SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 22: Quarterback Denard Robinson #16 of the Michigan Wolverines is tackled by cornerback Bennett Jackson #2 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the third quarter at Notre Dame Stadium on September 22, 2012 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Michigan Vs. Notre Dame: Irish Defense Forces 6 Turnovers In 13-6 Win

For the second consecutive week, Notre Dame doesn't allow a touchdown as the Irish beat Michigan 13-6 Saturday.

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Michigan-Notre Dame pulled in 6.4 million viewers

While the Michigan Wolverines and Notre Dame Fighting Irish each appear content to let their annual rivalry dissipate, that still doesn't mean the record-breaking 6.4 million viewers who tuned in for Saturday night's game actually agree with the recent announcement.

Despite featuring a bevy of Michigan turnovers and ill-timed gaffes by quarterback Denard Robinson, Saturday's game was reportedly the single largest draw in Notre Dame's primetime history on NBC according to the National Football Foundation:

On a night when a number of top-flight games were also available across all networks in the same timeslot, it's quite remarkable that this game pulled in such a massive audience. Though it's extremely hard to imagine that NBC is thrilled to watch Notre Dame willingly drop a marquee draw like Michigan from its schedule in coming years, a lull in scheduling could theoretically drum up more interest when these two teams actually face off again.


Michigan Vs. Notre Dame Final Score: Turnovers Help Fighting Irish Beat Michigan 13-6

The No. 11 Notre Dame Fighting Irish defense forced 6 turnovers by the No. 18 Michigan Wolverines, helping Notre Dame to a 13-6 win - despite the fact that Michigan's offense outgained Notre Dame's.

The only touchdown of the game came in the second quarter. Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly benched starting quarterback Everett Golson after his second first half interception and Tommy Rees came in and completed 3-for-4 passes on his first drive and scored on a 2-yard touchdown run with 1:27 left in the first half to put Notre Dame up 10-0.

Michigan's offense moved the ball effectively and made it inside the red zone six times in the game, but turnovers limited their scoring opportunities. Running back Vincent Smith threw an interception on a halfback option pass in Notre Dame territory in the first half. Denard Robinson fumbled after picking up a first down inside the Notre Dame 20 in the third quarter. Robinson threw four interceptions in the game, all in the first half.

Michigan scored for the first time on a Brendan Gibbons field goal with 13:56 remaining in the fourth quarter. Gibbons also connected on a field goal to make it 13-6 with 3:31 remaining. Michigan had the ball on that possession at the Notre Dame six, but Robinson was sacked by Sheldon Day, pushing Michigan back to the 13.

After electing to kick the field goal, they kicked off and Tommy Rees found Tyler Eifert for a 38-yard completion for one first down and Theo Riddick picked up another first down on the drive, allowing the Irish to kill the clock.

Robinson finished with 137 passing yards and 94 rushing yards. Rees finished 8-for-11 for 115 yards. Notre Dame improves to 4-0. Michigan is now 2-2.

Box Score Hero: Both offenses had some ugly moments in this game, but the Notre Dame defense proved once again to be an opportunistic unit. Linebacker Manti Te'o had a pair of interceptions, both of which helped Notre Dame put points on the board. His first interception in the second quarter led to a field goal and his second, also in the second quarter, set up the game's only touchdown.

Rankings Ramifications: Notre Dame's defense once again looked formidable against a quality opponent, so the Irish could sneak into the top 10. Michigan came in ranked No. 18 and this is the Wolverines' second loss. Both losses have been to good teams, but Michigan could be in danger of falling out of the rankings.

But Did They Cover? Notre Dame was favored by six and covered.

For More On This Game: For more on Irish football, visit Notre Dame blog One Foot Down. For more on Wolverines football, visit Michigan blog Maize 'n' Brew, plus Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire and SB Nation Detroit.

Next Week's Schedule: Both teams have byes next week. Notre Dame plays Miami at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6 in the Shamrock Series at Soldier Field in Chicago. Michigan plays at Purdue at 4 p.m. Oct. 6.

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