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No. 8 Notre Dame sees title hopes end in ugly loss to No. 19 Michigan

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If you’re going to lose a shot at the national title in the month of October, there may not be a worse way to do it than the way No. 8 Notre Dame did on Saturday night. Playing on national TV in the Big House of one of their historic rivals, the Irish were crushed by the drip, drip, drip of a Wolverine running game they absolutely could not stop — and all of it happened in the pouring rain.

On a night where the elements prevented either team from throwing the ball, No. 19 Michigan out-rushed Notre Dame 303-47 en route to a 45-14 thumping of the Irish.

Shea Patterson finished the game 6-of-12 for 100 yards and two touchdowns and he was, by far, the more effective of the two quarterbacks. Notre Dame’s Ian Book hit just eight of his 25 passes for 73 yards and Notre Dame’s only score.

While neither team could throw the ball, only one of them ran it. Hassan Haskins chugged for a game-high 149 yards on 20 carries, while Zach Charbonnet rushed 15 times for 74 yards and two touchdowns, and Tru Wilson rushed five times for 41 yards and a score. Notre Dame, meanwhile, ran for only 47 yards on 31 carries.

The loss effectively ends any hope Notre Dame (5-2) had of reaching back-to-back College Football Playoffs, while Michigan (6-2) continued the signs of life it showed in the second half of last week’s loss to Penn State.

Michigan out-gained Notre Dame 437-180, with 75 of Notre Dame’s yards coming when the Irish trailed by 38 points.

On a night when everything went the maize and blue’s way, one of the key plays turned out to be a blocked Michigan punt which ended in Michigan’s favor. In a scoreless game early in the first quarter, Will Hall‘s punt was blocked just in front of his own end zone, but the Irish mistakenly touched the ball, allowing Michigan’s Daxton Hill to hop on the ball at the Michigan 35-yard line, giving the Wolverines new life. The Wolverines marched all the way to Notre Dame’s 2 and settled for a 21-yard Jake Moody field goal.

After a Notre Dame punt, Michigan put together two straight touchdown drives all of them on the ground. Over 15 straight runs, covering 119 yards, Hassan HaskinsZach Charbonnet and Patterson ran over around and through the Irish to take total control of the game.

Trailing 17-0 at the half, Notre Dame briefly climbed back in the game with a 7-yard pass from Book to Cole Kmet at the 5:27 mark of the third quarter, a drive greatly aided by the referees, who turned this interception into a pass interference against Michigan.

That momentum was short lived as Michigan, now able to throw the ball after a driving rain finally stopped, immediately moved 75 yards in six plays, capped by an 8-yard pass from Patterson to Donovan Peoples-Jones.

Patterson put the game away for good with a 16-yard strike to Nico Collins at the 11:29 mark of the fourth quarter, giving Michigan a 31-7 lead. The Wolverines added two more scores, coming on a 27-yard Wilson run and a 26-yard toss from Dylan McCaffrey to Mike Sainristil.

Notre Dame added a 14-yard touchdown by Javon McKinley from Phil Jurkovec, which did nothing to help the Irish win the game but did avoid matching the largest margin of defeat in the 45-game history of this series. Michigan’s 38-0 win over the Irish in 2003 still holds that mark.

This on-again, off-again series will go back to off, as the teams will not play again until a home-and-home in 2033-34, meaning Saturday’s win will give Michigan 14 years’ worth of scoreboard.

Michigan leading Iowa in defensive battle in Ann Arbor

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Maybe Michigan hasn’t quite gotten everything fixed on offense, or maybe Iowa is just a better opponent than Rutgers. Or maybe it’s a little from Column A and a little from Column B. Either way, Michigan leads Iowa 10-3 at the end of the first half.

Things could not have started too much better for Michigan. Although the offense was forced to punt after a short drive to start the game, Iowa’s Mekhi Sargent fumbled on Iowa’s first offensive snap and the Wolverines pounce don the ball at the Iowa 18-yard line. Michigan had to settle for just a field goal after the Hawkeyes defense came through with a big stop, but the offense still was slow out of the gate. Michigan took a 10-0 lead on their next offensive series with a Zach Charbonnet run from the two-yard line. A big pass from Shea Patterson to Nico Collins for a gain of 51 yards got the drive started.

Since Michigan took the 10-0 lead though, this has turned into a throwback Big Ten slugfest led by the defenses. Entering this week, Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley had not thrown an interception since last season. In the first half, he threw two.

Ohio State has late first-half breakdown but leads Michigan at halftime, 24-19

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Ohio State had a 21-6 lead in the final minute of the first half. Then, just a couple of plays later, it was a two-point game. But before the end of the half was over, Ohio State padded their lead in a wild final minute of the first half and the Buckeyes have a 24-19 lead on the Wolverines at the break.

Dwayne Haskins has thrown three touchdowns in the half, including two to freshman Chris Olave and things were looking quite rosy for the Buckeyes in Ohio Stadium Saturday afternoon. But a late touchdown drive by Michigan on a pass from Shea Patterson to Nico Collins was quickly followed by a special teams disaster on a fair catch that gave Michigan another quick possession. A quick touchdown and a failed two-point attempt cut the Ohio State lead to 21-19, but Haskins and company quickly moved down the field to get into position for a field goal after being held out of the end zone.

After the Ohio State defense forced a three-and-out to open the game, the Buckeyes offense got the first points of the game on their first offensive series. Dwayne Haskins got the drive started with a nine-yard run, picked up a first down two plays later with a 16-yard pass to Parris Campbell and ended the drive a few plays later with a 24-yard pass to Chris Olave, who had a clear path to the end zone on the left side of the field. Ohio State became the third team this season to score any points on their first offensive series against the Wolverines, joining Notre Dame and Northwestern.

Michigan managed to cut into the lead but failed to get into the end zone. A dropped pass for what would have been a touchdown by Zach Gentry left Michigan to settle for a field goal from the Ohio State 13-yard line, and a chance to convert a short fourth down at the Ohio State 42-yard line was thwarted by having to burn a timeout for too many men on the field and followed up by a false start penalty to force Michigan to punt. Ohio State capitalized on that opportunity by going 80 yards for a touchdown to extend the lead to 14-6. Once again, Olave was the receiver catching the football for the score.

Haskins has thrown three touchdowns in the game so far, with his third going to a wide open Johnnie Dixon on a 31-yard pass later in the second quarter. Late in the firts half, Michigan needed to get something to be optimistic about and they certainly did with a fantastic effort by Collins for a much-needed touchdown, which was followe dby a special teams mistake by Ohio State on the ensuing kickoff.

Patterson quickly completed a touchdown pass to Chris Evans but Patterson was taken down for a loss on the two-point conversion attempt.

Ohio State gets the ball to start the second half. The winner of this game wins the Big Ten East Division and advances to the Big Ten championship game to face Northwestern next week in Indianapolis. A spot in the College Football Playoff also is potentially on the line as well, perhaps more so for Michigan than Ohio State.

Michigan defense allows just 50 yards to Michigan State in first half

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You wanted defense? You sure have it this afternoon in East Lansing. Michigan leads Michigan State by a score of 7-0 at halftime. The Spartans have put together just 50 yards of total offense in the half against the Wolverines and have failed to convert a third down attempt on their home field.

Shea Patterson‘s touchdown pass to Nico Collins on the first play of the second quarter gave the Wolverines a 7-0 lead. It was the first passing touchdown by a Michigan player against the Spartans since Denard Robinson in 2011, and the first touchdown pass to give Michigan a lead on their in-state rivals since 2010.

The game was paused after about 10 minutes had been played during the first quarter due to lightning in the area. The weather delay lasted about 75 minutes as Michigan continued their drive to score the only touchdown of the half. Michigan had chances to add on to the lead multiple times, but the Wolverines were unable to put points on the board on three straight possessions that started in Michigan State territory. Quinn Nordin missed a 36-yard field goal and the other two possessions ended with punts to pin the Spartans in their end if not for a touchback.

Michigan State has simply not been able to figure anything out against the Michigan defense. The Spartans are 0-for-6 on third down.

Michigan State wide receiver Felton Davis III, who caught the game-winning catch last week at Penn State, was taken off the field sitting on a cart late in the first half.

No. 12 Michigan announces itself as B1G, CFP contender in pummeling No. 15 Wisconsin

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Though they led 13-7 at the half, there was a concern all the points No. 12 Michigan left on the field would come back to haunt them in the second half. There was the missed field goal on the first drive of the game. There was the interception return deep into Badger territory that netted only three points. And then there was the Shea Patterson fumble that saw another promising drive come up empty.

Turns out those concerns were unfounded. Michigan’s defense scored enough on its own to lead the Wolverines to victory as Jim Harbaugh‘s crew cruised to a cathartic 38-13 win over No. 15 Wisconsin at the Big House.

Michigan (6-1, 4-0 Big Ten) accepted the ball to open the second half and marched 75 yards in 10 plays, moving into scoring position on a 25-yard Karan Higdon rush and then finding paydirt on a 7-yard Patterson keeper. Patterson found Nico Collins for a 2-point conversion, putting the maize and blue up 21-7 at the 10:21 mark of the third quarter.

That score would prove to be enough to secure the win, but Michigan wasn’t done there. A 35-yard Quinn Nordin field goal stretched the lead to 24-7 with 11:36 remaining, and then Lavert Hill slammed the door when he intercepted Alex Hornibrook and returned the ball 21 yards for a touchdown. At that point in the game, Hornibrook had completed three passes to Wisconsin (4-2, 2-1 Big Ten) receivers and two to Michigan defenders.

The quarterback run game, which earlier sprung Patterson for an 81-yard rush to set up Michigan’s first score, flashed again when backup Dylan McCaffrey broke free for a 44-yard touchdown with 5:16 left in the game.

Though he wasn’t perfect, Patterson was more than enough to win, hitting 14-of-20 passes for 124 yards while rushing nine times for 90 yards and a touchdown. Higdon out-rushed Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor, carrying 19 times for 105 yards and a touchdown to Taylor’s 17 carries for 101 yards.

Effective as Taylor was, he couldn’t carry Wisconsin’s offense by himself. Hornibrook completed just 7-of-20 passes for 100 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions; the touchdown and the bulk of those yards came with the Badgers already trailing by 31 points.

Though the Badgers are still the Big Ten West favorites until they’re not, Saturday’s loss eliminates them from College Football Playoff contention and exposed enough cracks to show the Badgers aren’t a real threat to beat whoever comes out of the Big Ten East.

Michigan, meanwhile, now completes Phase 1 of a crucial 3-game stretch over the second half of their season. The Wolverines visit Michigan State on Saturday and then, after an off week, host No. 8 Penn State. Both teams beat Michigan a year ago — just as Wisconsin did.