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11/09/2013 7:54 PM EST
Nebraska beats Michigan 17-13 on another late TD
NEBRASKA 17, MICHIGAN 13
By LARRY LAGE
AP Sports Writer
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Tommy Armstrong Jr. threw a left-handed,
5-yard shovel pass to Ameer Abdullah for a go-ahead touchdown
with 2:03 left and Nebraska's defense made enough stops to seal
a 17-13 win over Michigan on Saturday.
The Cornhuskers (7-2, 4-1 Big Ten) kept their chances alive of
returning to the conference championship game. Nebraska can move
a big step closer to its goal by beating Legends
Division-leading Michigan State next Saturday at home.
The Wolverines (6-3, 2-3) dashed hopes of earning a Big Ten
title for the first time since 2004 with their first loss in 20
home games under coach Brady Hoke, turning the ball over on
downs during their last possession.
Michigan went ahead 13-10 on Brendan Gibbons' 40-yard field goal
with 8:08 left after Jordan Westerkamp fumbled on a punt return,
then its defense allowed the Cornhuskers to convert a fourth
down on a 75-yard, game-winning drive.
Abdullah ran for 105 yards and had an 8-yard TD on the ground
that gave Nebraska a 10-0 lead late in the first quarter.
The Wolverines responded with 13 straight points, but failed to
score more because they couldn't open up holes for running backs
or protect Devin Gardner.
Michigan was held to minus-21 yards rushing - a week after
sinking to a school-record low minus-48 yards rushing in a loss
to the Spartans - as Gardner was sacked seven times for the
second straight game. The Wolverines didn't rush for one first
Gardner was 18 of 27 for 196 yards and a TD, a 5-yard pass to
Devin Funchess that tied the game at 10 in the third quarter.
Running backs Fitzgerald Toussaint and Derrick Green combined
for 17 yards rushing on 17 carries for the Wolverines.
Armstrong was 11 of 19 for 139 yards and a game-winning TD on a
third-and-5 from the Michigan 5. The drive was extended by
Armstrong's pass from the Michigan 31 to Kenny Bell, who broke
two tackles to convert a fourth-and-2 with a 26-yard reception.
Westerkamp might've been the happiest guy in red at the Big
A week after Westerkamp caught Ron Kellogg III's 49-yard
desperation heave off a tip to beat Northwestern on the last
play of last week's game, he dropped a punt and Dennis Norfleet
recovered it at the Nebraska 26 with 10 minutes left in the
Michigan, though, couldn't do much with the opportunity because
it lost 1 yard combined on two runs from Green and then Gardner
scrambled for 4 yards on a play that was designed for a pass to
set up Gibbons' tiebreaking field goal.
Early in the game, Nebraska took advantage of Michigan's
struggling offense to take a 10-0 lead. The Wolverines had
three-and-out drives on their first two possessions, losing a
total of 19 yards, and the Cornhuskers answered both times with
Abdullah kept the first scoring drive alive with an 18-yard run
on third-and-3 at the Michigan 30, setting up Pat Smith's
21-yard field goal. The Cornhuskers didn't need any third-down
conversions on the next possession because they didn't have one
in an eight-play, 56-yard drive that ended in Abdullah's 8-yard
The Wolverines responded with a field goal on their first
possession of the second quarter.
Michigan finished the half, trailing 10-0 with negative-10 yards
rushing. It was the second game in a row that the Wolverines
failed to reach positive rushing yards in the first half, and it
didn't get better after halftime, leading to their first loss at
home since a Rich Rodriguez-led team got beat by Wisconsin on
Nov. 20, 2010.
Follow Larry Lage on Twitter: http://twitter.com/larrylage
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