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September 12, 2011 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-09-12

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

September 12, 2011-- 3B

GAME
STATISTICS
TeamSlats ND MICH
First Downs 28 16
Rush/Yds 33/198 26/114
Passing Yards 315 338
Offensive Plays 72 50
TtalOffese 513 452
Kik retuns/Yds 6/89 5/98
Punt returns/ Yds 3/10 1/21
Comp/Aft/Int 27/39/2 11/24/3
Punts/Avg 4/33.5 5/386
Fumles/Lost 4/3 1/0
Penalties/Yards 9/75 9/82
Time of Poss 37:01 22:59

M I C H I G A N
PASSING
obiAson,D. 124 48
Totals 112 338 4
PyIN Att Yds Avg Lg
Robinson, D. 16 108 6.8 39
Hopkins,S. 5 10 2 3
Smith 1 3 3 3
TEAwM 2 -4 - 0
Totals 26 114 4.4 39
RECEIVING
Player No. Yds Avg Lg
Hemingway,. 3 165 55 77
GETallo T 2 U839 6
631 Umt 2 6 13 2
Grady 1 27 27 27
Roundtree 1 16 16 16
Totas 33 30.7 7
NINGPlye No. Yds Avg
Wile 5 193 38.6
Totals 5 193 38.6
KICKOFF RETURNS
Player No. Yds Avg L
Smith 5 98 19.6 2
Totals 5 98 19.6 2
PUNT RETURN$S
Player No. Yds Avg La
TACKLES
Player Solo Asst
Kovacs s 3
Robinson, M. 5 2
Hwhorne, B. 4
Ryan 2 2
Black 3 0
Van Bergen 2 0
Avery 0 2
Gallon 1 0
Fitzgerald 1 0
Sih 1
McColgan 1 0
Morgan 0 1
Totals 49 24

.g TD
3 0
0 0
0 0
9 1

.g
,7
4
?t
6
5
ll

TD
1
0
0
3
Lg
47
47

ROBINSON
From Page 1B
touchdowns, it became clear
early that he had to make some-
thing happen. No Michigan run-
ning back rushed for more than
10 yards.
But from the beginning, Robin-
son struggled. He completed just
two passes in the first half and
overthrew a screen pass for an
interception. The throw was sim-
ilar to the one he hit Smith with
for the go-ahead touchdown.
When the team went to the lock-
er room, Michigan had a rattled
Robinson and was in jeopardy.
"I went and talked to him at
halftime and really just needed
to calm him down because some-
times he speeds everything up
and then kind of loses track of
where he is," fifth-year senior
center David Molk said. "He just
needed to calm down and once we
got back out there in the second
half, he was ready to go."
It didn't translate immediately
to the field. Robinson completed
just two more passes in the third
and threw another interception.
As the quarter wound down,
the game appeared over yet again.
Notre Dame quarterback Tommy
Rees' second touchdown pass of
the game put Notre Dame up 24-7.
TURNOVERS
From Page 1B
Dame driving yet again and
threatening to blow the game
open, redshirt junior safety Jor-
dan Kovacs slipped in front of
receiver Michael Floyd on the
sideline to intercept Rees's third-
down pass.
"I think we did a good job of
disguising the defense," Kovacs
said of the play. "I think the quar-
terback thought we were blitzing.
He checked out of it and he didn't
see us drop into coverage."
Added Michigan coach Brady
Hoke: "It was a tremendous play
because it started on the line of
scrimmage being a good play. We
gave them a good look and every-
body then bailed out, and I think

At the break, Rees had one fewer
touchdown pass than Robinson
had completions.
On the Wolverines' first play
after the touchdown, Fighting
Irish defensive end Kapron Lew-
is-Moore grabbed Robinson by
the ankles. Before going down,
Robinson fired a pass to fifth-
year senior wide receiver Junior
Hemingway, coming across
the field behind his defender.
Hemingway went 77 yards to the
six-yard line.
Robinson entered the fourth
with 136 yards passing. Over half
of them came on one throw.
The defense kept Michigan
(2-0) in the game. While Rees had
315 yards and three touchdowns,
he also threw two interceptions
and Notre Dame fumbled three
times.
And it was a Wolverines
turnover that turned Robinson
around. With Michigan on the
one-yard line, sophomore Ste-
phen Hopkins fumbled. The ball
bounced back and right in front
of Robinson, who picked it up and
ran into the endzone untouched.
"Once I handed it off, I looked,
I was like 'what?' "Robinson said.
"And I just grabbed the ball and
ran."
The next time Robinson
touched the ball, he both threw
and ran effectively, bringing
it confused them a little bit."
It was just the second time
all game the Michigan defense
stopped Notre Dame from scor-
ing, giving the Wolverines con-
fidence that they were clearly
lacking early in the game. On
the ensuing offensive possession,
Michigan scored on a 43-yard
touchdown grab by fifth-year
senior Junior Hemingway, tight-
ening the score to 14-7 when it
clearly could have - and should
have - been much worse.
On the next Notre Dame drive,
with the Fighting Irish on the
Michigan 18-yard line and in the
midst of another impressive scor-
ing drive, Rees rolled right, look-
ing for Floyd in the end zone. But
he waited just a second too long,
giving redshirt junior cornerback
J.T. Floyd enough time to drop

LZ TD
24 0
24 0

-9 TD
21 0
21 0
Tot
12
9
8
7
6
6
4

Junior quarterback Denard Robinson accounted for about 99 percent of his team's offense on Saturday.

Michigan within three with a
beautiful throw on Gallon's fade
route. But Robinson couldn't
shake his demons, throwing
another interception - this time
it was at the goal line with four
minutes left. After the defense
bailed him out again, Robinson
took over with 2:16 left - just
enough time for a two-minute
drill.
"The last drive we had offen-
sively, number 16's ability to
back and jump in front of Floyd to
make the interception.
Just like that, instead of trail-
ing21-7 - or worse, 28-0 if Kovacs
didn't force his interception - the
Wolverines had the ball back,
down by just seven with about
five minutes left in the half. Both
interceptions came on passes
intended for Floyd, Notre Dame's
all-time receptions leader who
finished the game with 13 recep-
tions for 159 yards.
"You can never eliminate a guy
like that or take him out of the
game, but that's something we
tried to do," Kovacs said. "He's a
great player and he's gonna get his
catches and we knew that, but we
couldn't let the rest of the team
beat us."
The two first-half interceptions
were key in keeping Michigan in

elude and evade and step up and
throw the ball, that's something
that we always have going for
us," Michigan coach Brady Hoke
said. "We've done two-minute
drills since we got here in Janu-
ary. We've probably done 1,000
two-minute drills with different
scenarios, different timeouts,
different ones-on-ones, twos-on-
twos because those are the high
pressure - most pressure - situ-
ations that you have in a football
the game, but in the second half,
a fumble recovery set the Wolver-
ines up to have a shot at finishing
off a miraculous comeback.
With Notre Dame up 24-21 and
just over six minutes left in the
game, the Irish were just seven
yards away from seemingly put-
ting the game out of reach for
Michigan. Rees dropped back
to pass, cocked his arm back to
throw, and somehow, inexpli-
cably, the ball slipped out of his
hands without being touched.
There was a scramble for the ball,
and fifth-year senior defensive
tackle Ryan Van Bergen came out
of the scrum with it. It was the
fourth forced turnover for the
Wolverines.
"We did step up and make
some big plays," Martin said.
"Throughout the game we had

game so I was confident that we
knew how to handle that."
Michigan scored but so did
Notre Dame. Three touchdowns
were scored in the final 1:12. Rob-
inson had to lead another come
back not in a two-minute drill,
but a 30-second version.
That's when Robinson, on his +
most imperfect day, threw the
imperfect pass that led to the
Roundtree touchdown.
It was the perfect victory.
some adversity, but it made us
better throughout the game, and
I think we did a really good job
of stepping up and making plays
when we needed to."
The defense clearly had its
struggles throughout the game
(it gave up 513 total yards and
allowed what appeared then to
be the game-winning drive by
Notre Dame with just 30 seconds
left), but the players did what
they had to do in order to keep
Michigan in the game.
"That's the unique thing
about this defense," Kovacs said.
"We're gonna fight. At times we
played well but at other times it
was tough. We just put it in the
past and kept fighting. We knew
good things would happen."
In other words, they didn't
stop believin'.

M= I

Dankqtly
DELIVERYeks
for Morn ESONNEL
Di~rix,,: . Paer

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