Saturday, September 10, 2011
Halftime: Notre Dame 17, Michigan 7
By Brian Bennett
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Quick analysis of the first half at Michigan Stadium, where Notre Dame leads Michigan 17-7:
Stat of the half: Some numbers don't lie. Notre Dame has 268 total yards to just 90 for the Wolverines. The Irish have been clearly the better team, and might have a bigger lead if not for two interceptions, one of which led to Michigan's only score. Denard Robinson has accounted for 88 of his team's first-half yardage, but Notre Dame has for the most part contained Shoelace the first 20 minutes.
Best player in the half: Michael Floyd. It was obvious coming in that Floyd was Notre Dame's best offensive weapon, and he has delivered. With Michigan cornerback Troy Woolfolk not starting and playing only a handful of snaps because of a hand injury, the Irish have looked to Floyd often. He became Notre Dame's all-time leading receiver with a seven-catch, 112-yard first half.
Best call: Two plays after Jordan Kovacs picked off Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees, Robinson got the defense to bite on a play-action. He had all kinds of time and waited for Junior Hemingway to get free from cornerback Gary Gray. Robinson threw it up, and Hemingway dived into the end zone for a 43-yard touchdown. That got the Big House crowd back into things, but big plays have been few and far between so far for the home team.