Ranking the 10 best Notre Dame-Michigan games: Rocket, Desmond and more

first_imgNow, coaches Jim Harbaugh and Brian Kelly will meet head-to-head for the second time. It’s the next chapter, which includes some great installments.  MORE: Week 9 Picks against the spread Here’s a look at the 10 most memorable games between the two:1. No. 1 Notre Dame 24, No. 2 Michigan 19 (1989) Notre Dame took a 14-6 lead to start the second half when Raghib Ismail returned a kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown. Michigan pulled within five points with 12:46 left behind Elvis Grbac, who replaced an injured Michael Taylor. “The Rocket” struck again, however, with a 92-yard touchdown return on the ensuing kickoff to help seal the win for the Irish.  2.  No. 3 Michigan 24, No. 7 Notre Dame 14 (1991) Michigan clung to a 17-14 lead and faced a fourth-and-1 early in the fourth quarter. Coach Gary Moeller opted to go for it, and one of college football’s iconic plays followed. Elvis Grbac threw a touchdown pass to Desmond Howard — forever known as “The Catch” — which helped launch a Heisman Trophy season for Howard.MORE: Howard remembers ‘The Catch’3. No. 1 Notre Dame 35, No. 2 Michigan 12 (1943)The top-ranked Irish were led by Frank Leahy and Heisman Trophy winner Angelo Bertelli. Michigan had Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsch. A record crowd at Michigan Stadium watched Bertelli dominate the game. Notre Dame won the AP national championship.4. Michigan 35, Notre Dame 31 (2011)Notre Dame held a 24-7 lead in the first night game in Michigan Stadium heading into the fourth quarter, but that’s when the fireworks started. Three TDs were scored in the final 1:12, and Denard Robinson led a miracle drive with a 16-yard TD pass to Roy Roundtree with two seconds remaining. Robinson finished with 446 total yards and five total TDs.5. No. 13 Notre Dame 19, No. 9 Michigan 17 (1988) Ricky Watters helped Notre Dame build a 13-0 halftime lead with an 81-yard punt return for a TD, and the Irish took a 19-17 lead with 1:13 left. Michigan’s Mike Gillette missed a 48-yard field goal as time expired. The Irish went on to a 12-0 season and won the national championship.6. No. 3 Michigan 26, Notre Dame 24 (1986)In Lou Holtz’s first game as Notre Dame’s coach, the Irish almost upset the Wolverines. Jim Harbaugh rallied the Wolverines, however, and Notre Dame kicker John Carney missed a 45-yard field goal as time expired. The Irish, however, moved up to No. 20 in the AP Poll despite the loss.7. No. 6 Michigan 26, No. 3 Notre Dame 24 (1994)Notre Dame took a 24-23 lead with 52 seconds left when Ron Powlus, who made his home debut, hit Derrick Mayes for a touchdown pass. The Wolverines countered behind Todd Collins, however, and Remy Hamilton helped Michigan escape South Bend with a 42-yard field goal. No. 8 Notre Dame meets No. 19 Michigan at Michigan Stadium at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. The nationallly-televised game will rekindle memories from the past between these storied programs. Holtz. Ismail. Schembechler. Howard. The names define this classic rivalry.  8. Michigan 38, No. 18 Notre Dame 34 (2009) Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen and Michigan’s Tate Forcier put on a show, and the teams combined for 28 points in the fourth quarter. Forcier’s five-yard touchdown pass to Greg Mathews with 11 seconds remaining sealed the win for the Wolverines.9. No. 8 Notre Dame 29, No. 14 Michigan 27 (1980) In a classic back-and-forth matchup, the Wolverines took a 27-26 lead with 41 seconds left, but the Irish had one last shot. Freshman quarterback Blair Kiel led a desperation drive, and Harry Oliver kicked a last-second 51-yard field goal for the win.10. Notre Dame 11, Michigan 3 (1909)Notre Dame — coached by Michigan grad Frank Longman — defeated the Wolverines and coach Fielding Yost in the schools’ ninth meeting. After the game, Detroit Free Press reporter E.A Batchelor wrote, “Eleven Fighting Irishman wrecked the Yost machine this afternoon.”last_img

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