Wow! That was an ugly win if ever there was one. The season and Brady Hoke’s coaching career flashed before the our Maize and Blue eyes as the Akron Zips had a chance to take the lead over the home Wolverines with only :15 seconds to play on the clock. Luckily for the Wolverines and all their fans, Akron ran two plays for no yards and the game ended.
The Michigan Wolverines avoided another monumental defeat with the 28-24 victory and Brady Hoke keeps his home undefeated streak alive with 17 straight wins in The Big House.
Michigan looked to have gained control of the game in the second half when the Wolverines scored 14 points and stretched the lead to 21-10 thanks to quarterback Devin Gardner’s 36-yard TD run and his 33-yard TD pass to freshman wide receiver Jehu Chesson.
But unfortunately Gardner also threw an interception early in the 4th quarter to the Zips’ Justin March who returned it 27 yards for the score. The score gave the Zips new life and cut the Wolverine lead to four at 21-17.
Akron then scored again to take the lead when Phol hit Tyrell Goodman on a 1-yard TD pass giving the Zips a 24-21 lead. Fortunatly that would be the last score for Terry Bowden’s team.
The Wolverine quarterback struggled at times today throwing three interceptions total and he completed only 16 of his 30 pass attempts for a total of 248 yards. Gardner really got on track when he ran the ball and created with his legs on his 10 carries for 103 yards and a touchdown. That quarterback style was something reminiscent of the days of #16. The “pro style” offense it was not.
The Michigan defense never really put good consistent pressure on the Akron quarterback Pohl during the game as the Zips’ signal caller completed big plays when his team needed them to keep the game close.
The Wolverine running game struggled as well and if not for Gardner’s contributions to the 177-yard total the run-game would have totaled less than 75 as a group.
Sophomore tight end Devin Funchess got things going for Michigan when he took a Devin Gardner pass 48 yards into the end zone for an early 7-0 lead post successful extra point attempt.
Akron responded by scoring the next 10 points on a Robert Stein 45-yard field goal and then a Zach D’Orazio 28-yard touchdown completion from the Akron quarterback Kyle Pohl.
Akron missed on two field goal attempts during the game and coming into this contest, the Zips carried a 27-straight road losing streak since 2008 and their overall record was 4-34 since the 2010 season. Not a team anyone expected would give the Wolverines this much trouble.
In the end, I suppose all that matters is the victory and with the win Michigan improves their record to 3-0 on the season. Next up will be the first road game for the Wolverines when they travel to play Huskies from Connecticut. Until today, that game was a gimme. Now nothing is for sure.
Time to put this game behind and move forward. Big Ten play is right around the corner. No time to stress now.
Hail Yeah! Go Blue!!