Instant classic is a word that will be thrown around when they talk about this year's Notre Dame and Michigan contest from Saturday. With the performance of Denard Robinson, and the Irish having a chance to win the game as the clock ran out, Irish fans can look and only wonder what might have been if Dayne Crist does not miss the amount of time he did.
We had five questions prior to the game, now we look back at the answers.
Question #1: Will the weather play a factor in the Irish game plan?
Answer: Nope, The weather for the most part did not play any role and the Irish game plan only changed because of Dayne Crist being out of the game.
Question #2: Can the Irish keep Denard Robinson in check?
Answer: No! Robinson had a record day against the Irish and was the reason Michigan ended up winning the game. With a 9.2 yard per carry average, Robinson had 258 yards rushing and 244 yards passing with three touchdowns. Great game, great player.
Question #3: How will the Irish offense do against the Michigan 3-3-5 stack defense?
Answer: Overall, the Irish offense did very well against the 3-3-5. If not for the loss of Crist, they may have had a great day. The Irish earned 20 first downs, averaged 4.8 yards per rush, and had 381 yards passing. However, the three interceptions were killers.
Question #4: How will the 3-4 defense fair against the zone-blocking scheme of Michigan?
Answer: The Irish were in the game until the end, but the fourth quarter saw Michigan have the ball for over eleven minutes. The zone-blocking scheme is designed in the Rich Rodriguez offense to open up the running lanes. With Michigan getting 288 yards and Robinson getting 258 of them, you would have to say the Irish did not fair too well. However, if not for Robinson, Michigan would have been in trouble as three other players posted carries and gained a total of 30 yards.
Question #5: Brian Kelly showed little of his overall offense against Purdue, would he now open up the playbook against Michigan?
Answer: Yes and No… Kelly ran some different plays even with Dayne Crist on the sidelines. However, without Crist on the field, Kelly had to watch what he did as Nate Montana and Tommy Rees have only picked up so much of the offense. This will change as the season progress and Kelly will find a player capable of backing up Crist if this happens again.