Zach Charbonnet ran for two touchdowns in the first half and Shea Patterson threw for two scores in the second, helping No. 19 Michigan rout No. 8 Notre Dame 45-14 in driving rain Saturday night.
The Wolverines (6-2) ended an eight-game losing streak against top-10 teams under coach Jim Harbaugh, who needed a signature win in his fifth season that likely won’t end with the Big Ten title he and college football’s winningest program desperately covet.
The Fighting Irish (5-2) were knocked out of the College Football Playoff picture on the rain-filled night that seemed to affect them much more than Michigan.
Notre Dame took advantage of a questionable call on pass interference to set up Ian Book’s 7-yard TD pass to Cole Kmet to pull within 10 points late in the third quarter.
Michigan responded with Patterson’s 8-yard touchdown pass to Donovan Peoples-Jones on the ensuing drive, which got off to a good start with Hassan Haskins’ 49-yard run. The former linebacker finished with career-high 149 yards on 20 carries.
Charbonnet had 74 yards rushing on 15 carries, giving Michigan a tandem of running backs to control the game behind an offensive line that created huge holes.
Patterson threw his second TD early in the fourth, connecting on a 16-yard pass to Nico Collins, to put Michigan ahead 31-7.
On a windy and wet night, it was difficult to throw the ball and Michigan’s defense made it tough for the Irish to run.
Book was 8 of 25 for 73 yards the senior’s lowest total since last year’s opener when he threw just three passes and TD that averted a shutout.
With the game out of reach, coach Brian Kelly put sophomore Phil Jurkovec and he threw a 14-yard TD pass to Javon McKinley late in the game to cut the deficit to 31 points.
Notre Dame’s Tony Jones Jr. was held to 14 yards on eight carries, reminiscent of the game he had in a loss to No. 3 Georgia last month when he had just 21 yards rushing on nine carries. Jones ran for 100-plus yards in his previous three games before being shut down by the swarming Wolverines.