Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 15, 2014 Issue

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

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Page 31 of 107

BY DOUGLAS FARMER W hen the NCAA struggles nail- ing down the specific length of a streak, perhaps the best thing is for the streak to end. Before Notre Dame blanked Michigan 31-0 Sept. 6, NCAA stats indicated the Wolverines had not failed to score in 376 games. Once the Irish ended that streak, the exact figure was double- checked. It was determined that 365 games had passed since Iowa held Michigan scoreless in 1984. Of those 365, 26 included scor- ing efforts against the Irish. In fact, Notre Dame had never held Michigan scoreless in their 41 previous meet- ings. Thus, even when up four pos- sessions, the Irish defensive starters played the final possession, intent on breaking one streak and establishing a new precedent with their last chance before the series ended for the foresee- able future. "They're both big," Irish senior line- backer and captain Joe Schmidt said. "I want to stay present tense. I wanted to shut them out. I wanted to complete the game. The job wasn't done, and there was still something left to ac- complish." Three of those four scores came courtesy of senior quarterback Everett Golson's right arm, giving him eight total scores on the season. Golson's efficient 23-of-34 passing for 226 yards offset a struggling Irish rushing at- tack, largely because the Wolverines focused on stopping the run at the risk of Golson exposing them through the air. He did. "The way they decided to play the game, there were six, seven guys in the box," Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said. "It was how they decided that they wanted to take those oppor- tunities away from us, and we were glad to oblige them and throw the football." Against that loaded defensive front, the three-headed rushing attack of se- nior Cam McDaniel and sophomores Tarean Folston and Greg Bryant com- piled only 61 yards on 25 carries, good for 2.44 yards per attempt. McDan- iel managed 3.1 yards per carry on his way to 25 yards and a score, but the Notre Dame rushing attack never gained much traction. "If somebody is going to play the game so one-sided defensively, " Kelly added, "we're going to throw the foot- ball." LAST LAUGH A historic defensive showing led Notre Dame to a 31-0 victory over Michigan under the lights

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