Blue and Gold Illustrated

Preseason 2018

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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80 PRESEASON 2018 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY LOU SOMOGYI P art of defining a great rivalry in athletics is by lack of domi- nance by one over another. Over the past 40 years, few series, if any, in college football match the evenness the Notre Dame- Michigan rivalry has had since its rebirth in 1978, with two-year breaks in 1983-84, 1995-96 and 2000-01, and a three-year hiatus from 2015-17. • Of the 31 games played in that span, the series is 15-15-1. • I n t h e 1 9 m e e t i n g s f ro m 1978-2001, Michigan outscored Notre Dame 398-396 — but the Irish held a 10-8-1 series edge. • Only four of Notre Dame's 15 wins since the series renewal have been by more than one score: 1987 (26-7), 1998 (36-20), 2008 (35-17) and 2014 (31-0). • From 1988-90, Notre Dame won three straight pulsating contests versus Michigan by a combined 11 points: 19-17, 24-19 and 28-24. • The Wolverines answered with three straight 11th-hour four-point wins in 2009 (38-34), 2010 (28-24) and 2011 (35-31) — and the game-winning touchdowns occurred with 11, 27 and two seconds remaining, respectively. • In the 31 games since 1978, the outcome remained in doubt until the game's final series 20 times. Here is our ranking of the 15 Notre Dame conquests achieved since 1978, based on value of the win to the sea- son, excitement, how strong both teams were and atmosphere: 1. SEPT. 10, 1988 NOTRE DAME 19, MICHIGAN 17 This opener for both teams saw 5-5, 135-pound Irish kicker Reggie Ho convert all four of his field goals, the last with 1:13 left. Notre Dame then survived when Michigan's Mike Gil- lette missed from 49 yards out on the game's final play after nailing one from the same distance minutes earlier. Notre Dame finished No. 1, and Rose Bowl winner Michigan lost only to the No. 1 Irish by two and No. 2 Miami by one (31-30) after leading 30-14. An ESPN "30 for 30" docu- mentary on Dr. Ho and this Michigan game has been featured. 2. SEPT. 16, 1989 NOTRE DAME 24, MICHIGAN 19 A legend was born in this show- down between No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 2 Michigan when Irish sophomore Raghib "Rocket" Ismail scored on 88- and 92-yard kickoff re- turns on a wet, slippery field. The first was at the start of the sec- ond half to extend Notre Dame's lead to 14-6. The second came with 12:46 remaining, providing a 24-12 cushion as Ismail earned a spot the following week on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Prior to Ismail's two returns, it had been 32 years since Michigan had sur- rendered a kickoff return for a score. 3. SEPT. 20, 1980 NOTRE DAME 29, MICHIGAN 27 Junior kicker Harry Oliver, who had missed an extra point earlier in the second half, booted perhaps the most dramatic field goal in Irish annals when his 51-yard attempt made it over the crossbar as time ex- pired. The victory in head coach Dan Devine's final season provided the impetus to a 9-0-1 start and eventual No. 1 ranking after a disappointing 7-4 campaign the previous year. Michigan also would bounce back from its first four-loss season under Bo Schembechler with its first Rose Bowl win under him and a top-five finish. 4. SEPT. 11, 1993 NOTRE DAME 27, MICHIGAN 23 In supposedly "rebuilding" mode, the No. 11 Irish were pegged as nine- point underdogs at No. 3 Michigan, es- pecially with Notre Dame head coach Lou Holtz under siege in the newly re- leased book, Under The Tarnished Dome. Unheralded senior quarterback Kevin McDougal scored on 43- and 11- yard runs, and Mike Miller returned a punt for a 56-yard score to build a 24- 10 halftime advantage. Following the conquest, Holtz was given a victory ride off the field by his players. Notre Dame would finish a debat- able No. 2 despite defeating No. 1 Florida State in November. 5. SEPT. 18, 1982 NOTRE DAME 23, MICHIGAN 17 The first night game in Notre Dame Stadium history saw second-year head coach Gerry Faust's Irish open the year with truly an electric victory over a Wolverine team that had drubbed them 25-7 the previous season. Mike Johnston's three field goals and fullback Larry Moriarty's 116 rushing yards paved the way for the triumph — and the beginning of Notre Dame's 5-0 record versus Michigan in night games at home entering 2018. 6. SEPT. 15, 1990 NOTRE DAME 28, MICHIGAN 24 In what would be Notre Dame's last home night game until 21 years Rocket Ismail notched 88- and 92-yard kickoff return touchdowns to lead the No. 1 Fighting Irish to a 24-19 victory versus the No. 2 Wolverines in 1989. PHOTO COURTESY NOTRE DAME MEDIA RELATIONS CLOSE ENCOUNTERS Since 1978, few rivalries have matched the evenness Notre Dame-Michigan has had

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