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September 7, 2013Michigan wouldn't need any Under the Lights magic tonight, but the Wolverines did need four touchdown passes from quarterback Devin Gardner to post a 41-30 victory over Notre Dame.
Gardner tied a U-M single-game record with the four TD passes (most recently by Denard Robinson in 2011 against Notre Dame) and added a fifth score on the ground for good measure, becoming only the third Wolverine in program history to account for five touchdowns in a single game (Steve Smith vs. Purdue in 1983 and Robinson versus ND).
Fifth-year senior wide receiver Jeremy Gallon was on the receiving end of three of those TD passes, finishing his day with career highs in touchdowns and yards (184) on eight receptions.
Michigan scored first and never trailed, though the Irish tied the score at 10-10 after the Maize and Blue took an early 10-0 lead. But Gardner answered the Irish's mini-run, leading the Wolverines to 17 second-quarter points, including a two-yard TD run and a 12-yard pass to Gallon.
After stifling the Blue and Gold late in the third quarter, Michigan appeared in good position, leading 34-20, but under duress and facing a safety, Gardner attempted to throw the ball away but got nothing on it as ND defensive end Stephon Tuitt dove in to corral it in the end zone for a score, bringing Notre Dame within seven, 34-27 with 12:06 left in the game.
The Irish would score the next points too, on a field goal, but the Wolverines responded with a 10-play, 75-yard drive that consumed 4:57 and culminated in Gardner's fourth touchdown pass of the night, this one to senior wideout Drew Dileo to put the nail in the coffin.
Gardner finished 21 of 33 for 294 yards with the four TDs and a pick, while rushing for a team-high 82 yards on 13 carries. Senior tailback Fitz Toussaint added 71 hard-fought yards on 22 touches as U-M piled up 460 yards.
Defensively, junior cornerback Ray Taylor led U-M with 11 tackles while redshirt sophomore Blake Countess had two interceptions, including the game-clincher in the end zone with 1:29 remaining.