceptions. On the ground, Robinson carried the ball 16 times for 108 yards and a touchdown.
Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly told reporters after the game that the Irish are not very good right now.
“None of us are very good right now,” Kelly said on ESPN. “There is not one individual in that locker room, including the coaches, that are good enough right now.”
It is a fair critique of the Fighting Irish. Every facet of the program contributed to the defeat—offense, defense and special teams.
It was an exciting game to watch, but it wasn’t a good game. There were just too many mistakes.