By RICKY LINDSAY, Sports Editor
The Michigan Wolverines have a knack for excitement already in a young season.
A young, unproven team has proved that they can provide their fans with agony, headaches, and the occasional scare.
In their first road game of the season, Michigan needed another second-half comeback against a team they were heavily favored to defeat.
Last week, it was Akron; this time, Connecticut.
The no. 15 Wolverines escaped with a 24-21 victory in front of UCONN’s largest crowd at Rentschler Field, but it was far from pretty. Trailing 21-7 in the third quarter, Michigan needed key defensive plays and a 21-yard field goal by Brendan Gibbons to emerge victorious.
A one-handed interception by Desmond Morgan in the fourth quarter saved the day for the Wolverines. The junior linebacker returned the ball 29 yards to the 12 yard line, setting up a game-tying touchdown run by fifth-year senior Fitzgerald Toussaint.
“It was just a simple zone coverage,” said Morgan. “I just dropped back and did what I was coached to do, kind of read off his eyes and lo and behold he threw it that way so I was just trying to jump up and make the play on it. Once I got the ball in my hands I was just trying to follow the blockers.”
“That’s going to be replayed a long time in Michigan history,” Devin Gardner added of Morgan’s interception.
For the second straight week, Gardner struggled under pressure against a team his Wolverines were heavily favored to defeat. The redshirt junior quarterback threw two interceptions and fumbled the ball twice, one which was recovered by the Wolverines, only to increase his turnover lead across all of college football.
Gardner went 13-of-25 passing for 111 yards and rushed for 59 yards and the game’s first touchdown on 19 carries.
Toussaint led the Wolverines’ one-dimensional offense when it mattered most, even behind a struggling offensive line. A 35-yard touchdown run helped Toussaint find a groove in the second-half. He carried the ball 24 times for 120 yards and two touchdowns.
Michigan’s pass pressure was almost nowhere to be found in the first three games of the season, including Frank Clark. That wasn’t the case against UCONN.
Clark managed to break his early season slump to become a difference maker for the Wolverines. The junior defensive end had two sacks, both which ended drives by the Huskies.
“We’re Michigan. We don’t play to everyone else’s level and for the last two weeks we have. But we’re going to step it up,” said Clark.
The Wolverines now enter the first of two bye weeks this season. They won’t see an opponent until homecoming arrives October 5, but they’ll have plenty of time to practice amongst themselves. They’ve showed there’s much to work on the next two weeks.