In a typically wild Michigan-Notre Dame affair, the Wolverines prevailed 41-30. Devin Gardner celebrated his status as the new No. 98—yes, a quarterback wearing No. 98, a Legends Number nod to former Michigan Heisman winner Tom Harmon—with 294 yards passing and 82 yards rushing and five total touchdowns.
This is, of course, the last time Michigan and Notre Dame are scheduled to face each other, and new games may not come for at least another decade or so. So it goes in a realignment-crazy college football world. It certainly didn't help when Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly tried to minimize the importance of the game by calling it a "regional" rivalry in interviews. So when Michigan got the win, its Twitter account took the opportunity to rub it in:
Don't tell us it's not a rivalry... pic.twitter.com/7joTkj94WY— Michigan Football (@umichfootball) September 8, 2013
As did the stadium PA, which played "Chicken Dance."
Box Score Hero: Devin Gardner's 376 yards of total offense and five scores would ordinarily win him a spot in this space, but his extremely ill-advised interception in Michigan's own end zone disqualifies him from any "hero" designation. Them's the rules. So we salute Jeremy Gallon, who torched Notre Dame for eight catches, 184 yards and three touchdowns. Oh, and more 14 yards on a reverse.
Rankings Ramifications: It'll be interesting to see how much movement there is after this game, because if the No. 14 team visits the No. 17 team and loses in a well-played, high-scoring, pretty close game... that sounds about right, right? If anything hurts Notre Dame the most (other than the mark in the L column, obviously), it's the horridly unlucky, bouncing interception near the end of the game that preserved Michigan's 11-point margin of victory. If Notre Dame loses by three (or five) points, there's probably not much of a drop waiting. A double-digit loss means Notre Dame's dipping into the 20s; conversely, look for Michigan to make a push toward (but not crack) Top 10 status.
But Did They Cover? Oh, they did. Michigan was a 5-point favorite going into the game and used the aforementioned late pick to secure the cover as well.
Next Week's Schedule: Michigan faces mighty Akron next week, and Notre Dame gets a home date with Purdue. You know, one of the Big Ten teams Notre Dame kept its rivalry with.