Notre Dame vs Michigan Football
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Notre Dame vs Michigan Odds
How long is the long-standing rivalry between Michigan and Notre Dame? The first football game ever played by the Fighting Irish was against Michigan on the day before Thanksgiving in 1887.
Notre Dame and Michigan have only gone head-to-head with one another 42 times since then, but each school’s heritage and legacy in the world of college football make every meeting special.
Since Notre Dame plays football as an independent and Michigan is part of the Big Ten, there can be different circumstances around each meeting. Michigan’s opening weekend loss in 2018 at Notre Dame impacted its season to such a degree that the Wolverines’ College Football Playoff hopes were immediately dimmed in the aftermath.
While each school plays in front of rabid home bases, usually worth an extra point or two in the spread, beware of the upset factor particularly in years when national championship aspirations for either school are in play.
Notre Dame-Michigan History
When two schools have met on the gridiron for more than 130 years that in itself constitutes a rivalry. But what adds to the aura of Notre Dame vs. Michigan is the blue-blood lineage of these two storied programs.
Each program has won double-digit titles and both are among the all-time winning percentage leaders in college football, with Michigan No. 1 and Notre Dame No. 4.
Great Notre Dame-Michigan Games
The 2011 match-up was the first night game in University of Michigan history. Notre Dame was in control the entire game keeping the crowd of well over 100,000 silent for most of the historic night, until the fourth quarter when the Wolverines offense came alive. Michigan came all the way back to take a 28-24 lead on a Denard Robinson to Vincent Smith past.
Notre Dame responded with Tommy Rees finding Theo Riddick for a touchdown to go up 31-28 with 42 seconds left. That put the ball back into Michigan’s hands and from their own 20-yard line, a 64-yard pass from Robinson to Jeremy Gallon helped match them down the field. They scored on a 16-yard touchdown pass to Roy Roundtree to finish off the win, one that helped propel Michigan to the Sugar Bowl.
Notre Dame’s 1988 national title year opened with a thriller against Michigan. The Fighting Irish began the season ranked No. 13, but an opening win over then No. 9 Michigan put the Lou Holtz squad on the right path to go 12-0.
The game actually belonged to relatively unknown kicker Reggie Ho, who had four field goals, including the go-ahead kick with 1:13 left. Michigan had a chance to win the game but missed a late FG attempt.
Infamous Notre Dame-Michigan Moments
Huge crowds have been part of this rivalry no matter where the game is held, with both Michigan’s “Big House” and Notre Dame’s historic stadium packed to the brim every time the teams meet. But in 1988, a home crowd actually cost its team a penalty. Officials assessed a penalty to the Fighting Irish because the South Bend faithful were so loud, the Michigan offense could not hear its play being called.
The 2008 meeting was a messy affair, especially for Michigan, as the game was played in a driving rainstorm. Fumbles, dropped balls, falling players and generally sloppy play plagued both teams. The Wolverines were particularly impacted, helping to a 35-17 Notre Dame victory.
Michigan and Notre Dame have churned out superstar players at a steady stream over the course of their storied program histories.
The numbers for Heisman Trophy winners (7 for Notre Dame and 3 for Michigan), consensus All-Americans (101 for Notre Dame and 82 for Michigan), College Football Hall of Fame members (52 for Notre Dame and 36 for Michigan) and NFL draft picks (495 for Notre Dame and 362 for Michigan) are among college football’s highest.
Paul Hornung, Joe Montana (pictured above), Joe Theisman, Tim Brown and Alan Page are just a few of the legendary names to come out of Notre Dame, with Tom Brady, Charles Woodson, Desmond Howard, Dan Dierdorf and Jabril Peppers just a sampling of Michigan’s elite.
Notre Dame vs Michigan FAQs
Michigan leads the all-time series with Notre Dame, 24-18-1.
Notre Dame and Michigan next play October 26, 2019 at Michigan.
Notre Dame and Michigan last played on September 1, 2018, with the Irish winning 24-17.
Notre Dame and Michigan first played on November 23, 1887.
Michigan won the first meeting 8-0.