Storm Delay Can't Stop Utah Over Michigan

Michigan played Utah closely through one half of play Saturday at Michigan Stadium. In the second half, things came unraveled for the Wolverines leading to the benching of senior quarterback Devin Gardner prior to an extended delay due to lightning in the area, Utah winning 26-10.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Sometimes when it rains, it pours, and that phrase is no truer than on this Saturday evening in Ann Arbor with Utah defeating Michigan, 26-10.

The Utes rolled into town with a high-powered offensive attack led by junior quarterback Travis Wilson. In the early going, the Michigan defense proved up to the task, holding the Utes to a field goal through one quarter of play.

The score knotted 3-3 early in the second quarter, a special teams gaffe cost the Wolverines.

Following a punt from junior Will Hagerup with little to no hang time, Michigan’s coverage failed to corral senior wide out Kaelin Clay who ran through a gaping hole to his left, sprinting down the Utah sideline for the games first touchdown, giving the Utes a 10-3 lead.

Following two more stalled drives by senior quarterback Devin Gardner and the offense, the Michigan defense took matters into their own hands and tied the game.

With Wilson out due to what appeared to be a head or neck injury, Utah backup quarterback Kendal Thompson was looking to setup a screen when redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Willie Henry intercepted his pass at the seven-yard line, running into the end zone for a touchdown.

Thompson would lead Utah down the field and into field goal range prior to the end of the first half, the Utes leading the Wolverines 13-10 after 30 minutes of play.

And then came the storm -- the first one.

As strong as Michigan’s defense was in the first half, the second half quickly became a different story.

Wilson took the field again for Utah, showing no signs of injury from his diving attempt gone wrong that originally took him out of the game in the second quarter.

And Wilson came out firing. Utah opened up the drive with a 24-yard run by Bubba Poole. On the next play Wilson then hit Poole for nine yards.

Two plays later, Wilson stepped up into the pocket and delivered the ball to a wide-open Dres Anderson who quickly turns it up field 28-yards for a Utah touchdown.

On the next drive for the Michigan offense, two Utah defenders came free in front of right tackle Ben Braden, Braden getting his hands on neither as Gardner was sacked for a 12 yard loss. Michigan would be forced to punt.

The Michigan defense once again stood tall though, posting a three and out on Utah’s next offensive possession.

Michigan’s offense then pieced together an 11-play, 45-yard drive including a fourth down conversion at midfield. Devin Gardner would be stopped short on fourth and 3.

A Utah field goal made it a 23-10 Utah lead heading into the fourth quarter.

On just the second play of Michigan’s next drive, Gardner’s pass was intercepted over the middle by Utah junior linebacker Gionni Paul, leading to yet another field goal for Utes’ kicker Andy Phillips, this one from 50-yards out.

That would be all for the senior Gardner as sophomore quarterback Shane Morris began warming up on the sideline and took the field with the offense on Michigan’s next possession with 10:50 left in the game.

Gardner finished his day 14-for-26 with 148-yards passing and two interceptions.

Morris completed 2-of-4 pass attempts for nine yards before being intercepted by Utah’s Tevin Carter. Morris appeared to have Jehu Chesson open but the ball sailed on him amidst a torrential down pour.

Utah’s interception return would set them up with a first and 10 at the Michigan 32-yard line with 7:51 left.

The game would then be delayed due to lightning strikes in the area, both teams heading for the locker rooms at 6:25 before returning to finish the game at 8:47.

Although the rain cleared, Michigan couldn’t regroup as play resumed.

The Wolverine’s defense came up with a stop right out of the gate as Utah’s kicker Andy Phillips clanged a field goal attempt off the left upright.

With Morris back on the field at quarterback, the sophomore finished the game 2-of-9 passing with one interception and a lost fumble despite converting two third down and long situations to keep the first drive alive.

Utah would be forced to punt one more time as Michigan turned the ball over on downs, the Utes kneeling out the clock on a bizarre game at the big house.

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