Instant analysis: U-M 38, Northwestern 31
November, 10, 2012
By Chantel Jennings | ESPN.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.