Observations on overtime win over Northwestern, 38-31
Michigan victories don't get much better than that! Kenny Demens meets Tyris Jones on a 4th and 2 stop to end an offensive game with a solid defensive stop. The Wolverines and the Wildcats had 4 red zones in regulation for 24 points, but the fifth red zone was the difference offensively.
Michigan overcame a huge turnaround in the second half in time of possession when the Wildcats dominated the 3rd quarter with 11 minutes that gave them a 9 minute advantage for the game after the Wolverines held a 3 minute advantage at halftime. The Wildcat TOP advantage gave them 17 more offensive plays than the Wolverines. Devin Gardner completed 16 of 29 for 286 yards and 2 TDs, and ran 9 times for 49 yards and 2 TDs including the game winner in overtime. Fitzgerald Touissaint had 18 carries for 92 yards and a 28 yard pass for a TD. Roy Roundtree had 5 catches for 139 yards including a 53 yard reception to set up the game tying field goal. Jeremy Gallon had 7 catches for 94 yards. Offense finished the game with 419 yards, and was 7 of 10 in 3rd down conversions with 21 first downs. They did have two turnovers, but did what they needed to do at the end of the game and in overtime to pull this one out.
Defense ended up winning a game they gave up 31 points in. Northwestern gained 431 yards, 248 on the ground, 27 first downs, and was 9 of 18 on 3rd and 4th down conversions. The Wildcats had at least 7 plays of 20+ yards. In the end, a 4th down stop was the difference. Thomas Gordon came up with 11 tackles, Kenny Demens and Desmond Morgan had 9 each and both James Ross and J.T. Floyd had 6 each to lead the Wolverine defense. The call on defense by Greg Mattison and Brady Hoke to move Jake Ryan in the middle confused the Wildcat offense, and broke Kenny Demens free to make the big stop.
Special teams came through when needed. Brendan Gibbons hit the game tying field goal. Will Hagerup punted 3 times for a 51.3 yard average. Matt Wile had 6 kickoffs with 2 touchbacks. Venric Mark almost broke a TD on the kickoff team saved by a holding call on Brandin Hawthorne. Dennis Norfleet had a nice 37 yard return late in the game. Jeremy Gallon had a 23 yard punt return late as well.
We'll crush Iowa as we get ready for the Bucks in Columbus! Go Blue!
Brady Hoke on November 7