Big Ten | Football | University of Michigan

Live blog: Michigan at Northwestern

Michigan, on a two-game losing streak, tries to get back on track on the road against Northwestern.  Angelique S. Chengelis of The Detroit News will provide live updates throughout the game. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.

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Michigan’s defense came up big in the third overtime to stuff Northwestern and give the Wolverines a much-needed boost with a 27-19 victory at Ryan Field.

It was a wild finish for the Wolverines, who forced overtime on a clutch 44-yard field goal by Brendan Gibbons with no time left.

“You practice that hurry-up field goal all the time,” Michigan coach Brady Hoke told the Big Ten Network after the game. “That was one heck of a football play by them.”

The Wolverines opened the third overtime with a touchdown run by quarterback Devin Gardner, who then ran for the two-point conversion giving Michigan a 27-19 lead.

Northwestern quarterback Trevor Siemian, on the Wildcats’ third-overtime drive, took a 14-yard loss on a sack by Jibreel Black. On the next play, Michigan’s Thomas Gordon nearly had an interception on third down. Siemian was then intercepted by Gordon on fourth down in the end zone to end the game.

The Wolverines entered the game on a two-game losing streak, having been credited for minus-69 yards rushing and 14 sacks combined. They also were 1-2 on the road.

All week the Michigan players talked about finishing the season strong, reaching 10 wins, which would mean winning the final four games, including the bowl.

Northwestern entered the game winless through its previous five Big Ten games. The Wildcats famously lost its last game – they had a bye before Michigan – on a Hail Mary by Nebraska..

Michigan and Northwestern have exchanged field goals in the second overtime and remained tied, 19-19.

Northwestern scored first in the second overtime, and Michigan could have won with a touchdown.

Devin Gardner’s pass to Jeremy Gallon in the back middle of the end zone went off Gallon’s fingertips.

Brendan Gibbons made his fourth field goal of the game for the Wolverines, this time from 29 yards.



Michigan hurried its field goal team onto the field with the seconds ticking down on fourth down and Brendan Gibbons made a remarkable 44-yard kick after, perhaps, a more remarkable hold by Drew Dileo.

Dileo ran onto the field and slid into position to hold for Gibbons with no time left.

Michigan made two critical fourth-down conversions during that drive to stay alive.

Michigan and Northwestern are tied, 9-9, and headed to overtime.

Michigan had a chance to tie the game, but opted to go for it on fourth down deep in Northwestern territory.

But quarterback Devin Gardner was hit hard for no gain by Chi Chi Ariguzo and turned the ball over on downs with about five minutes left in the game.

Michigan has had two scoring opportunities in the fourth quarter and failed both times.

Northwestern continues to lead, 9-6, with just more than three minutes left.


Michigan was given phenomenal field position off a shanked Northwestern punt in the fourth quarter, but the Wolverines have settled for a field goal.

The Wolverines’ defense had pinned Northwestern at its 3-yard line and the shanked punt gave Michigan the ball at the 10-yard line.

But in four plays, Michigan was credited with minus-1 yard.

The Wolverines trail, 9-6, with 11:45 left after Brendan Gibbons’ 28-yard field goal.

Michigan is trying to break a two-game losing streak and move to .500 on the road this season.


Michigan’s defense came up with a big stop in the waning seconds of the first half, holding Northwestern to a field goal to end the half.

Northwestern leads, 6-3, on this gloomy, rainy, windy Saturday afternoon at Ryan Field.

Michigan’s only score came on a 25-yard field goal by Brendan Gibbons.

Northwestern scored on field goals of 40 and 22 yards by Jeff Budzien.

The Wildcats had reached the Michigan 4-yard line, but on third down after each team took a timeout, Michigan’s Frank Clark stopped quarterback Kain Colter for a loss of a yard.  That forced the field goal.

Michigan had 120 offensive yards in the first half, and the good news for the Wolverines is they have positive rushing yards. They were credited with minus-69 yards the last two games but have 40 rushing yards so far.

Interestingly, although coach Brady Hoke this week said lead back Fitz Toussaint is “the guy” for the Wolverines, he hasn’t had a touch in this game.  Toussaint is in uniform and on the sideline.

The carries have gone to freshmen Derrick Green and De’Veon Smith — Green has averaged 3.9 yards a carry for his seven carries, and Smith has averaged 4.3 on his three carries.  Justice Hayes also has been in the game and had a four-yard reception.

Devin Gardner, who took a combined 14 sacks the last two games, has been sacked once.

But the Michigan offense remains troubled. The Wolverines are 0-of-5 on third down.

The Michigan defense has stopped Northwestern in critical spots. In the first quarter, the Wildcats drove to the Michigan 23-yard line but settled for a field goal.


Michigan and Northwestern are tied, 3-3, after the first quarter at Ryan Field.

Michigan is trying to snap a two-game losing streak while trying to get to .500 on the road this season.

Brendan Gibbons made a 25-yard field goal for the Wolverines, and Jeff Budzien made a 40-yarder for the Wildcats.

The Wolverines, who had -69 yards rushing the last two games, had 46 yards on 12 carries in the first quarter against Northwestern. Lead back Fitz Toussaint is on the sideline but has not yet played. Freshmen Derrick Green and De’Veon Smith have carried the rushing load.

Green had six carries for 24 yards and Smith had three carries for 13.

Michigan’s defense contained Northwestern during its opening drive of the second quarter, but Michigan just missed wide right on a 51-yard attempt by Matt Wile.


Michigan wasn’t able to stop Northwestern on fourth down, but the defense did enough to force the Wildcats to kick a field goal.

Jeff Budzien made a 40-yard field goal with the wind to tied the game, 3-3, with 2:47 left in the first quarter on a windy, grey day at Ryan Field.

Michigan scored on its opening drive, a field goal by Brendan Gibbons. The Wolverines relied on freshmen tailbacks Derrick Green and De’Veon Smith to handle the carries in that drive.

The Wolverines are hoping to stop a two-game losing streak. They are 1-2 on the road this season.


Michigan debuted somewhat of a new look in the running game in its opening series at Northwestern.

Freshmen Derrick Green and De’Veon Smith combined for six carries in a 12-play drive that ended with a 25-yard field goal by Brendan Gibbons to give Michigan a 3-0 lead.

Lead tailback Fitz Toussaint is on the sideline but did not run the ball the first series.

Green had four carries for 12 yards, while Smith had two carries for 12.

Michigan opened the drive with big pass plays to Jeremy Gallon and Devin Funchess.



Michigan fans, you are not alone in your displeasure with the offense and the play-calling.

Desmond Howard, an ESPN GameDay analyst and former Wolverine and Heisman Trophy winner, said that while the youth of the Wolverines should be acknowledged, at this stage of the season, it is time to out-coach opponents.

He pointed his criticism at Michigan offensive coordinator Al Borges.

“We understand the glaring issues you have, but when you’re the third-highest paid coordinator in the country, you’re paid to figure it out, and you’re paid to figure it out against teams like the Northwesterns, even against a Nebraska, who they lost to last week,” Howard said Saturday morning on GameDay.

“They have the talent. I think (quarterback Devin) Gardner is a talented quarterback if you give him time. I don’t think anyone can man up Devin Funchess, the tight end/wide receiver, or (receiver) Jeremy Gallon. And Fitz Toussaint is an excellent runnig back, but the coordinators, (Greg) Mattison, Borges and (head coach Brady) Hoke, at some point, you have to start out-scheming people because this (losing) has to end.”

Howard was asked if he believes Borges, the nation’s third-highest paid offensive coordinator, should be replaced.

“I didn’t say he needs to be replaced, I said he needs to start figuring out, start out-scheming his opponent to justify his check,” Howard said.

Michigan has lost three of its last four games, including the last two.

The Wolverines, 1-2 on the road this season, play at Northwestern today. The Wildcats are winless in the Big Ten.

“We know what’s wrong with Michigan — it’s obvious, they’re one of the youngest teams in the country, there’s no doubt about That, and they can not block up front in the middle from the guard to guard area,” Howard said. “But with that being said, at some point, you have to out-coach your opponent, you have to out-scheme your opponent.”