Nov. 16, 2013
Northwestern played today's game in custom-made Under Armour uniforms honoring and supporting the Wounded Warrior Project. The game-issued jerseys are available to fans via an online auction currently ongoing at NUsports.com, with 100 percent of auction proceeds benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project. PLACE YOUR BID NOW before the auction concludes on Wednesday, Nov. 20.
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern's defense held Michigan in check for the majority of the contest, but the Wolverines got a game-tying field goal as time expired in regulation before topping the Wildcats 27-19 in triple overtime Saturday at Ryan Field.
It is the second straight year that Michigan has defeated NU in overtime after posting a 38-31 win in Ann Arbor last season. Saturday's triple overtime contest was the first in school history for the Wildcats.
Senior PK Jeff Budzien accounted for four field goals and an extra point in the game, leaving him one point shy (261) of Brian Gowins' Northwestern career scoring record of 262. Budzien improved to 18-of-20 on field goal attempts this season -- two shy of the NU single-season record -- and 43-of-50 for his career.
QB Trevor Siemian finished 19-of-28 for 163 yards, while junior WR Christian Jones led NU's wide receiving corps with a career-best seven receptions for 64 yards.
Safety Traveon Henry recorded a career-high 13 tackles -- including eight in the first quarter -- to lead an NU defense that registered 14.0 tackles for loss in the contest.
Leading 9-6 in the final seconds of the fourth quarter, Michigan was forced to race its field goal unit on the field and Brendan Gibbons managed to connect on a 44-yard attempt as the Wolverines got the snap off just before the final second ticked off the clock.
In the first extra session, Michigan scored first on an 11-yard pass from Devin Gardner to Jake Butt with Gibbons' extra point making it 16-9. NU got a possession of its own and Kain Colter snuck the ball into the end zone from a yard out with Jeff Budzien's point after sending the game into a second OT.
Northwestern got the ball first in the second extra stanza and the 'Cats were forced to settle for a 36-yard field goal by Budzien that made it 19-16. The Wildcats managed to keep Michigan out of the end zone but Gibbons' 29-yard field goal send the game to a third overtime.
Gardner began that series by rushing the ball in from five yards out to put the guests on the board. Forced by rule to go for a two-point conversion, Michigan converted when Gardner scrambled into the end zone.
Needing a touchdown and a two-point conversion to extend the game, Northwestern was unable to cash in with Trevor Siemian's fourth-down pass into the end zone falling into the arms of a Michigan defender.
The result negated an outstanding effort by the Northwestern defense which kept Michigan out of the end zone throughout regulation.
Michigan assembled a 12-play drive to begin the game before NU's Tyler Scott and Max Chapman combined to stop Devin Gardner on a third-and-goal play from the 8-yard line. Gibbons came on to kick a 25-yard field goal for the game's first points.
Northwestern would immediately match the lengthy drive by running 16 plays on its opening series, including a fourth-and-2 pickup on a gutsy keeper by Colter. Budzien entered the game to convert a 40-yard field goal, the 40th made field goal of the senior's career to give him sole possession of third place on NU's career list.
The Wildcats defense put the clamps on their opponent after that, limiting Michigan to a total of 120 total offense yards through the opening two quarters. Northwestern would receive possession with 3:33 remaining in the half and go to work on a 10-play drive that was sparked by a pair of 12-yard Mike Trumpy rushes in Michigan territory.
The Wolverines would keep Northwestern out of the end zone, resulting in Budzien's second field goal of the game, this time from 22 yards on the final play of the half.
After the two teams combined for four punts to begin the third quarter, Northwestern took over on its own 11-yard line but moved across midfield with a 26-yard strike from Siemian to Christian Jones. The drive continued on a 6-yard rush by Colter that turned into 21 after a 15-yard facemask penalty against the Wolverines. Budzien later came on for this third successful field goal try of the day as NU took a 9-3 lead with 2:35 left in the third.
The NU D-line made its presence known on Michigan's next series, with Tyler Scott ending the third quarter with a 13-yard sack of Gardner and Collin Ellis and Ifeadi Odenigbo matched the feat with a sack on third down.
The ensuing punt pinned the Wildcats on their own 1-yard line, however, and three plays later a mis-hit punt returned possession to the Wolverines at the NU 10-yard line. The 'Cats D responded in a big way, forcing a three-and-out and not allowing any positive yardage in keeping the Wolverines to a field goal that cut the deficit in half.
Still trailing by three, Michigan took over with 2:18 remaining in regulation and the ball on its own 22-yard line. The Wolverines twice converted on fourth down to remain alive and had 1st-and-10 on the NU 30 when Dean Lowry sacked Gardner for a 13-yard loss on first down. Following an incompletion, Gardner found Gallon for a 16-yard gain on third down. Without a timeout, Michigan was forced to race its field goal unit onto the field and Gibbons managed to connected on the game-tying field goal as time expired.
Northwestern will play in Ryan Field for the final time this season next Saturday (Nov. 23) when it hosts Legends Division-leader Michigan State. Kickoff time and television coverage will be announced no later than Monday morning. Visit the Northwestern Athletics online ticket office or call 888-GO-PURPLE to secure your seats to help NU celebrate the 2013 senior class.
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