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Irish Insights

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Crist's return unclear

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly didn't have a great, uplifting message as he went to the locker room with his team trailing Michigan 21-7 after the first half.

Kelly said quarterback Dayne Crist, who has been sidelined since midway through the first quarter, got banged up and couldn't get back in the game. Kelly said they will try to get Crist ready for the second half during the break.

If the Irish can't get Crist back in, Nate Montana seems to be the guy for the rest of the game.

After freshman Tommy Rees threw an interception and went three-and-out on consecutive drives, Montana took over and has completed 8 of 17 passes for 104 yards. But he did throw an interception and couldn't punch in a touchdown at the close of the first half.

Notre Dame's defense held up its half of the bargain for the first 13:09 of the second quarter, but the Irish couldn't keep Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson down for the entire quarter.

Robinson finally broke free with 1:51 to play for an 87-yard touchdown run to give the Wolverines a 21-7 lead.

Notre Dame nearly cut its deficit to a touchdown near the end of the first half.

Montana hit Theo Riddick for a 37-yard reception to get to the Wolverines' 3-yard line with three seconds to go.

But Montana badly overthrew Michael Floyd in the end zone, leaving the Irish trailing by two touchdowns entering the second half.

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