The Michigan Daily - Orientation Edition 2007 131
'M' stuns No. 2 Notre Dame
By MATT SINGER Riding sophomore wide receiver
Daily Sports Editor Mario Manningham's three-touch-
down day and a rock-solid defensive
Sept. 18, 2006 - SOUTH BEND performance, Michigan closed its
- At the end, there was no cheering pre-Big Ten schedule with a 47-21
for Ol' Notre Dame. demolition of Notre Dame - its larg-
Only the stunned silence of Irish est margin of victory ever in South
fans as Chad Henne took a knee and Bend. The win exorcised a whole
raised the ball triumphantly over host of demons for the Wolverines.
his head. Finally, after three unsuccessful
The echoes were awake, all right tries, Michigan coach Lloyd Carr
- but not the ones mentioned in earned his first victory in South
Notre Dame's famous fight song. Bend. Finally, after six consecutive
These were the echoes of "It's losses, the Wolverines came away
Great to be a Michigan Wolverine" with a victory in their road opener.
reverberating through Notre Dame And finally, after a miserable 2005
Stadium's tunnel, as the Wolver- season, Michigan put itself right
ines jogged off the field with their back in the middle of the college
winged helmets raised to the sky. football landscape.
And No. 2 Notre Dame was "Notre Dame is a great institu-
marching. tion, with a great tradition," Carr
Just not onward to victory. said. "And Michigan is the same.
Instead, the Fighting Irish (2-1) So as a coach, when you can win
were marching to a humiliating, against a rival like that, believe me,
shocking and total defeat at the it's specialbecause it's hard. I mean,
hands of the 11th-ranked Wolver- the credit, it sure as hell doesn't go
ines (3-0). to me. Those guys out on the field,
"I think it's really important to they played the game."
understand that that team just came Tied 7-7 late in the first quarter,
and just whooped us pretty good," the game appeared to have all the
Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis makings of a classic, tight Michi-
said. gan-Notre Dame battle. But then
the Manningham show started.
It began with a cut, and then
another. Manningham ran a com-
plex route down the right sideline,
blowing by Notre Dame corner
Ambrose Wooden's man-to-man
coverage. Michigan quarterback
Chad Henne stepped up in the
pocket amid a heavy rush and lofted
a perfect lob, hitting Manningham
in stride. The sophomore cradled
the ball and sprinted the rest of the
way for a 69-yard touchdown.
The scenario would repeat itself
twice over the next 16 minutes, with
Manningham smoking man-cover-
age for virtually identical 29-yard
and 20-yard touchdowns in the cor-
ner of Notre Dame's slash-marked
end zone. By late in the second quar-
ter, Manningham had amassed 111
yards receiving on three touchdown
grabs, leading the Wolverines to a
commanding 34-7 lead.
"Mario was excellent," Henne
said., "We practiced deep balls all
spring and summer with him and
one-on-one routes. And he showed
his talent and speed today."
The Wolverines' stellar defense
made sure that advantage wsould
stick. Weis's offense - led by pre-
Darnell Hood (4)and Leon Hall (29) celebrate during Michigan's 47-
in South Bend.
r Notre Da
season Heisman hopeful Brady
Quinn - came into the game with
the national hype machine singing
its praises. But Michigan's defense
had an answer for every wrinkle
Weis threw at it.
The Wolverine defense may have
dealt an irreparable blow to Quinn's
Heisman dreams. With Michigan's
front four getting in his face on
nearly every pass play and the sec-
ondary blanketing Notre Dame's
receivers, Quinn never found his
rhythm. Senior linebacker Prescott
Burgess, in particular, had a field
day with Quinn, picking up the first
two interceptions of his career and
returning one for a touchdown.
After losing 17-10 to Notre Dame
in the Big House last year as the.
third-ranked team in the nation, the
Wolverines flipped the script on the
Irish in a monumental way.
"I think (we won this way)
because we were under the radar,"
Hart said. "We knew they were
coming here No. 2 in the country,
Heisman candidates, expecting to
go to the national championship. So
we knew we had to come out here
and prove ourselves, and that's what
made us play a lot harder. Whereas
last year they were hunting us, we
were hunting them this time."
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