1942 and 1943
After the long hiatus, Michigan athletic director and head coach Fritz Crisler arranged with Elmer Layden for two games to be played with Notre Dame during the 1942 and 1943 seasons. The 1942 game was played in South Bend and matched Michigan and Notre Dame teams ranked #4 and #6 in the AP Poll. The Wolverines defeated the Fighting Irish, 32-20 in front of a capacity crowd of 57,500. Tom Kuzma scored two touchdowns for Michigan.
The 1943 game, played at Michigan Stadium, was the most anticipated game of the 1943 college football season. Notre Dame, coached by Frank Leahy and led by 1943 Heisman Trophy winner Angelo Bertelli, came into the game ranked #1 in the AP Poll with 53 first place votes. Michigan, with All-American Bill Daley and Elroy "Crazy-Legs" Hirsch in the backfield, came into the game ranked #2 receiving 36 first place votes. The game drew a record crowd of 85,688 spectators to Michigan Stadium. Michigan coach Fritz Crisler announced before the game that Elroy Hirsch was suffering from damaged knee ligaments and might not be able to play. Notre Dame won the game by a score of 35 to 12. According to the United Press game account, Bertelli's passing "caught the Wolverine secondary flatfooted and out of position repeatedly to make the rout complete." The third quarter was marked by a malfunction of the electric clock at Michigan Stadium, resulting in a quarter that lasted 23 minutes. In the Chicago Daily Tribune, Wilfrid Smith analogized to the 1927 Long Count Fight and wrote that the period "will be remembered as the 'long third quarter' of collegiate sport." After nine plays had been run in the fourth quarter, the timing error was discovered, and an announcement was made over the stadium's public address system that only two-and-a-half minutes remained in the game, as the fourth quarter was shortened to seven minutes. The only points in the short fourth quarter came on the last play of the game as Elroy Hirsch threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Paul White. Notre Dame went on to win the 1943 national championship, maintaining its #1 ranking in the AP Poll through the remainder of the season.
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