Notre Dame Opponent Scouting Report: Michigan

Quarterback
Chad Henne burst on to the scene as a true freshman in 2004 leading the Wolverines to the Rose Bowl, but his sophomore season was a bit of a disappointment. Henne’s completion percentage, yardage, and touchdown passes were all down in 2005 as Michigan started losing more and more games.

Henne’s performance in some of Michigan’s bigger games was also a bit disappointing. He threw just two touchdown passes combined in the Notre Dame and Ohio State games. Against the Irish, Henne also completed just 43.2% of his passes and threw a costly interception at the goal line to Tommy Zbikowski.

Team Capsule

Head Coach: Lloyd Carr (102-34-3, 11th Year)
Offensive Coordinator: Mike DeBord (1st Year)
Defensive Coordinator: Ron English (1st Year)
Stadium: Michigan Stadium (107,501)
Conference: Big Ten
Returning Lettermen: 48 (21 offense, 24 defense, 3 special teams)
2005 Record: 7-5
2005 Bowl: Alamo Bowl – Loss, Nebraska 28-32
Series History: 14-18-1

Injuries to Mike Hart hurt the Michigan running game which put more pressure on Henne and he did not take to the additional pressure well. During his freshman year he had a strong running game and had the luxury of Braylon Edwards.

In his third year Henne should see some significant improvement with most of his main receivers back.

Running Backs
Mike Hart was the Freshman of the Year in the Big Ten in 2004 when he ran for 1,455 yards, but suffered an injury riddled year that started in the Notre Dame game when he was flattened by Corey Mays. Hart would play in just eight games and hobbled through some of the ones he did play in. By the end of the year Hart would run for just 662 yards. When he’s healthy, Hart is one of the best running backs in college football but saw his average yards per carry drop from 5.2 to 4.4 last year.

Backing up Hart is sophomore Kevin Grady. Grady enrolled early at Michigan and played a lot as a true freshman including an 18 carry, 79 yard performance against Notre Dame with Hart hurting. He showed some signs of being a great back last year but did not really break out. With another Spring under his belt bigger things should be expected from Grady, especially is Hart is hampered with injuries again this year.

Michigan is always well stocked at this position and this year is no different. After Hart and Grady, Michigan has a stable of highly recruited backups including incoming freshman Carlos Brown who enrolled for the Spring semester.

Wide Receivers
Michigan looses their most productive receiver in Jasan Avant who was drafted by the Eagles in this year’s draft, but still return a lot of talent. Steve Breaston has a world of talent, but was a disappointment as a receiver last year. Breaston was inconsistent and did not look ready to be an every down, go to type of receiver. When he does get the ball in his hands he is extremely dangerous, but he only ended up with the ball in his hands 26 times in the passing game.

2006 Michigan Schedule

9/02/06 – Vanderbilt
9/09/06 – Central Michigan
9/16/06 – @ Notre Dame
9/23/06 – Wisconsin
9/30/06 – @ Minnesota
10/07/06 – Michigan State
10/14/06 – @ Penn State
10/21/06 – Iowa
10/28/06 – Northwestern
11/04/06 – Ball State
11/11/06 – @ Indiana
11/18/06 – @ Ohio State

The star of the group may be sophomore Mario Manningham. Manningham had a great freshman year that included the lone Michigan touchdown against Notre Dame last fall. Manningham was also the recipient of the game winning touchdown against Penn State as time expired. With a full Spring practice under his belt Manningham could have a big year. Size and durability may be an issue for the talented wideout, but of the receivers on Michigan’s roster, he could be the best of the bunch.

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The third receiver spot will be open this summer with a bunch of highly recruited receivers vying for the spot. Doug Dutch, Carl Tabb, Adrian Arrington, and incoming freshman Greg Matthews will all be completing for playing time in the wide receiver rotation.

The talent is there, the production and experience? Not so much.

Offensive Line
Michigan always has a good offensive line and this year should be no different. The Wolverines must replace three starters, but the likely candidates to fill those holes all have plenty of experience.

The anchor of the line will be senior Jake Long. Long only started 4 games last year due to injuries but was a 2nd Team All Big 10 selection in 2004. Long is moving from right tackle to left tackle and will be the leader of the offensive line.

Joining Long as a returning starter will be LG Adam Kraus. Kraus spent some time at center last year but Mark Bihl was impressive enough at the center spot to win the starting role, pushing Kraus to guard. Rounding out the offensive line will be Rueben Riley at RT and Alex Mitchell at RG.

The line might not be as experienced as it has in the past, but the talent and size is there to make this a pretty effective group.

Defensive Line
Michigan will be replacing their interior defensive line with the departures of Gabe Watson and Pat Massey. Watson was a bit of an underachiever at times, but still played his way to the 4th round of the draft. A couple of sophomores are slated to take over the duties along the interior line in the form of Will Johnson and Terrance Taylor. Johnson had one start at NT for Michigan last year, but Johnson will be making his first career start this year after recording 10 tackles in 10 games as a true freshman last year.

Alan Branch returns to start at defensive end after starting 10 games last year and registering 5 sacks while winning Michigan’s Top DL Award. Branch is huge for a DE these days at 6’6”, 330 lbs, but can move well for an end his size.

Lamarr Woodley is technically an outside linebacker in Michigan’s 3-4 system, but rushes the quarterback a lot from his position. Jeremy Van Alstyne, a one time Notre Dame commitment, started off last season as a starting end for the Wolverines, but injuries plagued his ‘05 campaign and will serve as a backup this year.

Linebackers
Michigan returns all its starters from an under-achieving group in 2005. Prescott Burgess, Dave Harris, and Chris Graham started a combined 28 games last year but had troubles tackling at times and could be pushed by some under classmen.

Burgess was one of the jewels of his recruiting class and cracked the starting lineup last year. In his first year as a starter he collected 81 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 2 forced fumbles, and an interception. In the process, Burgess got All Big 10 Honorable Mention.

Harris led the team with 88 tackles while adding 7 tackles for loss and is returning for a 5th year. Junior Shawn Crable impressed the coaches during the Spring and could push for more than just playing time this summer. Crable is listed as Burgess backup and could challenge for the starting role.

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Defensive Backs
Michigan gets three starters back in its secondary headlined by the return of Ryan Mundy who missed all of 2005 with a serious shoulder injury. Mundy is a talented free safety who started every game of his sophomore year intercepting two passes.

Leon Hall was a 2nd Team Big 10 selection last year and returns as one of the starting CB’s for Michigan. Hall had 4 interceptions and 5 pass breakups in 12 starts last year. Joining Hall and Mundy as returning starters is SS Jamar Adams. Adams started seven games last year registering 27 tackles and one pass breakup.

The lone new starter in the Wolverin secondary will be sophomore CB Morgan Trent. Trent has great size for a corner at 6’1”, 192 lbs and started 3 games as a red-shirt freshman. Trent will be pushed by Brandon Harrison, Charles Stewart, and Johnny Sears, but should win the job.

Michigan’s defensive backfield has experience and talent and will not make things easy for opposing offenses. Brady Quinn and the Irish had some trouble moving the ball against Michigan last year and will need their A game against this secondary.

Special Teams
Garrett Rivas is a talented and accurate kicker with plenty of experience, but lacks an overly powerful leg. Rivas connected on 19 of 26 field goals last year and a Big 10 Honorable Mention pick for the second year in a row.

Handling the punting duties will either be Zoltan Mesko or returning starter Ross Ryan. Ryan doesn’t have a huge leg and was supposed to be challenged by Mesko last year, but won the job in the summer.

In the return game, Steve Breaston will handle both kickoff and punt return duties again this year. Breaston is a threat to take any kick the distance and is Michigan’s all time leader in punt return yards. He only returned one kick for a touchdown last year, but is still one of the most dynamic returners in the country.

Last Meeting

Scoring Summary

1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
7 7 3 17
3 7 10

Scoring Detail

Quarter Team Details
1st Rhema McKnight 5-yd pass from Brady Quinn (Fitzpatrick kick)
2nd Garrett Rivas 38-yd FG
Jeff Samardzija 5-td pass from Brady Quinn (Fitzpatrick kick)
4th DJ Fitzpatrick 43-yd FG
Mario Manningham 25-yd pass from Chad Henne (Rivas kick)

Team Statistics

First Downs 17 15
Rushes/Yards 44/104 29/114
Passes 19/30/0 19/44/1
Passing Yards 140 223
Return Yards 70 103
Total Yards 314 430
Punts 4/41.2 8/41.2
Fumbles/Lost 3/1 3/1
Penalties/Yards 4/21 4/28
Time of Possession 30:56 29:04

Individual Stats

Rushing
ND: Walker 26-104; Powers-Neal 6-19; Schwapp 2-8; Team 2-(-4); McKnight; 1-(-7); Quinn 7-(-16)
Michigan: Grady 18-79; Breaston 2-34; Hart 3-4; Jackson 1-4; Henne 4-(-3); Martin 1-(-4)
Passing
ND: Quinn 19-30-0, 140 yds
Michigan: Henne 19-44-1, 223 yds
 
Receiving
ND: Walker 5-22; Samardzija 4-52; Fasano 4-18; McKnight 2-18; Stovall 2-17; Powers-Neal 1-9; Shelton 1-4
Michigan: Ecker 7-74; Avant 5-90; Dutch 2-16; Masey 2-3; Manningham 1-25; Breaston 1-9; Thompson 1-6

Notre Dame – Michigan Series History

Series History

11-23-1887 H N/A L, 0-8 N/A N/A
4-20-1888 H N/A L, 6-26 N/A N/A
4-21-1888 H N/A L, 4-10 N/A N/A
10-23-1898 A HERING L, 0-23 N/A N/A
10-18-1899 A McWeeney L, 0-12 N/A N/A
11-17-1900 A O’Dea L, 0-7 N/A N/A
10-18-1902 N Faragher L, 0-23 N/A N/A
10-17-1908 A Place L, 6-12 N/A N/A
11-6-1909 A Longman W, 11-3 N/A N/A
11-14-1942 H Leahy L, 20-32 4 6
10-9-1943 A Leahy W, 35-12 1 2
9-23-1978 H Devine L, 14-28 14 5
9-15-1979 A Devine W, 12-10 9 6
9-20-1980 H Devine W, 29-27 8 14
9-19-1981 A Faust L, 7-25 1 11
9-15-1982 H Faust W, 23-17 20 10
9-14-1985 A Faust L, 12-20 13 Not Ranked
9-13-1986 H Holtz L, 23-24 Not Ranked 3
9-12-1987 A Holtz W, 26-7 16 9
9-10-1988 H Holtz W, 19-17 13 9
9-16-1989 A Holtz W, 24-19 1 2
9-15-1990 H Holtz W, 28-24 1 4
9-14-1991 A Holtz L, 14-24 7 3
9-12-1992 H Holtz T, 17-17 3 6
9-11-1993 A Holtz W, 27-23 11 3
9-10-1994 H Holtz L, 24-26 3 6
9-27-1997 A Davie L, 14-21 Not Ranked 6
9-5-1998 H Davie W, 36-20 22 5
9-4-1999 A Davie L, 22-26 16 7
9-14-2002 H Willingham W, 25-23 20 7
9-13-2003 A Willingham L, 0-38 15 5
9-11-2004 H Willingham W, 28-20 Not Ranked 8
9-10-2005 A Weis W, 17-10 20 3
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* Game waslayed in Philadelphia
** Gator Bowl

Michigan Three Year Results

2003 Results

Central Mich W, 45-7
Houston W, 50-3
Notre Dame W, 38-0
@ Oregon L, 27-31
Indiana W 31-17
@ Iowa L, 27-30
@ Minnesota W, 38-35
Illinois W, 56-14
Purdue W, 31-3
@ Michigan St W, 27-20
@ Northwestern W, 41-10
Ohio State W, 35-21
USC L, 14-28

2004 Results

Miami (OH) W, 43-10
@ Notre Dame L, 20-28
San Diego St W, 24-21
Iowa W, 30-17
@ Indiana W, 35-14
Minnesota W, 27-24
@ Illinois W, 30-19
@ Purdue W, 16-14
Michigan St W, 45-37 (3OT)
Northwestern W, 42-20
@ Ohio State L, 21-37
Texas L, 37-38

2005 Results

N Illinois W, 33-17
Notre Dame L, 10-17
Eastern Mich W, 55-0
@ Wisconsin L, 20-23
@ Michigan St W, 34-31 (OT)
Minnesota L, 20-23
Penn State W, 27-25
@ Iowa W, 23-20
@ Northwestern W, 33-17
Indiana W, 41-14
Ohio State L, 21-25
Nebraska L, 28-32

Michigan Depth Chart

Michigan Depth Chart

Offense Defense
QB 07 – Chad Henne (Jr) DE 91 – Rondell Biggs (Sr)
19 – Jason Forcier (Fr) 90 – Tim Jamison (Jr)
RB 20 – Mike Hart (Jr) DT 67 – Terrance Taylor (So)
03 – Kevin Grady (So) 95 – Marques Walton (So)
FB 35 – Brian Thompson (Sr) DT 80 – Alan Branch (Jr)
40 – Obi Oluigbo (Sr) 92 – Ed Johnson (Sr)
WR 86 – Mario Manningham (So) E/OLB 56 – Lamar Woodley (Sr)
82 – LaTerryal Savoy (Fr) 50 – Jeremy Van Alstyne (Sr)
WR 15 – Steve Breaston (Sr) ILB 37 – Chris Graham (Jr)
16 – Adrian Arrington (So) 55 – Brandon Graham (Fr)
TE 89 – Tyler Ecker (Sr) ILB 45 – Dave Harris (Sr)
83 – Mike Massey (So) 49 – John Thompson (So)
LT 77 – Jake Long (Sr) OLB 06 – Prescott Burgess (Sr)
71 – Mark Ortmann (Fr) 02 – Shawn Crable (Jr)
LG 57 – Adam Kraus (Jr) CB 14 – Morgan Trent (So)
70 – Jeremy Ciulla (So) 04 – Darnell Hood (Sr)
C 54 – Mark Bihl (Sr) FS 31 – Brandent Englemon (Jr)
60 – David Moosman (Fr) 22 – Jamar Adams (Jr)
RG 72 – Rueben Riley (Sr) SS 19 – Willis Barringer (Sr)
73 – Alex Mitchell (So) 27 – Brandon Harrison (So)
RT 76 – Mike Kolodziej (Sr) CB 29 – Leon Hall (Sr)
75 – Cory Zirbel (Fr) 05 – Charles Stewart (So)
Special Teams
K 38 – Garrett Rivas (Sr) KR 15 – Steve Breaston (Sr)
P 03 – Ross Ryan (Sr) PR 15 – Steve Breaston (Sr)

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