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Gardner channels Harmon, leads Wolverines to win over Irish

Notre Dame v Michigan Getty Images

Devin Gardner ditched his old No. 12 for Tom Harmon’s No. 98 on Saturday and for most of the night looked like he was the former Wolverine great reincarnated, as he led No. 17 Michigan to a 41-30 win over No. 14 Notre Dame in front of a Michigan Stadium-record-crowd of 115,109.

Gardner completed 21 of 33 passes for 294 yards and four touchdowns (with a pick) and added 68 yards and a score on the ground as Michigan beat the Irish for the fourth time in five years.

How appropriate was it that, on a night when Michigan honored a player (Harmon) known for producing touchdowns in bunches, the player wearing his number ran and passed for five scores?

The Irish played hard on both sides of the ball, but ultimately had no answer for Gardner, who seemed to run at will and find favorite target Jeremy Gallon (eight catches, 184 yards, three scores) whenever he needed a big play. More importantly, Gardner’s performance seemed to signal, once and for all, that this was finally his team. The Wolverines are going to sink or swim by his play.

And with Notre Dame out of the way, Michigan looks like a good bet to enter November at 7-0. That’s when the Wolverines take on rival Michigan State in Lansing before hosting Nebraska and then traveling to play a tough Northwestern team. If Michigan can get by that slate, it could set up a monster match up with Ohio State at season’s end.

Meanwhile, the Irish defense needs to regroup before it hits the meat of its schedule. It can’t depend on Tommy Rees (314 passing yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions) to carry the load week-in and week-out. If Notre Dame can get back to the physical style it exhibited during last season’s BCS run, it might yet find its way back in a major bowl.

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9 Responses to “Gardner channels Harmon, leads Wolverines to win over Irish”
  1. niallofthenine says: Sep 8, 2013 12:26 AM

    Most football wins in the history of the World……..The Michigan Wolverines!
    Stay thirsty my friends.

  2. kiopta1 says: Sep 8, 2013 12:38 AM

    Hats off to DG, Gallon, and Rees. Poor performances by Mich Oline and ND secondary.

  3. polegojim says: Sep 8, 2013 1:04 AM

    Great Game… sorry to see this coming to an end.

    Actually, it was the Michigan D line that struggled to get pressure. O Line did well for their inexperience level.

    Gardner was the difference maker in this one… take away one horrible decision… and he was awesome.

    That’s what I wanted to see – and the Wolverines delivered.

    Go BLUE!!!

  4. ndnut says: Sep 8, 2013 1:45 AM

    Karma might turn on us this year. Last year “lucky breaks” (read:horrible calls) always wnt with the “Luck of the Irish.” Tonight didn’t have the same four-leaf clover effect. Alas, ND is good but not great. I hold out hope for a BCS Bowl, though an upper tier bowl is more likely and just as well.

  5. mgmac says: Sep 8, 2013 7:43 AM

    brian kelly loses another big game, what’s new!

  6. harbourimages says: Sep 8, 2013 9:31 AM

    Last night clearly illustrated the differences in coaching styles between Hoke and Kelly. While Hoke was patting our guys on the back Kelly, AS USUAL, was SCREAMING at his kids! What a jerk! Beats me why any young man would want to play for a guy like that. Chickkkkkk chick chick chick…. And also as usual, Mushmouth Holtz was out there again picking the teams HE coached to win… SC and ND. Hmmm… dual 41 – 30 losing scores. Good picks, Holtz! Hahahahahahaha… Loved it. Nice games Georgia and Michigan. GO BLUE!!!!!!!!!! And Go Dawgs!

  7. be4bama says: Sep 8, 2013 9:58 AM

    GO BLUE and as always ROLL TIDE

  8. friarjack61 says: Sep 9, 2013 1:44 PM

    ND was BEATEN, badly !! Their defense was on the field, but did not know what to do……..they were terrible…..an ND, is not that good, nor are some of the defensive starters. They would have had a concern against a Div II school.

  9. friarjack61 says: Sep 9, 2013 1:55 PM

    Kelly was lucky last year, but his recruiting and coaching style, will not give the school the results that they are expecting. His EGO, is too large to be a positive, respected coach. Yelling at players on the sideline is not coaching, but only ‘ showmanship’ for TV !

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