Jan. 4, 2012
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Players | The Victors
Site: New Orleans, La. (Mercedes-Benz Superdome)
Event: 78th Annual Allstate Sugar Bowl
Score: #13 Michigan 23, #17 Virginia Tech 20 (OT)
Records: U-M (11-2), Virginia Tech (11-3)
Next U-M Game: Season Complete
NEW ORLEANS, La. -- Junior/sophomore kicker Brendan Gibbons (West Palm Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman) drilled a 37-yard field goal in the first overtime session to give the University of Michigan football team (No. 13 AP/No. 12 USA Today Coaches) a 23-20 victory over Virginia Tech (No. 17 AP/No. 11 USA Today) on Tuesday night (Jan. 3) in the 78th annual Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The triumph is U-M's first at the Sugar Bowl.
Virginia Tech had more than double Michigan's total yards, 377-184, and had 22 first downs to Michigan's 12 but settled for four field goals in regulation by third-string kicker Justin Myer, who tied the game with a 25-yard field goal with two seconds left before missing from 37 yards out in the opening possession of overtime.
Junior Denard Robinson (Deerfield Beach, Fla./Deerfield Beach) highlighted the offense with a pair of touchdown passes -- from 45 and 18 yards -- to fifth-year senior wideout Junior Hemingway (Conway, S.C./Conway), the game MVP. Robinson finished 9-for-21 for 117 yards passing and threw an interception. He rushed 13 times for a season-low 13 yards. Meanwhile on defense, senior/junior safety Jordan Kovacs (Curtice, Ohio/Clay), freshman linebacker Desmond Morgan (Holland, Mich./West Ottawa) and senior defensive lineman Mike Martin (Redford, Mich./Catholic Central) notched 11, 10 and 10 tackles, respectively.
Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas, who was 19-of-28 for 214 yards with one interception, scored the Hokies' only touchdown on a one-yard keeper, capping a 16-play drive with 10:22 remaining in regulation. Virginia Tech then tied the game at 17-all after a successful two-point conversion.
Hokies receiver Danny Coale had eight catches for 117 yards and nearly made a spectacular diving catch for a touchdown in overtime. Coale held on to the ball for what was initially ruled a score, but the play was overturned on video review, which showed the receiver narrowly landed on the sideline. The result of that third-down play forced Tech to try for Myer's failed field goal.
Michigan then ran three consecutive runs to set up Gibbons in the middle of the field for the game-winner.
The Hokies opened the game with field goals of 37 and 43 yards to pull out to a 6-0 lead near the start of the second quarter. Following a defensive stop on a fourth-and-one from four yards out midway through the second, U-M marched 96 yards on 11 plays, the final being a 45-yard, third-down strike from Robinson to Hemingway. A roughing-the-punter call on the Michigan 26 extended the drive.
Then, senior linebacker J.B. Fitzgerald (Princeton Junction, N.J. (West Windsor Plainsboro) forced a Hokie fumble on the ensuing kickoff and freshman defensive back Delonte Hollowell Detroit, Mich./Cass Technical) recovered. On the initial field-goal try, holder and sophomore wideout Drew Dileo (Greenwell Springs, La./Parkview Baptist) did not catch it cleanly, and he raced out and tossed up a pass that ended up 11 yards down field in the hands of junior/sophomore long snapper Jareth Glanda (Rochester Hills, Mich./Brother Rice), who was eligible after deflection by a Hokie defender. On the next play, Gibbons nailed a 24-yarder and U-M carried its 10-6 lead into halftime.
Both teams went three and out to begin the second half, before freshman defensive end Frank Clark (Cleveland, Ohio/Glenville) picked off a screen pass near midfield, and on the third play of the ensuing U-M drive, which featured an interception called back due to pass interference, Robinson found Hemingway again -- this time from 18 yards out -- to give Michigan a 17-6 advantage with 9:43 left in the third quarter, but Virginia Tech rallied to tie; first with a 40-yard field goal, Myers' third of the day, and then with the 16-play drive.
After sophomore/freshman linebacker Jake Ryan (Westlake, Ohio/St. Ignatius) stuffed a Tech fake punt on a fourth-and-one from its own 45, Michigan went 23 yards on eight plays to set up a Gibbons' 39-yard field goal with exactly four minutes to play, which earned the Wolverines a brief 20-17 lead.
Contact: Justin Dickens (734) 763-4423