In the first night game at Michigan Stadium, the atmosphere in the stands didn’t disappoint.
Neither did the action on the field.
Denard Robinson hit Roy Roundtree with 2 seconds left in the corner of the end zone for the game-winning score as Michigan pulled out a thrilling 35-31 victory over Notre Dame.
Michigan had taken a 28-24 lead with 1:12 left to play on a nifty catch-and-run by Vincent Smith, but Irish quarterback Tommy Rees drove his team for the go-ahead score with 30 seconds left on a 29-yard touchdown toss to Theo Riddick.
Michigan got the ball back on its own 20-yard line after a touchback, forcing them to go the length of the field in just a half-minute. However, Robinson found a wide open Jeremy Gallon on second down for a 64-yard gain that put the ball at the Irish 16 with eight seconds left.
Michigan opted to take one shot at the end zone and Robinson found Roundtree on a fade route with two seconds left for the winning score. Roundtree was interfered with by a Notre Dame defender but caught the ball anyway, and Michigan declined the penalty.
The game didn’t look like it was going to go well after the Irish took a 24-7 lead midway through the third quarter on a 1-yard touchdown pass by Rees to T.J. Jones.
Robinson, who finished 11-for-24 through the air for 338 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions, finally started to get going and drove the Wolverines in for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 24-14. Robinson picked up a Stephen Hopkins fumble at the one-yard line and punched it in for the score.
After the defense forced a punt that landed Michigan at the Irish 40, Robinson found Gallon for a 14-yard score to slice the lead to three.
Notre Dame scored on its first two possessions of the game to jump out to a 14-0 lead and Michigan’s offense looked lost in the first quarter, picking up just one first down.
However, Michigan was able to cut the lead in half five minutes into the second quarter on a 43-yard touchdown pass by Robinson to Junior Hemmingway.
Despite the offensive numbers, turnovers were the Irish’s undoing again. Five turnovers negated 513 yards of total offense, just one week after five turnovers cost them a game against South Florida.
Robinson, Mich: 11/24, 338 yards, 4 TDs, 3 INT
Rees, ND: 27/39, 315 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INT
Robinson, Mich: 16 carries, 108 yards, TD
Wood, ND: 25 carries, 134 yards, TD
Floyd, ND: 13 rec, 159 yards
Hemmingway, Mich: 3 rec, 165 yards, TD