U-M/ND: The "Battle of the Edges"

Who has the edge: in passing vs. pass defense, in rushing vs. rush defense, in special teams, in field goals, in red zone efficiency, in turnovers, in 3rd down efficiency, in penalties ... it's all here. Who wins the "Battle of the Edges?"

Michigan Rushing vs. Notre Dame Rush Defense

Michigan rushed for 246 yards versus Vanderbilt, and the Wolverines rushed for 252 more yards versus CMU. Mike Hart rushed for 146 yards (4.7 yards per carry on 31 carries) versus Vandy, and added 116 more (6.1 yards per carry on 19 carries) versus CMU. And the Wolverines are 11-1 in games in which Hart has 100 or more yards rushing.

Meanwhile, the Notre Dame defense gave up 158 yards rushing to Penn State.


Michigan Passing vs. Notre Dame Pass Defense

Michigan passed for just 135 yards versus Vandy (Henne going 10-22) to Vandy's 129 (12-26). And the Wolverines passed for just 134 yards versus CMU (Henne was 11-19 and Forcier 2-2) to CMU's 188 (18-39-1 int).

Perhaps more worrisome is the lack of a deep passing attack. U-M averaged 13.5 yards per completion versus Vandy and 10.3 versus CMU.

In the Vandy game, Chad Henne did complete a 29 yarder to Steve Breason, and a 27 yarder to Mario Manningham. But Michigan's longest pass completion versus CMU was a 20 yarder to tight end Mike Massey; Breaston's longest was a 16 yarder, Manningham's a 14 yarder.

Meanwhile, the Notre Dame defense gave up a pedestrian 225 yards passing to Penn State. They had 1 sack versus Georgia Tech and 2 against Penn State.

Edge: none

Notre Dame Passing vs. Michigan Pass Defense

Notre Dame is a hot team, especially throwing the ball. QB Brady Quinn has passed for an average of 266 yards (11.1 yards per catch, 64.9% comp. rate) in his first two games. He shredded the hapless Nit defense going 25-36 with 3 TD's. ND has three receiving threats: TE John Carlson (10 catches in 2 games, no TD's), and WR's Rhema McKnight (13 catches, 1 TD), Jeff Samardzja (12 catches, 1 TD).

Meanwhile, the Michigan pass defense has been good-not-great, allowing an average of 158.5 yards per game and a total of 3 touchdowns.

However, the Notre Dame offensive line gave up 3 sacks to Penn State and 2 to Georgia Tech. Meanwhile, the Michigan defense has 10 sacks in 2 games, led by 4 by Lamarr Woodley.


Notre Dame Rushing vs. Michigan Rush Defense

he Irish running game has been pedestrian so far, gaining 138 yards versus Georgia Tech and 110 against PSU. Darius Walker is the leading Irish ground gainer, averaging 77.5 yards per game (3.7 yards per carry).

Meanwhile, the Michigan rushing defense has been stifling, allowing an average of just 29 yards a game versus Vanderbilt and Central Michigan (Vandy got 42, CMU 16).



Notre Dame's return yardage has been mixed thus far: ND had just one return for 13 yards against PSU, but against Georgia Tech they had one return for 46 yards and another for 33 yards.

Meanwhile Michigan's kickoff coverage has been poor. CMU's freshman returner Eric Fraser returned five kickoffs for 155 yards, including two returns for over 40 yards and one for over 30. "Our kickoff coverage was really poor,'' Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said. "They are something I'm sure coach (Steve) Stripling will get resolved,'' Coach Mike DeBord said. Vanderbilt also has impressive kickoff return stats against U-M: averaging 22.8 yards per return in four returns, including a long of 34 yards.

Michigan has averaged a pedestrian 20.2 yards per kickoff return. Steve Breaston has 3 returns for 60 yards, an even 20 yards per return.

Meanwhile, Notre Dame has given up an excellent 13.1 yards per kickoff return.



Notre Dame has punted 8 times for a 48 yard average, and has given up an average of 6 yards per return.

Notre Dame has returned 6 punts for an average of 5.7 yards per return.

Michigan has punted 9 times for an average of 40.9 yards, and has given up an average of 3 yards per return.

Michigan has returned 4 punts for an average of 5.2 yards.



Notre Dame has had no fumbles or interceptions so far. Michigan has had one fumble but no interceptions.

Edge: none

Field Goals

Michigan is 4-5 in field goals, two over 40 yards, with the 1 miss over 40 yards.

Notre Dame is 2-4 in field goals, with the misses from 36 and 42 yards.


Red Zone Efficiency

Michigan is 8-8 in the Red Zone, with 6 touchdowns.

Notre Dame is 8-9 in the Red Zone, with 6 touchdowns.

Edge: none

Third Down Efficiency

Michigan is 13-31 on 3rd down, a 42% average.

Notre Dame is 12-30 on 3rd down, a 40% average.

Edge: none


Notre Dame has been penalized 17 times for 144 yards.

Michigan has been penalized 15 times for 127 yards.

Edge: none

In the "Battle of the Edges," it's three to three, a dead-on tie. However there is also a 'home filed edge', which of course goes to Notre Dame

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