Gardner effort Harmon-like
ANN ARBOR, Mich.
Michigan left the throwback uniforms in the closet, but Devin Gardner decided to turn the clock back by wearing a new number.
Trading out the No. 12 he normally wears, Gardner sported No. 98 in honor of Tom Harmon, Michigan’s first Heisman Trophy winner in 1940. Gardner put up impressive numbers of his own in the first 30 minutes wearing his new jersey despite looking like a misshaped defensive lineman.
All three touchdowns scored by the Wolverines in the first half came with the help of Gardner. He completed touchdown passes of 61 and 12 yards to Jeremy Gallon and scored on a two-yard touchdown run. He completed 13 of his 20 passes for 180 yards while also leading Michigan’s running attack with 50 yards on five carries.
Gardner will wear the No. 98 for the remainder of his career. A Michigan Football Legend patch will be attached to the jersey for future players wearing the number.
“It’s difficult to say how honored I am to wear No. 98,” Gardner said in a released statement. “You see Tom Harmon photos and prints all over our building, knowing all of the things he accomplished on the field for this program and representing our country, and to have the opportunity to speak to his family today, it’s kind of surreal. I’m extremely humbled and blessed.”
Timeout bail out
Brady Hoke wanted a timeout. It turned out he didn’t need one.
On a first-and-goal play from the two-yard line, the play clock had nearly expired before the Michigan offense could take the snap. Hoke signaled for a timeout from the sidelines, but the play started with barely a second left on the play clock. Gardner scored from two yards out and left Hoke happy the officials didn’t notice him in time.
After the touchdown, Hoke turned to his sidelines and shrugged. No complaints.
Gibbons kicks record-breaker
Michigan kicker Brendan Gibbons knocked in two field goals in the first half to break the school record for consecutive made field goals.
Gibbons entered the game tied with Remy Hamilton with 14 in a row, and extended his streak to 16 in the first half. His 44-yard field goal in the first quarter earned him the record and pushed the Michigan lead to 10-0. He later hit a 38-yard field with 1:56 left in the second quarter.
Turning over Tommy
A Michigan interception late in the second quarter continued Tommy Rees’ struggles with turnovers in Michigan Stadium. The Michigan defense intercepted two Rees passes in the 2011 matchup, and the interception on Saturday helped set up a Michigan touchdown before halftime.
Cornerback Blake Countess stepped in front of the Rees pass intended for tight end Troy Niklas for the first Irish turnover of the season. The Wolverines converted the mishap into seven points on a touchdown pass from Garnder to Gallon.
Michigan’s defense gave Everett Golson fits last season with two interceptions in Notre Dame Stadium. The Wolverines also intercepted a Rees pass in the 2010 game at Notre Dame.