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Michigan still has Hart

Wolverines live up to running back's guarantee by defeating Notre Dame, 38-0. Irish are held to minus-six rushing yards.

September 16, 2007|From the Associated Press

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan took care of Mike Hart's guarantee with ease.

Hart ran for 187 yards in 35 carries and scored two touchdowns, and Ryan Mallett threw for three scores, leading the Wolverines to a 38-0 victory over Notre Dame on Saturday.

"You couldn't write it any better than that," Hart said.

Michigan handed the Fighting Irish their worst loss since beating them by the same score in 2003. The Wolverines (1-2) also avoided their first 0-3 start in seven decades.

Notre Dame (0-3) is winless after three games for only the second time in team history, putting Coach Charlie Weis in unwanted company with Bob Davie. The Fighting Irish have lost five in a row for the first time since the 1985-86 seasons, Gerry Faust's last season and Lou Holtz's first.

"My confidence isn't shaken," Weis said. "But as an organization, we haven't done a very good job."

In an unprecedented matchup of the two winningest programs in major college football, Michigan looked like it might not be that bad while the Fighting Irish appeared to be even worse than expected after losing to Penn State and Georgia Tech by a combined 51 points.

"We're starting training camp tomorrow," Weis said. "Obviously, after three games, this team is headed in the wrong direction. The only way I know how to fix that is to go back to the start of training camp and start swinging."

Hart, who after a 39-7 loss to Oregon the previous week guaranteed the Wolverines would beat Notre Dame, had a sensational performance, even against a defense stacked to stop him.

"I did it to fire myself up, and my team up," Hart said of the guarantee. "It worked out, I guess."

Michigan's defense suddenly was swarming to the football after giving up 73 points in losses to Appalachian State and Oregon.

Irish freshman Jimmy Clausen completed 11 of 17 passes for only 74 yards and an interception.

Clausen was sacked seven times, leading to Notre Dame's rushing total of minus-six.

"I wouldn't want to be in his shoes," Mallett said. "But he's a great player."

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