SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The Notre Dame defense intercepted five passes and held Michigan out of the end zone in a 13-6 slugfest Saturday.
Notre Dame entered the locker room with a 10-0 lead, after a first half marred by penalties and ill-advised passes by both teams, and the teams managed three field goals in the second half.
Michigan threw five interceptions in the first half, four by Denard Robinson and one by running back Vincent Smith, on five consecutive pass attempts.
The last time Notre Dame intercepted five passes in a game was in 1988 against Purdue.
Notre Dame sophomore Everett Golson threw two interceptions. Both teams combined for seven penalties.
Late in the second quarter, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly pulled Golson and inserted junior Tommy Rees after Golson had completed just 3 of 8 passes for 30 yards.
Rees delivered immediate results, driving the team 48 yards, completing 3 of 4 passes, before scoring on a 2-yard run from the shotgun to put the Irish up 10-0.
With 12 minutes left in the first quarter, Golson, throwing on first down from his 9-yard line, had his pass intercepted on an underthrown ball down the left sideline. Michigan's Raymon Taylor returned the ball to the Irish 10-yard line.
But the Notre Dame defense responded, sacking Robinson twice and pushing Michigan back to the Notre Dame 25-yard line. Michigan kicker Brendan Gibbons missed a 43-yard field goal attempt wide left.
Late in the first quarter, Robinson drove his team 75 yards on 11 plays, completing 5 of 6 passes. But with first-and-goal from the Irish 10, Smith's attempted pass in the end zone fell into the hands of Notre Dame freshman safety Nicky Baratti.
After a 1-yard run by Theo Riddick and two overthrown passes by Golson into the end zone, Notre Dame took a 3-0 lead with 10:09 left in the first half on a 33-yard field goal from Kyle Brindza.
On the first play of the next drive, Robinson threw his third interception. Notre Dame linebacker Manti T'eo returned the ball to the Michigan 39. But the Irish were unable to capitalize. Golson completed two passes, setting up a first-and-goal at the 10, but then threw an interception in the end zone.
On the following drive, it was Robinson's turn. After rushes of 3, 8 and 3 yards, Robinson lofted a pass over the middle that was tipped into the hands of T'eo near midfield.