Notre Dame went to its quarterback bullpen again to take a 10-0 lead over Michigan after the first half as turnovers ruled the first 20 minutes.
Tommy Rees replaced Everett Golson at quarterback with 6:10 to play in the first half and led the Irish to the game’s only touchdown. Golson was 3 for 8 for 40 yards with two interceptions when he was pulled for Rees, who completed 3 of 4 passes for 45 yards on his only drive of the first half.
Notre Dame and Michigan combined for seven turnovers in the first half, and the Wolverines' last five pass attempts of the half resulted in interceptions.
Irish linebacker Manti Te’o had two interceptions and cornerbacks KeiVarae Russell and Bennett Jackson and safety Nicky Baratti each had one interception.
Te’o set up the games first points with his second career interception with 11:07 to play in the first half.
Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson, who went 5 for 13 for 59 yards with four interceptions, threw a pass right at the Irish senior captain, who returned the pick 28 yards to the Wolverines’ 17-yard line.
Notre Dame didn’t do much with the ball advancing it one yard on three plays before Kyle Brindza connected on a 33-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead with 10:09 to play in the half.
The field goal set up by an interception started a turnover fest as Jackson picked off a Robinson pass on the next play and returned it to the Wolverines’ 39. But Golson gave the ball back when he was intercepted in the end zone by Michigan’s Thomas Gordon.
Then Robinson gave the ball back two plays later when safety Zeke Motta tipped his pass and Te’o came up with his second interception of the game.
The Irish switched to Rees at quarterback, and the junior moved Notre Dame to Michigan’s 1 thanks to a nice touch pass to TJ Jones for 27 yards and another 5-yard pass to Theo Riddick.
But a pair of penalties moved Notre Dame back to the 10 before a pass interference call on third-and-goal put the Irish back on the 2.
Rees completed the drive by running the 2 yards for his first career rushing TD and a 10-0 Irish lead with 1:21 to play. It was Rees’ first career rushing touchdown.
The half ended with Russell picking off a desperation heave from Robinson.