SOUTH BEND — As he waited on the line of scrimmage before his 48-yard touchdown reception, Notre Dame freshman wide receiver Golden Tate knew what would happen.

Rodrigo Gaya / Daily

“The coaches and I saw that if we can go in there and make it seem like we’re running and freeze the safety, we’ll be all right and we can get out past them,” Tate said. “We did it.”

He used a double move to create confusion between senior cornerback Morgan Trent and junior safety Stevie Brown. Seconds later, he was behind both of them, celebrating in the end zone. At the time the play-action pass was Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen’s longest career completion.

“I guess we were both pretty confident that guy was taken,” senior Morgan Trent said. “I put that on myself as a senior.”

Michigan wasn’t surprised about Notre Dame frequently taking its chances downfield. On Clausen’s first opportunity to open up the field, he went deep on the first two plays. Later in the game, Clausen broke his own personal record with a 60-yard completion.

“I know (Clausen) likes to take his chances,” sophomore Donovan Warren said. “It was kind of frustrating because we know what they are doing.”

Notre Dame executed its gameplan as expected, but the Michigan secondary couldn’t get on the same page. On the deep throws, safeties didn’t provide support when they needed to. On other plays, the safeties bit on play-action fakes that opened up chances over the top.

“It’s just communication, and having each others’ backs,” Warren said.

Injury Report: After receiving a Gatorade shower to celebrate his team’s win over Michigan, Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis was carried off the field — in the front seat of a golf cart.

While covering a second-quarter punt, defensive end Brandon Graham blocked Notre Dame linebacker John Ryan onto the sideline. Ryan crashed into the back of Weis’s leg. The Notre Dame coach fell backwards over Ryan, awkwardly bending his knee as he went down.

The Notre Dame medical staff stabilized the knee on the sideline with a brace, and Weis coached the rest of the game. He was diagnosed with a torn ACL and MCL.

“I feel like an athlete — first time in my life,” Weis said.

The Michigan coaching staff didn’t suffer any injuries.

Wide receiver Greg Mathews had to be helped off the field at the end of the third quarter and was limping on his way to the team bus. Mathews hurt his foot in the season opener against Utah and missed last week’s game against Miami (Ohio). He caught four passes for 46 yards before leaving.

Redshirt quarterback Steven Threet missed two fourth-quarter drives with cramps but returned for the final drive. He was limping as he left Notre Dame Stadium.

Not sacked: Michigan entered Saturday’s game as the national leader in sacks with nine. The defensive line had been a bright spot in two games. Last year, Notre Dame allowed 58 sacks — and most of that offensive line returned.

To say the least, the Wolverines’ line was expected to win the battle in the trenches

But Michigan failed to get to Clausen behind the line of scrimmage Saturday.

“I just told the offensive linemen in the locker room, I said, ‘Pick a place where you guys want to go to dinner, ’cause we’re going to dinner this week,’ ” said Clausen, who called his line’s play the difference in the game.

The Fighting Irish employed a combination of play-action fakes and max-protect schemes to limit the effect of Michigan’s blitz combinations.

Tricky: Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez came to Michigan with a reputation as a gutsy play caller. Part of that stems from the fake punt he called in the fourth quarter of West Virginia’s 2006 Sugar Bowl win over Georgia, going for it on fourth-and-eight with 1:26 remaining.

Facing a 14-0 deficit and fourth and two on its own 46 yardline in the first quarter Saturday, Michigan punter Zoltan Mesko scampered left out of the punt formation for 13 yards and a first down.

Ejected: Junior tight end Carson Butler was kicked out of Saturday’s game with less than two minutes remaining. After a Sam McGuffie two-yard run, Butler appeared to throw a punch at the head of Notre Dame sophomore Emeka Nwankwo. Butler was escorted off the field by a member of the strength and conditioning staff and a police officer. When approached by a reporter after the game, Butler pushed past the reporter.

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