Posted September 14, 2013

No. 11 Michigan survives scare from Akron, holds on to beat Zips 28-24

Akron Zips, Big Ten, Michigan Wolverines
Devin Gardner

Quarterback Devin Gardner and Michigan escaped with a 28-24 win over Akron. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

No. 11 Michigan was a 37-point favorite entering this game. Akron hasn’t won back-to-back contests since the 2008 season. Still, when Akron quarterback Kyle Pohl’s fourth-down pass sailed over the outstretched arms of wide receiver Zach D’Orazio in the final seconds, Wolverines fans breathed a tremendous sigh of relief. Michigan held on to beat Akron 28-24.

It was almost a disastrous finish for Michigan, which was outscored 14-7 in the fourth. The Wolverines caught a break when safety Jarrod Wilson intercepted Pohl in the end zone with just over 11 minutes remaining, but the scare wasn’t over. After the Zips took a late 24-21 lead on a touchdown from wideout Tyrell Goodman, Michigan needed a Fitzgerald Toussaint rushing score and a last-gasp defensive stop to snatch victory from the jaws of “OH MY GOSH WE MIGHT LOSE TO AKRON.”

The Big Blue faithful didn’t show up in record numbers like they did against Notre Dame in Week 2, and the lack of energy could have factored into the lethargic nature of the Wolverines. But give the Zips, who are now 4-35 since 2010, credit. Coach Terry Bowden’s team didn’t quit and came just one play from completing a stunning upset.

A week after starring against the Irish, Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner was human in this one, throwing three interceptions, losing a fumble and generally looking less dynamic than he did last Saturday. But he did what he needed to do at the end of the game; he finished with 248 passing yards, 103 rushing yards and three touchdowns and orchestrated a go-ahead drive with a couple of timely throws. A late pass-interference call put Michigan in the red zone, and Toussaint punched it in from two yards out to give the Wolverines a four-point lead with less than three minutes to play.

Pohl marched down the field and got the Zips to the one-yard line, but he came just short of finishing the job. Akron narrowly lost its 28th consecutive road game. Wolverines coach Brady Hoke improved to 17-0 at Michigan Stadium.

These types of games happen with young teams, and Michigan should feel lucky to enter next week’s matchup with UConn at 3-0. The Wolverines were one pass away from reliving the horror of the Appalachian State game all over again. [RECAP l BOX]

14 comments
Yipicya
Yipicya

Well, I guess this should end all of SI's talk of "Is Michigan the best team in the Big 10" yammer.

Michigan as always, sucks.   No one does less with more talent except possibly Mark Richt at Georgia then does Brady Joke.

Welcome back to doormat status, scUM.

Sincerely,


Everyone else

TurdMcPuncher
TurdMcPuncher

Props to Akron for scheduling schools like Michigan and Missouri.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

Michigan should be unranked after this. Who can possibly call them a top 25 team now?

AaronDunckel
AaronDunckel

better to have these "trap" and "letdown" games end up in a win any day of the week - I predicted this owuld be a struggle after the emotions of the ND game and looking ahead to Big Ten play


just win baby - it wasn't pretty, it was awful in fact - but learn some lessons from it and move on with that W

AaronDunckel
AaronDunckel

@Yipicya  LOL you mean sincerely,  pathetic OSU fan? perhaps MSU fan?    Brady Hoke came to UM with a barren program talent wise, and has since massively upgraded that talent level, and is now coaching a team of extremely young players


your comment shows you know nothing about Michigan or Hoke - and the nature of 17-18 year old college kids coming off of a big game and looking past an opponent.  So basically you know little to nothing about college football - and are most likely a Michigan hater of some kind based on your clearly biased comment.  So why bother posting here at all? 


AaronDunckel
AaronDunckel

@Rickapolis  this is a VERY young team that just came out of an emotional ringer, and is looking ahead to B10 play - this kind of thing can and does happen.  They are fortunate that they got a win with their lesson - most teams can't afford to play flat and still win the game. 

The important part here is that they have a learning game now to look at and see what they did wrong - and also to humble them.  This team will only get better and better but it will sometimes be a rough ride with such a young, inexperienced, but talented team

junior18
junior18

All comments should be screened by SI to ensure posts aren't made by dolts who obviously know nothing about sports.

junior18
junior18

@AaronDunckel Good point. Young teams are often prone to games like these. It was an awful performance, but they pulled it out. Good sign.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

@AaronDunckel And Notre Dame is losing to Purdue, so that win doesn't look all that impressive now, does it. Michigan is a 500 team. Not deserving of a ranking.

JJKO
JJKO

@junior18 truth hurts aha!! BTW - Screened!! this is free country..:)

AaronDunckel
AaronDunckel

@Rickapolis @AaronDunckel both UM and ND won their games, not impressively - but won them, after falling off the emotional cliff in a huge game vs eachother, as well as both being caught looking ahead past inferior opponents.   

These are young kids - they are going to look past teams and get caught up in emotional environments - both teams did that this week - and now they can notch a W and learn their lessons and move on 

thats the nature of college football if you know anything about it