Michigan needed to bounce back in a big way on Saturday. After losses to Wisconsin and Penn State, the Wolverines needed a signature to relieve some of the criticism and pressure surrounding Jim Harbaugh.

That’s exactly what UM got on Saturday night, pounding No. 8 Notre Dame 45-14. For the first time this season, Michigan was dominant in every facet of the game from start to finish.

Harbaugh had nothing but praise for his players after seeing how they responded this week.

“Respect for the players, some of the recent tests and growth that’s come from that and their mindset to work and improve and also led to a great victory,” Harbaugh said after the game.

Michigan held Notre Dame scoreless in the first half, taking a 17-0 lead into the locker room. Don Brown’s defense surrounded just one touchdown through three quarters, though the Irish were able to get a late score when the contest was already determined.

“Defensively, it was a great performance. We were just so fast,” Harbaugh said. “We were running so good…Don Brown called a great game, he really had it wired. Can’t say enough about that.”

Offensively, Michigan acquired over 300 yards on the ground, led by Hassan Haskins and Zach Charbonnet, who combined for 223 of those yards. Shea Patterson didn’t go to the air much, but when he did, he was effective, throwing for 100 yards and two touchdowns on six completions.

“The offense, the same kind of production. And how about the elements? I think our guys had fun with it and really relished playing in this game. So many great performances by so many — Shea Patterson, Hassan Haskins really got us going. It was four great quarters out of all sides of the ball.”

It’s been a rough start to the season for Harbaugh and Michigan, despite sitting at 6-2 on the year. A top 10 win over Notre Dame should certainly quiet some of the critics, at least for now.