Ann Arbor, MI (Sports Network) - Devin Gardner scored on a one-yard run inovertime, as the Michigan Wolverines rallied for a 38-31 win over theNorthwestern Wildcats in a Big Ten Conference tilt at Michigan Stadium.
Gardner forced overtime with a 53-yard completion to Roy Roundtree on a HailMary in the final seconds of regulation, setting up a 26-yard game-tyingfield goal by Brendan Gibbons with two seconds on the clock.
Starting quarterback Denard Robinson dressed and went through warmups, but hesat out for the second straight game due to a right elbow injury. Hisreplacement, Gardner, threw for 286 yards and two TDs, and he also ran for apair of scores to help the Wolverines (7-3, 5-1 Big Ten) notch their fifth winin their last six tries.
Venric Mark paced the Wildcats (7-3, 3-3) with 23 carries for 104 yards and ascore. Trevor Siemian completed six of his seven pass attempts, two of whichresulted in touchdowns.
Mark opened the scoring with a three-yard touchdown run midway through thefirst quarter, capping a 10-play, 78-yard drive.
However, the Wolverines answered with their own 10-play, 78-yard drive, whichended with Gardner's eight-yard touchdown run.
Thomas Rawls put Michigan on top with a one-yard touchdown plunge at the 6:17mark of the second quarter.
The Wildcats tied the score at 14 apiece just before halftime, as Siemianfound Cameron Dickerson for a 19-yard scoring strike with 25 seconds on theclock.
NU opened the second half with a 10-play drive that lasted four minutes, andKain Colter finished it with a 23-yard TD pass to Dan Vitale to give theWildcats a 21-14 lead.
A 34-yard field goal by NU kicker Jeff Budzien made it a 24-14 game with justunder four minutes to play in the third quarter.
Michigan's offense then began to hit its stride. Gardner connected withFitzgerald Toussaint for a 28-yard touchdown pass on the fourth play of theensuing possession. Midway through the fourth quarter, the Wolverines took a28-24 lead on Gardner's eight-yard scoring strike to Devin Funchess, cappingan 11-play, 91-yard drive.
But the Wildcats were not finished. Siemian highlighted a 66-yard drive with a15-yard TD pass to Tony Jones, putting NU back on top, 31-28 with just underfour minutes remaining.
However, Michigan would later force overtime thanks to Gardner's desperationheave in the final seconds of regulation. The first overtime possession sawGardner score on a bootleg on 3rd-and-goal, and the Wolverines defense shutthe 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 atMichigan Stadium came against Ohio State on Nov. 27, 2010.