Posted by Adam Jacobi
MICHIGAN WON. The Michigan Wolverines won a thriller in Ann Arbor Saturday night, coming back from a 24-7 deficit in the fourth quarter to upend the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 35-31 in what will be one of the wildest finishes of the year. Denard Robinson was his usual do-everything self, throwing for 338 yards and four touchdowns, and rushing for 108 yards and another score. The two teams scored three touchdowns in the final 1:12 of the game, with Michigan's winning score coming with just 0:02 left on the clock.
HOW MICHIGAN WON: Two words: Denard Robinson. Robinson threw for three of his four touchdowns in the fourth quarter alone (and rushed in a one-yard fumble recovery for the fourth), and he accounted for 237 of Michigan's 240 yards in that final quarter of play. He made throws that required his receivers to make the more athletic adjustment to the ball, and the Wolverines responded admirably; Roy Roundtree, Junior Hemingway, and Jeremy Gallon in particular made play after play on deep passes in the second half, even in heavy coverage.
WHEN MICHIGAN WON: Notre Dame led for the vast majority of the game, and even Michigan's first lead of the game only lasted for 42 seconds. But Denard Robinson led Michigan straight down the field in three plays and found Roy Roundtree on a jump ball in the end zone with two seconds left, giving Michigan its final margin of victory.
WHAT MICHIGAN WON: This victory was inestimably important for Brady Hoke and his charges, as they put together a rally that will be remembered for decades and beyond by Michigan faithful. That it came against rivals Notre Dame and under the lights adds an extra layer of mythic glory to it all. The Michigan offense looked dead to rights in the first three quarters. Now future opponents know the deluge can happen at any moment, even in the new-look Al Borges offense.
WHAT NOTRE DAME LOST: Notre Dame should believe that it had no business losing that game, because it didn't. QB Tommy Rees shredded Michigan all night long, with the Irish racking up over 500 yards from scrimmage (315 passing, 198 rushing tonight) for the second straight game and registering 28 first downs to Michigan's 16. Unfortunately, Notre Dame also turned the ball over five times for the second straight week, with two turnovers coming inside Michigan's 5-yard line and another coming inside the Michigan 30. That's a lot of points coming off the board, and in a four-point loss, those mistakes are fatal. Notre Dame has a lot going for it, especially on offense, but the turnovers cannot continue.
That monumental bad fortune, however, might have an insidious cause: the logos on Notre Dame's helmets were three-leaf clovers, and not four-leaf clovers. What ever happened to the "luck of the Irish"?
THAT WAS CRAZY: The entire fourth quarter. All of it. Everything. College football is the greatest sport in America and this game is why.