Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 15, 2014 Issue

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

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Page 36 of 107

MICHIGAN RUNNING GAME VS. NOTRE DAME RUN DEFENSE There was first-half success for Michigan, with its four ball carriers (excluding quarterback Devin Gardner) carrying 11 times for 71 yards, a robust 6.4 average. At that point, though, the Wolverines trailed 21-0 and had to rely much more on the pass to get back into the game, and finished with just 100 yards on 35 attempts (2.9 yards per carry). Sophomore linebacker Jaylon Smith's speed, among other factors, helped contain Gardner, who rushed for a game-high 82 yards versus Notre Dame last year. In this meeting, he was held to five yards with no gain more than nine yards. ADVANTAGE: Notre Dame MICHIGAN PASSING GAME VS. NOTRE DAME PASS DEFENSE Beyond junior Devin Funchess (nine catches for 107 yards), Michigan did not have a consis- tent, reliable second option for Gardner. The U-M signal-caller completed 19 of 32 throws, but for only 189 yards (just under 6.0 yards per attempt, a strong barometer for a defense) with three interceptions. Notre Dame forced nine quarterback hurries, led by junior defensive tackle Sheldon Day's four, and did a good job of sending in safeties or the nickel back on blitzes to mix it up. ADVANTAGE: Notre Dame ON PAPER REVISITED BY LOU SOMOGYI Sophomore safety Max Redfield and the Irish defense limited the Michigan rushing attack to a mere 100 yards on 35 carries (2.9 yards per attempt). PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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