Luckily, Denard Robinson was around for the fourth quarter.
Robinson threw for three touchdowns in the final quarter, including the game-winning strike to Roy Roundtree with two seconds remaining, and ran for a fourth as the Wolverines were the victors Saturday night after outscoring Notre Dame 28-7 in the fourth quarter.
Denard Robinson vs Notre Dame
The Wolverines have now won three straight against Notre Dame, the longest win streak for Michigan in the series since it won five in a row from 1898-1908.
Each of those three wins has come in thrilling fashion. In 2009, Tate Forcier threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Greg Matthews with 11 seconds left in a 38-34 win. Last year, Robinson ran for the game-winning score with 27 seconds left in another four-point win.
Robinson completed 70 percent of his passes for 202 yards with a pass efficiency of 318.7 in the final quarter. In the three prior quarters, Robinson completed 28.6 percent of his passes for 136 yards with a 105.2 pass efficiency.
With Brady Hoke taking over at Michigan this season and installing a pro-style offense, there were questions about Robinson’s ability to succeed after playing 97 percent of his snaps out of the shotgun last season, but Robinson didn’t disappoint.
Denard Robinson Passing by Formation
Saturday vs Notre Dame
From the shotgun, Robinson completed six of 17 passes with no touchdowns and a pair of interceptions. When Robinson lined up under center, he was 5-for-7 (completing all four attempts in the fourth quarter) with four touchdowns and a single interception.
In all, Robinson threw for over 300 yards and ran for over 100 in the win. Last season, Robinson had just a single 300-yard passing game, and that was a 305-yard effort in Michigan’s 67-65, triple-overtime win over Illinois. In that game Robinson ran for just 62 yards and 3.3 yards per rush.
Last week, Robinson’s numbers weren’t impressive in a weather-shortened game against Western Michigan, passing for 98 yards and running for another 46 without a touchdown neither on the ground nor in the air.
Next up for the Wolverines are three straight home games against unranked foes, Eastern Michigan, San Diego State and Minnesota. Just one of Michigan’s next eight games is against a team that is currently ranked, an October 15 road game against Michigan State.