Notre Dame’s defense stole the show on Saturday in South Bend as the Irish improved to 4-0 on the season with a 13-6 win over Michigan thanks in large part to forcing 6 Wolverine turnovers. UHND’s Pierce O’Leary highlights the players of the game with his weekly column Shamrock Stickers.
Yet again Manti Te’o stepped up for the Irish in a crucial game. Te’o registered eight tackles and two interceptions versus the Wolverines. Te’o was a thorn in the side of Michigan star Denard Robinson all game, limiting his success in the run game as well as well as providing excellent coverage in the pass game.
Bennett Jackson quite simply turned in his best game as a member of the Irish on Saturday. Jackson led the Irish with nine tackles versus Michigan and also recorded one interception, as well as an important fumble recovery that came with Michigan deep in Irish territory. Jackson was a key member of the Irish secondary that limited Michigan to only 138 yards passing.
Kyle Brindza is doing everything he can to solidify his place as the Irish’s starting kicker. Brindza hit both of his two field goal attempts versus Michigan, from 33 and 39 yards, as well as making the extra point on the lone Irish touchdown. In a defensive battle the Irish could not afford mistakes on special teams, and Brindza was solid.
With the game at 3-0 in favor of Notre Dame, and Michigan with momentum coming off an Everett Golson interception Brian Kelly made the decision to put in veteran Tommy Rees. Rees brought a calming influence to the Irish offense and led the team down the field for the game’s only touchdown, a two yard run by the Notre Dame quarterback. From the time Rees entered the game the Irish didn’t turn the ball over and as a result took control. Rees did exactly what the job of the Irish quarterbacks will be this season, take care of the football.