BY KEVIN WRIGHT
Mike Hart showed exactly how you back up a guarantee.
Thirty-five carries for 187 yards and two touchdowns came to play, but his guarantee stretched deeper than self-motivation. He used it to reach out to his teammates.
When Hart went up to the podium after a horrific loss to Oregon and predicted victory over Notre Dame, the senior captain drew a fair share of criticism.
What prompted Hart to put so much faith in a team that opened the season with two bad losses? Why would he put even more pressure on a group of guys already hanging their heads over a heartbreaker and a blowout?
BY SCOTT BELL
Heading into Saturday's game, the usual suspects were expected to fire up the Michigan football team.
Embattled coach Lloyd Carr needed to pick up his team following an 0-2 start, running back Mike Hart needed to rally his teammates following his guarantee and defensive captain Shawn Crable needed to get his much-maligned defense back on track following two dismal performances.
But an unexpected source delivered perhaps the game's most rousing speech: Academy Award-winner Russell Crowe.
The Michigan Daily Top 10 returns for its third installment in this young season. Each week, Daily Sports staffers will fill out ballots, with first place votes receiving 10 points, second-place votes receiving nine, and so on. The results are published with first-place votes in parentheses.
1. Southern Cal (7): The Trojans were penalized in the rankings for having a bye last week. But after watching them thrash Nebraska 49-31 on Saturday, the rest of the nation can only hope the Trojans are involved in some scandal.
Staff Picks recap: So, uh, this is a little embarrassing. LSA senior Todd Karazim is just killing the Daily football writers. And the thing is, the writers aren't even performing that poorly. Karazim has just been on fire. He was the only one this week to pick the Kentucky upset, and the only one to take Rutgers and its 53.5 points. He also nailed the Duke upset and correctly didn't trust Minnesota to beat Florida Atlantic, a team that had lost to Penn State 59-0. Bell did make something of a comeback, though, winning the week by one pick.
Notre Dame 17
Before every football game this season, two of the Daily's football writers will take the weekend's matchup to the PlayStation 2 and then let you know what happened.
Play of the game - Take your pick from any of the four stops Michigan coach Kevin Wright made on his own 3-yard line with 1:45 left in the game and holding a four-point lead. DE #55 put the finishing touch on the critical stand when he sacked Notre Dame QB #13 (after injuring QB # 7 earlier in the game) on fourth-and-goal from the 3-yard line and forced a fumble.
BY DANIEL BROMWICH AND JACK HERMAN
This section examines the reasons that Michigan has started this season 0-2. We are not going to delve into the institutional or larger-picture problems that exist within the program. Instead, we offer these observations as the answers to the question "What's wrong with Michigan?"
Entering this season, senior quarterback Chad Henne appeared on watch lists for the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award and All-America team.
Now he's on the injured list.
But that's not where his problems started.
Click here to view the staff picks for this weeks' game against Notre Dame.
They're supposed to be their school's future, but now they're expected to be the present, too. How do these two highly touted signal callers stack up?
BY SCOTT BELL AND KEVIN WRIGHT
What's there to say that hasn't been said? Neither team is good, both desperately needs Saturday's win. Who has the edge?
Michigan pass offense vs. Notre Dame pass defense
BY JACK HERMAN
Since 1887, when a team of Michigan players first taught a group of Notre Dame students to play the game, the rivalry between the Wolverines and the Fighting Irish has evolved into one of college football's greatest.
It's made players like kicker Remy Hamilton easy to remember and - unfortunately for Michigan fans - losses like 2005 hard to forget.
And tomorrow's game at Michigan Stadium will add another historic note to the storied series. For rarely, if ever, in that 120-year span have the teams met when they were so, well, bad.