Ann Arbor, MI (Sports Network) - Devin Gardner scored on a one-yard run in
overtime, as the Michigan Wolverines rallied for a 38-31 win over the
Northwestern Wildcats in a Big Ten Conference tilt at Michigan Stadium.
Gardner forced overtime with a 53-yard completion to Roy Roundtree on a Hail
Mary in the final seconds of regulation, setting up a 26-yard game-tying
field goal by Brendan Gibbons with two seconds on the clock.
Starting quarterback Denard Robinson dressed and went through warmups, but he
sat out for the second straight game due to a right elbow injury. His
replacement, Gardner, threw for 286 yards and two TDs, and he also ran for a
pair of scores to help the Wolverines (7-3, 5-1 Big Ten) notch their fifth win
in their last six tries.
Venric Mark paced the Wildcats (7-3, 3-3) with 23 carries for 104 yards and a
score. Trevor Siemian completed six of his seven pass attempts, two of which
resulted in touchdowns.
Mark opened the scoring with a three-yard touchdown run midway through the
first quarter, capping a 10-play, 78-yard drive.
However, the Wolverines answered with their own 10-play, 78-yard drive, which
ended with Gardner's eight-yard touchdown run.
Thomas Rawls put Michigan on top with a one-yard touchdown plunge at the 6:17
mark of the second quarter.
The Wildcats tied the score at 14 apiece just before halftime, as Siemian
found Cameron Dickerson for a 19-yard scoring strike with 25 seconds on the
NU opened the second half with a 10-play drive that lasted four minutes, and
Kain Colter finished it with a 23-yard TD pass to Dan Vitale to give the
Wildcats a 21-14 lead.
A 34-yard field goal by NU kicker Jeff Budzien made it a 24-14 game with just
under four minutes to play in the third quarter.
Michigan's offense then began to hit its stride. Gardner connected with
Fitzgerald Toussaint for a 28-yard touchdown pass on the fourth play of the
ensuing possession. Midway through the fourth quarter, the Wolverines took a
28-24 lead on Gardner's eight-yard scoring strike to Devin Funchess, capping
an 11-play, 91-yard drive.
But the Wildcats were not finished. Siemian highlighted a 66-yard drive with a
15-yard TD pass to Tony Jones, putting NU back on top, 31-28 with just under
four minutes remaining.
However, Michigan would later force overtime thanks to Gardner's desperation
heave in the final seconds of regulation. The first overtime possession saw
Gardner score on a bootleg on 3rd-and-goal, and the Wolverines defense shut
the door on the following series to close out an improbable victory.
The Wolverines have now won 13 in a row at home, as their last lost at
Michigan Stadium came against Ohio State on Nov. 27, 2010.
The Sports Network