Former Heisman Trophy winner and Notre Dame standout Tim Brown went 2-2 against Michigan in his illustrious college career, and you can rest assured Brown will be in attendance Saturday night when the No. 16 Irish host Michigan at Notre Dame Stadium.
Why? Because this is the last scheduled meeting between two programs whose rivalry dates back to 1887.
“It’s sad,” Brown said on The MoJo Show. “It’s sad to see it’s coming to an end. We were such a great rivalry for so many years. I’m sure they’re going to find ways to maybe play a . . . (neutral-site game or a bowl game or something), but it won’t be at the Big House or Notre Dame Stadium. It’s not going to be the same for sure.”
“I’m looking forward to being there Saturday night. I think it’s going to be a great, great atmosphere. I just hope it’s a great game for the last time (in) the foreseeable future.”
Notre Dame is coming off a 48-17 win over Rice, while Michigan is coming off a 52-14 win over Appalachian State. Everett Golson, who hadn’t played since losing to Alabama in the national championship game, led the way for the Irish, throwing for 295 yards and accounting for five touchdowns (two pass, three rush).
“I was shocked,” Brown said. “I really was. I didn’t see any rust at all on the kid. He ran when he had to – not just because (he wanted to). That’s the same thing he was able to do a couple of years ago.”
Golson completed passes to seven different receivers, including William Fuller, who had a 75-yard touchdown reception, and C.J. Prosise, who had a 53-yard touchdown catch right before halftime.
“The good thing I liked about (Golson) was he wasn’t locking in on one guy, so that makes it pretty tough for Michigan to lock in one guy,” Brown said. “But this defense we see Saturday is going to be a lot different than Rice’s defense. Rice is no slouch for sure, but it’s going to be a big step up for ND with Michigan. As long as (Golson) makes the right decisions, that’s all you can ask for. Just don’t give them something easy. I think ND will have a chance to win the game.”
Brown, who also played 16 years in the NFL before retiring in 2004, feels the game has changed over the years – not only the style of play, but also the type of players entering the league. An astounding 59 players who were not drafted made teams this year.
“It’s a very talented pool out there to select from these days,” Brown said. “Some of the guys who are drafted are drafted because of the hype of their college careers, and when you watch them closely on film – or certainly when you get them into NFL camps – you probably have a lot of GMs going, ‘Hmm, maybe we should have looked at this thing a little closer.’”
“It’s a very, very different world than what it was back in the day,” Brown continued. “If you were a first-round pick, then it was almost guaranteed you were a guy capable of getting something done. There may be a bust or two every once in a while, but for the most part, you had guys who could play the game unless you got injured. But with all the talented guys out there now, there may be guys that don’t get drafted who may just be as talented as some of the guys who (do).”