Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist announced his return with authority, but Michigan still holds a 21-17 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Crist, who engineered a scoring drive on the game's first possession, missed nearly all of the first half because he was having trouble seeing out of his right eye.
The junior returned in the second half and hit freshman receiver TJ Jones for 47-yard touchdown pass to cut the Wolverines' lead to 21-14 about two minutes into the second half.
Notre Dame's David Ruffer hit a 24-yard field goal with 8:48 to play in the quarter to make it a four-point game.
Despite a couple of hiccups that turned into touchdowns for the Wolverines, the Irish defense has held up well. Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson has another school QB rushing record, but he hasn't been able to get in the end zone since the second quarter.