EVANSTON, Ill. -- Devin Gardner scored on a 5-yard run to lift Michigan to a 27-19 triple-overtime victory over Northwestern on Saturday after the Wolverines' Brendan Gibbons tied it with a 44-yard field goal at the end of regulation.
Gardner scored on an option and ran it in on the two-point conversion to make it an eight-point game.
Northwestern had one more chance, but Trevor Siemian got sacked for a 14-yard loss by Jibreel Black on second down. Then, his desperation pass on fourth down got intercepted by Thomas Gordan, giving the Wolverines (7-3, 3-3 Big Ten) their second win in five games and sending the Wildcats (4-6, 0-6) to their sixth straight loss.
Gibbons sprinted onto the field for a 44-yard field goal as time expired in regulation to tie it at 9.
Jake Butt then gave the Wolverines a 16-9 lead with a one-handed grab on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Gardner, but Northwestern wasn't finished.
Kain Colter tied it when he plowed in from the 1 on first down, sending it to a second OT. A 36-yard field goal by Jeff Budzien then put Northwestern ahead, but Michigan answered.
After a wide-open Jeremy Gallon dropped a pass in the back of the end zone on third down at the 12, Gibbons tied it at 19 with a 29-yarder.
All that happened after the Wolverines wasted two big chances in the fourth quarter.
With a 9-3 lead, Northwestern was pinned at its 3 when Brandon Williams shanked a 7-yard punt.
The ball hit off the side of his foot and landed at the 15 before bouncing back to the 10, but Michigan settled for a 28-yard field goal by Gibbons.
Then, with 5:44 left, Michigan decided to go for it on fourth-and-2 at the 5 rather than attempt a tying field goal.
Gardner rolled to his right on a keeper. Chi Chi Ariguzo had the initial hit and Nick VanHoose helped bring him down for a 1-yard loss, temporarily preserving the lead.
Gibbons' tying field goal at the end of regulation came after the Wolverines converted two fourth downs. The field goal unit had to sprint onto the field after a 16-yard pass to Gallon.
Gardner completed 24 of 43 passes for 226 yards. Gallon had 115 yards receiving, and Derrick Green ran for 79.
Siemian threw for 137 yards for Northwestern. Colter passed for 26 and ran for 78.
U-M Guts it Out! 27-19 over NW in 3 OTs.
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