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Carr, Wolverine fans breathe easier after pounding Irish

The Michigan coach, facing pressure, leads his team to an easy 47-21 victory at Notre Dame.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published September 17, 2006


SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Take that, Notre Dame.

No. 11 Michigan finally put a Big Blue bruising on the No. 2 Fighting Irish in a 47-21 rout Saturday - the most points scored against Notre Dame at home in 46 years.

"They deserve their just due," Irish coach Charlie Weis said. "I think it's important to understand that team just came and whupped us pretty good."

Indeed. Chad Henne threw three touchdowns to Mario Manningham, and Michigan intercepted Brady Quinn three times and forced him to fumble.

No doubt, a few Michigan players were pumped after ending a two-game losing streak against the Irish and a three-game slide at Notre Dame Stadium.

"This is one of the greatest games in Michigan history and it's great to be a part of it," said LaMarr Woodley, who returned a fumble 54 yards for a touchdown.

Prescott Burgess intercepted Quinn on the second play of the game to set the tone. Michigan led 26-7 before the Irish had their initial first down.

The 47 points were second only to the 51 that Purdue scored at Notre Dame in 1960.

The win had to be a relief for Michigan coach Lloyd Carr. He has been under fire for failing to win big games the past two seasons - losing twice in bowls and twice each to Notre Dame and Ohio State. Carr, 4-1 against No. 2 teams and 16-6 against top 10 teams, called the win "special."

"The credit sure doesn't go to me," he added. "Those guys out on the field, they played the game."

It was the eighth time the Irish have allowed at least 40 points at home.

The Wolverines jumped on Notre Dame mistakes, including a pass that sailed through the hands of tight end John Carlson to Burgess, who returned it 31 yards for a touchdown. Then Manningham was left open for a 69-yard touchdown and David Grimes fumbled a kickoff return that set up a 2-yard touchdown run by Mike Hart, who had 124 yards on 31 carries.

Henne then threw touchdowns of 20 and 22 yards to Manningham to make it 34-7. That was the most the Irish allowed in a half since 1998 when they gave up 42 in the first half in a 45-3 loss at Michigan State.

Quinn, touted as the Heisman Trophy favorite, was 3-of-13 passing for 14 yards before going 7-of-7 for 71 yards in leading the Irish to a touchdown drive just before halftime, cutting the score to 34-14.

Michigan held Notre Dame to 4 yards rushing on 17 carries and 245 total offense. Notre Dame's two top receivers, Jeff Samardzija and Rhema McKnight, didn't have their first catches until Michigan was ahead 34-7.