Scores

Final

W Michigan 20

(2-4, 1-2 away)

Notre Dame 44

(4-3, 3-2 home)

Coverage: NBC

2:30 PM ET, October 16, 2010

Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame, IN

1 2 3 4 T
WMU 7 10 0 320
ND 7 20 14 344

Top Performers

Passing: D. Crist (KU) - 255 YDS, 3 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: C. Wood (ND) - 11 CAR, 94 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: M. Floyd (ND) - 9 REC, 157 YDS, 3 TD

Michael Floyd leads way as Notre Dame drops W. Michigan

Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Brian Kelly had what he called a nice little chat with his team at the half. A good bet is that the Notre Dame coach delivered his remarks at a very high decibel level. He was not happy.

Whatever was said, it worked. The Irish got their running game on track in the third quarter, their defense played, better, too, and they rode three TD catches from a less-than-healthy Michael Floyd to pull away to a 44-20 victory over Western Michigan.

"In the second half we played the way I expect our team to play for four quarters. I think our defense limited them to very few yards. We ran the ball in the second half effectively the way we should have," Kelly said after his team's third straight win.

Playing with a tender hamstring, Floyd took a pass from Dayne Crist and raced 80 yards for a score on the game's first play from scrimmage. He also caught a 32-yarder on an option pass from John Goodman for a TD and later grabbed a 2-yarder from Crist in the third.

His trifecta came in the Irish's first game since losing star tight end Kyle Rudolph for the season because of a severe hamstring injury that required surgery.

"I just felt relaxed, not myself," Floyd said. "Up and ready, but just I didn't want to go all the way just because of my hamstring. I wanted to protect it."

He looked fine on that early play, catching the ball near midfield and making a nice spin to get away from Broncos' defensive back Lewis Toler.

"He plays the game the way it's supposed to be played," Western Michigan coach Bill Cubit said of Floyd. "He plays with passion and there's no showboating. He's appreciative of the game ... He's a great player. He really is."

The Irish (4-3) led 27-17 at the half, using two interceptions to set up TDs. Cierre Wood's 39-yard touchdown run got the Irish rolling in the third and their defense blanked the Broncos in the second half until John Potter kicked a 26-yard field goal with just over five minutes left.

Kelly's conversation with his team centered on enthusiasm and attention to detail.

"I thought we made some poor decisions at the quarterback position. Dayne didn't play very well in the first half. ... He played much better in the second half, saw some things and made some plays," Kelly said.

"We need to play at the level we are capable of, so the conversation with them was, this is not how we play. We need to get back to what we do, which is lock in, be disciplined, no more penalties, and they did a much better job."

After giving up 212 yards in the first half total offense, Notre Dame limited Western to 102 in the second.

"It all comes back to what we did more than what they did. They really didn't make too many changes in the second half," Western Michigan quarterback Alex Carder said. "We played a great first half. The second, not so much."

Carder ran for a pair of first-half TDS for the Broncos (2-4) on a windy day at Notre Dame Stadium. He finished 28 of 43 for 277 yards.

Crist passed for three TDS, completed 18-of-28 for 255 yards and also ran for a score in three quarters of action.

In the second half, Notre Dame's physical play began to wear down the Broncos of the MAC.

"You hope it's a good game and No. 2 you hope the check doesn't bounce," Cubit said of the opportunity to play a big-name opponent. "And the third one, you're able to come back and you don't have too many kids hurt."

With leading rusher Armando Allen bothered by a sore hip and limited to only three carries, Notre Dame's rushing total in the first half was minus 4 as Crist was sacked three times.

But Wood, Allen's replacement, broke away on Notre Dame's second play from scrimmage in the second half for his 39-yard TD to make it 34-17. Floyd caught his third scoring pass of the game, a 2-yarder on a fourth down from Crist later in the third.

Wood had 91 of his 94 rushing yards in the second half.

Crist found a wide open Tyler Eifert -- playing in place of Rudolph -- for a 39-yard TD on a fourth down to put the Irish up 27-10, a score set late up in the first half by Gary Gray's interception.

But the Broncos then took off on an 80-yard drive, using four pass completions by Carder, his 20-yard run and then 3-yard TD keeper to score with 15 seconds to go in the half to cut it 10.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
WMU
ND
1st Downs1617
Total Yards314448
Passing277299
Rushing37149
Penalties2-239-80
3rd Down Conversions2-145-13
4th Down Conversions2-22-2
Turnovers41
Possession29:2530:35

Passing Leaders

Western MichiganC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Carder28/432776.402
Notre DameC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Crist18/282559.131

Rushing Leaders

Western MichiganCARYDSAVGTDLG
Winchester8172.108
Carder11131.2220
Notre DameCARYDSAVGTDLG
Wood11948.5139
Hughes8637.9030

Receiving Leaders

Western MichiganRECYDSAVGTDLG
Nunez111039.4049
White55511.0021
Notre DameRECYDSAVGTDLG
Floyd915717.4380
Eifert47218.0139

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERWMUND
TD14:48Michael Floyd 80 Yd Pass From Dayne Crist (David Ruffer Kick) 07
TD03:20Alex Carder 1 Yd Run (John Potter Kick) 77
SECOND QUARTERWMUND
TD14:41Michael Floyd 32 Yd Pass From John Goodman (David Ruffer Kick) 714
TD09:16Dayne Crist 9 Yd Run (Pat Blocked) 720
FG05:13John Potter 23 Yd 1020
TD02:19Tyler Eifert 39 Yd Pass From Dayne Crist (David Ruffer Kick) 1027
TD00:15Alex Carder 3 Yd Run (John Potter Kick) 1727
THIRD QUARTERWMUND
TD12:17Cierre Wood 39 Yd Run (David Ruffer Kick) 1734
TD06:34Michael Floyd 2 Yd Pass From Dayne Crist (David Ruffer Kick) 1741
FOURTH QUARTERWMUND
FG07:46David Ruffer 33 Yd 1744
FG05:10John Potter 26 Yd 2044