The Wolverine

September 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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16 THE WOLVERINE SEPTEMBER 2016   INSIDE MICHIGAN ATHLETICS FIVE YEARS AGO, 2011: Michigan rolled to a 4-0 record in September, highlighted by the first-ever night game at Michigan Stadium. The Wolverines and Notre Dame's Fight- ing Irish put on a show for the ages at The Big House, Michi- gan pulling out a 35-31 win on a 16-yard pass from Denard Robinson to Roy Roundtree with two seconds remaining. Michigan fell behind in the game 14-0 and trailed 24-7 entering the final quarter, prior to a 28-point fourth-period outburst. Even then, the lead changed hands three times in the final 1:12 of the game, putting a scintillating ending on a contest that lived up to its historic nature. "Every time you see a University of Michigan team, you're going to see a team that's going to play together and fight until the end, until there are zeros on the clock," Robinson noted. In the opposing locker room, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly proved considerably glummer and plenty blunt. "We're not good enough," he insisted. "There's not one individual in that locker room, including the coaches, that are good enough right now. Across the board. And conse- quently, we lost the football game. "It's turnovers, it's our subpar special teams, our inability to make a stop; it's all of those things. I pretty much told our football team that when we're better as a football team we'll start winning." 10 YEARS AGO, 2006: Michigan's 4-0 start to the football season in 2006 involved another victory over the Irish, far less coronary-inducing at the end and perhaps even more satisfying. The Wolverines invaded Notre Dame Stadium and systematically took apart the home team 47-21 in a dominant effort. Quarterback Chad Henne fired three touch- downs passes to wideout Mario Manningham in the first half alone, with Mike Hart racking up 124 yards and a touchdown rushing on 31 carries. Senior linebacker Prescott Burgess set the tone for the day, picking off a pass and racing back 31 yards for a touchdown on Notre Dame's open- ing possession. Michigan's defense harassed, humbled and eventually buried ND quarterback Brady Quinn in his home turf, picking off three of his passes. In all, the afternoon proved perfect for the in- vaders, against an Irish crew that entered the contest ranked No. 2 in the Associated Press poll. The 47 points hung on the Irish marked the most they'd given up at home in 46 years. "If you're in enough of these games, you're go- ing to win some and you're going to lose some," Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr said. "The ones that you lose, they hurt. This Mich- igan-Notre Dame rivalry is a special part of col- lege football. The thing that I love about it, you don't like each other when you're competing against each other because you want to win, but I think there's a great respect there, and I think there always has been. "Notre Dame is a great institution, with a great tradition. And Michigan is the same. So as a coach, when you can win against a rival like that, believe me, it's special, because it's hard." 25 YEARS AGO, 1991: Michigan Stadium entered the football season sporting Prescription Athletic Turf, the first grass field for the Wolverines since 1967. The turf, developed by a Purdue agronomy professor, promised to deliver the footing of artificial fields with a softer and more player- friendly base. Michigan head coach Gary Moeller spoke in favor of the move, after years of expressing a preference for an artificial surface. "I believe that we're gong to be playing on the best surface available in football today," Moeller said. "I was a turf guy up until this field came out. I didn't want to play on a muddy field in a downpour. "The thing that you're supposed to get out of this field is consistent good footing, because you can completely control the moisture. It should have the softness of a grass field, but it shouldn't be too wet and it shouldn't be too dry." — John Borton THIS MONTH IN MICHIGAN ATHLETICS HISTORY Senior linebacker Prescott Burgess returned an inter- ception 31 yards for a touchdown on the opening pos- session of the game, setting the tone for U-M's 47-21 beat-down of Notre Dame in 2006. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

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