Shamrock Stickers: Michigan ’12

manti teo michigan
Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Manti Te’o (5) celebrates after an interception in the second quarter against the Michigan Wolverines at Notre Dame Stadium. (Matt Cashore / US PRESSWIRE)

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.

Manti Te’o

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

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

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.

Tommy Rees

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.

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  1. Our offense is more explosive with Golson and that is the reason Kelly will continue to play him. Hopefully the kid can deal with the threat of Tommy looking over his shoulder. Golson has to put the distractions aside and make plays. Rees is a senior who seems to be making less mistkes this year, that god. He can make better reads, but is limited. Our offense needs to find an identity if we want to continue to win. At some point the defense will let up over 20 points and we will need to score on quality defenses. Go irish

  2. Re: “Kyle Brindza is doing everything he can to solidify his place as the Irish’s starting kicker” …. I sure hope the coaching staff isn’t considering going back to the guy who can’t make extra points vs. a lowly Navy squad

  3. Danny Spond !!!! guy whos been banged up his first couple years and has started the last 2 games and has been outstanding in both run support but more so in pass coverage tough nosed player I like that Coach Kelly uses his depth esp in the defensive front helps during a long season and esp when they get there chance to start they are already battle tested something that I think the last 3 coaching staffs wouldnt do as much.

  4. Kelly deserves credit here with the QB situation. Everyone knows that last year our season was plagued with turnovers. The number one key to Kelly’s offense this year is to not turn the ball over. And with the defense we have, this is all we should worry about. We don’t need to go out and to try make big plays on offense. Just manage the game on offense with no turnovers, win the field position battle, and let our defense do their thing. Our offense is only going to get better as the season moves forward.

    Golson didn’t look comfortable at all out there. He was making bad decisions early and I didn’t exactly like his attitude coming off the field either. On the two picks, Kelly was trying to talk to him to settle him down, but Golson basically walked away both times. This is immaturity from a young QB. In these situations, I know you’re upset with yourself, but take the time to listen what the coach has to say about it. That is what Kelly is there for.

    Again, Rees is far and beyond better at managing the offense at this point. He’s so calm and collected out there. It’s very impressive to me. I wasn’t wanting Rees to play at all this year, but he has really stepped it up and has been a leader out there. We all know that Rees has hit his highest potential as a QB, where Golson can obviously be better than Rees with his stronger arm and mobility. The maturity will come with game experience and things will eventually slow down for him. Kelly recognizes this and continues to name Golson the starter, even after bad performances.

    You have to give Kelly credit for this. Turnovers will not be tolerated this year, and he is doing what he needs to as a coach…moving us forward in the right direction by continuing to start Golson (potential to be the best QB), but knowing his players enough to know when it’s time to pull the guy trying to do too much (Golson) and put in someone with experience (Rees)to simply manage the offense and not turn the ball over because he knows the defense is going to do their job in shutting down the opposing offense. To me, that’s a winning coach.

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