Ann Arbor, MI -- Devin Gardner scored on a one-yard run in overtime, as the Michigan Wolverines rallied for a 38-31 win over the Northwestern Wildcats in a Big Ten Conference tilt at Michigan Stadium.
Gardner forced overtime with a 53-yard completion to Roy Roundtree on a Hail Mary in the final seconds of regulation, setting up a 26-yard game-tying field goal by Brendan Gibbons with two seconds on the clock.
Starting quarterback Denard Robinson dressed and went through warmups, but he sat out for the second straight game due to a right elbow injury. His replacement, Gardner, threw for 286 yards and two TDs, and he also ran for a pair of scores to help the Wolverines (7-3, 5-1 Big Ten) notch their fifth win in their last six tries.
Venric Mark paced the Wildcats (7-3, 3-3) with 23 carries for 104 yards and a score. Trevor Siemian completed six of his seven pass attempts, two of which resulted in touchdowns.
Mark opened the scoring with a three-yard touchdown run midway through the first quarter, capping a 10-play, 78-yard drive.
However, the Wolverines answered with their own 10-play, 78-yard drive, which ended with Gardner's eight-yard touchdown run.
Thomas Rawls put Michigan on top with a one-yard touchdown plunge at the 6:17 mark of the second quarter.
The Wildcats tied the score at 14 apiece just before halftime, as Siemian found Cameron Dickerson for a 19-yard scoring strike with 25 seconds on the clock.
NU opened the second half with a 10-play drive that lasted four minutes, and Kain Colter finished it with a 23-yard TD pass to Dan Vitale to give the Wildcats a 21-14 lead.
A 34-yard field goal by NU kicker Jeff Budzien made it a 24-14 game with just under four minutes to play in the third quarter.
Michigan's offense then began to hit its stride. Gardner connected with Fitzgerald Toussaint for a 28-yard touchdown pass on the fourth play of the ensuing possession. Midway through the fourth quarter, the Wolverines took a 28-24 lead on Gardner's eight-yard scoring strike to Devin Funchess, capping an 11-play, 91-yard drive.
But the Wildcats were not finished. Siemian highlighted a 66-yard drive with a 15-yard TD pass to Tony Jones, putting NU back on top, 31-28 with just under four minutes remaining.
However, Michigan would later force overtime thanks to Gardner's desperation heave in the final seconds of regulation. The first overtime possession saw Gardner score on a bootleg on 3rd-and-goal, and the Wolverines defense shut the door on the following series to close out an improbable victory.
The Wolverines have now won 13 in a row at home, as their last lost at Michigan Stadium came against Ohio State on Nov. 27, 2010.
The Sports Network