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Rapid reaction: Notre Dame 13, Michigan 6

Matthew DeFranks | Saturday, September 22, 2012

 

No. 11 Notre Dame beat No. 18 Michigan 13-6 Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium. Junior cornerback Bennett Jackson led the defense with nine tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery.

The Irish (4-0) are undefeated through four games for the first time since 2002. The Wolverines (2-2) lost to the Irish for the first time in the last four years.

The good: So that secondary isn’t so bad after all, huh? Notre Dame, aided by six Wolverine turnovers, held Michigan to 138 passing yards. The Irish still have not allowed an opponent to pass for more than 200 yards against them. Jackson, senior linebacker Manti Te’o, freshman safety Nicky Baratti, freshman cornerback KeiVarae Russell all had interceptions.

The bad: Oh, that is not what offense looks like. Despite starting three drives in Michigan territory, Notre Dame, only mustered 13 points and 239 yards. Sophomore quarterback Everett Golson struggled, going 3-for-8 for 30 yards and two interceptions before junior quarterback Tommy Rees replaced him in the second quarter. Rees was 8-for-11 for 115 yards and a rushing touchdown.

What we learned: Two things here: Notre Dame can ride its defense’s coattails all season and Bob Diaco is a very smart man. For the second consecutive week, the Irish allowed no touchdowns to a top-20 team. A year after senior quarterback Denard Robinson torched the Irish in Ann Arbor, Diaco adjusted and Notre Dame stifled him and the Wolverines.