No. 23 Michigan Survives With Late TD

No. 23 Michigan (4-0, 1-0) hosted Indiana (3-1, 0-1) in the Wolverines Big 10 opener on Saturday afternoon at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. IU led for much of the contest, but a late Martavious Odoms touchdown sparked a 36-33 come from behind Michigan win. Donovan Warren sealed the win with a interception.

ANN ARRBOR -- Just weeks removed from the Wolverines late game heroics against then No. 18-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the Maize and Blue were at it again.

Against Indiana (3-1, 0-1) the No. 23 Wolverines (4-0, 1-0), found themselves down 33-29 with less then nine minutes left in the teams Big 10 opener. Michigan rallied late, though, behind a 26-yard touchdown from Tate Forcier to Martavious Odoms, and held off the Hoosiers 36-33.

Indiana quarterback Ben Chappell then made his lone mistake of the contest, a late interception to junior cornerback Donovan Warren, that let U-M run out the clock.

"I've always said I'd rather win ugly then win pretty," Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said after the game. "They've got a good team, and they played pretty well. We had a lot of unforced errors too, but we got the win. I'm proud of the guys."

Indiana led for much of the contest before Michigan's dramatic game-winning drive.

The Hoosiers weathered a Michigan offensive storm that saw the Wolverines score touchdowns on drives of just 23-seconds and 1:23 on its first two possessions. IU matched the scores, then a pair of turnovers by Michigan's freshman quarterbacks allowed the Hoosiers to go up 20-14 in the second quarter.

Quarterback Tate Forcier looked to avoid a sack and lobbed the ball in the air while in the grasp of an oncoming Hoosier pass rusher, Nicholas Sliger found the ball on its way down to give Indiana possession on the Michigan 29-yardline. Indiana settled for a 20-yard field goal from the 3-yard line to push its lead to 20-14.

"We forced some field goals when our offense was struggling to keep us in the game. Itw as like the Wisconsin game last year. If those had been touchdowns, it would have been tought. But they kept it close, and we pulled it out at the end."

Denard Robinson led Michigan back on top 21-20 on the next possession. Keyed with 3rd-and-8 toss down the middle to Kevin Koger, Michigan found the end zone from 12-yards out on a read play up the middle to Brandon Minor.

Robinson fumbled on Michigan's next possession, though, to set Indiana up for yet another field goal and a 23-21 halftime lead.

The Wolverines offense continued to shoot itself in the foot into the third quarter. Botched shotgun exchanges between center David Moosman and both quarterbacks seemed to kill drive after drive. Michigan netted just two yards of offense in the quarter, and entered the final stanza trailing 26-21 after another Indiana field goal.

Michigan sustained its longest drive of the game to start the fourth quarter and climb back on top 29-26. Starting at the 25-yardline, Michigan went 75-yards on 13 plays. Kelvin and Kevin Grady both made third down catches that kept the chains moving, and Forcier leaped in over the pile on a 7-yard scramble with nine minutes left.

Indiana, though, answered once again. On 1st-and-10 the Hoosiers broke off their longest run since the 1977 season. Darius Willis took a handoff over left tackle and outraced Jordan Kovacs to the corner. Donovan Warren looked to have an angle on Willis, but ran out of gas as Willis crossed the goal line.

Each team exchanged punts before Michigan scored on the 53-yard game-winning drive with 2:29 to play. Michigan moved into Indiana territory with a strong running game, then Forcier's 26-yard strike to Odoms on 3rd-and-7 put Michigan on top for the last time.

On Michigan's first two possessions Carlos Brown put the ball in the end zone with a pair of quick strikes. On 2nd-and-10 on the Wolverines first possession, Brown went 61-yards for the score on a screen pass. On the next possession he ran around left tackle for a 41-yard touchdown.

No. 23 Michigan goes on the road for the first time of the season next week to battle the rival Michigan State Spartans. Kick-off is scheduled for Noon on the Big 10 Network.

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