Coming off a big victory against Notre Dame last week, Michigan relied on its defense to stop the Akron Zips, which, with 15 seconds left, had the ball on the Michigan 1-yard line.
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Michigan escaped the Big House with a 28-24 win over an Akron team, which was looking for its first road win since 2008.
Akron, entering the game as a 37-point underdog, advanced to Michigan’s 1 on a 15-yard pass from Kyle Pohl to L.T. Smith with 24 seconds left.
On third down, running back Jawon Chisholm was hauled down for a 3-yard loss to the 4. Then, on fourth and goal from the 4 with five seconds left, Michigan blitzed and Pohl’s pass fell incomplete to end the game.
Pohl completed 25-of-49 passes for 311 yards with 2 TDs and 2 interceptions.
Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner completed 16 of 30 for 248 yards and 2 TDs with three interceptions. He also ran for 103 yards on 10 carries and a TD run.
After a four-turnover game, Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner has put the Wolverines in position to win.
Trailing 24-21, Gardner led a 70-yard TD drive to give the Wolverines a 28-24 lead with 2:49 left. He broke loose for a 35-yard run, then found Jeremy Gallon for a 20-yard pass to the Akron 15.
After a pass interference penalty, Fitz Toussaint scored on a 2-yard TD run.
Akron quarterback Kyle Pohl found L.T. Smith deep down the right sideline for the second straight drive, but this time the Zips scored to take a 24-21 lead over the Wolverines with 4:10 left.
Pohl’s 40-yard pass to Smith gave the Zips a first and goal at the 1. Michigan stopped the Zips on runs on first and second down, then on third down Pohl found Tyrell Goodman for a 1-yard TD pass.
Akron is attempting to earn its first road win since defeating Eastern Michigan in Ypsilanti in 2008. The Zips’ last win over a Division 1 team came in the 2010 season finale against Buffalo.
Michigan sophomore safety Jarrod Wilson came up with the play of his life, cutting in front of Akron tight end Jon Root to make an interception in the end zone to prevent Akron from taking a lead with 11 minutes left.
Akron had a first and goal situation from the Michigan 7 after Kyle Pohl’s 43-yard pass to L.T. Smith.
Michigan still leads 21-17. The Wolverines’ All-American tackle Taylor Lewan has returned after limping off the field on the previous series.
Michigan senior All-American left tackle Taylor Lewan limped off the field (right ankle injury) after being worked on by a trainer with 13:14 remaining.
Akron has the ball at its own 39, trailing 21-17.
Devin Gardner is spreading the ball around at the Big House, unfortunately for Michigan fans three of them have ended up in the hands of Akron defenders.
Akron linebacker Justin March intercepted Gardner’s pass intended for Fitz Toussaint and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown to pull Akron within 21-17 in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter.
It was Gardner’s fourth turnover (three picks, fumble) of the game, leading to a chorus of boos.
Devin Gardner led Michigan to a second straight scoring drive, this time finding receiver Jehu Chesson for a 33-yard TD pass to give the Wolverines a 21-10 lead with just less than four minutes left in the third.
Chesson caught the ball over the middle near the 20, then broke tackles and ran to the left corner of the end zone for the score.
Gardner also broke loose for a 35-yard run during the drive and found Jeremy Gallon for an eight-yard pass to the Akron 46 on a third and seven play.
Gardner has now thrown for 220 yards and 2 TDs and rushed for 65 yards on six carries and another TD.
Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner turned the boos into cheers with a 36-yard TD run to give the Wolverines a 14-10 lead with 8:13 left in the third quarter.
The Wolverines got their running game going with Fitz Toussaint busting loose for a 24-yard run to get into Akron territory.
Gardner had a fumble and a pair of interceptions during the second quarter.
UPSET ALERT: Could this really happen: An Akron upset win over the Wolverines at the Big House?
Well, Akron is holding a 10-7 lead over the Wolverines with 9:56 left in the third quarter following Kyle Pohl’s 28-yard TD pass to Zach D’Orazio.
Pohl found D’Orazio over the middle and he ran untouched into the end zone. It was the third time they hooked up during the eight-play, 75-yard drive.
The second quarter was a nightmare for Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner.
Gardner had a fumble and an interception in the red zone during a three-minute span, then threw another interception in the final minute of the first half.
Still, Michigan escaped with a 7-3 halftime lead.
Akron had the momentum late in the half. The Zips faced a fourth and one at the Michigan 23 with just under a minute.
Instead of going for it on fourth down, Akron decided to go for the field goal. The Zips were called for a penalty and Robert Stein missed a 45-yard field goal, hitting the left upright.
Stein had another field goal try in the final seconds … after Gardner’s second interception, but misfired from 55 yards.
The Wolverines have just 19 yards rushing on 13 carries with Fitz Toussaint being limited to 17 yards on eight chances, including a half dozen carries for negative yardage.
Michigan wasted its third scoring chance in the first half when Devin Gardner’s pass for Jeremy Gallon was intercepted near the Akron 5 by DeAndre Scott.
It was the second turnover by Gardner in the red zone in less than three minutes. He also fumbled on an option run earlier in the quarter.
Michigan defensive back Blake Countess set up the scoring drive with a 46-yard interception return to the Akron 20. It was his third interception in two weeks.
Michigan wasted another scoring opportunity when Devin Gardner fumbled on an option run from the Akron 10 with eight minutes left in the second quarter.
Michigan is holding a 7-3 lead. Brendan Gibbons has also missed a 45-yard field goal for the Wolverines.
Akron has the ball in Michigan territory at the 45 with six minutes left in the half.
Michigan wasted a scoring opportunity when Brendan Gibbons missed a 45-yard field goal early in the second quarter. It ended his school-record streak of 16 consecutive made field goals.
The Wolverines got their running game going with Fitz Toussaint getting loose on runs of 11 and 14 yards. He also has four carries with lost yardage in the game.
The Wolverines advanced to the Akron 28, but the Zips forced incompletions on second and third downs.
Michigan holds a 7-3 lead with 14:37 left in the half.
Robert Stein kicked a 45-yard field goal with just under three minutes left in the opening quarter to pull Akron within 7-3.
It could have been worse for the Wolverines after they had a 21-yard punt result in Akron having a short field to work with.
Akron started the drive at Michigan’s 31.
Akron picked up a couple of first downs behind the passing of quarterback Kyle Pohl to get into Michigan territory.
The Wolverines’ defense then put pressure on Pohl to force incompletions on second and third downs at the Michigan 49 with defensive end Frank Clark hitting Pohl hard on third down.
Michigan has the ball at its own 10, holding a 7-0 lead with 6:39 left in the opening quarter.
The Wolverines scored on their first drive with quarterback Devin Gardner completing all five of his passes for 77 yards, including a 48-yard TD pass to tight end Devin Funchess with 10:29 left in the opening quarter.
Gardner completed a pair of third down passes, the first coming on a 17-yard toss to Funchess.
Then, on third and four from the Akron 48, Gardner found Funchess for a short pass. Funchess then broke a tackle and ran for the touchdown.
The Wolverines are less than 20 minutes away from playing the Akron Zips at Michigan Stadium on a beautiful, sunny afternoon.
Michigan enters the game ranked No. 11, already defeating one Mid-American Conference team, 59-9 over Central Michigan in the season opener.
Akron is 1-1, defeating James Madison 35-33 last weekend after losing its opener at Central Florida, 38-7. The Zips haven’t beaten a Division 1 team since the 2010 season finale against Buffalo.
Michigan tight end A.J. Williams will be out of the lineup with an ankle injury.