SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Brandon Wimbush connected on a long touchdown pass to help No. 12 Notre Dame jump out to a big first-half lead, Te’von Coney and the defense made it stand with a late takeaway, and the Fighting Irish beat No. 14 Michigan, 24-17, on Saturday night as the rivalry returned after a three-year hiatus.
A Green-out crowd welcomed the Wolverines back to Notre Dame Stadium, and the Fighting Irish scored fast on their first two drives against a defense loaded with N.F.L. prospects. Chris Finke hauled in a deep throw from Wimbush that went through a defender’s hands in traffic for a 43-yard score to put Notre Dame ahead by 14-0 midway through the first half.
Jafar Armstrong’s second touchdown, a 4-yard run with 3 minutes 55 seconds left in the second quarter made it 21-3. Ambry Thomas gave the Wolverines a jolt with a 99-yard touchdown on the ensuing kickoff, but otherwise, the much-anticipated Michigan debut of quarterback Shea Patterson was mostly disappointing.