The numbers game: A look inside ND-Michigan
The big plays came fast and furious, on both sides of the ball, in Notre Dame's 35-31 loss to Michigan on Saturday night in The Big House. Notre Dame's explosive plays included a 38-yard run by Cierre Wood (134 yards rushing), a 29-yard touchdown pass from Tommy Rees to Theo Riddick, a 25-yard catch by Michael Floyd, and a 38-yard run by backup running back Jonas Gray. The Irish were efficient on offense, too, going 8-of-14 on third downs. But the big, big play was the backbreaker on defense. Michigan's Denard Robinson ran for a 39-yard gain, and though he completed just 11 passes in 24 attempts, threw for an astounding 338 yard on those few completions. Junior Hemingway caught a 43-yard touchdown and a 77-yard pass, and Jeremy Gallon had a 64-yard catch-and-run late. Adding them up, Notre Dame had eight offensive plays of more than 20 yards. Michigan had seven. But five of the Wolverines' big plays went for more than 35 yards, compared to just one for the Irish. Amazingly enough, Michigan did not have an offensive drive of more than 2 minutes and 35 seconds the entire night. The Wolverines lost the time-of-possession battle 37:01 to 22:59. And even in their 28-point fourth quarter, they only held the ball for 6 minutes, to Notre Dame's 9.
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