SOUTH BEND, Indiana (Ticker) -- Freshman Darius Walker ran for two fourth-quarter touchdowns as Notre Dame pulled off a 28-20 upset of No. 7 Michigan, which self-destructed in the second half.
Walker's first score from six yards out gave the Irish (1-1) their first lead, 14-12, just over a minute into the fourth quarter. After a blocked punt on Michigan's next possession, Walker scampered five yards around left end to extend the lead to 21-12.
"This was a big win. Any time you knock off a top 10 team, it's a big win," Notre Dame coach Tyrone Willingham said. "This was just one game, though. I can't get ahead of myself, I won't let my team get ahead of itself. Today was fantastic; tomorrow we start over again."
Walker finished with 115 yards on 31 carries, becoming the first Notre Dame freshman to top the 100-yard mark since Julius Jones in 1999.
"(Running backs coach) Buzz Preston and I talked during the week. We wanted to get him in in the first quarter, but we didn't know how many carries he would get," Willingham said. "He gave us a spark. The right person at the right time can give you that spark that everyone feeds off of."
Michigan (1-1) was undone by miscues in the second half, turning the ball over three times in addition to the blocked punt. The Wolverines also were unable to establish their running game, gaining just 55 yards on 28 carries.
"We have no excuse for what happened out there today. We just did not do the things necessary to win," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said. "I thought Notre Dame's defense played outstanding today. This was a disappointing loss, but when you give up big plays and have a punt blocked, it makes it that much harder to win."
The Wolverines held a 9-0 lead at the half as Garrett Rivas connected on field goals of 38, 33 and 22 yards. The Irish looked much like the squad that lost at Brigham Young last week.
Notre Dame got on the board in the third period when Brady Quinn, who completed 10-of-20 passes for 178 yards and two TDs, hit Matt Shelton with a 46-yard scoring strike. Rivas' fourth field goal from 47 yards gave Michigan a 12-7 lead heading into the final period.
Michigan freshman Chad Henne was 25-of-40 for 240 yards and a TD to Steve Breaston with 2:27 to play. Henne found Breaston for the two-point conversion to provide the final margin.
"It's all about execution and unfortunately, sometimes we didn't execute what we wanted to and that was the difference in the game," Henne said. "We opened things up a little more this week. We just didn't capitalize on those opportunities."
The loss was nothing new to Michigan, which has lost its last five road openers. The Wolverines have not won at Notre Dame Stadium since 1994, when Remy Hamilton kicked a game-winning field goal as time expired in a 26-24 triumph.
The Wolverines hold a 18-13-1 all-time lead in the series but are just 4-8-1 since 1987, including 1-5-1 here.