12:05 PM ET, November 16, 2002
Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- The Michigan Wolverines made sure they didn't ruin their season before trying to spoil Ohio State's.
Chris Perry, left, ran for a career-high 175 yards on Saturday.
Chris Perry ran for a career-high 175 yards and a touchdown as No. 12 Michigan (No. 10 ESPN/USA Today, No. 12 AP) held on to beat Wisconsin 21-14 Saturday.
The Wolverines (9-2, 6-1 Big Ten) can't wait to play at Ohio State next week, when they'll try to wreck their rivals' national championship hopes. Michigan also could boost its chances of getting picked to play in the Sugar or Orange Bowl.
"It makes it a huge game,'' Michigan's Marlin Jackson said. "We can spoil their whole season, and last year they beat us, so it would be a great win for us.''
Next week's showdown almost lost a little luster because Michigan came close to blowing it against the Badgers.
Michigan's Markus Curry broke up a potential TD pass to Jonathan Orr in the end zone with 1:29 left. On third-and-10 from Michigan's 31, Brooks Bollinger underthrew a wide-open Orr. That allowed Curry to pull down Orr's right arm and save the game for Michigan.
"I couldn't see much, what I saw was the official, and I'm thinking touchdown, and the official ruled it incomplete,'' Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said. "Markus did a good job of not looking back to the football after getting beat, and he just managed to get there.''
Wisconsin's final pass was incomplete, and on the final possession Perry ran through a hole for a 43-yard run to seal the win.
The Badgers (6-6, 1-6) started the season 5-0 but need to beat Minnesota at home to earn a bowl berth.
"We're playing a bowl for a bowl,'' Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez said. "It's a playoff, a one-game series.''
Wisconsin's Anthony Davis ran for 154 yards and a TD. Davis missed last week's game after being stabbed in the thigh during a domestic dispute, in which he faces a battery charge.
Bollinger, who sat out last week with a concussion, was 7-of-20 for 60 yards without a TD or an interception.
The Wolverines jumped to a 14-0 lead just 4:19 into the game but seemed to lose the momentum when Carr chose to punt on fourth-and-1 at midfield on their third drive.
After the Badgers tied the game at 14 late in the second half, Michigan went ahead 21-14 on its first drive of the second half on John Navarre's 8-yard TD pass to Braylon Edwards.
It was the fourth third-down play of the possession, which went 16-plays, 78 yards and consumed 8:43.
"That was probably as well-executed a drive as we've had all season, and certainly it came at a very important time,'' Carr said.
Navarre was 19-of-28 for 136 yards, with a TD and two interceptions.
The Wolverines couldn't have gotten off to a better start. B.J. Askew ran through a huge hole and zigzagged through the Badgers on a 27-yard TD run to cap the opening drive.
On Wisconsin's first play, Jackson forced Davis to fumble, and it was recovered by linebacker Victor Hobson at the Badgers 19.
Perry scored on an 11-yard run three plays later to give Michigan a 14-0 lead with 10:41 left in the first quarter.
Late in the period, Wisconsin walk-on Jim Leonhard returned a short, low punt 39 yards for a TD.
The Badgers forced Askew to fumble, and Leonhard intercepted a pass on consecutive drives in the second, but they went three-and-out, and Mike Allen missed a 27-yard kick on the next possession.
Davis' 2-yard run with 4:31 left in the half tied the game.
The Wolverines had a chance to add to their lead early in the fourth, but Scott Starks intercepted Navarre's underthrown pass at Wisconsin's 2 and returned it 39 yards.
The Badgers then lined up for a 52-yard kick but chose to try a pooch punt, which went only 7 yards off Allen's foot.
An NCAA-record 773,763 fans came to Michigan Stadium for seven games this season, which surpassed the mark set here during the Wolverines' national championship season in 1997.