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A wild comeback for Wolverines


February 19. 2013 4:35PM
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Devin Gardner ran for a 1-yard touchdown in overtime and Michigan's defense responded with a stop, giving the Wolverines a wild 38-31 win over Northwestern on Saturday.


Trevor Siemian threw a 15-yard pass to Tony Jones with 3:59 left in regulation to give the Wildcats a 31-28 lead and Gardner threw an interception on the next snap.


Northwestern couldn't pick up enough first downs to run out the clock in regulation and the Wolverines took advantage.


Gardner heaved a 53-yard pass to Roy Roundtree to set up Brendan Gibbons' 26-yard field goal with 2 seconds left to force OT.


The Wolverines (7-3, 5-1 Big Ten) barely prevented Northwestern (6-4, 4-2) from winning consecutive games in Ann Arbor for the first time since the 1934 and 1936 seasons.


The comeback victory keeps Michigan's hopes alive of winning a Big Ten title for the first time since 2004.


However, college football's winningest program needs another conference team to knock Nebraska out of first place in the Legends Division. The Cornhuskers would win a tiebreaker because of their win over the Wolverines two weeks ago when Denard Robinson left the game with nerve damage in his right elbow.


Gardner, making his second straight start in place of the injured Robinson, was 16 of 29 for 286 yards with touchdown passes to Fitzgerald Toussaint and Devin Funchess. Gardner ran for 47 yards and two scores.


Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter, who was taken out once because he wasn't throwing the ball well and another time because he was injured, was 8 of 14 for 96 yards and a TD. Colter ran 24 times for 82 yards and fumbled, setting up one of Michigan's scores in a closely contested game filled with ties and lead changes.


Siemian was 6 of 7 for 87 yards with two TDs, a game-tying 19-yard strike to Cameron Dickerson with 25 seconds left in the first half and the go-ahead pass to Jones late in the game.


Venric Mark had 104 yards rushing and a score for the Wildcats, who had a lot of success with option pitches to the outside only to stop calling that play frequently in the fourth quarter.


Toussaint ran for 92 yards and turned a short pass into a 28-yard, go-ahead TD late in the third quarter by breaking a tackle and sprinting down a sideline.


Northwestern seemed to set itself up for an upset victory at the Big House when it went ahead late in the game, picked off Gardner and converted a fourth-and-1 — by the nose of the football — on Colter's dive with 3:07 left on a play that stood after review.


But the Wildcats needed one more first down to run out the clock and couldn't earn another one against a suddenly stingy defense.


In overtime, on a fourth-and-2 from the Michigan 17, linebacker Kenny Demens stopped Tyris Jones on a run up the middle to allow the Wolverines to celebrate a thrilling victory.



Purdue 27, Iowa 24

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Paul Griggs drilled a 46-yard field goal as time expired and Purdue stunned Iowa, snapping a five-game losing streak.


Robert Marve threw for 266 yards and two touchdowns for the Boilermakers (4-6, 1-5 Big Ten), who won for the first time in Iowa City in 20 years.


Purdue led 24-14 before Iowa (4-6, 2-4) rallied to tie the game with 3:32 left. But the Boilermakers stuffed the Hawkeyes on fourth down at the Purdue 35-yard line, and then drove 37 yards to set up the game-winning kick by Griggs.


James Vandenberg had 190 yards passing and a TD for Iowa, which has lost four straight for the first time since 2007.


Wisconsin 62, Indiana 14

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Montee Ball ran for 198 yards and three touchdowns, James White scored on runs of 69 and 50 yards, and Wisconsin set a school rushing record with 564 yards in a rout at Indiana.


The Badgers (7-3, 4-2) will now have a chance to claim their third straight Big Ten crown after clinching a spot in the league's title game.


Ball also moved past 1998 Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams and into second place on the FBS career list. He has 77 career TDs, trailing only Travis Prentice of Miami (Ohio) who had 78.


Indiana (4-6, 2-4) hasn't beaten the Badgers since 2002 and had its two-game winning streak end.


Ball opened the scoring with a 10-yard TD run, and White added a 69-yard TD run late in the half to make it 24-7. Ball had two more TD runs in the third quarter.


Illinois 17, Minnesota 3

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — It wasn't pretty, but Minnesota was good enough in a win over Illinois.


In a battle of sluggish offenses, Minnesota running back Donnell Kirkwood did most of the work, rushing for 152 yards and two touchdowns. Kirkwood's 3-yard run in the third quarter broke a 3-3 tie. He scored on a 12-yard run late in the fourth quarter to clinch the victory, giving his team its fourth straight win at Illinois.


Minnesota (6-4, 2-4 Big Ten) became bowl eligible for the first time since 2009, and won for the second time in three tries. Illinois (2-8, -6) has dropped seven straight including 12 in a row within Big Ten play.


The victory was the first Big Ten road win for second-year Minnesota coach Jerry Kill.





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