Michigan 'really tough to beat' when firing on all cylinders, says Shea Patterson
It took until the ninth week of the college football season, but Michigan finally put together a complete game Saturday night against Notre Dame. From the opening kickoff until the final gun, the Wolverines really control the contest.
Michigan blasted No. 8 Notre Dame, registering a 45-14 home win in what was a soaked Michigan Stadium. Hassan Haskins and Zach Charbonnet were nearly unstoppable out of the backfield, accounting for 223 of Michigan’s 303 rushing yards in the blowout victory. Shea Patterson ended the game with just six completions, but those went for 100 yards and two touchdowns.
Thanks to that strong rushing game, Michigan built a 17-0 lead at halftime. Midway through the second quarter, with the rain drying up, Notre Dame was able to get in the end zone, making it a 17-7 game and making things interesting for a bit. The interest quickly left, though.
On the following possession, Michigan found the end zone to up the lead back to 17, and scored 28 unanswered points to sink the Irish. After the game, Patterson said this was the most complete game the team has played all season.
“I think we just needed to come out from start to finish and just play the way we normally play,” Patterson said after the game. “That was kinda the first time on all cylinders, we played our best game. When we do that we’re really tough to beat.”
Notre Dame really had no answer for Michigan’s strong ground game. The Wolverines attempted just one pass while building that 17-0 lead, not wanting to risk turnovers with the conditions.
When Michigan opened the playbook a touch more in the second half, it was really able to break the game open. Patterson said that he believes the offense found something in the second half of that Penn State game.
“I think the second half of the Penn State game we found our stride,” Patterson said. “We realized after that game, going into this week, from Monday’s practice that we need to start to come out that way start to finish. We can’t come out flat and expect to make a comeback in the end.”
Michigan improved to 6-2 with the win, and washes the taste of a 28-21 loss to Penn State from its mouth. The Wolverines still have two rivalry games remaining on the schedule, playing Michigan State on Nov. 16 and closing out with Ohio State on Nov. 30.
If the offense plays like it did against the Irish, Michigan will have a much better chance at getting some more wins.