NCAA Game Summary - Michigan at Northwestern|
(Saturday, October 8th)
Final Score: (12) Michigan 42, Northwestern 24
Evanston, IL (Sports Network) - Denard Robinson threw two touchdown passes and
ran for a pair of scores, as the 12th-ranked Michigan Wolverines used a strong
second half to down the Northwestern Wildcats, 42-24.
Robinson overcame three first half interceptions, finishing with 290 passing
yards and 117 rushing yards.
Junior Hemingway caught five passes for 124 yards for the Wolverines (6-0, 2-0
Big Ten), who scored 28 unanswered points to close the game.
Dan Persa completed 32-of-44 passes for 331 yards and an interception for the
Wildcats (2-3, 0-2), while Kain Colter, Adonis Smith and Treyvon Green each
had a rushing touchdown.
Northwestern held a 24-14 lead at the half, but the Wolverines thoroughly
dominated the rest of the contest.
"We said what it was," said Michigan coach Brady Hoke. "We were down 10
points. We had thrown three interceptions for one reason or another, we'd had
three penalties on ourselves offensively, we were not getting off blocks on
the back end defensively, and that's what it was. That's kind of what we
talked about, nothing more, and we talked about how we want to be as a
Michigan football team."
The Wolverines opened the third quarter with an eight-play, 80-yard
touchdown drive. Robinson hit Roy Roundtree for a 57-yard completion during
the march and lost his shoe as he jumped into the end zone from two yards out
to make it a 24-21 game.
After a Wildcats three-and-out, Robinson injured his left arm on 12-yard rush
to the Northwestern one-yard line. On 3rd-and-goal, backup quarterback Devin
Gardner found the end zone on a naked bootleg to give the Wolverines a 28-24
Persa was intercepted on the fourth play of the Wildcats' next drive, as
Brandin Hawthorne came down with the tipped pass near midfield.
With Robinson back on the field, the Wolverines capitalized, stretching their
advantage to 35-24 on Michael Shaw's two-yard touchdown plunge at the start of
the fourth quarter.
The woes continued for the Wildcats. They moved to the Michigan 42-yard line
on their next possession, but Jeremy Ebert fumbled and Thomas Gordon recovered
for the Wolverines.
This time Michigan couldn't capitalize, as Brendan Gibbons' 37-yard field goal
attempt was blocked. But the defense held, forcing Northwestern into a 4th-
and-5. Jordan Kovacs then came free and ripped Persa's helmet off, resulting
in a sack and a turnover on downs.
Robinson's five-yard touchdown run in the closing minutes sealed the final
score and the Michigan win.
Robinson opened the game with a nine-yard touchdown pass to Steve Watson on
the Wolverines' first drive, but struggled to protect the ball going forward.
"He just let the ball float a little bit on him a couple times," said Hoke.
"That's fundamentals and techniques and things that we have to constantly talk
about, but the kid's a competitor and he loves to play."
Colter reeled off a game-tying, 15-yard touchdown run on the Wildcats' next
possession before Robinson was intercepted by Ibraheim Campbell on the
Wolverines' ensuing drive.
Green took advantage with a seven-yard touchdown run, giving Northwestern a
Michigan then drove the Northwestern 16-yard line, but Campbell registered
another interception to end the scoring threat.
Again the Michigan defense responded, forcing a punt. The Wolverines stuffed
Smith on a 4th-and-1 later in the second quarter, before Robinson connected
with Jeremy Gallon for a 25-yard, game-tying touchdown.
Smith atoned with a two-yard touchdown run to put the Wildcats on top, 21-14,
and Brian Peters intercepted Robinson on Michigan's next drive, which led to a
20-yard field goal by Jeff Budzien as the first half drew to a close.
Since 1975, the Wolverines have played in the Rose Bowl every year that they
have started 6-0...Michigan has won nine of the last 11 meetings with
Northwestern. It was the schools' first meeting since Northwestern's 21-14 win
November 15, 2008, at Michigan Stadium.
10/09 00:50:33 ET