Two seconds. One pass. One night. History in the making. Michigan pulled off a miracle win against rival Notre Dame last year, in the first night game in Michigan Stadium history.
Fans and students alike will remember that game forever. It showcased a team, led by Brady Hokein his first year.
Many weren’t sure of how this new team would respond. Indeed, it was a little bit shaky, but it came down to mere seconds, and a catch, caught on camera by so many different angles, will always resonate with college football fans.
Now, one year later, these teams meet up again. Notre Dame, overall, much improved under third year coach Brian Kelly. Michigan is coming off of a spectacular first season under Brady Hoke, and now are looking to move up in the rankings after falling against Alabama, but responding well against Air Force and blowing out Massachusetts last week.
Notre Dame beat Michigan State last week, and in a way, some were surprised, some weren’t. Michigan State was ranked tenth in the country, while the Fighting Irish were at 20. The Spartans had just beaten ranked team Boise State, barely the week before, and looking to rise even more and become in the national contender picture if they had beaten the Irish.
That didn’t happen, as the Spartans were held to just a field goal throughout the game. It was pure heartbreak as Michigan State once again, failed to reach the National Championship “talk” and will be reduced to possibly just a B1G Ten Championship talk and BCS bowl bid. Michigan on the other hand, has that chance to jump into the conversation. Even though a loss to number one ranked Alabama, they still have a favorable schedule, a harder one at that.
The game against Notre Dame will begin that quest towards the National Championship. They need a performance from Denard Robinson, that they are used to. If he can perform the way he did against Massachusetts, it should be a breeze for the offense.
Notre Dame’s offense is a spread, just like UMASS, so the Wolverines were able to figure out how to better play the spread going into this weeks game. That’s not to say both teams are comparable because the Irish are eons better than the Minutemen, but their offense’s are very similar.
This game is going to come down to the wire again. The line is only 4 ½, so it will be a very close game. It should be a battle all game, on both sides of the ball. Michigan is looking to improve their defense, even after giving up 13 points to UMASS. The Irish defense is on Cloud 9 right now, considering they held the Spartans to just a field goal, mentioned before.
In that game though, under new quarterback Andrew Maxwell, the Spartans looked a bit overwhelmed, and were quite possibly, overrated going into that game. The Fighting Irish may look at that game and think they did a wonderful job, but in all reality, the Spartans just played worse than the Irish played well.
The Wolverines should take this game, and prove to many critics and fans alike, that Michigan is climbing its way back to the top.
Prediction: Michigan 24 – Notre Dame 21.
To read the original post that appeared online only in The Michigan Journal, on Friday, September 21, 2012, go to www.michiganjournal.org