No. 15 Michigan dodges upset, beats UConn 24-21

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. Fitzgerald Toussaint ran for 120 yards and two touchdowns, Desmond Morgan made a one-handed interception in the fourth quarter that swung the game Michigan's way and the 15th-ranked Wolverines dodged another upset with a 24-21 victory against Connecticut on Saturday night.

A week after Michigan needed a last-second stand to hold off Akron at the Big House, Brendan Gibbons kicked a 21-yard field goal with 4:36 left to give the Wolverines (4-0) their first lead of the second half.

Chandler Whitmer threw two touchdowns and Ty-Meer Brown returned a fumble 34 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter that put UConn (0-3) up 21-7.

Devin Gardner turned the ball over three times for Michigan and the Wolverines also muffed a punt inside their 10 that led to a UConn touchdown.

Toussaint broke a 35-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, and scored from 12 yards out right after Morgan's pick with 9:56 left.

Against the Zips, Gardner threw three picks and lost a fumble and the Wolverines came away feeling more relieved than victorious. Gardner wasn't much better this week, going 11 for 23 for 97 yards. He ran for 64 yards and a 17-yard touchdown in the first quarter. But his defense had to bail him out, specifically Morgan.

After star Connecticut linebacker Yawin Smallwood stopped Gardner short on a fourth-and-2 at the Huskies 22 with 11:23 left in the fourth quarter, the record crowd of 42,704 at Rentschler Field was rocking and starting to believe an upset was in the making.

But Morgan made the play of the game and one play later Toussaint swept untouched around the left side to make it 21-21 with 9:49 left.

Michigan forced a three-and-out on the next series and got the ball back around midfield, but its drive stalled at the 4 and Gibbons made the short kick to give Michigan a three-point lead with 4:36 left.

UConn's last drive never had a chance. Michigan pushed the Huskies backward and then they came up a few yards short on a fourth-and-long.

UConn, playing without leading receiver Shakim Phillips, managed only 206 yards, 159 passing from Whitmer.


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