Tight end Kyle Rudolph, left, catches a pass over Michigan safety Cameron Gordon for a 95-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Irish Fall to Wolverines In Closing Seconds, 28-24

Sept. 11, 2010

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. (AP) – Denard Robinson ran for a 2-yard touchdown with 27 seconds left, sending Michigan to a 28-24 victory over Notre Dame.

Robinson also had an 87-yard TD run and finished with 502 total yards offense.

Notre Dame’s Dayne Crist, who missed most of the first half after being banged up on an opening TD drive, hit Kyle Rudolph with a 95-yard TD pass to put the Irish ahead with 3:41 left.

But Robinson then led Michigan (2-0) on a 12-play, 72-yard drive, scoring the game-winning TD himself – a fitting end.

Notre Dame (1-1) had one last chance from the Wolverines’ 27 with six seconds left, but Crist threw the ball out of the end zone on the final play.

On the final drive, Robinson carried to pick up a crucial first on a fourth-and-1 at the Notre Dame 35. Then on a third-and-5 from the 17, Robinson drilled a 15-yard pass to Roy Roundtree to the 2 to set up his TD.

His most spectacular moment came late in the second quarter, when Robinson took the snap from his own 13, went to the right side, made a little cut and sprinted right past the Irish defense for second-longest run ever by an opponent against Notre Dame (Dick Panin broke off an 88-yarder for Michigan State in 1951) and the longest run ever at Notre Dame Stadium. It put the Wolverines up 21-7.

Earlier, the strong-armed Robinson found a wide-open Martavious Odoms for 31 yards to the Irish 1, setting up Stephen Hopkins 1-yard run for a touchdown late in the opening quarter that made it 14-7.

Crist led the Irish on a 71-yard, 13-play drive to start the game, doing most of the work by completing 5 of 7 passes and carrying three times for 30 yards before sneaking in for the TD.

But he spent the rest of the half on the sidelines before finally beginning to warmup with about six minutes to go after first Tommy Rees and then Nate Montana – neither of whom had ever played in a college game – struggled to get the offense going. Each threw an interception – the one by Rees leading to Michigan’s tying touchdown. On the very next play after the pick, Robinson hit a wide open Roundtree for a 31-yard TD.

Montana, the son of NFL Hall of Famer Joe Montana, who also was a standout at Notre Dame, heaved a 37-yard pass to Theo Riddick to the Michigan 3 with 3 seconds to go in the half, a completion upheld by video replay.

But on the final play of the half, Montana’s pass sailed way out of the end zone as the Wolverines held on for the two-TD lead.

Crist came back in the third quarter and on his second play threw a 53-yard TD pass to TJ Jones to get Notre Dame within 21-14. On the next series, he hit passes of 17 and 11 yards to Michael Floyd to get Notre Dame to the 6 before the Irish settled for David Ruffer’s 24-yard field goal.