Oct. 20, 2012
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Michigan Stadium)
Score: #23 Michigan 12, Michigan State 10
Records: U-M (5-2, 3-0 Big Ten), MSU (4-4, 1-3 Big Ten)
Next U-M Game: Saturday, Oct. 27 -- at Nebraska (Lincoln, Neb.), 7 p.m. CDT
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Senior/junior kicker Brendan Gibbons (West Palm Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman) converted his third field goal of the game, from 38 yards with five seconds left in the contest, to give the University of Michigan football team (No. 23 AP/No. 25 USA Today Coaches) its first win over rival Michigan State in five years, 12-10, on Saturday (Oct. 20) at Michigan Stadium. The victory marked the 900th in Michigan football history.
For the fifth consecutive game, the Michigan defense held its opponent to 13 points or less. Leading the squad were junior/sophomore linebacker Jake Ryan (Westlake, Ohio/St. Ignatius), who tallied 10 tackles with a sack and a forced fumble, and sophomore linebacker Desmond Morgan (Holland, Mich./West Ottawa), who garnered 11 takedowns.
Senior quarterback Denard Robinson (Deerfield Beach, Fla./Deerfield Beach) led the offense, compiling 163 yards through the air to complement his 96 yards rushing. Senior/junior running back Fitzgerald Toussaint (Youngstown, Ohio/Liberty) added 52 yards on the ground, while junior receiver Drew Dileo (Greenwell Springs, La./Parkview Baptist) hauled in career highs with four passes for 92 yards.
Michigan State took the ball to begin the game but could not find any footing offensively, beginning a scoreless quarter of ball exchanges. Throughout the first 15 minutes, both teams combined for a total of three first downs and five punts. Michigan gained 52 yards and MSU compiled 43 yards in the first quarter.
To start the second quarter, the Wolverines moved the ball down the field with the help of two receptions from Dileo for 37 yards and a season-long 38-yard run by Toussaint. The drive ended with a 24-yard field goal from Gibbons to give Michigan a 3-0 lead.
On the following Spartans' possession, quarterback Andrew Maxwell connected with receiver Bennie Fowler for a 45-yard pickup into Michigan territory. However, the drive ended when kicker Dan Conroy missed from 38 yards out with five minutes to go in the half.
With less than two minutes in the second quarter, Robinson connected with Dileo for a 35-yard gain. From 48 yards out, sophomore kicker Matt Wile (San Diego, Calif./Francis Parker) hit his first career field goal, giving Michigan a 6-0 advantage heading into the locker room.
During the opening possession of the second half, Michigan was forced to punt for the fourth time in the game. The Spartans marched down the field and found the end zone on a two-yard Maxwell pass to tight end Paul Lang, making the score 7-6.
Late in the third quarter, fifth-year senior safety Jordan Kovacs (Curtice, Ohio/Clay) intercepted a Maxwell pass for the first Michigan State turnover of the game. With 13:37 left in the contest, Gibbons added his second field goal of the game, from 21 yards, to reclaim a Michigan lead, 9-7.
On the following Michigan State possession, punter Mike Sadler took a fake punt and ran for 26 yards and a first down, fueling a 90-yard MSU drive that ended with a Conroy 19-yard field goal, giving the Spartans a 10-9 lead with 5:48 remaining in the game.
The Wolverines responded with a 44-yard Robinson scramble to the MSU 31-yard line. However, a holding call and a failed third-down conversion forced Michigan to punt the ball away with 3:07 left.
After forcing a Michigan State three-and-out, the Maize and Blue received the ball with two minutes to play and began marching back down the field. With nine seconds to go in the game, Gibbons knocked through a 38-yard field goal to solidify the Michigan victory.
Michigan travels to Lincoln, Neb., next Saturday (Oct. 27) to take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers at 7 p.m. CDT on ESPN2.
Contact: Justin Dickens (734) 763-4423