As we bid adieu to our rivals from Indiana in 2014, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish will move on to greener pastures, where losing to Michigan often will be replaced by vicious victories over Michigan State and Purdue. Michigan currently holds a 23-16-1 overall record against the Fighting Irish and are looking to beat them one last time in their house as they prepare for Under the Lights II coming in just a few short months.
Me, a typical Wolverine fan who focuses on nothing but history, will take a look at five memorable moments from the rivalry that is no more.
Number Five: “His shoelaces flapping in the wind..”
What makes this moment so great is that this run happened to be longest run in Notre Dame Stadium history, all 87 yards of it. What also made this day so great is that he also capped a 28-24 victory over the Irish in the waning seconds, scoring his second rushing touchdown of the day. Not to mention, Rich Rodriguez owned Notre Dame. So it’s always just a little bit more hilarious to see one of very few Rodriguez victories.
Number Four: THIS PICTURE
Shawn Crable was a beast for Michigan. Never afraid to make the big tackle, Crable lays the smackdown (first clip out of the five) on Brady Quinn. Even though Michigan went on to win this game, it was always fun seeing how awesome Michigan’s defense truly was.
Number Three: “Caught, Greg Matthews!”
For Michigan fans across the nation, how amazing was this victory? An unranked and, quite frankly, not a very good Michigan squad upsets a Jimmy Clausen led Irish squad with mere seconds to go on the clock. This game created the legend for Tate Forcier — oh, what could have been — who then seems to go and ruin it for himself later in the season. This win was a giant milestone for Rich Rodriguez and his Michigan team. Unfortunately, the success didn’t carry over for much longer. But Michigan fans can forever bask in this victory.
Number Two: “I can’t believe this, Roy Roundtree!”
This game was special for many reasons. New Michigan head coach Brady Hoke had his first crack against Notre Dame, Michigan honored legendary receiver Desmond Howard, and also appeared in the first night game in Michigan Stadium history. You just knew that night would be special. After being dominated for most of the game, Michigan came back from behind and Denard Robinson delivered a ball to Roy Roundtree who would go on to make one of the greatest moments in Michigan history.
All of these moments are great in their own right. But, to me, the number one moment signifies the rivalry. This singular play is what the old-school Michigan fans will remember the most. But, it’s one of the most amazing plays ever.
Number One: Fourth and Inches.. “Holy Cow! Would you believe this?”
In what was probably the gutsiest playcalls in Michigan football history, head coach Gary Moeller calls for a pass play in a fourth and inches situation. Elvis Grbac drops back and delivers a ball that was well overthrown to Desmond Howard, who made a spectacular diving catch for the touchdown and would help Michigan secure a 24-14 victory against the Irish. This catch also put Howard to the forefront of the Heisman race. And, as you are all aware, the rest is history.
Some may be happy to see Notre Dame go, others don’t want to see them leave. But, at the end of the day, Michigan vs. Notre Dame brought fans excitement that will forever be remembered.
For now, goodbye Notre Dame. But, forever Go Blue.