Football usually isn’t simple enough to boil a game down into any one player versus another player, especially when those players are never on the field at the same time. Given that, it was hard to envision Michigan walking into Notre Dame Stadium and beating the Irish without Devin Gardner playing better than Everett Golson.
Golson has been better than Gardner – significantly – and thus No. 16 Notre Dame leads Michigan 21-0 at the half.
Golson hasn’t been terrible, completing 9-of-15 throws for 80 yards with no turnovers. He’s certainly been worse. But Golson has been sensational, throwing accurately inside and outside the pocket and generally looking like someone who spent his year away from football doing something other than eating Cheetos and getting caught up on “Dexter.” He’s hit 16-of-21 for 169 yards with two touchdowns and no turnovers, and looked every bit as good as his numbers.
Devin Funchess has been good for Michigan and looked worthy of his No. 1 jersey with three receptions for 41 yards, but he’ll have to double those numbers in the second half to get the Wolverines back into this thing.
Michigan moved the ball well on its first two drives, totaling 92 yards on 18 plays, but both ended in missed Matt Wile field goals. It appeared the new Notre Dame Stadium FieldTurf played a role in both misses. The Wolverines moved the ball only 39 yards in 13 plays over the rest of the half.
Michigan gets the ball to open the second half.