Instant analysis: U-M 38, Northwestern 31
November, 10, 2012
By Chantel Jennings | ESPNChicago.com
In a back-and-forth contest in the Big House, Michigan kept its Legends Division hopes alive and came through with a 38-31 overtime victory over Northwestern. The victory kept Michigan coach Brady Hoke undefeated at home with his 13th consecutive home win as head coach.
It was over when: Throughout the game, there seemed several times when the game was in Northwestern's hands. There was a go-ahead score by the Wildcats with four minutes left. There was a Demetrius Dugar interception on the subsequent drive and a fourth-down conversion run by Kain Colter. Then, Michigan came through with a Roy Roundtree catch on a long pass when Michigan had no timeouts remaining in the final minute. But finally, the game was over when the Wolverines stopped Northwestern on fourth-and-2 in overtime. Michigan looked as if it was falling apart at times, but the Wolverines pulled it together just in time to win.
Game ball goes to: Devin Gardner. The junior rushed in the Wolverines' touchdown in overtime and, though he was shaky at times, led Michigan to victory in his second start at quarterback. Gardner, who again stepped in for the injured Denard Robinson, finished the game with 286 yards passing (16-of-29, two touchdowns) and 47 yards rushing, including two touchdowns.
Honorable mention: Roundtree. The senior receiver, who has struggled this season and last, came down with one of the biggest catches of the season. The 53-yard long ball in the final seconds of regulation moved the Wolverines into field-goal range and allowed Michigan kicker Brendan Gibbons to sail a smooth 26-yarder through the posts, tying the game 31-31.
What it means: Michigan stays in second place of the Legends Division and leaves itself a better chance to possibly compete for the Big Ten title in Indianapolis. Nebraska would have to lose in order to help the Wolverines.
TOP 25 SCOREBOARD
Final 21 Texas A&M 52 9 South Carolina 28 Final Boise State 13 18 Ole Miss 35 Final Weber State 14 19 Arizona State 45
Final 1 Florida State 37 Oklahoma State 31 Final West Virginia 23 2 Alabama 33 Final South Dakota 13 3 Oregon 62 Final Louisiana Tech 16 4 Oklahoma 48 Final 5 Ohio State 34 Navy 17 Final Arkansas 21 6 Auburn 45 Final 7 UCLA 28 Virginia 20 Final UC Davis 0 11 Stanford 45 Final 16 Clemson 21 12 Georgia 45 Final 14 Wisconsin 24 13 LSU 28 Final Fresno State 13 15 USC 52 Final Rice 17 17 Notre Dame 48 Final Stephen F. Austin 16 20 Kansas State 55 Final Florida Atlantic 7 22 Nebraska 55 Final Liberty 29 23 North Carolina 56 Final South Dakota State 18 24 Missouri 38 Final 25 Washington 17 Hawaii 16