Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 9, 2013 Issue

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

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Page 57 of 104

Game Preview: Michigan Going 'Old School' The Wolverines are focused on building a strong defense and a pro-style offense S By Dan Murphy aturday night's prime-time game between Notre Dame and Michigan — the penultimate meeting of these two storied football schools for the foreseeable future — is a chance for both programs to show that maybe they do still make 'em like they used to. For the first time since 2006, the longtime rivals both started the regular season in the Associated Press top 25 this fall. They were led there by coaching staffs just now settling into their new homes with matching philosophies, winning games in a modern-day smash-mouth manner true to their Midwestern roots. The ghosts of Bo Schembechler and Frank Leahy are starting to smile again. Michigan is returning to a path from which it first veered under new head coach Rich Rodriguez in 2008. Rodriguez tried to squeeze the squarepegged Michigan personnel into the round hole of his fast-paced spreadoption offense. His plan was to teach the new system to the players he had while recruiting others that were a better fit. By the time he had the players he needed, the Michigan faithful had run out of patience with Rodriguez's Brady Hoke guided the Wolverines to a 19-7 record (12-4 Big Ten) in his first two seasons as head coach, while steadily returning the program to its smash-mouth Midwestern roots. photo by per kjeldsen

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