Michigan topples Northwestern in OT
Gardner again fills in well for injured Robinson
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan 38, No. 21 Northwestern 31 (OT): Roy Roundtree made a highlight-reel 53-yard catch with 8 seconds remaining in regulation to set up the game-tying field goal and the Wolverines’ defense ended the game with a fourth-down stop in the extra period to rally past the visiting Wildcats.
Devin Gardner – making his second consecutive start in place of the injured Denard Robinson – threw for 286 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for two more scores, including a 1-yard run in overtime. Roundtree had a season-high 139 yards receiving for Michigan (7-3, 5-1 Big Ten), which won its 13th straight home game.
Michigan surrendered 17 consecutive points to fall behind by 10 late in the third quarter, but Gardner rallied the Wolverines with touchdown passes on consecutive drives to pull ahead 28-24 early in the fourth.
Northwestern (7-3, 3-3) grabbed the lead back with 3:59 remaining on a 15-yard TD catch by Tony Jones and appeared to have the game in hand when Gardner was intercepted on the ensuing drive. But the Wildcats could not run out the clock and, with 18 seconds remaining in regulation, Roundtree made a spectacular catch on Gardner’s desperation heave to set up Brendan Gibbon’s game-tying 26-yard field goal to knot the game at 31.
In the extra period, Gardner converted on a 1-yard bootleg run and the eighth-ranked Michigan defense forced the Wildcats into a short fourth-down try, which it stopped for no gain.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Northwestern ran the ball on all but two plays on its first four possessions of the first half before attempting five passes on the last drive of the half to knot the game at 14. … Michigan did not commit its first penalty until the 3:37 mark of the third quarter and committed just two for the game. …The Wildcats suffered their first-ever overtime loss to a Big Ten opponent, falling to 7-1.