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Last-minute TD costs Irish victory

Allan Joseph | Saturday, September 11, 2010

Irish coach Brian Kelly made his feelings very clear with his first words after Michigan dropped Notre Dame 28-24 Saturday.

“This was certainly a disappointment,” Kelly said. “It was a hard-fought game.”

Sophomore Wolverines quarterback Denard Robinson was nearly unstoppable in the wet conditions, rushing for 258 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winning score with 27 seconds remaining, while passing for 244 yards and another touchdown. He even pinned the Irish deep in their own territory with a 30-yard punt in the third quarter. All told, Robinson accounted for 502 yards out of the Wolverines’ total of 532 offensive yards and methodically led the Wolverines down the field in the last five minutes of the game to hand Notre Dame its first loss of the season.

“I’m speechless right now,” Robinson said. “That was amazing.”

The Irish were hampered by the temporary loss of junior quarterback Dayne Crist, who sat out much of the first half with a head injury that left him unable to see out of his right eye.

“I just got hit in the head coming down,” he said. “I got up, was a little dazed, and it was a little blurry out of my right eye.”

Despite losing its starting quarterback, Notre Dame stayed within striking distance and took a three-point lead on a 95-yard touchdown pass from Crist to junior tight end Kyle Rudolph. Unfortunately for the home crowd, Robinson led the Wolverines 72 yards down the field in 3:14, taking enough time off the clock to ensure the Irish could not pull off a miracle win.