Another Second Half Collapse

The University of Michigan football team fell to 5-6 on the season with a 45-24 loss to the No. 20 Wisconsin Badgers on Saturday afternoon at Camp Randall Stadium. The Wolverines trailed by just four at the half before again falling apart in the second half.

MADISON – With bowl eligibility still one win away, the Wolverines tripped to Madison, Wis., to meet the No. 20-ranked Wisconsin Badgers on Saturday afternoon at Camp Randall Stadium. For the fourth straight week the Wolverines collapsed in the second half, this time being outscored 24-7 over the final 30 minutes, to fall 45-24.

Quarterback Scott Tolzien had a career day for the home team by completing 16-of-24 passes for 240 yards and four touchdowns. He also added one score on the ground, a goal line sneak to give Wisconsin a commanding 42-24 lead in the final quarter.

Michigan quarterback Tate Forcier completed 20-of-26 passes for 188 yards and two scores, but the Wolverines offense was unable to keep pace Wisconsin through the final two quarters. Roy Roundtree's 10-yard touchdown reception on the Wolverines first possession third quarter became Michigan's only points of the second half.

Roundtree's touchdown reception matched a 15-yard score hauled in by Nick Toon on the Badgers first possession of the half and brought Michigan back within striking distance at 28-24, but the team got no closer.

Tolzien found tight end Lance Kendricks in the flat on a flood route on the Badgers next possession, and Kendricks took it seven yards into the end zone to put UW on top 35-24. Tolzien then put it out of reach early in the fourth quarter with his 1-yard goal line sneak stretching the lead to 18 points. A late field goal added the final margin of victory for Wisconsin.

Over the first 30 minutes the teams battled back and forth with the Wolverines taking temporary 10-7 and 17-14 leads. Jason Olesnavage's 37-yard field goal minutes into the second quarter gave Michigan its first lead of the game following a Jordan Kovacs interception inside Wisconsin territory. Later, after the Badgers leap-frogged back into the lead on Nick Toon's first touchdown reception, a Brandon Graham sack forced a Tolzien fumble that Ryan Van Bergan returned 14-yards for a Michigan touchdown.

The Badgers, though, answered again, claiming the 21-17 lead just before the half. John Clay, who finished with 151 yards on 26 carries, hammered the ball home from the one with just minutes left in the half.

With the loss the Wolverines fall to 5-6 on the season and must beat rival Ohio State at Michigan Stadium on Saturday in order to achieve bowl eligibility.

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