Notre Dame 28, Michigan 20
Notre Dame used an unlikely hero to earn another surprising victory over Michigan.
Freshman Darius Walker had two fourth-quarter touchdowns and the Fighting Irish renewed hope for a turnaround season by upsetting the eighth-ranked Wolverines, 28-20, on Saturday.
Walker, who did not play in Notre Dame's opening game, ran for 115 yards on 31 carries -- the first Irish freshman to rush for more than 100 yards since Julius Jones ran for 146 against Navy in 1999.
Notre Dame (1-1) earned its first win over a top 10 team since beating fifth-ranked Michigan, 25-23, two years ago. Since that game, the Irish were 0-4 against top 10 teams, losing by a combined 164-27 -- including a 38-0 loss to Michigan last season.
The Wolverines (1-1) lost their opening road game for a fifth straight year.
The biggest surprise, though, was the play of Walker -- especially in the fourth quarter. Walker, who is from Lawrenceville, Ga., ran for 61 yards on 14 carries as Notre Dame took control.
The Irish were trailing 12-7 late in the third quarter when Wolverines freshman Chad Henne threw high to Braylon Edwards. The ball bounced high off Edwards's hands and cornerback Dwight Ellick intercepted it at the Michigan 29. Brady Quinn completed a pair of passes to Maurice Stovall for 19 yards, the second pass to the 6-yard line. Walker ran around right end untouched for the touchdown to give the Irish a 14-12 lead.
On Michigan's next possession, the Wolverines went three-and-out. On the punt, Jerome Collins broke up the middle and Chase Anastasio (Robinson) came in around the right end and they combined to block the punt. Corey Mays recovered the ball at the Michigan 5. Walker scored on the next play.
The Irish pulled away in the fourth quarter when Rashon Powers-Neal caught a play-action pass from Quinn for an eight-yard touchdown to make it 28-12. The win allowed Notre Dame to reclaim the title as the winningest program in college football at 75.56 percent, compared to Michigan's 74.54 percent.