Notre Dame Football: Junior Hemingway

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Just when Notre Dame thought it had some breathing room, Denard Robinson showed what all the hype is about. And he's keeping Michigan in the game.

Robinson hit Junior Hemingway on a short pass in the open field that went for 77 yards to the Irish 6 and faced a third-and-goal from the 1 at the start of the fourth quarter. Notre Dame, victim of so many red zone troubles so far, finally got its payback, knocking the ball loose from Stephen Hopkins.

Of course, Robinson was right there to pick it up and walk in for the score.

It's 24-14 Irish with 14:54 to go, plenty of time for a few more unconventional clutch plays from a Michigan quarterback. Notre Dame fans have seen this before, and the Irish will look to flip the script this time around.

Halftime: Notre Dame 17, Michigan 7

September, 10, 2011
9/10/11
9:48
PM ET
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Here's a quick recap of the first half at the Big House, breaking curfew as we approach 10 p.m. at halftime:

Stat of the half: 47. That's the number of yards Michigan has gained in the first half outside of Denard Robinson's 43-yard touchdown pass to Junior Hemingway. The Irish have done a great job of bottling up Shoelace and will need to contain him the rest of the way to hang on.

Best player in the half: Michael Floyd. The senior receiver has seven catches for 112 yards and has given Michigan secondary fits all night. He already has his 15th career 100-yard receiving game and is now No. 1 on the Irish's career receiving yards list.

What Notre Dame needs to do: Make Robinson throw. The Irish have done an admirable job of it so far, and he only made them pay once, though much of the credit goes to Hemingway for making a nice grab near the end zone and maneuvering his way in. Robinson has 40 yards on the ground so far.

What Michigan needs to do: Continue to blitz Tommy Rees and always keep an extra man watching Floyd. Rees has forced some throws under pressure, including a pair that were picked. His over-reliance on Floyd has stood out in the first half and the Wolverines need to expose that further in the second half.

Interceptions hindering Irish early

September, 10, 2011
9/10/11
9:36
PM ET
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- There's the red-zone offense we grew accustomed to seeing last week.

On first-and-10 from the Michigan 18, Tommy Rees forced a throw near the goal-line to Michael Floyd, who was in a sea of maize and blue. J.T. Floyd ended up getting his hands on the ball for the Michigan interception.

The pick was the second interception Rees threw in the second quarter. Rees completed his first eight passes in the first quarter, which ended with a 14-0 Irish lead. Denard Robinson changed that score with a 43-yard touchdown pass to Junior Hemingway in the second, though the Irish defense has been impressive in containing Shoelace on the ground.

The bigger concern, right now, is turnovers. We saw how costly those can be last week in a game the Irish out-gained their opponent 2-to-1. They'll need to avoid them the rest of the night to keep the game from slipping away.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

'College Football Live' Extra: Biggest Plays
Ed Cunningham and Brock Huard offer up their choices for the most important and season-changing plays of the 2014 college football regular season.
VIDEO PLAYLIST video

FBS INDEP. SCOREBOARD

Saturday, 12/27
Saturday, 12/20
Monday, 12/22
Tuesday, 12/23
Wednesday, 12/24
Friday, 12/26
Monday, 12/29
Tuesday, 12/30
Wednesday, 12/31
Thursday, 1/1
Friday, 1/2
Saturday, 1/3
Sunday, 1/4
Monday, 1/12