Team Effort Trounces Notre Dame 47-21

In a game that many felt would define Michigan football for the future, the Wolverines marched into South Bend and thoroughly destroyed the No. 2-ranked Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. Two defensive touchdowns, along with three Chad Henne to Mario Manningham strikes, were too much for the host Irish.

The win was the first in a road opener for U of M head coach Lloyd Carr in seven tries, and his first at Notre Dame since he assumed the top spot in 1994.

The Michigan defense made its presence known immediately. On the second play from scrimmage, Wolverine linebacker Prescott Burgess snagged a tipped Brady Quinn pass and raced 31-yards for the first touchdown of the game. Burgess would get another interception later in the game.

Michigan returned the favor when quarterback Chad Henne hurried a pass right into the arms of Notre Dame safety Chinedum Ndukwe, who returned it 51 yards to the Michigan four-yard-line. Two plays later ND fullback Ashley McConnell caught a Quinn pass for the tying touchdown.

Michigan would respond with 27 straight points to take a 34-14 lead into the halftime locker room. The Wolverine attack began with a four-play, 80-yard drive capped by a 69-yard touchdown pass from Henne to Manningham.

On the following kickoff, Morgan Trent fell on a fumble by Irish return man David Grimes. U of M soon found itself with a first and goal on the Notre Dame two-yard-line when running back Mike Hart dove into the endzone to put the Wolverines up 20-7.

With 11:36 remainin in the half, Henne connected with Manningham once again to give Michigan a 27-7 lead. Henne found Manningham once again with 2:47 remaining in the half to increase the lead to 34-7. Notre Dame responded with a 72-yard scoring drive to make the halftime score 34-14.

Burgess opened the second half with his second interception, almost scoring again on the play before being brought down on the ND four. The ensuing 20-yard Garrett Rivas field goal put the Wolverines up 37-14 with 6:12 left in the third quarter.

Rivas made it 40-14 with his second field goal of the game. Notre Dame closed to within 40-21 when Quinn hit Rhema McKnight for a 28-yard touchdown strike. That would be as close as it would get for the Irish.

Notre Dame was driving late in the fourth quarter when defensive end Lamarr Woodley scooped up a Quinn fumble and scampered 54 yards for the second Michigan defensive TD of the game, putting the Wolverines up 47-21.

Michigan running back Mike Hart rushed for 124 yards on 34 carries. The Wolverines are 12-1 when Hart rushes for over 100 yards in a game.

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