Since there has been so much buzz this week about the Notre Dame vs. Michigan game from 2014 (remember the six!), I’m going to take a look at a different game for this week’s Throwback Thursday spotlight; the match-up from 2012. In 2012, the Michigan Wolverines traveled to Notre Dame to play the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, in what would turn out to be a glorious night for the Irish. The Notre Dame defense had an epic night, shutting down the Wolverines and Denard Robinson, and forcing six turnovers. How did the game play out? Let’s take a look.
There would be no great Michigan comeback on September 22, 2012. In fact, the Wolverines wouldn’t even get into the end zone, securing only two field goals that day. Two of the six Michigan turnovers caused by the Irish would be the result of Manti Te’o interceptions, with the other four being three more interceptions and a forced fumble. It wasn’t a high scoring game by either team (13 Notre Dame - 6 Michigan), but the Wolverines most certainly beat themselves with all of their turnovers.
Two of the scores that Notre Dame achieved in this game came off Michigan turnovers. The first Manti Te’o interception set up a Kyle Brindza 33-yard field goal. The next two interceptions (including Te’o’s second interception of the game), also lead to Notre Dame getting into the end zone for a touchdown. (A Tommy Rees, 2-yard rushing touchdown.)
After the game Coach Kelly not only shared his praise for the Notre Dame defense, but the Michigan defense as well.
“A great team win for our guys,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said. “Defensively what can I say? Six turnovers, limited who we felt is one of the most dynamic offensive players in the country to no touchdowns. Just an incredible performance by our defense.”
“As much as we would have liked to have executed better on offense, give Michigan a lot of credit,” Kelly said. “They did a very good job defensively, and we knew we were going to be in for this kind of close, tough, hard-nosed football game, and proud of the way our guys pulled it off.”
Pretty much what we’re expecting this Saturday, right? A “close, tough, hard-nosed football game.” That’s what the rivalry is all about!
And of course, Manti Te’o shared his thoughts on the game.
“The key to stopping Robinson, the key to stopping such a dynamic player like Denard is everybody has to get to him,” Te’o said. “Denard will start running one way and then totally cut back the other way. Everybody has to get to the ball. You have to really emphasize 11 guys to the ball.”
“I can’t thank the students and just the fan base around the world, Notre Dame and non-Notre Dame fans. They’ve been really great,” Te’o said.
Te’o also commented that it was great to finally beat Michigan and Robinson. ”He’s gotten me the past two years and Michigan has gotten me three years total. I am just glad on my last hurrah I finally have something to celebrate about,” Te’o said.
And who was Notre Dame’s fearless leader at quarterback that year? None other than Tommy Rees. Here’s what he had to say after the game.
“It’s a great feeling any time you can beat Michigan,” Rees said. “It’s a great environment ... a lot of fun.”
With six turnovers, this game was it’s own version of “remember the six,” ... no?
Want to relive some of the highlights from Notre Dame vs. Michigan 2012? Here you go:
The Vegas folks have Notre Dame as an underdog this weekend. What say you? What’s your score prediction for Saturday?
Cheers & GO IRISH!