8:00 PM ET, September 10, 2011
Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Denard Robinson stunned Notre Dame in the final minute again, capping a heart-pounding, pom-pom pumping night under the lights at the Big House.
Michigan's star quarterback threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Roy Roundtree with 2 seconds left to lift the Wolverines to a thrilling 35-31 win over Notre Dame on Saturday night.
"It's never over until you see zeros on the clock," Robinson said.
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In the first prime-time game at Michigan Stadium, matching up storied programs trying to restore their luster, new Michigan coach Brady Hoke could have chosen to kick a field goal to force overtime.
But Hoke gave Robinson a shot, and it proved to be good idea.
"Coach took a stab," Roundtree said.
On a night when Michigan Stadium was vibrant, with an NCAA-record crowd of 114,804 fired up an hour before kickoff, the Wolverines took their first lead on Robinson's 21-yard pass to Vincent Smith with 1:12 left.
Then they lost it.
"That was an exciting football game," Hoke said. "Both teams fought for 60 minutes. It wasn't pretty at times on both ends, but as I told my players, it's great to win."
The Wolverines (2-0) have won three straight against the rival Irish (0-2) on late-game plays by their quarterbacks. Last year at Notre Dame, Robinson ran for a touchdown with 27 seconds left, and Tate Forcier threw a TD pass against the Irish two years ago with 11 seconds left.
"It's devastating," Irish receiver Michael Floyd said. "It's hard to take this one in. It's distressing."
Its the first time Michigan has beaten Notre Dame three straight times since 1908.
Robinson didn't match his game last year against Notre Dame, when he had a school-record 502 total yards, but Notre Dame couldn't stop him when it mattered.
He was 11 of 24 for 338 yards with four TDs and three interceptions and ran 11 times for 108 yards and a score.
On Saturday, Nebraska's Taylor Martinez and Michigan's Denard Robinson both had their seventh career game in which they topped 100 passing yards and 100 rushing yards, the most in the FBS over the past two seasons.
Most Games 100 Yards Passing, Rushing
Active FBS Players, Last 2 Season
|Taylor Martinez, Nebraska||7|
|Denard Robinson, Michigan||7|
|Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois||6|
"It was kind of crazy," Robinson said. "I've never scored like that before."
With a new patch on his jersey bearing Desmond Howard's name, Junior Hemingway, caught three passes for 165 yards and a TD. Michigan honored the former Heisman Trophy winner -- who made a diving catch on fourth down against the Irish in 1991 -- by announcing that the No. 21 jersey would always have his name on it.
Notre Dame was doomed by turnovers for the second straight week.
Rees threw two interceptions, one near the end zone, and fumbled deep in Michigan territory. Cierre Wood, who gave Notre Dame a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, also fumbled.
"You can't have turnovers. Period," Rees said. "You have to eliminate them."
In his first loss in five starts, Rees was 27 of 39 for 315 yards with three TDs and two interceptions.
Wood ran for 134 yards and a score on 25 carries.
Floyd caught 13 passes for 159 yards, becoming Notre Dame's career leader in yards receiving, and matched a school record with his 15th 100-yard receiving game.
The Fighting Irish did whatever they wanted on the ground, through the air and on defense early on.
In the end, though, they couldn't make enough plays on both sides of the ball to get a needed win for second-year coach Brian Kelly.
"We're not good enough," Kelly said. "There's not one individual in that locker room, including all the coaches, that are good enough right now."
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||8-14||3-9|
|4th Down Conversions||0-0||0-0|
|TD||09:05||Theo Riddick 7 Yd Pass From Tommy Rees (David Ruffer Kick)||7||0|
|TD||01:56||Cierre Wood 4 Yd Run (David Ruffer Kick)||14||0|
|TD||10:18||Junior Hemingway 43 Yd Pass From Denard Robinson (Brendan Gibbons Kick)||14||7|
|FG||01:40||David Ruffer 38 Yd||17||7|
|TD||02:13||TJ Jones 15 Yd Pass From Tommy Rees (David Ruffer Kick)||24||7|
|TD||14:54||Denard Robinson 1 Yd Run (Brendan Gibbons Kick)||24||14|
|TD||10:47||Jeremy Gallon 14 Yd Pass From Denard Robinson (Brendan Gibbons Kick)||24||21|
|TD||01:12||Vincent Smith 21 Yd Pass From Denard Robinson (Brendan Gibbons Kick)||24||28|
|TD||00:30||Theo Riddick 29 Yd Pass From Tommy Rees (David Ruffer Kick)||31||28|
|TD||00:02||Roy Roundtree 16 Yd Pass From Denard Robinson (Brendan Gibbons Kick)||31||35|
Michigan-Notre Dame Inplay Last 3 Seasons 2009 - Michigan def. Notre Dame 38-34 Tate Forcier 5-yd TD pass to Greg Mathews with 11 seconds left 2010 - Michigan def. Notre Dame 28-24 Denard Robinson 2-yd TD run with 27 seconds left 2011 - Michigan def. Notre Dame 35-31 Denard Robinson 16-yd TD pass to Roy Roundtree with 2 seconds left For the 3rd straight year, Michigan comes back to beat Notre Dame in the final seconds. In 2009, Tate Forcier's touchdown pass to Greg Mathews with 11 seconds left gives Michigan the 38-34 win at the Big House. Last season, after Notre Dame took a 24-21 lead. Michigan went 12 plays and 72 yards, capped by a 2-yard Denard Robinson touchdown run to give Michigan the 28-24 win in South Bend. Robinson had a school-record 502 yards of offense. And on Saturday, Robinson led the Wolverines back again, outscoring the Irish 28-7 in the 4th quarter. After Notre Dame took the lead late, Michigan went 80 yards in 3 plays, including the game-winning touchdown with 2 seconds left for the win.
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